Most kids love camping – there’s an excitement that comes with sleeping under the stars that you just can’t get any other way. If you’re planning to take your kids camping (even if you’re not and just want to let them have some good old fashioned fun), then why not have a practice run in the garden? If the kids are old enough (and your garden is secure), then they can kip under canvas on their own – think how grown up and cool that would make them feel. If they’re still quite young, it’s probably best if Mum or Dad spends the night camping too.
For older kids, this would make a great sleepover party in the summer months – they could even have a ‘camp fire’ if you have a fire pit (a portable barbecue would probably do the job). Don’t forget, if there is a camp fire involved, you’ll need adult supervision at all times. Whether the garden camping trip involves cooking outdoors or not, you’ll need to provide an evening meal of some sort. If you don’t want to cook, then sandwiches would be acceptable, or you could order a pizza delivery, cook up some bangers and beans in the kitchen and let the kids eat them outdoors. Use your imagination and think of what would be best fun for the kids.
Settling them down for the night is likely to be much more of a challenge. You’ll have made sure everybody has a sleeping bag to keep them warm, but keeping them in it is another thing entirely. Just accept the fact that the kids will be too excited to sleep and will be in and out of the tent or sleeping bag every five minutes or so. They’ll be winding each other up and scaring each other with ghost stories – so be prepared to run out there at any time of night to deal with this. If you can just relax and let kids be kids, then let them get on with it and be ready to have to go and sort them out at least once or twice.
The kids may not get much sleep and you may not get much sleep, but they’ll be talking for ages about their cool garden camping trip. It will be a night of fun and adventure that they’ll remember for years to come.
Written by David Johnson