If you’ve got young kids, going on a pack-your-backpacks, pitch-your-tent, and build-your-fire camping trip may seem a little too ambitious for you. Thankfully, you don’t need to go further than your own backyard to create a camping adventure that will entertain your kids and introduce them to the idea of camping so that they (and you!) will be up for future trips in a few years. Here are a few ideas we’ve compiled on how to do just that:

– Have kids assist in packing, even if it’s just a small backpack with a few items. Ask them to gather their own pillow, sleeping bag, change of clothes, flashlight, water bottle, snacks and anything else you might need.

– Set up the “campsite” together. If you own or can borrow a simple pop-up tent, set-up will be quick and easy. You can also set out your sleeping bags, get out your camping chairs and do anything else that will add to the camping ambience.

– If you want to create some light in your backyard without turning on all the house floodlights, consider the Goalrilla Gamemaker Torch – an outdoor mobile lighting system that runs off a battery. Read more about it here.

– Since you are just in the backyard, feel free to “cheat” and make camping a little more comfortable. You can drag out crib or toddler mattresses or air mattresses if the littlest ones don’t want to rough it! In fact, you can even take them back inside at bedtime if you don’t think they (or you) will get a good night’s sleep outside under the stars.

– Before your outdoor adventure begins, gather the ingredients for all the classic camping foods: s’mores, hot dogs and popcorn. (Make sure to grab the coat hangers for cooking or involve kids in looking for long sticks if your backyard has any!) If you’re looking for something different, try grilled nachos. Make small plates out of foil, fill them with tortilla chips, beans, cheese and toppings, cover with foil and lay them on the outskirts of the campfire until the cheese is melted.

– At dusk, take a walk around your neighborhood using a map, compass, or use the compass or GPS on your smartphone. Use the opportunity to teach your kids about maps and directions so they’ll be prepared next time you hit the real trails!

– If it’s a clear night and you can see stars from your backyard, download a constellation app on your smartphone to help you identify the various formations in the sky.

– Take advantage of the perks of camping in your backyard and plug in a DVD player and small projector into a nearby outlet. Pick a family-friendly movie and project it onto a sheet on the side of your house.

Are you feeling inspired to take your family on a camping adventure? Will you head out for the woods or stay in the comfort of your backyard?

Happy Backyards™ sells and installs only the safest and highest quality residential playground equipment, basketball goals, and trampolines for your own home. We are a local company and have been doing it for 15 years with a focus on quality products, quality service, and competitive low pricing.