Going camping with the kids does not have to cost a lot of money. The backyard is a great place to set a tent up and pretend it is the wilderness. Any kid would enjoy camping out for the night with their favorite grown-ups in their own backyard. It just takes some imagination and a few basic pieces of equipment to make a family vacation, only a couple of feet away from the security of the back door.
Basic tents are not that expensive and can be found at many super stores. Try to find large family tent that the whole family can comfortably sleep in. It doesn’t need to be too big, though. Being together is the point.
Dig the sleeping bags out of their hiding place. If you don’t have sleeping bags, teach the kids the fine art of making a bedroll. If the ground seems too hard to endure, you could bring out the children’s bedroom mattresses or use air mattresses for maximum comfort.
The use of insect repellant is a good idea. The sweet blood of your sweethearts may prove tempting to the mosquitoes. You wouldn’t want the memory of this night marred by them becoming a bug buffet.
Construct an imaginary campfire by arranging stones in the shape of a circle and piling twigs and sticks within it. Flashlights can be placed under the sticks to simulate the light of flames. Another idea is to leave the sticks out and place sturdy citronella candles within the stone circle for some real flame and more bug protection.
Get the grill out and cook some hotdogs over the fire. S’mores can be made by combining chocolate bits, marshmallows and graham crackers. Since the kitchen is close by, it might be easier and neater to nuke them in the house using a microwave. Trail mix, popcorn and cereal make great late night snacks.
Gather around the “campfire” and tell scary stories. Singing silly songs and playing games with the flashlights are fun activities during your camping trip. A nature walk or pre-planned scavenger hunt are some fun things for the family to do while on this mini-vacation.
Complete the outdoor stay by having nonperishable food in the tent for breakfast. Feed your famished campers dry cereal or toaster pastries for their morning of roughing it.