Tips For Dogs

Plan a fun backyard camping trip for kids!

Plan a fun backyard camping trip for kids!

Before it freezes and school starts, plan a fun kids camping activity right in the backyard. Invite some friends and neighbors over for a backyard campout. A small group of 6 to 8 school-age children is recommended. Borrow some tents, at least one per 2-3 kids (unless you have a big family tent!), or lay flat sheets over a clothesline to make a tent.

Have the children make tent announcements that include information such as:

  • Backyard Camp Date
  • Time to show up
  • What to bring like: sleeping bag, pillow, pajamas, toothbrush
  • Time to be picked up the next morning
  • Companion Information

When the kids show up to the kids’ camp, plan a barbecue with hot dogs, grills, chips, veggie sticks and dip, as well as nutritious drinks. Make cupcakes decorated with shredded coconut (colored with green food coloring for “grass”) and paper “tents” on top. Place the child’s name on each “tent”.

Before it gets dark, go over safety tips, where to set up the bathroom at night, and even a place they can go to sleep if they need to. Give each camper a flashlight or stick. Have bug spray and a first aid kit handy.

After dark, play flashlight and finger shadow games. Gather the group in a circle (or semi-circle) and place a camping lantern in the center. Dim the lights and tell “scary camp stories.” Or play a storytelling game where the guest of honor (the child whose backyard is being used) starts a “tall tale” and each person around the circle must add to the story until it ends back with the guest of honor. With a small group, it can be fun to go around the group a few times before finishing the story.

If the night is clear and cloudless, have everyone lie on their backs and look up at the night sky. Who can find the North Star, the North Star? Who can find the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper? Look up the constellations in the summer sky for your area. See if they can find any of them.

In the morning, before campers go home, serve breakfast and have everyone “pack up.” If you want to send home little party favors, the whistle, compass and wand are popular with kids.

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