The Benefits of Camping + Backyard Camping Ideas

The Benefits of Camping + Backyard Camping Ideas

By Stacy Walden

Many of us can recall our favorite outdoor adventure as a child. Whether it was while away at a recreational camp with friends or right in your backyard with family, the rejuvenation that comes from nature is like no other.

But now that many wilderness camps are no longer in session due to COVID-19, it’s sad to see your children miss out on those experiences. The thrill of embarking on an adventure helps kids not only explore but become more familiar with the outdoors improving their own knowledge and relationship with nature.

 

Benefits of Camping for Families

Camping is a great and affordable vacation that has many benefits for not only kids but parents as well. Camping is known to relieve stress, and now that eight out of 10 adults say the coronavirus pandemic is a significant source of stress in their lives, might be the form of relief families’ are looking for. According to one study, spending just 15 minutes sitting in nature can help us to feel psychologically refreshed, while multiple studies have linked nature walks with improved mental health. Camping also helps families learn to unplug from technology and have a deeper appreciation for nature.

Camping also teaches kids basic survival skills. Lessons around fire safety, what plants to avoid, and how to set up a shelter if needed will help children feel more confident and grow their self-esteem. Without knowledge of these skills, children can become dependent on technology and other elements that don’t exist in nature. This will help parents know if something were to happen to their child, they would be able to use resources and skills learned while camping to get themselves back to safety.

Since the outdoors can introduce foreign environments, families can also learn new skills and find ways to work together to solve problems. Working as a team helps bring your family closer and uncover new traits about each other that you didn’t already know.

 

DIY Backyard Camping

Since many of us are spending more time at home, why not bring the camping experience to your own backyard? Getting outside and enjoying the outdoors is a memorable way to spend time together while learning new skills and discovering a newfound appreciation for nature.

With a little bit of creativity, you can set-up a DIY camping experience in your backyard that will keep your whole family entertained and having fun all weekend long. The best part is if you forget something or need to run inside for an extra blanket, your home is only a few feet away. To help you get started we’ve gathered a list of supplies you might need.

 

Ultimate DIY Backyard Camping Checklist:

  1. A tent that can fit the whole family
  2. Lights you can string across your fence (to look like stars)
  3. A sign you can decorate to name your “camp”
  4. Snacks and water
  5. Lawn chairs
  6. Blankets and pillows
  7. Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses
  8. Hand sanitizer
  9. Bug spray
  10. Flashlights
  11. Pencils, pens, and glue
  12. Something to lean on and write on

The best part of camping is all the planned activities. Explore the following ideas your whole family will enjoy.

 

Backyard Camping Ideas the Whole Family Will Enjoy

Below are a few activities to help you plan your own backyard camping adventure. Many of these ideas are geared at entertaining and educating your kids, but feel free to add your own activities that might work for entertaining older age groups as well! We hope you and your family enjoy these activities and that the experience helps your family grow closer.

1. Embark on a Sensory Scavenger Hunt

Backyard Camping Printable Scavenger Hunt

Since you’ll be in your backyard, the chances of seeing wild animals might be slim. Instead, encourage your children to go on a “5 Senses Scavenger Hunt.” The purpose of this scavenger hunt is to discover things using all five senses. For example, you could strive to find something bumpy to the touch or sweet to the smell. This sensory learning activity helps teach children mindfulness and using the whole brain for learning. Encourage your child to collect pine cones, leaves, and blades of grass for the next activity.

Benefit: Encourages the development of sensory and motor skills.

Download 5 senses scavenger hunt

 

2. Create a Critter Collage

Backyard camping printable mockup

 

Just like at a wilderness kid’s camp, make time for arts and crafts! Crafts encourage children to play and experiment in a fun and relaxed environment. If camping is new to your children, introduce something that is more familiar like coloring to help them feel comfortable. Invite your children to use the found outdoor materials of twigs, leaves, and flowers to create unique critters with glue.

Benefit: Enhances children’s hand-eye coordination and builds levels of manual dexterity.

Download nature collage critters

 

3. Tell Campfire Stories

Backyard Camping Printable Storytime Activity

Gather your family around a fire pit and entertain each other with some fun storytelling. All you need is a die and your imagination. Each child takes a turn to roll the die 5 times, circling whichever story element matches with the number they get under each category. Similar to mad-libs, each story element will determine how the story ends.

Benefit: Through storytelling, children are able to learn more about life, the world, and themselves.

Download Campfire Storytime Activity

 

4. Go Stargazing

Bacjyard camping printable star constellations

Before the sun goes down, lay out some blankets and use the below printable to discover star constellations. By tracing the shapes ahead of time, it will be easier to spot them in the sky when it’s dark. Once the stars become visible, have each child take turns picking a constellation to try and find first. Stargazing offers a great opportunity to introduce your child to math concepts such as counting, identifying shapes, and tracing patterns.

Benefit: Expose your child to scientific concepts like astrology and astronomy.

Download connect the dot star constellations

 

Have we convinced you of all the benefits of backyard camping? Get started by planning your own outdoor adventure and printing the activities recommended above. Your family will love the change in scenery and create lasting memories for years to come. We wish you a safe and happy backyard camping experience!

 

Guest Author at

Stacy is a writer from sunny San Diego. She enjoys covering topics around wellness, camping, and bettering your life by being outdoors. When she’s not writing she enjoys going on hikes with her dog.

