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Get Out: Camp in the Backyard
Posted By Jessica Fisher On April 12, 2013 @ 11:00 am In Family Fun | 3 Comments
Enjoy a camping experience with your family without leaving home! Life as MOM contributor, Janel , shares some tips for low-stress camping fun.
When I was growing up, my family did not camp. Oh sure, I went camping a few times with the Girl Scouts, but camping was not a family activity. It wasn’t until I was married and had my own kids that I had my first true family camping adventure. It was fun. And, boy oh boy, was it DIRTY! (Can you tell?)
It was also a lot of work.
No doubt about it, traditional camping takes a lot of preparation — from the food to the sleeping arrangements to all of the gear that you need to take with you. If you’ve got an infant, it can be even more challenging with the additional gear not to mention trying to keep a baby comfortable for sleeping times.
You can still enjoy the fun of camping AND cut down on some of the work, not to mention undesirable aspects, such as more primitive bathroom facilities. Just camp in your own backyard!
When camping at home, keep it simple to maximize the fun. Just stick to the essentials — a tent, a good meal, and of course a yummy treat.
Kids LOVE tents, so let them help put it together. Find a nice flat area in your backyard and let the little ones help sort the pieces and spread out the tent. Older kids can help with reading directions and the more complicated construction. My eight-year old daughter managed to follow most of the directions to erect our behemoth of a tent on her own. She only needed assistance when it was time to pull the tent up and stake it.
Make a meal that your family will enjoy, but keep it simple. Use your kitchen if it makes life easier…you are home after all. But, throwing something easy on the grill makes for an enjoyable meal with very little clean-up.
Before you snuggle up in your tent for the night, gather around the firepit to toast your marshmallows together. Don’t have a firepit? Try using your grill. No, it doesn’t have quite the same feeling as a firepit but it gets the job done too.
If you don’t have a grill either, you’re not out of luck. Remember, you’re at home! Use your kitchen to make some S’mores indoors  and then enjoy them outside under the stars.
Outside in 30
Want to find other ways to get outside with your peeps? Eager to enjoy the great outdoors more than you do? Wondering how to expose your kids to more of nature? Click here for the Outside in 30 list of ideas. 
–Janel is a stay-at-home mom of two daughters and a “law school wife” in Virginia. Raised in a budget-conscious and DIY-minded family, she blogs about motherhood, crafts, and living on a law school budget at Life with Lucie and Ella .
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 Janel: http://lifewithlande.com
 Use your kitchen to make some S’mores indoors: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/02/how-to-make-smores-indoors.html
 Camping Recipes: http://www.nwf.org/Great-American-Backyard-Campout/Get-Ready/Recipes.aspx
 Campfire Songs: http://www.nwf.org/Great-American-Backyard-Campout/Get-Ready/Songs-and-Stories/Songs.aspx
 Camping Games and Activities: http://www.nwf.org/Great-American-Backyard-Campout/Get-Ready/Games-and-Activities.aspx
 Click here for the Outside in 30 list of ideas.: http://lifeasmom.com/2013/04/outside-in-30.html?preview=true
 Life with Lucie and Ella: http://www.lifewithlande.com
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