With the majority of us not leaving the house any time soon, going on holiday is on pause for a while. But, in the meantime, you can still take a holiday away from your home – and you only need to go as far as your own garden.
There are lots of options for child-friendly daytime camping, with garden exploration games and creative costumes to spark imaginations, but what happens when night falls?
While children’s tents are ideal dens, they’re not suitable for overnight camps outdoors. However, a real tent with a few charming additions can create an enchanting grotto that both children and parents can enjoy – don’t you deserve a holiday, too?
Hunker down for the night in a spacious tent and let the children throw all the normal bedtime rules out of the window. Eat a fun dinner cooked on the gas stove, before toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate. Then bed down with sleeping bags and lots of blankets – the benefit of being in your garden, rather than on a campsite, being that you can nip indoors to fetch more cushions and pillows if you need them.
As the night draws in and it gets dark, you’ll have the magic of the stars overhead to watch. Sing a rousing rendition of Twinkle Twinkle under the night sky before getting a good night’s sleep (hopefully!).
And, obviously, there’s the benefit of real bathrooms and toilets instead of the campsite shower block…
We’ve brought together a selection of items we feel will help you create a truly lovely experience for everyone in the family. It’s time to head into the garden and start making memories.
And, of course, you can use all this kit next year on a real camping trip away from home!
Tips for camping with kids
Keep the tent simple
Instead of a tent with umpteen compartments, it’s easier to have one big open space. ‘It’s warmer, you can see where the kids are and there aren’t lots of noisy zips going up and down in the night,’ says Sidharth Sharma, organiser of family camping event Starry Skies
. Ones with a porch or canopy are also good for leaving muddy coats and boots. And dark fabric to avoid early morning wake-ups? Yes, please. Image: Corbis
Create a play zone
Turn your travel cot into a day-time play pen if you need hands-free time to dress/wash up/dry shampoo
. Also remember toys and books in case the weather’s bad and playtime has to move inside. Image: Corbis
This tent is easy to pitch, and will sleep three people (or, parents and a couple of small ones). In addition to the essential tent waterproofing, wind proofing, fire proofing, in-built groundmat and UV guard, it’s the perfect size for a garden. There’s a front porch area, which is sheltered and really nice to relax in, and Coleman is a trusted camping brand, so it will last you for holidays near and far for years to come.
A double or king-sized air mattress will raise everyone in the tent off of the ground, making sure everyone is dry, warm and comfortable.
A couple of these sleeping bags (suitable for temperatures as low as -5) will provide that authentic camping experience.
If you’re looking for a little more of a cosy, warm feeling akin to glamping, then stocking the tent with soft blankets, pillows, duvets and cushions is a guaranteed winner.
These battery-operated tea lights will provide a warm glow and atmosphere to the camp.
These lights can be arranged in the porch of the tent for a welcoming look, or inside the tent to give your child a cosy, charming and enchanting camping experience.
Add a little wonder into the tent with a star projector, which’ll cast a sweet night sky on to the inner canvas of the tent. It’s really calming, and helps make the home holiday experience a little more magical for your children.
Drink spills in a tent are a no-no. These nature themed, 360-degree cups will keep everything dry.
No camp out is complete without a picnic – this large, herringbone patterned blanket is ideal for adding a little al fresco country living into your garden.
And no picnic is complete without food and snacks!
This mini projector is a marvellous way of adding even more charm to the garden camp. You can project from a phone, USB, laptop or Fire Stick directly on to the canvas of the tent, or peg a bedsheet on the washing line and have yourself an unforgettable open air cinema experience. The projector can be powered via a mains plug or portable power bank.
Add that final touch of razzmatazz to the secret garden cinema with some retro popcorn cartons!
Snuggle up in the blankets and read nursery rhyme favourites by fairy light. This story book includes all of the classic fairy tales, stories and fables, and each with its own beautiful illustrations.
There’s no better time to read this book than when camping. It’s a beloved tale, full of adventure, magic and stunningly drawn creatures.
Are you planning a holiday in your own garden? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
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