Perhaps there’s no campground within a feasible distance, or your kids are too young to “rough it” just yet, or maybe this is just spur of the moment. No matter your reasoning for hosting a family-fun summer backyard campout, here are some tips to ensure that your home is the perfect little getaway.
No cell phones/tablets/etc!
This may seem obvious, but parents and kids alike should ditch the cell phones. It will be easier to immerse yourselves in the activities. After all, one of the best parts of camping is the “getaway” factor, and you can’t do that with the constant *pings* and *dings* of reality. Plus, you’re in your backyard, so if there’s an emergency, you’ll be able to reach communication rather quickly.
Let’s face it, without movies and TV, your kids may get pretty bored pretty quickly. After all, it takes a lot to satisfy their curiosity! Perhaps hiking around the neighborhood or to a nearby local park. Bring binoculars and bird watch. Find and identify bugs under rocks. Even search for cloud shapes in the day and constellations at night. Remember, the goal of this is to get the whole family involved with outdoor fun!
Use actual gear!
Nothing feels like camping except….well…. camping! If you have sleeping bags, a pop-up tent, and everything you need for the “great outdoors,” it will feel more authentic. This means that everyone packs PJs, and clothes for the next day, as well as snacks, food, water, and toiletries. (Okay, I guess you can use the actual bathroom inside, but all teeth brushing and face washing should stay out in the open!) No running inside for different clothes, toys, or anything. And put the phones and tablets up high, no checking those on bathroom breaks either.
In closing, if the kids truly get fussy, especially the younger ones, and need to sleep in their own beds, that doesn’t cancel out the experience! Of course, helping them adjust to an outdoor sleepover with extra blankets, more comfortable padding, or re-assurance that you’re there to protect them will hopefully get them to tough it out in the tent, but sometimes it’s just not time, and that’s okay! As long as the family had fun leading up to bedtime, that’s all that matters.
Your home is your sanctuary, and if creating lasting memories for your children to pass on as they grow is important to you, there are many ways you can start without setting a toe outside of your property line! Have a happy and safe summer! Let us know in the comments below, what are some of your favorite stay-at-home family activities?