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.
10 thoughts on “Best Activities For Kids Camping In The Backyard”
I love your site. I thought I am the only parent who still plays with my son. We have a time set aside every day just for play time. I can see in him that it makes a huge difference in a kid’s life.
A few weeks ago I help out a friend in her butchery and I was there all day long.
Our play time was interrupted due to this, and at first I did not think it would matter much, its only a few days. But by the second day my son phoned me and told me that he misses me and wants me to come home because I am missing playtime with him and he has to spend time with me. How awesome is that?
We are also fortunate to have a big back yard with lots of trees and grass. We like to camp there during the summers. But usually we just decide on impulse and we grab our stuff and usually we are setup within an hour. We are a little bit trained by now…hehehe.
We also play games and you have given me some new ideas for our next backyard camping adventure. I am always on the lookout for new ideas to do.
Thank you for sharing and thank you for such a great post and an awesome site. I will definitely be a regular visitor.
This is such a great comment, so thank you very much. I can see that this article touched you and the way you talk about your son I can tell that you love him very much, just as much as he loves you.
I’m glad that you are bonding with your son on a daily basis, because there are just too much people in this world ignoring their kids, abusing the daycare system by leaving them there all day when they only need a couple of hours max. This is simply an excuse so they don’t have to watch them, which I find to be very sad.
I get that some work, but why have a kid in the first place if they’re just going to drop him/her off to someone else everyday. Anyway that is another topic and I’m getting way off track here, lol. This is by no means pointed at you, I’m talking about mothers that do it everyday, but this is totally debatable.
Again, thank you for the comment Marlene.
These are great ideas for a backyard camp out! I love the games and the food ideas! My kids would probably love that! Will give it a try while is still not that cold out. 🙂
Thanks Rita, I love camping in the backyard and I find these camping activities to be my favorite, hence why I wanted to share them 🙂
I wish I had that kind of space in my backyard. I live in the suburbs and can’t really see the stars because of the city light. I really like the idea of including the kids when planning for the backyard camping activities.
I really like your game ideas too. My child is only 2 years old so she’s not big enough to care about any planning aspects but I’m sure she will soon. She already has us under her control on many other house activities 🙂 Thanks for this great post!
Damn, that really sucks, maybe you should move (haha just kidding). Yes I agree with you, I think you should start backyard camping with her when she is AT LEAST 4, go and create some unforgettable memories for you and your daughter.
Glad you found this post helpful Carolyn.
I actually have done this before but it was not my backyard, it was a church member’s. I used to be in a church girls club called Blubelles and we camped out at a club leaders backyard with a huge tent. We roasted marshmallows and had ice box drinks. From what I remember of it, since I was real young, was we played campfire games and told stories.
I have actually never thought to do this with my kids before and will take it into consideration since my family will be moving out of my in laws house soon. Thanks for the tips. My husband has been wanting to camp out too.
That sounds really fun Jana, and I’m really glad you found these tips helpful. If your husband doesn’t want to camp in the backyard but would rather camp out in the wilderness or public campsite, then you should send him to this page. I know he’ll love the outdoor camping ideas I have written down, and I bet you will too 🙂
These are great ideas for people that want to go on a fast camping trip! Best of all, camping can be done at the backyard and it can be as much fun as camping out in the nature but less troublesome. Excellent info especially for family bonding. Thank you so much for the ideas 🙂
I totally agree with you Jen. Camping in the backyard can be just as fun as if you’re actually out in the wilderness. A little creativity and imagination can go a long way. I like how it’s less trouble too 🙂
Glad you found it helpful.