Camping with your kids can be an amazing experience or an awful failure. If you want to introduce your kids to camping without taking any risks, nothing is better than organizing a campout in your backyard.
The atmosphere certainly will not be the same of a campsite in the great outdoors. The brisk air that you feel in the middle of a forest is definitely not to be compared with that of your neighborhood, but to camp in your own backyard also presents its advantages.
One of these is that you avoid long trips to reach your favorite campsite. That’s important just in the case your kid doesn’t like to stay out all night. You can always go back home and make him sleep in his bed.
Another advantage is that you can benefit of all the things you have in your home. And when it comes to children you always need something.
Even if it is not a real camping trip you need to plan it in details to avoid any last minute surprise.
First check the weather. One option is to take a look at your local weather channel. Check the forecast for rain an visibility. If you are a tech geek you can also find lots of weather apps both for your iPhone or android phone.
Second check your tent. If it’s been a long time since the last time you used it, open it and double check that all parts are in place and that the tent is not torn or damaged.
If you don’t have a tent you can buy one at your local camping store or if you want directly on Amazon.com or other websites. You don’t need a very expensive tent. You can find some, well under a hundred dollars. If you are a beginner and don’t want to spend time on how to set up a tent you can buy a pop up tent. It opens within 2 or 3 seconds and you are done. If you want, here you can find a review of some of the best pop up tents on Amazon.
Third, other gear. Be sure that you have gathered all the other stuff you need for a real camping experience. Sleeping bags or bedrolls, pillows, pajamas, flashlights, binoculars and of course can’t live without toys or Linus’ blanket. If you forget something don’t worry, you are a few steps from home.
Fourth, the food. It’s not real camping without a campfire or a barbeque on which you can cook burgers, hot dogs and of course the fabulous s’mores. Being in your own backyard also has the advantage of having a refrigerator or freezer nearby in which you can find your kid’s favorite ice cream.
Backyard Camping Activities
Camping in your backyard means that you also have to plan lots of fun activities to do with your kids.
Set up the campsite with your kids. Ask your kids to help you set up the tent. It’s a funny way to teach him how to do it without the stress of finishing before dark. Show them all the parts and let them try to pitch the stakes and adjust the guy lines. If you have a pop up tent let them throw it in the air. For them it’s lot of fun. Let them unroll and try the sleeping bags. Are they ok? Then let’s move on.
Games. You can plan lot of games: Hide and seek, kickball, bocce. If you have your kids’ friends with you, you can organize a soccer match or an egg and spoon race or even a treasure hunt. You will have to work a little during the week but the result will be amazing.
Eating together. Eating together with family and friends around a campfire is one of the most beautiful things of camping. Cooking hot dogs, roasting beef and making s’mores are almost mandatory. But if you want to take advantage of being in your backyard you can order pizzas and your children will be delighted.
After dinner. Stargazing is popular after dinner but you have to be prepared. You need to know at least two or three constellations if you want to impress your kids. Singing funny songs or telling ghost stories around the fire are also a must.
Finally, sleeping in the tent or maybe not. Camping means sleeping in a tent. If it is the first time for your kids, it may not be so easy. Be sure that your kids feel comfortable. If they are scared by shadows or sounds don’t force them to sleep in the tent.
With that said, what is the benefit of being in your own backyard? Being able to return inside whenever you want.