There are plenty of warm Summer nights in August that provide the perfect atmosphere for hosting a late Summer campout in your own backyard. The kids will thrive from this outdoor adventure while staying within earshot of the house, clean bathrooms, and a stocked fridge. It's the perfect time to let them enjoy a starry Summer night before it's time to head back to early bedtimes and days filled with hitting the books. So, pitch a tent and invite a few friends for a backyard campout. If you prefer, make it a family night.
Setting Up the Site
Set up a tent for the happy campers, and tell parents that the campout is BYO-sleeping bags. To create an authentic campsite, consider having a portable grill or fire pit to grill hot-dogs and marshmallows. Place a cooler filled with beverages outside of the tent as well. Chairs and a small table complete the campsite mood.
Trail mix provides a fun camp-inspired food to munch on all night long. Simply combine equal parts of lightly salted peanuts, mini pretzels, Cheerios, M&M's, raisins, and banana chips, then toss and enjoy.
S'mores on a stick puts a twist on the campfire classic that's super easy, even for little ones. Warm up your favourite chocolate sauce and pour into a shallow bowl or plate; put crushed graham crackers on another plate. Roast marshmallows, dip in the chocolate and then in the crackers. A must for any campout!
If the campout begins early, have the kids cook their own hot dogs over the fire. While the hot dog may be black and sooty, they will taste great to the kids because they were fun to make. Parents should supervise all cooking activities.
For more ideas, check out these camping recipes.
For Little Campers
If your child is younger, consider setting up a tent near theirs to ensure their safety. Plan activities for the children in the daylight, such as a tent-decorating competition. As night time falls, assist them with their s'mores while you teach them campfire songs. Telling stories around the campfire is a quintessential camping activity! If the kids are afraid after dark, keep a lantern or outdoor lights on. Uneasy parents can give children old baby monitors or a walkie-talkie to allow them to stay in contact.
Big Kid Campout
As a general rule, a campout for older children will require less planning by adults, as they will easily entertain themselves. Allow older children to help set up the tent and participate in any of the preparation. Before their guests arrive, establish quiet hours so the neighbours aren't disturbed all night.
Sing-alongs are fun for just about any age group. Raise your voices with traditional camping songs that most kids learn in school or camp.
Show them the constellations in the night sky. See if you can name each one.
Flashlight games are a great way to entertain your campers once the sun goes down. Give everyone a flashlight and use them to make shadow puppets. Or use flashlights to find objects you have hidden in the 'campground.'
Board games aren't just for the indoors; a favourite board game is equally fun outside.
Staying in your own backyard and camping offers a myriad of fun activities for grown-ups and kids alike. It's a great opportunity to spend time together and let the everyday grind slip away.
Have a fun backyard campout!