How to plan fun activities for a successful kids’ backyard camping adventure
Fun backyard camping activities for kids
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy! Time to take the kids back outdoors for warm weather fun. Kids love backyard camping adventures, so spruce them up with some new, fun ideas.
S’mores, please – No need for an open fire to enjoy easy, homemade s’mores. A small hibachi works just fine! The same is true for roasting wieners.
Storytelling – Storytelling is an old traditional art. Not only is it a marvelous language arts extension, storytelling creates timeless childhood memories. To get the ball rolling, find some traditional Native American or Wild West stories for your young campers to share. If your campers are very young you will want to steer away from scary stories.
Get Bugged! – Insect nets are very inexpensive and make for hours of fun. Fireflies aren’t the only summer critters out there! Be safety conscious, use bug spray on the campers so no one’s camping adventure is dampened by a nasty bug bite.
Backyard Artists – Drape an old white bed sheet over a line and let your campers’ imaginations create art. Be sure your campers are dressed in play clothes and protect the grass with plastic. Some old paint brushes and washable paint is all you need.
Make Totem Poles – Save empty paper towel rolls, use washable markers or paints to create fun totem poles. Once your campers understand that totem poles were built to represent a family’s heritage, let them work on creating one for their own family.
Backyard Fossil Dig – Fill a small child’s plastic pool or sandbox with sand. In advance, bury hidden “treasures” such as wrapped gum or candy. Each camper gets one plastic knife and one pair of tweezers. Together they perform an archeological dig to find the goodies. Be sure campers do not run or get too rough with the digging instruments.
Lighting – The right lighting is very important to a backyard camping adventure. There should be enough lighting for safety purposes, but too much lighting can spoil the fun. Camping lanterns are excellent inside the tent. Consider using strings of rope lights outside the tent, and, of course, a well defined light should be on at the back of the house for easy access.
Safety is essential for a successful backyard camping escapade. All the planning and fun can be ruined if safety is ignored. A quick safety check list should include:
Safe Lighting – Remember, flood lights are overkill but no lights are dangerous
Alternative plans for sudden weather changes – Make way for a floor full of campers! Have extra blankets on hand, just in case they’re needed.
No unattended fire, matches, grills, sparklers or other fireworks – This should be checked several times by an adult during the evening and again after campers are in the tent for the night.
Bug spray – Some people are sensitive to commercial bug spray, so you may want to consider Avon’s Skin-So-Soft. It works well to repel mosquitoes. Also consider citronella candles, but make sure an adult takes care of monitoring and dowsing them for the night.
Establish “campground” boundaries – Make sure all campers are aware of these boundaries.
With a little prevention, planning and imagination comes a fun-filled camping adventure. Never underestimate the value of these childhood events. They fill our photo albums and memories when we become adults.