Camp in the garden
Sleep under the stars!
Camp in the garden together, and relish in the magical simplicity it brings.
- Set up your tent while it’s still light. If you’re using a simple pop-up tent, your child may be able to take the lead. If you’re using a more advanced tent, talk them through each step. Can they figure out which pegs go where? Can they rationalise the process as you go along?
- Work together to make the interior of the tent as cosy as you possibly can – layering the sleeping bag, blankets and pillows on top of each other. This is your nest for the night. Treasure it.
- Add some ambient light. We recommend attaching a headlight to a plastic bottle (a 5 litre bottle, filled with water, works best). This will reflect beautifully, and fill the whole tent with a soft glow.
- If you prefer, you could make some bottled fireflies together, and use these as your light sources. Simply add some glowsticks to some empty water bottles or jars to recreate this gleaming riverside insect’s splendour.
- Prepare some activities for the evening ahead, to really optimise the time you have together, and to make memories that will last a lifetime. We’ve compiled a list of our favourites below.
- Play ‘nature detectives’, keeping a note of any sounds and sights of animal life you come across throughout the night.
- Look for evidence of Big Foot.
- Tell ghost stories by torchlight.
- Collect some leaves.
- Make shadow puppets and tell their stories, using the wall of the tent, a torch, and your imagination.
- Build a campfire, and make some bonfire banana boats.
- Pretend you have entered a time machine, and emerged not as a family of Homo sapiens, but as a family of Neanderthals, who became extinct around 40,000 years ago. Imagine that the tent is your cave. What would life have been like?
- Sing some camp songs.
- Whistle a tune.
- Re-enact your favourite story, scene-by-scene.
- Play some frisbee golf.
- Lie back and stargaze.
- Watch the leaves blowing in the breeze.
- Bring a pen and pencil into the garden, and teach your child about the classic games you might have played throughout your childhood, such as Hangman, Tic-Tac-Toe and Dots.
- Better yet, play games that require no equipment at all – such as iSpy, or charades.
- An evening
- A tent (pop-ups are great for ease), sleeping bags, extra blankets, pillows, a torch, a headlight (optional), a selection of empty plastic bottles or glass jars (optional), glow sticks (optional)
- Resilience, curiosity, creativity, logic