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backyard camping trip

How to Create a Backyard Camping Trip

GEAR, home By May 27, 2019 Tags: , , No Comments

Camping with the kids can be a beautiful experience; sleeping close to your babies under the velvet sky and bright moon, wrapped in the warm summer air. Or, it can be a tough night out in the rough embrace of the wild. You never know how a child will handle a new situation until they’ve experienced it, so planning a camping trip with children without a test run could equal disaster. That’s where a backyard camping trip comes into play.

A backyard campout will give you all the joys of camping—including sleeping in a tent and roasting marshmallows over a campfire—all within a few steps of home in case one of your littles doesn’t quite feel the whole “sleeping under the stars” thing.  

15 summer activities in nature

15 Summer Activities in Nature

FAM, kids By July 17, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Summer is a perfect time to facilitate learning through entertainment.  Remember being a kid and looking in the encyclopedia when you found a mushroom or learned a bit about physics when your fishing rod broke? Let’s get outside this summer and see what nature will teach us!

15 Summer Activities in Nature

1. Go for a hike! It’s a great way to get some exercise and discover new species at the same time.

2. Build forts made of driftwood on the beach. The kids can learn about structures while having fun scouring the beach for the much needed piece of wood for the roof.

3. Go camping! Whether it be at a site or just the backyard, camping is a great way to get outside and learn about your surroundings.

4. Do some gardening! Get the kids involved and give them a small patch in the backyard to create their own mini garden. They can learn what different species need to survive and have fun choosing the plants for their garden at the same time.

5. Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt! Make a list of things to find, whether it be a pinecone, something yellow, or a leaf the size of your hand and get scavenging!

6. Go geocaching! Teach the kids some navigation skills as they hunt for treasure. You never know, there may be treasure waiting for you right around the corner!

7. Go for a family bike ride. On a trail or through the neighbourhood, biking is a great way to be active in nature.

8. Go berry picking! Everyone can do it and afterwards the family can learn how to make a delicious treat incorporating the berries.

9. Fly a kite! You can get crafty and make your own or you can by one at the store. Either way, kite flying is a great family activity.

10. Have a neighbourhood game of soccer! Get the whole neighbourhood involved and play this simple yet fun game in your front yard or the park. You will be teaching the kids about teamwork in a way that just seems like fun and games.

11. Decorate the sidewalk with chalk! The kids can unleash their creativity while enjoying the great outdoors.

12. Take out your camera and go outside for some outdoor photography. Get some shots of your favorite plants and animals to use in a scrapbook!

13. Scavenge the beach for shells and sea glass to use in an art project of the kid’s choosing. Their creativity will not be lost over the summer with projects like these.

14. Go kayaking or stand up paddle boarding! Get outside and breath in the ocean air! Perseverance is taught (especially if it’s your first time) and  the health benefits are endless!

15. Set up the sprinkler on those particularly hot summer day’s and watch the endless hours of enjoyment begin.


camping with kids

Tips for Camping with Kids and Babies

Canada, GEAR, holidays, kids, LIVE, ROAM, USA By July 31, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , 4 Comments

Pre-kids, you used to hoist a bunch of stuff onto your back, portage a canoe and enjoy a romantic long weekend in the woods.  Suddenly, there were three of you.  Or four.  Do camping and kids mix? Absolutely and we’ve got tips for camping with kids and babies so you don’t have to throw away your old life when you have children – you just have to adapt.  By integrating the things you love into your parenting approach, your kids will learn from your excitement, and you will be a happier person. We interviewed avid woods-Mom Carrie Roxburgh, a Canadian mom of boys who was a skilled camper pre-kids.  She’s helped us compile the UrbanMommies top 20 list of stuff you need to know when camping with children:
1.  Car Camping.  Drive in, leave the cooler in the car, and don’t even try to hike into a campsite with the amount of stuff you need.  There are lots of great fun, kid-friendly campsites.

2.  You’ll need a bigger tent, 6 x 6 x 6.  Mountain Equipment Co-op is always reasonable and great quality.  And grab a tarp while you’re there.

3.  Get a cooler on wheels.

4.  While a 7 oz camp stove used to suffice, you’ll need something a bit larger, like a Coleman 2-burner stove.

5.  Invest in a Kettle.

6.  One of the biggest differences post kids for Carrie was meal planning.  In considering nutrition for her kids, she realized that you can’t just eat hotdogs and freeze dried food (darn).  She pre-cuts veggies and loads up on tinfoil so that there are always healthy sides for the kids.

7.  Bring your old smaller tent and split up your children at bedtime to make getting them to sleep easier.  Transfer them into your own larger tent later.

8.  Make sure you bring a few comforts of home for the kids: teddy bears and pillows are great.

9.  Shopping for special new kids’ sleeping bags makes the experience all the more memorable.

10.  Don’t forget the toys! Trucks, sand toys, and sports stuff make outdoors fun, and board games can be played in the tent during rain.

11.  Speaking of which… don’t forget rain gear.

12.  A Wagon – that way the kids can help schlep stuff too.  (And it can make for some super-fun photo ops).

13.  Bug sprays are a must, but with kids, you have to be careful.  If Avon Skin so Soft isn’t your preference, you can try: Buzz Away, available at Lavish and Lime.

14.  Lifejackets: if you’re by a lake, save yourself a panic attack and make a rule that life jackets have to be worn at all times when near the water.

15.   Baby Wipes.  No explanation needed.

16.  Lots of warm clothes.

17.  Sunscreen: Badger and Green Beaver are great picks, available at Raspberry Kids

18. Buy milk in tetra packs that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

19.  Glow sticks (and flashlights with extra batteries).

20. First Aid Kit for the little boo-boos.  And while you’re at it, program emergency numbers and the number for the campground or park into your cell phone.

Fun Ideas:

–       Keep a journal
–       Talk about the birds and the bees.  No really.
–       Talk about bear awareness and maybe a game of charades would be fun at this point
–       Give each child a disposable camera

Kid-friendly Campgrounds across Canada:

Try the Canadian Tire Campsite Selector

British Columbia: You can book up to three months in advance of your arrival, online at Discover Camping, or call at 1-800-689-9025.

Alberta: 1-800-ALBERTA).


Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia


– Jill Amery would love to take the kids camping, particularly if it means that we don’t have to pick up Lego pieces.