If dad loves camping, why not give him a weekend of family camping right in the backyard? Plus since it is Father’s Day, dad gets to do as little as possible while the whole family sets up the tent, prepares the food and gets the smores ready for dad to enjoy!

Don’t have a backyard? Don’t worry. You can set up a tent in the living room, and if you dare, even a mini propane barbecue as well!

Best Ages for This Activity

Zero to five (or older)

How to Make It

You will need:

  • A tent that can fit the whole family
  • One sleeping bag for each person in the family
  • A portable propane barbecue to cook your food in OR a portable charcoal barbecue OR you can just use your barbecue if you have one
  • A camping fire pit
  • Food that you can prepare outside
  • Marshmallows, milk chocolate and graham crackers (for s’mores)
  • Simple activities to do outside (a ball, a table game, books or whatever you like to do as a family)
  • Drinks
  • Flashlights (these are a must for your child)

Let’s Get Started!

  • Invite your child to have a backyard camping adventure for Father’s Day
  • Together, set up the tent, put drinks in a cooler with ice, set up the food and the sleeping bags, snacks and fruit, etc. Make sure your child does as much of the work as possible, so they learn how to set up a tent, how to organize the supplies, how to get in and out of the tent without stepping on the sleeping bags, and all the other skills they will one day use on their own.
  • Enjoy yourselves for one day and one night, or the whole weekend if you prefer! The idea is to try to “survive” outside without having to go in the house (except to use the bathroom): cook outside, relax outside, play games, spend time together, light a fire, etc. Of course, you can adjust the wilderness aspect of camping to your family’s preferences. You might not want to cook in a pit or leave your drinks on ice, and that’s ok. For your child, just the fact that you will be sleeping in a tent is exciting enough!
  • If dad does not like camping, you might want to do this activity on a different weekend since it is all about dad this weekend!

Learning Opportunities

Camping is a great activity for your child to learn life skills. It offers plenty of opportunities for creativity, imagination, fun, exercise, reasoning and problem-solving. It is also a great opportunity to spend quality time as a family. Making sure dad has a good time teaches your child empathy. Enjoy!

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