I’ve just finished putting the kids to bed and Dos is crying because she’s not allowed to sleep outside tonight.
The side effects of a successful backyard campout.
You see, several weeks ago I had a bit of a hissy fit and decided we needed to make family time a priority this summer. Time spent away from our computers and phones, really paying attention to the kids and being present in the moment.
That’s seemed to be an impossibility for us many times. We are always available to friends via an electronic device. And I don’t think this is healthiest for our family. (I’ve been highly influenced by this post on Hands Free Parenting.)
During this hissy fit I laid down the law: we would go camping at least twice a month and have a family game night (not movie night!) at least once a week. We put it on the calendar and we’ve had a few rousing games of charades, Old Maid, and dominos. I’m hoping we can get gin rummy and spades down before too long!
This weekend was our first scheduled camping weekend and for one reason after another it just wasn’t going to be possible to actually leave and head to a camp ground. Our next best bet? Just setting up the tent in the backyard!
It’s not glamorous and it’s definitely dirty, but we put the tent in the trampoline, pulled the fire pit next to the swing set and settled down. All electronics had to be left inside (the exception was my phone and I was only allowed to take photos) and we did our best to spend quality time together.
Dinner was pure finger foods; hotdogs and corn on the cob roasted over the fire pit with grapes. Dessert was an ice cream cone s’mores: peanut butter, chocolate, banana, marshmallow and caramel melted into a big glob in a sugar cone.
We sang A Boom Chicka Boom, Sippin’ Cider Through a Straw, Jesus Loves Me, and Kum Ba Yah. The girls got a chance to burn sparklers, then we told spooky stories around the fire pit, with everyone taking a turn and Tres coming up with the best story about a coyote eating us all up!
The Pinterest fail was trying to make a lantern using the goo inside a glow stick and a jar, but the next time we do it I think I’m going to plan ahead to make the glow stick hopscotch board. We also didn’t get a chance to play Ghost in the Graveyard so we’ll have to slate that for some time in the future.
It was full dark when we all crept inside the tent, a mass of dirty, smelly bodies cuddled together. The night started sweaty and ended freezing! We were all spooning by dawn just trying to stay warm!
Lizard got up early and made a warming fire while the kids consumed the apple strudel I picked up from the store for breakfast. We played around a bit more, came inside, took showers, and went about our day.
It was so simple! And it cost us nothing except a little pre-planning, which is another plan I really, really like!
Maybe this is your summer to go backyard camping? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!