Summer means kids will be outside a lot. That’s great! And let’em camp outside, too. Simply gather basic camping supplies and aim to make it just like camping in the wilderness. Of course, if you don’t have a backyard, go ahead and do this in your family room. The kids will remember it for years and years.
BASIC CAMPING SUPPLIES:
Tent, flashlights, sleeping bags and pillows, air mattress, water and snacks, camping activities.
SHOW THEM HOW TO STARGAZE
Use the free SkyView app and point your phone or tablet at the sky. The app will detect constellations and planets and overlay them on your screen.
RULES FOR BACKYARD CAMPING WITH MOM & DAD
1) Let the kids set up the campsite, just lead the way & teach.
2) Explore the inside of the tent together once it's up and talk about what they'll need.
3) Only let kids sleep outside who are potty trained!
4) Remember, all kids are different. Some may spend the night outside in the tent, others may come inside and that's OK.
5) Safety first. Don't camp out in the backyard if you have mosquitos and other critters about. It's really not fun at that point.
6) If kids really don't want to camp outside, consider allowing a "camp site" in your playroom. That's ALWAYS a treat!
Give each child a sheet of dot stickers preferably red, like mosquito bites. As the evening progresses, try to get rid of your stickers by giving the others players “mosquito bites.” Do this by secretly placing stickers on other players. But beware! If you get caught, you have to keep your sticker and receive another one from the person who caught you. The first player to get rid of his sheet of stickers wins the game.
This is a fun nighttime game once darkness falls. Give the tagger a flashlight and play tag as you normally would, except the tagger uses the light of the flashlight to “tag” people. Once a player is “hit” with the light he is out. Play continues until everyone has been caught.
GLOW STICK RING TOSS
Each player gets five glow stick rings — glow necklaces or bracelets work well. Dig and secure a stick in the dirt so it’s sticking up out of the ground. Take turns tossing the glow stick rings, aiming to get them around the stick.
SQUIRT GUN RACES
Line up empty plastic drinking cups along the edge of the picnic table. Fill a squirt gun with water. Squirt the cups until they fall off the edge of the table. You can play with multiple players to see who can knock the most cups off the table. You can also time each player to see who can knock all the cups off the table in the fastest time.