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It’s the best time of year – spring has sprung, summer is right around the corner, and everyone is out grilling, walking their dogs, jogging, having picnics, and generally enjoying the beautiful weather after gray winter days. With all of the warm weather excitement, now is the perfect time to plan outdoor adventures with your kids.

Backyard camping is an exciting adventure for little kids! Pack like you’re going on a big adventure. Draw a map to your backyard, and feel free to get creative with it, such as adding in a bog monster along the way. Pretend you’re going really far away for a really long time, and of course, make sure you bring along the essentials.

Here are some backyard camping ideas, tips, and tricks to make the most of your summertime fun:

Set Up Camp

Create a camping area in your backyard. Pitch a tent or set up some kind of makeshift shelter. Make sure to include sleeping bags, pillows, and cozy blankets to create a comfortable sleeping environment. Don’t forget to bring along some camping chairs or blankets for lounging around the campfire.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors – With Games

Set up a scavenger hunt around the backyard, and try to find common outdoor objects – or weird ones. Go on a nature walk to explore local flora and fauna, or play classic camping games, like flashlight tag or capture the flag. You can also bring out some outdoor toys, like frisbees, balls, a jump rope, sprinkler sets, or bean bags.

Anything-But-Basic S’mores

S’mores don’t have to just be graham crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey’s bars roasted on an open fire. They can also include gummy worms, sprinkles – and even bacon. Have your kids create their own recipes, and then declare Top Chef: Camping Edition winners! We suggest giving everyone an award, from “Most Original” to “Biggest Risk That Paid Off.”

Wish Upon a Star

Take advantage of clear night skies by stargazing with your kids. Set up some blankets or sleeping bags in an open area away from any bright lights, and spend some time identifying constellations and spotting shooting stars. Bring along a telescope if you have one for an even closer look at the wonders of the night sky.

Campfire Stories

Spooky story time (or maybe just tall tale time)! Gather around the campfire and share stories with your kids. Whether you’re telling ghost stories, sharing tales of your own childhood adventures, or reading from a favorite book, storytelling is a great way to bond with your family and spark your kids’ imagination. Encourage your kids to take turns making up their own stories.

With a little planning and creativity, backyard camping can be a fun and memorable experience. So gather your gear, round up the kids, and get ready for an outdoor adventure close to home!


Country Living – “25 Backyard Camping Ideas That’ll Make You Feel Like You’re in the Great Outdoors” – Reviewed/USA Today – “12 Tips for an Epic Backyard Campout with Kids” – Parents – “11 Tips for Camping with Kids” – Taste of Home – “The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Camping”