Friday, July 4, 2014

Backyard Summer Camp Out

The boys have been begging to go camping, but I wanted to do a trial run before they try out actual camping. We picked a gorgeously cool night, set up the tent, and had an evening of fun in the backyard. Looking for ideas for your backyard camp out? Here's how ours went:

Matt set up his tent that hadn't been used in nearly 20 years in morning of the big camp out so it could air out. He also covered it with bug repellent since your backyard can get a lot of mosquitoes.
We ate our dinner outside and read camping books. "Curious George Camping" was a favorite.
After dinner and cleaning up the backyard, the kids (and hubs since he was sleeping in the tent with them) got the tent situated. We didn't have any camping mats on hand, so we used daycare nap mats and lots of blankets.
A potty chair set up right next to the tent is a must went camping in the backyard with a 4 and 6 year old. Much easier for them at 3 a.m. when nature calls.
What all must a 4 year old bring with him to camp out in the backyard??? A lot, according to this 4 year old. He started with a can of oats (so he could make his oatmeal in the morning before swinging) and a bag of Lays potato chips. He then added blankets, a stuffy (his stuffed lamb), his large Darth Vader, a few games, a puzzle, 2 containers of Lego's, flip flops, and sorting bears.
The kids got in a few games of Hungry Hungry Hippos without losing any of the little balls.
Harrison the 4 year old surrounded by his "stuff I need."
We made the kids keep the tent zipped as much as possible to keep the bugs out. Of course the boys found ways around that.
We did sparklers on the fence (Elizabeth refused to sit on her chair and told me she was going to jump at the sparklers) and snakes. It was less breezy out than at our Independence Day Celebration (read more here: http://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/07/independence-day-celebration.html) so the sparklers lit much better.




The outdoor potty in use. I usually always keep a frog potty outside in the summer (mostly because it seems I always have a child working on using the potty) so this isn't a stretch as to my usual view!
Even the cat wanted to be outside joining the action!

After sparklers, Elizabeth went to bed (inside--she and I were not welcome in the 2 person tent. Imagine that!). Then it was time to fire up the grill and put the s'mores on! Yummy!


Since Elizabeth had gone to bed, we allowed the boys to do a couple of sparklers on the patio--well away from each other!
To end the night, the boys played Candyland and watched Daniel Tiger Goes Camping on the Kindle.

The boys finally went to sleep just after 10:30. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did. Harrison woke up and came into his bed in his room around 3:30 a.m. while Max slept until 6:30 a.m. (normal wake up time for him). Two things happened the next day: long naps and asking to camp out in the backyard again next weekend.
It may be another summer or two before we try out camping somewhere other than the backyard, but I'd say the night was a backyard summer camp out success!

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