The best COVID19 Family Activity of the SUMMER!
Entertaining kids can be super hard… Particularly in the Summer when you have to entertain them constantly. It’s all on you! ALL DAY…. EVERY day. Normally you can take a family vacation, or go visit grandma 500 miles away, but as our entire world battles stay in place orders, shutdowns, quarantines and illness on a global level, those trips and activities are not possible, or are incredibly limited. OR maybe you have a desire to try a big outdoor adventure when it all clears up but you aren’t sure how your kids will handle the trip… especially after being cooped up for what feels like an eternity! Well- here is a fun idea for quarantine family fun, or preparation for a big camping trip….
Yup, you read that right! Backyard camping is one of our kids favorite activities- and I am gonna tell you all you need to make it happen!
You will need:
A tent (or tarp, or easy up with mosquito netting on the side) and sleeping gear (pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, favorite stuffed animal. pool floaty or air mattress if you wanna get a little more luxurious)
A fire pit (or grill… or even a hole in the ground if you don’t mind digging one in your yard.)
Tin Foil Dinner mixings (potatoes, ground beef/chicken, peppers, onions, seasoning, carrots and anything else you can think of to combine in a tin foil pouch. Or you can just roast hotdogs if your kiddos are picky)
S’more Mixings (graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows…we like to use reeses cups too and no just traditional Hershey bar… so good. but you really can use ANY chocolate of your choice on your s’more)
Starbursts (in your favorite flavor to roast over the open fire… oh my gosh so good!)
So! You prep for camping like you would for a real trip! Have the kids pack a bag, get the food packed in a cooler and get your camping chairs etc… Make it fun and go out your front door with all your gear! Take a walk to the back like you are hiking to find the very best camping spot! Once you spot the perfect spot, close to your fire area, setup camp! Get everyone involved in the setup OR use this free downloadable fun scavenger hunt and drawing activity for the kids to do while you set it up! Once your tent, tarp over a trampoline net, easy up with mosquito netting or other form of shelter is setup, get your fire going and dinner started… Play some fun outdoor games you could play in the woods. You could play 20 questions and really have fun bonding with you family. It’s important to keep the illusion that you are camping- no normal backyard activities or going inside to get toys etc. Eat dinner by the fire (or grill) and get everyone settled in jammies and blankets around the fire for s’mores and starbursts… Tell stories, even some fun kid friendly ghost stories… Let your kids tell you their own ghost stories and make the most of the night!
When it’s time for bed, brush your teeth like you would in the woods…. a water bottle and spitting on the ground… It sells the activity and really drives it home. Put out your fire (great chance to teach fire safety and food storage in the woods etc), head in to your shelter to read books or sing songs by flashlight. It will be a memory your kids will never forget… If you feel brave enough to designate a “potty” area- go for it, it will sell the practice or illusion, but don’t feel like that’s necessary either! A lot of campgrounds have bathrooms- just be sure to treat it like a camping experience, keep all the lights in your house off and go by flashlight and immediately get back into the “woods”. Try hard not to use your cell phones… Instead use a camera to document the night and give your kids a REAL 100% focused camping night! You won’t regret it.
Together we can rise and build our families to be stronger than ever… Why? Because, mama, YOU and your family are worth it!