Backyard camping is a brilliant, stress-free and inexpensive way to coax the kids outdoors with promises of something new and adventurous.
In our increasingly tech-obsessed world, it can be hard to escape our LED screens and devices. Our back gardens are one of the last frontiers we can escape to for simpler, tech-free activities.
Here’s our list of innovative and incredibly fun garden camping ideas to keep the kids entertained.
1. Nature scavenger hunt
Before the sun goes down, prepare a scavenger hunt for the kids, tailored to the features of your garden. Have them collect a number of items – the petals of a particular flower, an ash tree leaf, a funny shaped rock or a clothes line peg.
You can even stretch the boundaries of their search by having them photograph their finds. Then you can add creepy crawlies, feathered friends, and more to the list. Make it extra special by buying them a cheap disposable camera from the local supermarket and going on a nature hike around your nearest park. They’ll love the momento photos you can print out and give them a few days later.
2. Bean Bag Ladder Toss
Label each rung of a step ladder with points and let the kids try to get as many points as possible by throwing bean bags between the rungs. Easiest set up ever – and a fun exercise for the young at heart too! 😉
Above our heads is a small example of the great universe out there, yet we hardly ever stop to marvel at its size and beauty. A backyard campout is the perfect time to hold the moment still and gaze at the stars overhead.
For kids, it can be insightful and educational, as well as hugely enjoyable. Even if you don’t have a telescope, a simple pair of binoculars held up to the moon will reveal all the craters and surface pock holes that prove it’s a real place. The kids will undoubtedly get a kick out of it.
You can print a map of the stars in the sky where you live (to the nearest city).
4. Torchlight treasure hunt
Every kid loves a treasure hunt. Combine it with night-time and the powerful beam of a torchlight and you’ll whip the kids into an excitable frenzy.
Plant a bag of camping snacks somewhere in the garden and encourage the kids to discover it using only their torchlight. If they struggle to find it, give them gentle “hotter” and “colder” hints.
5. Campfire cooking
Outdoor cooking is a specialty of ours. What could be better than a campfire in your own backyard? Toasting marshmallows over the glowing embers of a warm fire is at the heart of what it means to go camping. You can even try cooking up some s’mores, using a tasty recipe like this one from delicious. magazine. For a healthier option, try sandwich marshmallows between slices of apple.
Give the kids a bunch of things they can toast over the fire and let them go wild with experimenting: hot dogs, dough sticks and corn on the cobs are great picks.
A garden camping adventure can be great fun for the whole family. Try to make it as authentic as possible, limiting the use of technology, and having lots of board games on hand. The kids will be begging you for regular garden campouts!
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