Camping is a good activity to avoid large crowds and to stay healthy. The problem is, with the current state of the pandemic, even national forests and state parks are closed and off-limits. Which got us thinking… What better time than now to discuss backyard camping?
Truth is, one of the hardest things about camping is all of the preparation and planning that goes into it, especially if you have a baby. Don’t get us wrong, it’s well worth it, but right now you might have to make alternative plans.
Fortunately, there’s backyard camping! It’s an easy way to replicate the outdoor experience for the entire family, especially the kids, without having to plan as much.
Why You Should Go Backyard Camping
Okay, it may not sound like much compared to a real camping trip, but if you build the experience properly, camping in your backyard can be just as fun. Plus, backyard camping is a great way to create lasting memories and spend time as a family, all while saving money and time, and keeping your social distance. Consider these benefits:
- Saves money
- Not as time-consuming
- Easier to plan than a regular camping trip
- A great test for the kids
Backyard camping really is the best of both worlds. Your family can enjoy the convenience of home while being outside exploring nature. 'Nature,' you might be thinking, 'In the backyard?' When you take the time to explore, you might be surprised.
What’s more, backyard camping is easy to plan, saves you money and time, and it’s safe and healthy for everyone in the family. You don’t have to worry about getting too close to others or spreading viruses when you’re in your own backyard. On top of that, it’s a great test trip for the baby and kids, to see how they handle the situation before going on your next outdoor adventure farther from the home.
How to Go Backyard Camping
Planning a trip in your backyard sounds easy enough, but if you don’t plan properly, you may end up with bored and unhappy children. Here are some tips to help make your backyard camping trip a memorable one.
1. Set Up the Tent
First thing’s first, you need to set up a tent. Creating a living space away from the house can be a lot of fun for kids. From their perspective, it’s like a fort and a gateway into another world.
And, because you’re so close to home, you don’t have to worry about bringing too many things. Consider setting up a small table and chairs inside with some activities like games for older kids. You can include some coloring books, blocks, and maybe PlayDough. This is your time to go crazy and integrate luxuries you wouldn't normally take on the road.
2. Explore Your Backyard
When’s the last time you really explored your backyard? You might be surprised by the number of plants, flowers, and insects you can find. Bringing some binoculars and magnifying glasses adds to the fun too. Spending time looking closely for signs of nature is not only interesting but also very educational for kids.
3. Plan Some Fun Activities
If you’re camping with a baby, you can keep things simple. Crawling in the grass and going around touching and experiencing outdoor things is perfect, as well as spending time in the tent.
However, with slightly older kids, it’s critical that you plan some things to do so that they don’t get bored and give up on the trip. Consider making a nature collage out of things found around the yard, like leaves, sticks, and rocks. You can also organize a scavenger hunt, with clues and maybe even a treasure map.
4. Build a Fire (Or Grill)
There’s nothing like camping over an open fire, and if you can, building one in your backyard is a lot of fun for babies and kids (as long as everyone knows how to stay safe). However, if you can’t or it seems too dangerous for your situation, rolling the grill down to your campsite or setting up a small charcoal cooking surface is great too.
Having a fire or grill will not only help to make your backyard camping trip complete but can also be the centerpiece for many different activities. You can, of course, cook hot dogs and roast marshmallows, which is always a good time, but you can also sing songs (bring a guitar if you play) and tell stories around the campfire.
5. Enjoy the Night
A big part of camping involves nighttime. After the sun goes down, there’s a very different feeling when you’re outside, rather than inside your house with all of the lights and electronics. Besides, you can light up the night with flashlights and glow sticks, maybe even do shadow puppets on the side of the tent.
Another thing you can do is stargazing. It’s fascinating for kids and parents alike to enjoy the night sky. Younger kids can count stars, while older ones try to find constellations from a star chart. Talking about what you see in the sky with your kids whether they are stars, moons, or airplanes, is a rewarding (and educational) experience.
Your Own Private Getaway
After you try backyard camping, you’ll never look at your backyard the same way again. It really is more than just a patch of dirt. It’s your own private getaway. Everything that you, your baby, your kids, and your family need to have a fun-filled outdoor adventure to create lasting memories is right there in your backyard.