Monday, June 18, 2012

Backyard Campout Activities for Kids

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know we’re planning on camping out in our backyard this weekend as part of the Great American Backyard Campout. We’ve tried it once before and figured that since we have much camping on the agenda for the summer, it was time for another dry run.


Perhaps the one big, obvious difference between backyard camping and camping in nature is the setting. In the absence of serene, rustic, natural surroundings, what are the kids to do while camping right in their own backyard?

While some kids are content just to be playing in a tent, others may need a little more structure to help the evening go smoothly. If you're planning to camp out in your backyard this weekend (and I hope you are!), here are a few ideas to keep up your sleeve.

Set up a play tent.
When we brought along a play tent on our camping trip last summer, it was a huge hit. Fll it with books, games, coloring books – whatever items are popular with the kids at the moment.

Celebrate color.
Sidewalk chalk is a must, as it can help transform concrete into a mural or game board in minutes. Glow sticks are the highlight of any nighttime activity around here. I also recently discovered glow bubbles, which would make nighttime blowing a real adventure.

Try a campground craft.
The simpler the better. Aim for things you can do that don’t involve any special supplies, like building a fairy house or creating land art.

Settle in around a campfire.
A couple of years ago, we invested in an outdoor fire pit, which makes creating the campfire mood much easier. A backyard fire pit or chiminea is the perfect place for roasting s’mores and telling campfire stories. (Younger kids may prefer reading stories to scary tales.)

Get busy after dark.
Being outside after dark is pretty exciting for most kids. It’s a time to see and hear plenty of new things. Go stargazing, take a flashlight walk or search for nighttime critters. Don’t forget to use your sense of hearing, too, to listen for the sounds of the night.

Explore at sunrise.
No matter how tired the kids are, chances are they’ll be up early. Why not take advantage it? Discover what goes on in your neighborhood in the earliest hours of the day. Go on a scavenger hunt or play a game of camping bingo. Hopefully, breakfast will be waiting for you when you get back to camp.

Great American Backyard Campout Link-Up
Looking for more ideas to make your backyard campout a success? I’m excited to be partnering with these lovely ladies to bring you a variety of posts designed to do just that. Go check ’em out!


Melissa at Adventure Tykes
Barb at Handbook of Nature Study
Tricia at Hodgepodge
Maureen at Spell Outloud
Amelia at Tales of a Mountain Mama

10 comments:

  1. What a fun list! I particularly like the explore at sunrise ideas - yes, they surely will be up and ready to go :)

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    1. I try to deny it, but this year, I think it'd be better to just embrace the reality & try to turn it into a positive. :-)

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  2. We love our chiminea and it does give every fire the feel of a campout. Love your list of ideas for a backyard campout. Hope you have a wonderful time this weekend!

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    1. Hope you have fun, too, Barb. Thanks again for coordinating this link-up!

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  3. Believe it or not but we have never camped in the backyard with J-Man and this year is no different. We will be in Grand Teton National Park camping. Someday we will do the backyard thing. I did it a ton when I was a child and I know J-Man will love it.

    Thanks for the reminder on the glow sticks. Almost forgot to pack them. :)

    Have a great time!

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    1. Grand Teton sounds like a wonderful place to camp! Lucky J-Man. There will be plenty of time for backyard camping. :) Look forward to reading all about your adventures.

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  4. I'll be camping in the backyard with my two kiddos, too. They can't wait!

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    1. Yay - I'm sure it'll be a big hit! Have fun, Stacy!

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  5. I'm going to have to get our family some of those glow bubbles - what fun for nights we make s'mores around our mini firepit in the back yard!

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    1. Aren't they cool?! Hope you guys have a wonderful summer!

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