Are you feeling the urge to sleep under the stars but don't have time to spend a whole weekend camping? Why not pitch a tent right in your own backyard? At-home camping is fun for the whole family and you won't even have to skip a shower. Here are some tips for throwing a successful backyard camp-out:
- Explore: Martha Stewart suggests encouraging kids to explore the wilderness at home! Equip them with binoculars, a compass and a field journal so that they can make notes about plants, birds, squirrels and any other animals that they might see.
- Make s'mores: Of course, it wouldn't be camping without homemade s'mores! Small patio fire pits are perfect for lighting and roasting marshmallows. To add a little style to your adventure, arrange the graham crackers and chocolate squares on small stainless steel trays and pile plenty of jumbo marshmallows in a pretty wire basket.
- Play games: Parenting Magazine recommends keeping your little ones busy with fun outdoor games that also happen to be great exercise! Try ghost-in-the-graveyard, flashlight tag or just good old-fashioned hide-and-seek! These are guaranteed to be some of your best family memories of the summer.
- Rent equipment: There's no need to spend a fortune buying camping gear. If it's warm enough, just create a makeshift tent by throwing an old sheet over a rope tied between two trees and staking the corners into the ground.
- Story-time: Prepare some stories to tell around the campfire. If your kids are old enough and not easily scared, you can even make them a little spooky! The National Wildlife Federation, which urges Americans to take their kids backyard camping every summer, has some fun stories and songs for all ages.
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