26 thoughts on “The Benefits of Camping + Backyard Camping Ideas

  • February 24, 2021 at 10:59 am
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    I agree! Camping is always a GOOD idea and you’ve listed down some very good points. When I have children, this is definitely something I’d want them to exposed to, even just in the backyard. Plus stargazing is always a great activity and we could them how to take photos of the stars too. Love this list!

    Reply
  • February 24, 2021 at 8:00 am
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    Wow such great ideas which would certainly make the experience really exciting. The Backyard camping idea is very nice. I remember when we were kids my father would love to take us out to places close by for a night where we would camp in a village with some known people around. Truly it’s time to return to doing the same gain.

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  • February 24, 2021 at 7:57 am
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    Unfortunately I didn’t have any camping experience as a child. My parents were not into that sort of thing. So, as an adult I had to make an effort to learn simple skills like pitching a tent and building a fire. I’m still learning. If I had children of my own, I’d start them young.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2021 at 1:56 am
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    I recently went on a camping/ trekking trip for 4 days and I agree that was the best stress reliever for me. The past year and a bit has been really stressful and just getting out and camping by the beach was the best thing ever. I have always camped with my friends and not with my family. Hopefully, I can start camping with my family as well soon.

    Reply
  • February 23, 2021 at 1:58 pm
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    I didn’t do much camping as a child but the trips I did take were thoroughly memorable. I wish I had a backyard to take advantage of these fantastic suggestions. I love the adventures you’ve recommended, with the sensory scavenger hunt and stargazing being ones I’d even like to do as an adult!

    Reply
  • February 22, 2021 at 10:02 pm
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    Backyard camping sounds like a fun activity for kids, and the whole family. Love the print outs you have too! Very fun!

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  • February 22, 2021 at 11:29 am
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    So enjoyed reading your post. The idea of backyard camping is truly awesome, and sounds like great fun for the family.

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  • February 22, 2021 at 10:22 am
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    I love the idea to do it on your backyard, too bad most people here in our country don’t even have the space for that. =(

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  • February 21, 2021 at 4:16 pm
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    I have heard so many good things about camping though I have yet to try it. Engaging kids in this together would be so much fun. Love the ideas you have shared here.

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  • February 21, 2021 at 4:14 pm
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    My dad used to set up a tent in the backyard and I would have slumber parties, so much fun. You make such great points about the benefits of camping and what it teaches children. Just getting kids to unplugged from technology for a weekend would have to have a huge impact.

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  • February 21, 2021 at 12:32 am
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    Thank you for the backyard camping tips! I am totally going to try this with my son as we need some bonding time.

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  • February 20, 2021 at 8:48 pm
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    I can’t wait for the weather to improve to enjoy camping again! The list of benefits is fantastic but my main reason is my own entertainment

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  • February 20, 2021 at 7:58 pm
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    As an avid camper and backpacker, I love the whole idea of introducing your kids into the world of the great outdoors by backyard camping. I LOVE all these fun activities you have printables for. Of course things like story telling, games, and that Sensory Scavenger Hunt are awesome. But I actually said WHOA out loud with the Star Gazing Connect the Dots Printables! I LOVE THEM!

    Reply
  • February 20, 2021 at 5:26 pm
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    Thanks a lot for the informative article about backyard camping. The ideas to keep ourselves busy, make a lot of sense. Going on a sensory adventure will be enjoyable for both children and adults.

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  • February 20, 2021 at 1:29 pm
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    as a camper from back in the days, these are all such great ideas to take camping to your backyard. thank you

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  • February 20, 2021 at 12:50 am
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    Oh my gosh! I can’t wait to do all of these with my kids!

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  • February 20, 2021 at 12:01 am
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    Super useful information to be sharing! I definitely learned a lot, thank you for posting about this.

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  • February 19, 2021 at 10:55 pm
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    OMG – get this! We got my 12-year-old a tent so that he can camp in the backyard. It’s a brilliant way for kids to spend a weekend and it costs next to nothing. And totally safe. Given the state of the union, I can’t believe that more families aren’t running out to get their kids a tent for the backyard. Nikki

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  • February 19, 2021 at 10:51 pm
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    Love all these wonderful ideas while camping. Great way to spend time with family and friends, will definitely save it!

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  • February 19, 2021 at 5:14 pm
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    I can’t wait to go back to camping, such an amazing experience…Soon i hope.

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  • February 19, 2021 at 5:11 pm
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    Love the checklists, they are so handy so have noted them. Camping I just got into with my family with two very young girls. Its a struggle but we learning all the time and I think we will get the hang of it eventually and everything will be ok. I would defo create a critter collage with the kids, my eldest is into this sort of thing. So this is a great idea.

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  • February 19, 2021 at 5:01 pm
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    I don’t have a backyard but the ideas look good!

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  • February 19, 2021 at 4:07 pm
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    I just LOVE this idea! Can’t believe I haven’t thought of it yet. Although doing it with family would be fun, I think it’s such a creative idea to do with your significant other too! Might be setting up a post-valentines day surprise this weekend…

    Reply
  • February 19, 2021 at 3:59 pm
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    This is on point for me. We just got a tent and camping gear for Christmas, as well as a state park pass. I can’t wait to explore this summer!

    Reply
  • February 19, 2021 at 10:04 am
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    Bringing kids out to do things and some activities in the backyard like camping will be so much fun. Great Ideas. Create a Critter Collage, this one I will choose to do with kids.

    Reply
  • February 19, 2021 at 8:38 am
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    Thanks for the check list. It’s so helpful.

    Reply

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