Ten Backyard Camping Ideas from Outdoor Afro

Camping does not need to be regulated in the backwoods or at a traditional camp site. You can enjoy camping day or night; in your backyard or living room, on your balcony or deck!

  • Watch your favorite movie in a tent.
  • Enjoy meals outside. And don’t forget the s’mores!
  • Bio blitz your yard – identify and count all the plants and wildlife you can see in a day. Bonus: make a map of all you see and share with friends online or upload them to iNaturalist.
  • Use all your nature senses! Try focusing on one sense at a time to discover your surroundings. What do you see? Hear? How does it feel to touch? What do you smell? Is there anything tasty in the garden to try or an edible plant nearby?
  • Download the Plum Landing Outdoor Family Fun app from PBS Kids and incorporate digital technology into the outdoors. They have great games and engaging videos. You can even see Rue Mapp, CEO of Outdoor Afro, sharing tips here courtesy of PBS Kids.
  •  Make a nature scrapbook or journal. Try rubbing leaves behind paper with a crayon, draw a sketch of your backyard flowers or wildlife that you might see such as birds and insects.
  • Make an outdoor oven that cooks food using sunlight.
  • Take story time outside – day or night. A flashlight or candlelight makes listening to stories more fun and exciting.
  • Talk about the nature heroes in your family! Maybe it was your granddad who was an avid hunter or fisher, or your grandmother’s garden and the foods that you ate from it. It’s really important to help young people realize that their connections to nature are generational.
  • Rediscover hopscotch, jacks, marbles, double dutch, musical chairs and four square. Teach your children how to play.
Bonus Neighborhood Ideas
  • Bike and Rollerblade Tag! Be a part of the neighborhood bike & Rollerblade renaissance.
  • If you have a dog, they really appreciate extra walks and it’s a great opportunity to observe nature coming alive through the seasons in your neighborhood.