20 Family-Friendly Backyard Camping Ideas

boy reading tent side yard home

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It’s time to take your family out into the great outdoors! These backyard camping ideas will help bring them the camping experience. They will get all the good parts of the start to camping – the camping activities, the songs, the outside air – without any of the bad ones. (Did we mention that you can head inside if things get rainy?)

To take things to the next level, you can channel the best parts of your favorite vacation camp experience, especially DIY crafts: decorate your bunk, make keychains for friends, shirts to dye with the perfect mix of colors. Then you can feed your crew with nostalgic camp food, such as s’mores and hot dogs right by the campfire (or fire pit). Once you’ve covered these basics, your home excursion is ready: just add a few group games (whether board games or lawn games) and choose your own favorite nighttime activity (group singing scary stories).

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Make a camp pennant

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How will you name your “berth”? Whatever you choose, create a flag to represent your troop. Do it with felt triangles and all the art supplies you have on hand, or buy a kit like this, which comes with its own felt stickers.

Create a backyard treasure hunt

Have your little explorer take a look at the nature of the backyard with a treasure hunt. You can search for different types of flowers and trees, try to identify birds, or collect different types of rocks and stones.

Find ideas for 22 different treasure hunt themes »

Keep the lawn games ready

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Pass on your knowledge on the cord

Close your eyes: you are 10 years old and you are back to summer camp. You smell like sunscreen and insect repellent, and the capture of the flag starts in 10 minutes. What are you doing with your hands Chances are you weave a thong bunch (also called a mess depending on where you went to camp). Stock up on thong cords, dust off all those old dots – the box, the square, the cobra – and show the next generation how to do it.

Make the eye of god

If the strap was not the material of your choice, the embroidery thread could have been. And although friendship bracelets never go out of fashion, the real craftsmanship of the camp was an eye of God. You can use cake sticks to start with, or go hunting in the wild and find real sticks to use.

Get the tutorial from Alice and Lois »

Grill Dinner

Plan to spend the whole day in the great outdoors – even while preparing dinner if you can swing it. Nothing reminds you of camp like the smoky taste of something toasted.

Choose from over 60 grilling recipes »

Sing campfire songs

Put your karaoke skills to work and get ready to sing songs around the campfire. (Or campfire. Or picnic blanket.) Search Spotify for inspiration for the best campfire tunes. Bonus points if someone if your family plays the guitar.

Tie-Dye a shirt

If you really want to go back to your own summer camp days, recreate the uniform: a tie-dye shirt. The Camp Tie-Dye 5-Color Tulip Rainbow Kit comes with enough dye to make shirts for all of your family members. (You can even get white logo shirts.)

S’mores for dessert

Doing s’mores is essentially the main reason for having a backyard campsite in the first place. You can opt for the classic chocolate, Graham cracker and marshmallow combo – or try a variation of the theme, like this version which also has a layer of edible cookie dough.

Get the recipe for 14 different types of s’mores »

Play a camping themed board game

Board games related to camping are a trend in toys, whether or not you plan to use them outside. Stay on the theme of the night by playing a game of Camp, where players are faced with trivial questions about the great outdoors; Toasted or Roasted, which allows players to run to “toast” marshmallow cards while trying to put out the fires of their opponents; or Camp Talk, which aims to start conversations by generating stupid questions.

Color your own patches

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If you’re looking for more style for your tent or pennant, try a badge inspired by Scouting. You can invent them to win throughout the night, or get a kit like this set of iron-on patches and color them for fun.

Tell stories around the campfire

We all love a good ghost story, but campfire tales don’t have to be Scary stories to tell in the dark. In fact, it could be even more fun if your family makes up their own story, with someone continuing where the last one left off.

Read the flashlight tag

It’s hide and seek – in the dark! But if you’re caught in a flashlight beam, you’re out! (Too hard? The glow stick bracelets can make research easier.)


Even if you don’t have a telescope, there are many apps that will help you identify what’s going on in the night sky above you, debunking what you can see with the naked eye. Sometimes the International Space Station is even visible, and you don’t need instruments to locate it.

Discover the 15 best star observation applications »

Screening of a backyard film

Bring the driving experience into your backyard. You’ll need an outdoor projector (like this one, which has over 10,600 positive reviews on Amazon) and a screen – or a blank piece of paper, which might look more like a summer camp experience. . Don’t forget the popcorn!

Make a fake Camfire

If you have real little campers at home and don’t want them to approach a real campfire, give them the version that uses their imaginations. The Fisher-Price Role Play Camp Set comes with fabric s’mores and a fabric fire for roasting (in crumpled paper). He even comes with a padded “ax” to split the fire “log”, and wear gloves in case a hungry animal pretends to sneak in and steal the treats. (An inflatable campfire also works.)

Wake up to breakfast sandwiches

After all, Brakfast is the most important camping meal. With this egg and cheese recipe, you can even do a little preparation – you can freeze it ahead of time if you think you will be too overwhelmed by the cleaning to make them from scratch.

Get the recipe »

Parenting & Relationships Editor
Marisa LaScala covers everything related to parenting, from the postpartum period to empty nests, for GoodHousekeeping.com; she previously wrote about motherhood for parents and the working mother.

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About Thiruvenkatam C

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