10 Tips For the Best Backyard Camping Experience
If a big family camping trip isn't on your agenda because of budget or personal preferences, consider adding a backyard staycation to your plans. Not only is camping close to home cost-effective, convenient, and a relatively small commitment for those who aren't nature-lovers, but it's also a great way to try things out for first-timers. Plus, your kiddos can still make those precious Summer memories. It's amazing how kids can connect with nature, even just steps away from all of their electronics, when parents check out these 10 backyard camping tips.
Turn Off the Electronics
Even though you're still in WiFi and streaming range, resist the urge to swipe and put those electronics down. Create the magic of camping by experiencing and enjoying all that the great outdoors (er, your backyard) has to offer by connecting with nature as you reconnect with each other.
Let Them Have Their Space
Give your little one some independence by involving them in the setup and letting them create their temporary home for the night. Not only will they be into creating their cozy space with blankets and pillows, but they might just want to chill there for a bit and perhaps get a head start on Summer reading!
Plan Some Surprise Activities
To make the afternoon and evening even more special, plan some activities that you can surprise the group with in the moment. Similar to having a few new distractions tucked away in case of emergency on a normal trip, plan to have different games or activities in mind for backyard camping that are different than they normally play to make this time that much more exciting.
Introduce Them to Your Childhood Favorites
Whether it's a tinfoil dinner, ghost story, campfire song, card game, or s'mores, you don't have to wait until a serious camping trip to introduce your kids to your outdoor favorites and make new childhood memories.
Don't Call It a Night
Part of the magic of backyard camping is experiencing nightfall outdoors. It's amazing how when the sun sets and the stars are out, everything transforms. Let them see what their yard is like from this new perspective, and even if you don't plan on spending the full night outside, don't head in until they're able to enjoy some nighttime fun.
Opt For Outdoor Dining
Just because you have the modern-day conveniences only steps away doesn't mean you should take advantage of them. Prep your food and snacks ahead of time so you aren't constantly running indoors (and breaking the camping illusion). This way, you can enjoy dining al fresco without the distractions.
Make It a Family Tradition
Whether you opt to give backyard camping a shot in honor of the last day of school or invite friends over for a final hurrah before the new year starts up, outdoor camping is a relatively easy family tradition that kids can look forward to every year.
Make It a Family Affair
If you're planning a backyard adventure, try to make it a family affair if possible. This means recruiting the entire family and even some beloved pets — an evening out back requires a relatively small commitment and can offer some serious rewards in terms of lasting memories.
Bring the Water to Them
Just because you don't live on a lake or stream doesn't mean you can't have some water fun if you aren't leaving your yard for this camping trip. Break out your hose and water toys, and let the wild, messy fun begin!
Bend the Rules
Consider letting them stay up a bit later, get a bit messier, and indulge in some special treats. You're both going to cherish these memories one day.