Backyard Camping With Kids – Tips and Checklist

Backyard camping with kids is fun for any age. We started pitching a tent for my little one when he was 3. We would pitch a tent for him outside (where we can see him from inside the house). Gave him a table and chair by the tent, some toys and food and he had a blast.

We were occasionally invited over for little play but then would be pushed out again.

Great American Backyard Campout

Another thing that we do as a family in the summer is overnight backyard camping. This I love as it reminds me of my childhood days. We usually keep it simple. We pitch a tent, get a blanket, a picnic mat and some food. Then we tell stories or watch the night sky. We also play some games. And then play some more games.

If you are thinking of trying out backyard camping with kids, here are some ideas.


  • You don’t have to do it as a family. Kids can be left to their own device too. Little ones can camp out during the day and the older ones can do it with friends or even by themselves if they feel brave enough to do it.
  • Keep it simple and less stressful. You can, of course, make it as elaborate as possible. But I think the whole purpose of backyard camping is to relax and believe me, the less stressed you are, the more fun the kids will have.

Backyard Camping Checklist

As I’ve previously mentioned, I like to keep it as simple as possible when it comes to backyard camping. I make sure we’ve got a place to sleep, food to eat and lots of fun and that’s about it. If we forget anything, we just run right back to the house.

For the more organized parents, here is a useful backyard camping checklist you might want to refer to.


___ tent and any other accessory you need to pitch the tent.

Sleeping Stuff

___ pillows

___ sleeping bags

___ blankets

___ camping mattress (This may seem unnecessary to some. But one time, my husband and I tried camping with the kids in the backyard without one and you can only imagine the shouts of pain from backs that ensued the following morning.)

Some Food Ideas

___ marshmallow, long sticks

___ sweet corn

___ baked beans

___ hot dogs

___ sandwiches

___ fruit

___ cheese

___ drinks

___ glasses, water jugs

___ plates and cutlery

Campfire Stuff (if doing one)

___ matches

___ logs and twigs

___ firestarter


___ paper towels

___ wet wipes

___ flashlight

___ picnic mat

___ bug repellant

___ radio/music/ipod with speakers

___ bug repellant

___ songbook

___ notepad/paper

___ laptop (sometimes, we do both a tent night and movie night combined.. The laptop works for this purpose)

___ games

___ trash bags

Some Backyard Camping Food Ideas

I usually just have a drink, sandwich, and some nibbles when backyard camping with the kids. If you want something more elaborate than that, here are some ideas:

Food That You Can Do In The Campfire

  • heated baked beans
  • hotdogs, burgers
  • s’mores
  • pita bread
  • hot dog

Food Right From The Grocery Aisle

  • crisps
  • chocolates
  • nuts
  • trail mix
  • fruit
  • dried fruit
  • crackers and cheese
  • spreads : peanut butter, cream cheese
  • ball ice cream maker

Don’t forget food for when you wake up in the morning. If you still have the fire, so much the better.

  • Milk, chocolate, coffee
  • eggs
  • bake beans
  • bacon
  • oatmeal
  • granola
  • more fruit

Food Prepared Beforehand

  • sandwiches
  • brownies
  • pita breads
  • pizza

Have fun on your backyard camping with  kids!

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1 Response

  1. Samara says:

    Cool but if your in the backyard you won’t need food but the stuff to make before is a good idea because you might get hungery

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