Want a summer getaway but don’t have the time or budget? Well, look no further than your very own backyard. With a little creativity and thought, you can easily plan a night of fun and transform your backyard into a luxury campground (showers and toilets included!! Horray!!).
1. Set Up A Tent
Nothing says “camping” like a tent! For a truly authentic way to feel like you’ve packed up and left town, set up a tent for your night “away”. Don’t worry if you don’t own a tent! As long as weather is clear, you can always set up a blanket fort instead. My brother and I used to do this all the time growing up and we turned out just fine (or, at least one of us did). If you don’t mind spending just a little bit of money, you can also find some affordable tents at sporting goods stores such as Scheels.
2. Campfire Cuisine
No camping trip is complete without a campfire! Keep the s’mores and foil packet dinners alive by starting up the grill. You can also purchase your own portable cooking appliances made especially for camping. Art of Manliness shares some great foil dinner recipes and tips here (I feel like a man grunt would be appropriate at this time).
3. Backyard Games
Keep the fun and laughter going by playing some backyard family games. Make them as elaborate or as simple as you want or even just bring along a pack of playing cards. The important thing is just to have fun playing together! Family Education shares 10 ideas for backyard games here.
4. Campfire Songs
Have you noticed how today’s generation is shockingly unaware of classic American nursery rhymes and folk tales? The same can be said for traditional songs that practically raised older generations. Have fun on your backyard campout teaching your children some of your old favorites such as Going On A Bear Hunt, Do Your Ears Hang Low, or Little Bunny Foo Foo. For an excellent list of songs and videos, visit Care.com.
Have fun sharing funny stories or ghost stories with your flashlight. Find a list of stories here. You can also opt to create your own stories as a family. If you want some help with the process, check out my favorite story-telling toy called Rory’s Story Cubes. Each cube has little images on the six faces and your challenge is to tell your story using those images. They make for some fun silliness and good laughs!
6. Flashlight Games
Don’t let the fun stop just because the sun goes down! Here’s a list of some fantastically fun nighttime games to play outside. Flashlight scavenger hunts can be especially exciting!
Add some learning to your exciting backyard campout with some down-to-basic stargazing. Check out these great stargazing and constellation activities from Kids Creations.
8. Movie Screen
Okay, so watching a movie isn’t exactly an authentic campout activity, but after all your other backyard fun, a movie might be the perfect solution to settling down. Find out how to make your own backyard movie screen here.