Turn your backyard into a fun campsite

Your kids will love the campfire cones!

Backyard Camping Family Fun with Michelle Oliver on Live in the D

With the State campgrounds opening up around Michigan and considering this type of vacation can be more social-distancing-friendly, many people will try camping for the first time. A great thing to do before you hit the trails is to have a test run in your backyard. This is also a great weekend activity for families who are looking to mix things up! So how do you make your weekend camping excursion fun for the whole family? Check out these ideas

1) Jazz up your campsite

Tent (Copyright 2020 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

Ok, so obviously you have your tent, a sleeping bag, pillow and if you are lucky, an air mattress, but let’s make this campsite someplace awesome your family will want to hang out in! First, let’s talk about the sleeping situation. The kids may be fine in the sleeping bags on the ground, but for mom and dad...that could be a little rough. I like bringing a comforter and laying it down before putting down the sleeping bag. If you have an air mattress, you can even put it on top and it will act as a pillow top.

You also want the area outside of the tent to be fun and comfortable as well. Citronella candles are a great way to keep the bugs away, plus they have cute colorful ones available, which helps add to the ambiance. Speaking of ambiance, hang Christmas lights in the trees, on the fence and anywhere else you’d like. This provides nice soft lighting so kids won’t be too scared of the dark, plus it gives you that starry-night-feel no matter how cloudy it is.

2) Plan fun activities

Nature Scavenger Hunt (Copyright 2020 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

Now, how about entertainment? If you have young kids you can do a nature scavenger hunt asking them to find a cool rock, a pink flower, and other fun stuff like that. This is great for kids who are learning how to read because you can include pictures along with the words.

DIY Water Balloon Cornhole (Copyright 2020 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

For older kids, they can play a fun game of water balloon corn hole, which you can make yourself. All you need is a ladder, paper, tape, pen, and some water balloons. Set up the ladder and tape different amounts of points to the different steps. Have the kids throw water balloons at the ladder through the steps to gain points. Whoever has the most points wins!

When it gets dark, do a camping classic and tell each other ghost stories. Lighting is key so grab a flashlight to hold under your face, or if you don’t have one, your phone will probably do the trick.

3) Fun food

Campfire Cone Ingredients (Copyright 2020 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

Part of the fun of camping is all the fun camping snacks! Everyone does s’mores, but you can make these campfire cones! All you have to do is take an ice cream cone and fill it with goodies you have lying around the house. I lined my cone with a thick helping of peanut butter (Nutella would work as well), and stuffed it with bananas, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows; but you can put in whatever you’d like ([pretzels, berries, m&m’s are all good options)! Then, wrap it in foil and put it on the embers of the fire, rotating it a few times until the marshmallows are melted. If you don’t have a fire pit, these work great on the grill.

Campfire Cone (Copyright 2020 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.