Guide to Backyard Camping

By FPL_Brenda

Looking for a family activity that’s close to home this summer? Plan a backyard camping trip!

Backyard camping is a great way to bring the family together to enjoy the fresh air, tell campfire stories, and stargaze. Here are a few ways to get the full camping experience in your own backyard:

  1. Pack
    Let the kids know a couple of days before. They can start packing early, and you can encourage them to bring some of their favorite things. Begin with blankets, pillows, and a bag they can fill with whatever they would like to bring on the camping trip such as books or their favorite stuffed animals.
  1. Set up camp
    Find the perfect spot in your backyard that will allow easy access inside the house for bathroom breaks, snacks, or for additional blankets. Feel free to get creative by adding some string lights, an inexpensive firepit, or a projector if you want to have a movie night!
  1. Pitch your tent
    Once you find a spot in your backyard, pitch your tent OR if you don’t have a tent, tie a rope between two trees and throw a large tarp or blanket over the top. Make it nice and cozy by layering blankets and pillows underneath.
  1. Make some camp themed meals
    S’mores are a classic camp snack, but you can also fire up the grill and cook some hot dogs, burgers, and grilled veggies. Find inspiration with these camp-friendly recipes: Taste of Home: Favorite Camping Recipes., opens a new window
  1. Activities to do in your backyard
    Incorporating activities can take some planning, but it will make the camping experience extra special for the kids. Here are some ideas:
    • Scavenger hunt
      You can either make your own or find free printable scavenger hunts for kids online. It can be summer, camping, or nature themed. Once you pick your theme, find a spot to hide the clues and objects.
    • Backyard games
      Incorporate some classic outdoor games like Capture the Flag, Bean Bag Toss, or Hide and Seek. Or keep it simple by bringing jump ropes, hula hoops, and chalk for hopscotch.
    • Storytelling
      Grab some flashlights, sit around the campfire or firepit, and take turns telling a spooky story. Need inspiration? Check out these books from our collection to read around the campfire:

Campfire Stories, opens a new window

Scary Stories for Campfires, opens a new window

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, opens a new window

In A Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories, opens a new window

Shadow in the Woods and Other Scary Stories, opens a new window

Scary Stories, opens a new window

    • Stargazing
      As the night settles down, end the evening with stargazing. It’s a great way for kids to learn about planets, constellations, and galaxies. You can take it a step further and purchase a telescope or make your own.

Have fun incorporating these ideas into your future adventure!