Come rain or shine, a camping trip is a much-loved tradition for many families. Introducing your kids to the joys of nature, toasted marshmallows and campfire stories, there’s something to captivate children of all ages.
If you’re unable to venture further afield this summer, but still want to plan a family holiday, camping at home is the perfect solution. A mini adventure for your little ones to look forward to, camping at home can also be budget-friendly, safe and stress-free. What’s not to love?
To ensure you’re all happy campers from start to finish, follow our top tips for camping at home with kids.
Why Camp At Home?
With so much time spent indoors and the school summer break just around the corner, your kids may be getting a little restless. While you might have had to re-think your usual holiday plans, there’s no reason why you can’t mix things up with a night under the stars in your own garden.
Offering a welcome change of routine and helping your kids get used to a new sleeping environment, camping at home also provides plenty of practical benefits. With extra camping equipment, blankets and (crucially) the toilet being only a short walk away, camping from the comfort of your own home can be a great experience for your family.
If you don’t have a garden, building a pillow fort or a makeshift den is another lovely way to let younger kids become accustomed to sleeping outside of their own bed.
1. Pick The Right Camping Equipment
A successful camping experience is all about having the right camping equipment. After all, it’s hard to feel enthusiastic about a night spent in a leaky tent with a broken zip!
As always, your top priority should be a good-quality camping tent. Key features to look out for include folded seams, double stitching and heavy-duty zippers. Alongside picking the right size tent for your family and garden, think about choosing styles with compartments if you have children who prefer their own sleeping spaces.
2. A Snug Sleeping Set-Up
The important thing to remember is that everyone has different sleeping requirements. Little ones might need extra room for their favourite toy or pillow, while other family members might want to set-up airbeds for maximum comfort.
3. Get Everyone Involved
It’s never too early to introduce your children to camping. Even so, it can be difficult to convince older kids to put down their phones and join in the fun. Thankfully, making sure everyone has a job is the simplest and most effective way of getting the whole family involved.
Whether that’s pitching the tent, prepping a meal or cleaning down the gas or charcoal BBQ, assigning age-appropriate tasks helps everyone feel part of the action.
4. Focus On The Food
One of the highlights of camping is being able to cook and share meals outdoors. However, it’s easy to get stuck cooking the same camping meals time after time – especially when toasted marshmallows are so delicious. Luckily, camping at home gives you more scope to get creative.
Fire up your BBQ for sausages, halloumi burgers and corn on the cob, and use your fridge to keep your colourful salads and sides fresh. A practical perk of staying at home means being able to make the most of all of your cooking appliances! This way, you’ll also be able to cater for fussy eaters with ease.
For that charming al fresco experience, make sure you serve up meals on plastic picnicware.
5. Something A Little Different
You don’t need to go down the traditional camping route. For something a little different, pitch a gazebo or teepee in your garden instead. You may not be able to spend all night outdoors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make memories to cherish.
Garden accessories and soft furnishings are the way to go if you want to transform your teepee into a welcoming den. Simply enlist your kids to fill the space with cushions, bunting, lanterns and paper decorations. A few battery-powered fairy lights will not only ensure your garden has a magical vibe, but they’ll also provide fantastic Instagram inspiration!