One reason why I enjoy backyard camping is for the simple fact that it’s completely FREE, you can get away with pretty much anything (considering you’re not breaking the law), you don’t have to leave your home and you still get to have fun in the outdoors.
However, most of all – I absolutely LOVE having fun with the children, because that’s what being a parent is all about, having outdoor fun with the kids so they can grow up and do the same with their children, not to mention that you’re going to make them a very happy child!
I often camp in the backyard with my kids to avoid hefty campsite fees, plus you don’t have to pack the car, prep meals or anything like that, everything is right there and everyone gets to have equal amount of fun.
I’m going to share with you my favorite backyard camping activities, in the hopes that I will also inspire you to get out and have fun with your children a lot more.
Note: These are in no particular order
Plan Your Camp Out With The Kids
Don’t leave the kids out of anything, because most of the time the backyard camp was probably for them anyway.
Even when you are brainstorming ideas of what you can do while you are out there, get them involved, they might even come up with new ideas you haven’t even heard of.
Set Up Your Campsite Together
Another must-do activity to include the kids. Heck, it makes it easier for yourself when you have the kids doing half the work (lol).
Get them to help with pitching the tent, grabbing their favorite blankets and sleeping bags, mattresses, table and chairs, you can even get them to help carry some firewood for the campfire (if you aren’t having a campfire, you SHOULD be).
These are some common games I enjoy with the kids:
- Simon says
- Scavenger hunt
- Shadow puppets (night time activity)
- Truth or dare
- Staring contest (don’t blink)
- Name that tune
- Sing row row row your boat – One person starts singing first, then the everyone else will ‘catch’ on singing throughout that round
Take A Hike In The Neighborhood
Just because you aren’t actually camping in the wilderness, doesn’t mean you still cant go on a hike.
Grab your backpacks and the kids and go take a hike through the neighborhood.
Go down a street you’ve never been down before, a park you always wanted to explore but never had the time to visit.
Remember to snap photos, look for birds and identify them (involving the kids will keep them interested, and stop them from complaining about being bored).
One thing I like to do, if you have a river or stream behind your house, go exploring out there and see how far you can go or what cool features you can see. Most of the times we will go at night time as well, just to make it 10x better 😛
However, remember to follow these outdoor safety rules.
Roast Some Marshmallows
Nothing says a cozy camp out without the help of a campfire and roasted marshmallows, YUM.
Pro Tip: It’s your time to shine as a responsible adult, show the kids you can have fun drinking while staying responsible. Dip these little suckers in baileys, the taste is out of this world 🙂
Cook Dinner On The Campfire
I always love my hearty meals cooked over a campfire, hence why I NEVER skip cooking my meal in this manner when camping in the outdoors. I don’t care if it’s just a camp out or not, lol.
Some good ideas can include:
- Roasted sausages
- Cowhorn biscuits
- Canned biscuit doughnuts
- Blueberry orange muffins (cooked in tinfoil)
- Beer pancakes (for the adults of course)
- Campfire Quesadillas
- Macaroni and cheese
- Crescent dogs (yum)
- Baked potatoes (cooked in tinfoil)
There’s just something about a great campfire sing-along with the family, and that is – it enables a huge bond to form with the family, and it also increases their overall confidence – especially if your kids are the shy type.
One of my favorite outdoor activities as a kid, and I can still enjoy this awesome game till this day. This one is really fun and best played with the neighborhood kids for added adventure. You then have the neighbors house to hide AND yours.
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This is something we need more of in this world, is more bonding time with your children. When yous are all snuggled up in your tent, ask how there day was, see what they did like and what they didn’t like, then you will know what to do for next time.
You will also start to notice what your kids are really into, they might of enjoyed playing games, some might of enjoyed bird watching or collecting different colored leaves.
This time is for you to find out what your kids are really into so please don’t overlook this activity.
Sometimes (well a lot of the time), we forget the little things that make a huge difference in ours and our kids lives. the universe is a mysterious place and something we can see from the comfort of our own backyard.
Take full advantage of this wondrous activity and star gaze with your kids.
Can you spot flying objects? Bigger-than-average stars? What formations are there? There are countless things to spot, and using this simple activity is also going to help you bond with your children a lot more.
While camping in the wilderness or a public campsite is still a great activity, you can never go wrong with camping in your backyard and involving the kids. Heck, it can get them ready for the real thing if your family isn’t really the outdoor type!
One things for sure though, backyard camping is less hassle, 10x easier than traditional camping, you still get the best of both worlds, you save money and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home.