Back to school does not need to mean back to the indoors! With the help of our guide to backyard camping, your little ones can still have some camping fun at home!
That is until you can plan a family camping trip to us over the next School Holidays!
- If you have a tent: Treat your backyard like an honest-to-goodness campsite. Take your tent outside and find a smooth, flat surface to call home for the night. Everybody can pitch in, whether it’s spreading out a tarp first, or putting together the poles. Make it cosy inside by lining the tent floor with yoga mats, bedrolls or multiple layers of sleeping bags and cushy comforters. But if you really need extra comfort, there’s no harm in bringing out an inflatable air mattress for extra cushioning—it’s not cheating, it’s just making everyone’s experience a whole lot happier!
- If you don’t: You can easily create a makeshift shelter by tying a rope or clothesline between two trees and hanging a large tarp, blanket or canvas over top. Just make sure you have a dry place to sleep by laying a waterproof tarp underneath, then make it comfy by layering lots of blankets and cushy pillows on top.
- Make it magical: Set the scene by hanging lamps or stringing lights around the tent. They’ll illuminate your campsite with a soft glow and help everyone feel more comfortable spending the night outdoors in the dark.
Cook Up Some Camp Chow
One of the best parts about camping? Eating around the fire!
If you have a fire pit, it’s easy to roast hot dogs, toast marshmallows, and even cook up meats and veggies in foil packets
If you don’t have a fire pit, a small charcoal grill will work. Of course, you don’t need a campfire to eat like a camper. Pack sandwiches, trail mix, juice boxes and desserts in your cooler to grab at the ready.
Plan on Games and Activities
There’s so much adventure to be had outside! From classic backyard games to hikes around the block, here are some fun activities to keep the whole family entertained all day—and into the night.
- Neighborhood Nature Hunt: Make a list of different types of plants and animals to spot in the backyard, around your neighbourhood or in a nearby park (Only if these areas are safe at night). Pack a backpack with a camera, a journal and plastic bags, then set out for your neighbourhood hike. Point out the objects you find from the list, then take a photo of each object. Record it in your nature journal and write down how it looks and feels. For small objects, collect them in small plastic bags to inspect later and create your own nature collection.
- Throwback Fun: Classic games like Simon Says, Telephone, Tag and Name That Tune is fun for all ages. Plus, they don’t require any extra packing!
- Flashlight Foraging: Someone hides a small trinket or toy somewhere in the backyard, then, when it starts getting dark, everybody goes on a hunt to find the item. The hider may need to give people a hint for where to look, but they’ll love scavenging to find the treasure!
- Campfire Stories: What’s a campfire without gathering around for some storytelling? Start with spooky stories regaled with an eerie flashlight glow illuminating your face. Or tell a story in-the-round, where each person takes turns to build upon the story as it goes. (Get ready for giggles!)
- Stargazing:If it’s a clear night, spread out a big blanket, throw down some pillows, and cosy up together to look at the stars. You can bring pictures of constellations to search for or use your imaginations to dream up your own star shapes!
Make a Rule to Stay Outside
Make sure the event feels like a real campout by prepping ahead so you won’t have to dash back in the house every few minutes. Pack up everything you’ll need to sleep overnight, including a tent, sleeping bags, stuffed animals, pillows, flashlights, games, books, bug spray and a cooler packed with snacks and drinks.
Once you have all your essentials, make a pact that everyone should only go inside for emergencies and bathroom breaks (no sneaking in to check phones!), to make it feel like a real rustic getaway. And, of course, all electronics stay inside (that goes for parents, too!).
Whether it’s your first time camping as a family, or you just want a mini trip without all the hassle, backyard camping is fun at any age, because adventure can be found right outside their door.
The Pont Holiday and Water Sports Resort is located on the banks of the picture-perfect Mtamvuna river, situated in the friendly town of Port Edward on the KZN South Coast. We’re a family orientated outdoor camping and caravaning water sports resort. Holidaymakers and day visitors can enjoy an abundance of on-site facilities which include a swimming pool, thatched restaurant, fully licenced pub, braai areas and two freshwater boat launch sites to name a few.
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