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Posted on Aug 8, 2011 in Featured, Fun For Kids | 0 comments

The Great Sacto Backyard Campout

Backyard Camping

The tent is ready for backyard camping!

As a followup to the post about the Great American Backyard Campout on June 25th, I thought I’d share the great backyard camping experience I had with my son this past weekend… I’ve been looking forward to this pretty much since my son was born, but mostly this last year now that he’s old enough to really enjoy the experience.

Here are a couple of lists that may help you with your backyard camping experience. Keep in mind that these were made with a 3 or 4 year old in mind and will likely change depending on the number of people involved and their ages.


  • Tent, sleeping bags & pillows
  • Light/lantern
  • Fire pit & wood (check local laws)
  • Cooler or ice chest for food & drinks
  • Hot dogs, buns & condiments
  • Smores: graham crackers, chocolate & marshmallows
  • Things to keep the kid(s) busy!

Fun things to do:

  • Be a botanist – collect leaves from at least 10 different plants. (Optional: explain species & create a scrap book)
  • Have a scavenger hunt – search the yard for things you’ll need (sticks for marshmallows, food, etc.) or other prizes your child will enjoy
  • Be an astronomer – identify constellations and planets. (the Google Sky Map app for your smart phone is helpful, but you may prefer to go gadget-free)
  • Tell stories (save the ghost stories for the older kids)
Marshmallows for Smores!

Marshmallows for Smores!

Things to remember:

  • Kids may need more layers to stay warm at night
  • Respect your neighbors and be quiet during later hours
  • Check local laws regarding outdoor fires
  • Give yourself plenty of time to recover (that soft grass isn’t that soft after a night’s sleep)

So, what did I take away from this experience? I can’t wait to do it again! The best thing I did was plan this out in advance, so everything went smoothly. That’s not always possible with a young child and an exciting new experience. It’s also great practice for when it’s time to go on a real camping trip. The kids will be more familiar and less anxious about sleeping outdoors and being away from their creature comforts.