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Spend a night out with your kids – in the backyard!



Camping…long-lasting memories with these family fun activities

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With the concerns with the pandemic, sometimes we forget that we can actually stay close to home and have a blast.

Most of the activities listed can be done in your own backyard or in your neighborhood…no backyard required.

Camping, in any form, provides families with a fun alternative for creating long-lasting memories, new traditions, while saving time and money. Plus, it helps foster a healthy development of family bonds. With summer here, the temperatures will be perfect for a day or nighttime adventure. Remember, the camping adventure can come to a halt at a specified time…it doesn’t always mean sleeping outside all night.  Some kids enjoy the adventure for a few hours and return to their familiar bedroom for sleeping.

Here’s just a sampling of some of the benefits:

  • Not as time consuming - Camping in your backyard is not time consuming. Preparing for your ''trip'' and getting to your campsite takes less time than traveling to a campsite away from home. It’s also easy to social distance.
  • Money-saving - In terms of family finances, it is a less expensive option than your usual camping trip, as you don't have to purchase all the additional travel supplies, because you are staying close to your home.
  • Proximity to home - You can enjoy full benefits of stocked fridge and indoor plumbing. Being relatively close to your clean bathroom is particularly handy, especially for small kids.
  • Security - Your kids may feel more secure staying in your neighborhood versus the unknown area and wildlife of a strange camping place.

With these activities, every camp out will be a winner whether you use your own backyard or explore your neighborhood:

1. Set up a play tent or a real one if you own one

Supply the kids with a tent to retreat to with items such as books, stuffed animals and games. A deck of cards and a board game will keep the kids entertained, while at the same time teach them some basic skills such as counting, colors and letters. 

2. Build a Fort outside or indoors

Create an outdoor fort with cushions, blankets and sheets, clothesline, branches or other items. Use your imagination. Your fantasy fort can be a tree house, a blanket fort, a cushion castle, a fairy house or a teepee. Children are all about creating these tiny little private getaways. Such activities will teach younger children about construction, engineering and sustainability.


3. Explore your yard or your neighborhood

Go on an "exploration" of the area to discover the many different types of insects, plants, flowers and trees in the yard. An age appropriate book on birds, insects, plants or animals will surely excite any tiny explorer. A magnifying glass or binoculars are sure to add an element of fun to your adventure. One mom went on a neighborhood community walk and gave the kids specific things to find.

4. Make a nature collage

Give each child a bag or bucket. During the exploration of your backyard or neighborhood, encourage the kids to collect interesting and odd things. When the exploration is over, engage the kids in an art activity involving the collection. Use glue to adhere items to a piece of cardboard or paper. Use the items to create different animals and creatures using additional supplies such as pipe cleaners, google eyes, pebbles, sticks, pine cones and feathers. This can be a map of your family adventure.

5. Organize a treasure hunt

It is important to plan ahead for activities such as this one. Create a treasure hunt for the children with clues that will lead them around the yard and to a final payoff. Each clue can be geared to a nature reference, family activity reference (swing set, garage, flowerbed, etc.), or possibly as a treasure map complete with numbered paces, geographical direction, and an "X" to mark the spot! (You can download treasure maps from the Internet.) Search on Google for treasure maps for kids. You can download blank ones to use. Check out Pinterest. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/128000814389018435/

6. Play backyard bingo

Create or print out outdoor themed bingo cards from the internet. Engage the family to travel or look around the yard to find the objects on their cards. The first camper to find all of the items on their card wins a prize. This activity can be adjusted for younger campers with the use of pictures in place of or in addition to the written words. https://myfreebingocards.com/

7. Tell Campfire Stories

Before you call it a night, either create campfire using a fire pit, or even battery-operated candles and tell some scary – but not too scary – stories.  One family member can start the story, and then go around so that each person adds content to the story.

http://www.froddo.com/camping-at-home-12-fun-ideas-for-camping-in-your-backyard



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