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How To Have A Fun Backyard Campout With Your Kids

How to Have a Fun Backyard Campout with Kids

Check out these tips for having a super fun backyard campout with kids when you just can’t get away!

The weather is warming up, which means it’s time to get ready for camping! But if you can’t get to your favorite campsite right now, don’t worry! You can still have an amazing family campout without even leaving your home.

A backyard campout is a simple way to enjoy the fun of camping without the need to leave the comforts of your home. Here’s how to have a fun backyard campout with your kids.

backyard campout with kids

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Why Have a Backyard Campout?

If you’re a seasoned camper, you may be wondering why you would set up a camp site in your backyard. There are several great reasons to consider camping in your backyard instead of heading to a campsite. Here are some of my favorite reasons to camp in your backyard:

It’s cheap.

Camping in general is an inexpensive activity for your family. But heading to the backyard means you won’t have to play rental fees for your campsite, which will save you even more money.

It’s easy.

Instead of lugging all your camping equipment to the site and worrying about forgetting something along the way, you just have to bring your gear to the backyard. And if you forget something important, just head inside and grab it!


It helps get your kids ready for a real camping trip.

If your family has never been camping, setting up a backyard campout is a great way to test the waters. It will help your kids become more comfortable with sleeping outdoors, while knowing that if they want to, they can go inside and sleep in their own beds.


Camping in the backyard is a fun activity when you can’t leave your home.

Being stuck at home can get a little monotonous – especially for your kids. If you can’t go anywhere, setting up a tent in the backyard can provide your entire family with a change of scenery and a little bit of a break from their daily routine.

backyard camping

How to Set Up a Backyard Campout

Having a campout in your backyard is similar to camping at a campsite, which meals you’ll need a variety of the same equipment and supplies. To camp in your backyard, you’ll need:

  • A tent or other shelter
  • Sleeping gear (sleeping bag, pillows, etc.)
  • Flashlights
  • Fire-making equipment (wood, matches, etc.)
  • Cooler with ice
  • Food and drinks
  • Plates and utensils
  • Activities for your kids

Start by setting up your campsite.

At your campsite, you’ll need a tent and a fire area, if you’ll be burning a fire. Place the sleeping bags and pillows inside the tent, allowing your kids to pick where they’ll be sleeping during the night.

Finally, set up a food station. Fill a cooler with ice and add drinks and other food items that need to be kept cold. Then, set up a table with snacks for the kids.

go camping


Decide What You Will Eat

When deciding what types of food you’ll have at your backyard campout, think about the number of meals you plan to serve, how you’ll prepare the food, and how long you’ll be camping in your backyard. These easy-to-prepare foods are great for camping:

  • Hot dogs (with buns and condiments)
  • Sandwiches
  • Chips
  • Granola bars
  • Crackers
  • Cut up vegetables, like carrots and celery
  • Easy to eat fruit, like apples and oranges
  • Cereal
  • Eggs (make sure to have a fire-safe pan to prepare them)
  • S’mores ingredients (graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows)

camping activities for kids

Fun Camping Activities!

After setting up your campsite, it’s time to have some fun! There are so many great campsite activities you can do while camping in your backyard. If you’re looking for some inspiration, try one of these fun ideas:

  • Simon Says. Designate one person as Simon, who tells the other players to do different things. If someone does an action and Simon doesn’t say “Simon says,” they’re out. The last person left wins. 
  • Truth or Dare. Go around the campfire circle and ask each player, “truth or dare.” If they pick truth, they must truthfully answer a question. If they pick dare, they must do whatever the other player dares them to do.
  • Cook dinner together. One of the most fun parts of camping is cooking over the campfire. Place hot dogs and marshmallows on roasting sticks and let your kids cook their own dinner.
  • Campfire stories. Once the sun goes down, sit around the campfire and tell stories. Older kids may enjoy a scary story or you can keep the story silly if you have younger kids at home.

Backyard Campout Rules

If you want to make your backyard campout as much like a real campsite as possible, it may be a good idea to set some rules before your family settles in. These simple guidelines will help your family get the full camping experience:

  • You’re only allowed to go into the house to go to the bathroom.
  • If you forget something, you have to do without it for the night.
  • No electronics allowed at the campsite.

More fun camping resources!

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