To a child, camping signifies adventure and fun. The great outdoors is a break from the ordinary and taste of freedom. To a child a camping trip need not take place in the Grand Canyon or the Appalachian Trail to be special; a simple campout in the backyard can be special and exciting. Even better, this activity can be customized for any age child and any time allowance you have. Whether it’s a couple hours before bedtime or a full overnight trip in the backyard, a DIY camping trip provides an activity full of fun and memories for the whole family.
· Sleeping bags and pillows
· Folding chairs
· Fire pit (depending on age of children)
· MP3 Player/Speakers for Music
How to Tailor Your Family’s Camp-Out: There is no right or wrong way to do a camp-out. Talk with your kids about what sounds the most fun to them and work together to make it happen. Look at these suggestions to help you get started.
1. Pick a Theme. For some kids, just being outside may be enough of a theme. For others, adapting a campout to their personalities is what really makes the experience exceptional. Have a little girl who loves to be pampered? Consider a “GLAMpout” complete with pedicures in the grass. Do your kids thrive on competition? Bring some board games outside or have a scavenger hunt. Anything goes when it comes to making the experience unique to your family.
2. Adapt to Ages and Stages. A campout does not have to last until the sun rises the next morning. Little ones may need to come in after dinner (continue the fun by letting them use an unzipped sleeping bag for a blanket or a flashlight in lieu of a night light). Older kids may get a thrill from getting to sleep outdoors with a couple of buddies. Meet your kids where they are developmentally for the most successful night.
3. Bring the Indoors Out. Incorporate things that are ordinarily reserved for the indoors to the great outdoors. Dine al fresco by cooking all natural, nitrate-free hotdogs over a fire pit instead of dining indoors, or bring a laptop outside for a family movie night under the stars. Fresh air can make the most ordinary things extraordinary.
It can be hard to break out of your regular routine, but the time spend bonding and making memories with your kids will be well worth the effort!
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