The annual camping trip may have been cancelled this year, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have an outdoor adventure. Why not re-create the fun of camping in your own backyard? With a little bit of imagination and creativity, you can convert your backyard into a green getaway.
Whether you live with kids, family or housemates, it’s a great way to bond and have a few laughs while enjoying the outdoors. Remember to pack the essentials (but don’t worry if you forget something; it’s not that far to turn back). And if it rains, it’s only a few steps away from the house!
Here are a few ideas to turn your backyard into the ultimate staycation:
Set up or make your own tent
If you’re an avid camper, the trusty tent in the garage is always at the ready. Why not try and create your own tent instead? Some sturdy broom stick handles planted firm into the ground with a tarp and a bedsheet over the top is a fun (and nicer looking) alternative to the standard tent.
Or, for a glamping option, set up a proper tent and dress it up with some fairy lights for a more romantic touch!
Turn your yard into a giant Twister board
If you’re looking for some entertainment for the kids (or the child within), why not convert your lawn into a giant Twister board? All you need is a plate, scissors, a piece of cardboard (a used pizza box, or empty beer carton are perfect) and some washable spray paints cans from the local hardware store. You can find simple instructions here.
Twister not your thing? No worries! Frisbee, croquet, badminton, or even a game of eye spy can be a great way to spend quality time together and get some exercise.
Another great activity for the little ones; grab some paper bags and pencils and take the kids on a backyard scavenger hunt. Write down the insects, flowers, and trees to identify on the bag, which can also be used to collect plant specimens along the way.
Afterwards, you can go through all the leaves and flowers they’ve collected & create an artwork using craft paper & some art glue!
Make your own glow stick lanterns
If you’ve got some mason jars & some unused glow sticks from a festival or dress up party, simply crack the glow sticks to get them illuminating and carefully snip the one of the ends, pouring the glowing liquid into some mason jars to add a soft glow in the backyard.
It’s a nice way to light up the dark corners of the yard, as well as create a subtle path to the house & the bathroom.
Read how to make your own glow stick lanterns here
Explore the galaxy using your phone
It might not be possible to see every single star in the night sky with the naked eye if you’re in the middle of suburbia, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
Become a backyard astronomer and find stars or constellations in the sky using your smart phone or tablet. There are plenty of constellation and star gazing apps that you can download so you can identify celestial objects in sky, day or night. Find your favourite constellations you scan across the sky, locate the Moon, discover distant galaxies and more!
Sing-along in the backyard
Not every family can be the von Trapps, but that's okay when you're in the comfort of your backyard campsite! Make a list of your household’s favourite tunes, grab the guitar, and use some spoons or pots and pans to keep the beat. Just make sure to respect your local noise restrictions so the neighbours don’t get too mad!
Some sneaky (and scrumptious) snacks
Even though the kitchen might only be a few steps away, why not pack some snacks to enjoy? If you haven’t tried making your own trail mix before, here’s a delicious mix we’ve concocted
If the weather calls for s’mores, why not make a sneaky batch for the adults by adding a shot of Baileys? Check out this decadent recipe now!
Watch a movie under the stars
If you have a mini projector, an old white bedsheet or a canvas drop cloth can easily be turned into an outdoorsy backdrop for a campsite-style movie night. Spread out blankets, throw pillows in front of the tent, and start the show with your favourite film.
Even though it might not be exactly the same as camping the traditional way, camping in the backyard is a fantastic excuse to get some fresh air, bond with your loved ones and create lasting memories (and a few quirky ideas) for your next camping trip!