Backyard Camping Activities With Kids

As I’ve mentioned in another article, I love to make backyard camping activities with kids as easy and stress-free as possible. I don’t plan it too much and I certainly don’t fret about the food either unlike actual camping.

backyard camping with kids
Photo Credit: Katie Gordner13

Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to have some activities ready in case the kids get bored. Here’s are some the I like. Do add to the list in the comments section below if you can think of anything.

Backyard Camping Activities During The Day

We usually have only night time camping at home. But on the rare time that we do also do backyard camping in the day, then the activities tend to involve active sports, running around and games.

  • Tea Party : this is good for preschoolers especially at that time when they want to play make believe. Get food and drinks ready and have a tea party.
  • Outdoor Toys : Whatever outdoor toys you have in the house, take them out now. They’re going to be very useful. Some of our favorite toys include Bocce and badminton
  • Frisbee
  • Kick balls. Play soccer
  • Parlor games: Some of the ones we like are egg and spoon race, sack relay, water balloon toss or egg toss.
  • Mud tic-tac-toe

In our household, backyard camping always lends itself to a games which get the children wet. I would prefer it to be dry, but the kids either end-up spraying water at each other or squirting water guns. If you have this kind of family, then have some dry clothes ready. If you can’t be bothered with that, the bedroom is always just a few steps away.

Nighttime Backyard Camping Activities With Kids

As I have said, many of our backyard camping take place at night which we all love. It’s always special for the kids to sleep with us in the tent and of course, to get to sleep later than usual.

Here are some of the games we like to play.

  • Stargazing – a favorite. Our little one is just getting interested in space and he loves this a lot. I don’t know much about astronomy but just trying to count the stars or waiting for a shooting star is just as fun. Lots of talking encouraged.
  • Scary story telling: Very little ones will not be so thrilled about this. So if you have one who gets easily scared then best not to do this. Older kids will beg you for these scary stories though. Make the stories even scarier by making it up and setting your story in the backyard – kid you not, even you will be scared.
  • Flashlight games – Tag flashlight is easy.
  • Shadow puppets
  • Talent Show – You can do this in the day as well, but I find it’s more fun at night. Get the kids to dress up for the event using only the things that are available in the backyard. Loads of fun
  • Monster games – Preschoolers love this.. Since you’re outside and it’s dark, monster games are a given. Everyone can be the scared goats under a blanket. Get one of the kids to be scary monster. First person the monster eats/touches gets to be the next monster. This was expectedly fun for the kids but I could not believe how much fun I had as well.

Backyard Camping Activities That Can Be Done Both Day Or Night

And here are some more backyard camping activities that can be done either at day or night

  • Bug hunting – Trickier at night but the backyard has a completely different feel
  • Sing songs – We love singing at home and we love that we get to do a lot of singing when camping in the backyard. We have a book of all the lyrics of the songs we all love (we printed them off the internet). So much fun. We could sing the night away anytime but our neighbors won’t be too happy about it. Also, if someone plays a musical instrument in the family, take that instrument out for the singing session
  • Listen to the radio or get a speaker for your ipod and listen to your favorite music. – The way to go if your family prefers listening rather than singing
  • Dance, dance and dance some more.
  • Card games – a deck of cards is a must-have in any backyard camp.
  • Pass the Parcel – This needs preparation beforehand so some of you will not want to do this. But it’s fun and if you put some lovely trinkets in it as well, it becomes even more exciting for the children
  • Hide and seek – fun in the day. Even more fun at night.
  • Treasure hunting – This is the only game that I make sure I prepare beforehand. We love treasure hunting in the family, and this is one thing that the kids always look forward to. It’s even more exciting at night.
  • I spy
  • Charades
  • Make Time Capsules – and bury it in the backyard if you want.

Do you have any other ideas for fun backyard camping activities with kids? Please comment below.

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