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
Coleman Darwin 3+ Tent
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.
Pavillo Airbed Quick Inflation Camping Mattress
Best air mattress
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.
Milestone Camping Sleeping Bag
Best sleeping bags
A couple of these sleeping bags (suitable for temperatures as low as -5) will provide that authentic camping experience.
Velvet Plush Cuddly Blanket
Best plush blanket
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.
Flickering Battery Powered Tea Lights (48 pack)
Best tea lights
These battery-operated tea lights will provide a warm glow and atmosphere to the camp.
Battery Powered LED Fairy Lights
Best fairy lights
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.
Starry Night Projection Light
Best projection light
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.
Muchinkin Miracle 360 WlildLove No-Spill Sippy Cup (2 Pack)
Best no-spill cups
Drink spills in a tent are a no-no. These nature themed, 360-degree cups will keep everything dry.
VonShef Picnic Blanket
Best picnic blanket
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.
Lifewit Insulated Cooler
Best cool bag
And no picnic is complete without food and snacks!
GooDee Mini Projector
Best mini projector
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.
Retro Popcorn Containers Reusable (3 pack)
Best popcorn cartons
Add that final touch of razzmatazz to the secret garden cinema with some retro popcorn cartons!
365 Bedtime Stories and Rhymes
Best bedtime stories
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.
Where The Wild Things Are
Best bedtime book
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.
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