May Backyard Adventure – Family Camp Out

Willy Nilly & Thumper’s Backyard Adventure for May: Family Camp Out

Why it’s great: Kids of all ages love to camp out. If you’re new to camping as a family, the backyard is a great place to hold a trial run. Removing electronic distractions (TV, video games, tablets) makes room for connection and family fun.

What you’ll need: A tent and sleeping bags are ideal. But if you don’t have those, no problem. String up a few blankets or sleep under the stars. Snacks are a must – one of the best parts of camping is the food! Involve your kids in the meal or snack prep. Some great kid-friendly camping recipes are here.  Other than sleeping arrangements and munchies, a backyard camp out is all about being together and creating your own adventure.

Setting up for Family Camp Out is half the fun. Kids will love hauling blankets, pillows and teddy bears from the house to the yard. Once everything is arranged for camping, encourage your children to really explore their backyard. No matter how large or small, your backyard is interesting.

  • Look closely in the grass for bugs and worms. How are they different from one another? Where do you think they are going?
  • Notice the birds flying overhead. Do they sound different or the same? Can you make up your own names for them based on their appearance and sound?
  • Are there flowers, bushes or trees in your yard? How are the leaves different? Do animals use any of these places as homes or resting places?
  • How many grown-up steps does it take to walk across the yard? How many kid steps? How many ways can you navigate across the yard? Running, skipping, hopping?

After dark, bring out the flashlights. Play “Chase the Light” with younger kids. Introduce older kids to “Shadow Puppets”. Hide a box somewhere in the yard (S’mores fixings?) and let the kids hunt for it after dark. Sing campfire songs, tell campfire stories.  Making memories and connecting with each other is the goal – backyard camping has no rules!