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The ultimate DIY guide to backyard camping for kids

Category: home and DIY

With school holidays just around the corner and restrictions still in place for many states and territories across the country, it’s time to start planning the countless activities and adventures to keep your kids occupied. And whilst it might be easier to send them off to grandma and grandpas for a few nights, why not suggest an outdoor activity that’s a little closer to home?

With the cooler temperatures, epic sunsets and crisp blue skies, there’s never been a more perfect time to pitch a tent and get your kids immersed in the great outdoors. The best part is – no travel time! ¬Whether your kids are camping newbies or have roughed it plenty of times, backyard camping is an absolute blast – no matter your age. And at the end of the day, kids tend to enjoy the experience more than the location anyway! 
So, forget packing the car to the brim, endless grocery trips, and bags full of clothes and toys – if you’ve got a backyard, you’ve got a camping ground. Here’s what you’ll need. 


Take shelter 

Since the comfort of their bedrooms will be just a stone’s throw away, it’s imperative that the outdoor setup is just as cosy and inviting. Start by pitching a tent – Big W have some great options in this department. For a super authentic experience, the kids can sleep on swags in their sleeping bag, or for something a little more luxurious, pick-up an inflatable mattress from Kmart or Target. When it comes to cushions and blankets, you don’t have to worry about being a minimalist – after all, it’s not like you are trying to squeeze everything in the car! Fill the tent with all the creature comforts your kids know and love; such as fluffy blankets, cushions, warm socks, and any beloved soft toys. We particularly love these log cushions from Kmart – they really add to the camping aesthetic! 

Camping essential items.

Captions: Best & Less Crew Socks $2, Big W Dorcy LED Flashlight $10, Big W Hinterland 6 Person Instant Tent $149, Kmart Dinosaur String Lights $8, Kmart Log Pillow $8.50, Kmart Wild Child Mug $3.50, Target Keeleco Orangutan Plush Toy $19, Target Kids Sleeping Bag $25, Marshmallows available from Woolworths, Coles or Aldi. 

All about the atmosphere 

Create a warm atmosphere for your kids’ backyard campsite by adding solar lanterns, festoon lights or string lights. Not only will they make the space feel special and whimsical, but everyone will feel much more comfortable with spending the night outside. We love these fun string lights from Kmart, but for the older crowd, you could easily pick up some festoon lights for a similar price (don’t forget the batteries!). It’s always great to have a couple of flashlights on hand, too. They are perfect for a good, old-fashioned game of Spotlight, or perhaps even some spooky tales around the campfire! 
Backyard camping is a lot of fun during these school holidays

Camp chow 

Undoubtedly the best part of camping is the toasted marshmallows over the fire! If you have a firepit (make sure you abide by any fire bans), it’s easy to cook up some delicious barbecue dishes (check out these chicken wings). Plus, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a kid who doesn’t love fresh, hot damper, soaked in butter or maple syrup! The kids will love scavenging for the kindling and building a little tepee to get the fire started. But remember, if your little ones are getting involved, make sure the adults are on hand for anything related to an open flame. 

Finally, finish the night with a decadent hot choccie and fill it with even more tasty marshmallows! Happy camping.

A girl toasting a marshmellow over an open fire.

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