You don’t need to leave home to enjoy the great outdoors with your family. Sometimes, life happens and planning a weekend getaway can be challenging. Grab your tent, your kids, and be ready for an adventure-filled weekend without leaving your house!
Step 1: Create Your ‘Packing List’
Create a list of all the items you will need for the weekend. Categories should consist of camping equipment (tents, sleeping bags etc.), food and cooking supplies, games, and personal items (clothing, toiletries, etc.).
Step 2: Set Some Outside Boundaries
If you want to immerse yourselves in a full on camping weekend truly, set some boundaries for staying outside. When you’re camping, you don’t have access to your home, so why should this be any different? Some ideas are no house entry except for bathroom breaks, no electronics allowed (nature doesn’t have outlets!), and so on. Make your own rules that are customized to your family’s needs. Setting boundaries will allow you to treat it like a true weekend getaway.
Step 3: Prepare Your Meals
Decide how you’re going to prepare meals for the weekend, which will determine how you will pack your cooler. Stuff your cooler full of meats, veggies or anything you can cook over a flame – the sky’s the limit. And don’t forget s’mores fixings’ – which is best part. If you don’t have a fire pit, don’t stress! You can fill your cooler with premade meals that don’t require to be heated up (sandwiches, chips, cookies, etc.) Or, use a propane stove.
Step 4: Set Up Camp
Find a spot in your backyard to set up ‘camp’. Pick a flat surface to pitch your tent and create your home for the weekend. Fill your spot with sleeping bags, blankets and pillows galore – the cozier, the better. Illuminate the inside of your tent with twinkle lights to bring the stars within.
Next to your tent, set up your lounge and eating area. A few camping chairs and an outdoor table should do the trick and provide you a space to hang out, play games and eat meals.
Step 5: Have Some Fun
Adventure awaits. There are so many creative ways to have fun in nature, even if you’re confined to your backyard. Plan a scavenger hunt or a ‘hike’ through the neighborhood. Explore the ins and outs of your backyard and document the different types of plants, trees and animals you stumble upon.
After you’ve finished exploring, play some games. Pass on your favorite childhood games to your kids and play things such as telephone, truth or dare, name that tune or tag! Or challenge them to one of your favorite card games.
If your kids are still full of energy, ask them to brainstorm a game idea. We forget how imaginative children are, so challenge them to come up with some unique ways to have fun.
Step 6: Soak up the Sun
If you are fortunate enough to have a sunny weekend, pack your swimsuits and get ready for a water fight! You can pack water squirt guns, water balloons or even just turn on the hose and have at it. You can also fill up a small blow-up pool as a way to cool down. When water escapades have trickled down, lay out and soak up the sun- work on that bronze but don’t forget your sunscreen!
Step 7: Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite
At night, gather around the fire, stack your skewers with marshmallow and be prepared for a great evening. Stargazing is a mesmerizing and relaxing activity that everyone can join in. Bonus – bring pictures of the constellations and teach your kids the names of different stars.
After admiring the stars, tell campfire stories and share unforgettable memories. When everyone is ready to snooze, hunker into your tents and end the night with some live entertainment- shadow puppets! Use your flashlight and shine it on the tent wall. Create different animals with your hands and challenge your kids to guess what you are making.
A weekend in nature allows a break from the stressors of the world. A camping backyard adventure is a perfect way to get outdoors without having to leave the comfort of your home.