Well guys, we still have half of summer left – which is awesome news for the kiddos but what about all of us parents who are running out of ideas on how to keep everyone active and having a great time as the dog days stretch out? If traveling isn’t an option and if days by the pool have grown less than compelling, don’t worry! I’ve got it covered – each week for the rest of summer, I’ll bring you a family fun idea. Easy stuff you can do on a dime and have a blast with the whole family.
What’s a better summer activity than spending some quality time under the stars? But planning and executing a full camping trip can be a big task – and bigger still is what you deal with when you get home… mountains of laundry, unpacking, cleaning out the car. Make it easy on yourself and head to the backyard! No planning, minimal cost and tons of fun! This is a fun spontaneous treat you can surprise the kids with – and whichever parent or family member doesn’t love sleeping outdoors (or using the campsite outhouse!!) can just hop inside every time nature calls.
What you’ll need:
- Sleeping bags/blankets/pillows
- Campfire stories
- S’mores (recipe below)
- Tent or tarp
If you don’t have a tent, no worries – you can usually find great sales this time of year. Or skip the tent altogether and throw down a tarp, then pile all of the sleeping stuff on top. And, hey, you can always get crazy and sleep right on the ground!
Flashlights are great for playing games (Shadow Puppets, anyone?), making scary faces and really creating that woods-y, camping feel. Pretty much a necessity for telling those campfire stories!
And, of course, S’mores:
- Graham crackers
- Chocolate bar
Have the kids find some long, skinny sticks to spear and roast the marshmallows (you don’t need an actual fire in the backyard for this – use the grill or even run inside and use the stove if you want… hey, this is no stress, remember? And you can always use store bought skewers for roasting, if that’s easier). Then proceed as usual – roast the marshmallows, sandwich between the crackers and chocolate and let the gooey goodness begin!
What’s your favorite backyard camping activity?