With summer in full swing, it’s time to make the most of the long days and the starry nights. If your family needs a way to cram this summer full of memorable adventures, we recommend an epic backyard campout. It’s fun for the whole family and easy to schedule in-between other summer activities. We at CYJ-Texas know a thing or two about camping, and we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide so you can have the BEST backyard campout.
Round up your camping gear and fill up your backpacks with everything you will need for a more genuine experience. You want to avoid going back inside the house as much as possible. Imagining the types of things they’ll need to pack (and the possible adventures they’ll have with those things) is an excellent way for kids to begin building excitement for their camping adventure.
Once the bags are packed, scope out the best camping spot. Take the time to explore the yard with your kids, no matter how big it is, and consider the pros and cons of each “campsite.” When you’ve chosen the winning place, go ahead and pitch your tent for the night.
Now it’s time to take a hike. You can journey through the neighborhood, or even venture beyond if there are safe sidewalks for everyone to use. Parents will be well-familiar with navigating the streets near home, so try drawing a map of the hiking “trail” you’re going to take and let the kids be the navigators. The area right by the house will be the most familiar to them, but the farther you go, the more they’ll need the map, and the more exciting the hike will become.
Whether you’re cooking dinner on a grill or pulling sandwiches out of a cooler, try not to go inside for dinner. One of the best parts about camping in the great outdoors is eating together around a campfire, sharing stories and singing songs. If you don’t have a safe way to make a fire in your backyard, you can use flashlights, lanterns, or candles to give the same effect.
After dinner, gaze up at the stars, and keep an eye out for fireflies if you have any nearby. Enjoy a shadow puppet show and a round or two of charades by campfire light. Make the most of this time without any televisions, tablets, or other electronic distractions. And don’t forget the s’mores!
When it comes to bedtime, know that it will take a little longer than usual to settle in for the night. You can play the quiet game or read a bedtime story, whatever it takes to help your kids wind down after an exciting day. This is also when some children, especially younger ones, begin to grow anxious and might ask to go inside. If this happens, encourage them to stick it out for the night in the tent as much as possible, but use your best judgment about your child’s well-being. It’s better that they get a good night’s sleep one way or another so that they can associate the backyard campout with fun and games, not fear and misery.
If you and your family embark on an awesome backyard campout this summer, we would love to see it! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram so we can admire your backyard style.