In his treasured book “Our National Parks,” naturalist and environmental philosopher John Muir wrote, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” As nature lovers ourselves, we at New Jammies can relate.
There’s something magical about sleeping under the stars that provides a sense of peace, and brings us closer to nature. One way for kids to learn first-hand about the Great Outdoors is to plan a fun overnight or weekend camping excursion in the convenience of your own backyard. Because of the easy access to the amenities of home, backyard camping is ideal for all ages, from babies to grandparents — and even great-grandparents.
The National Park Service (NPS) provides information on backyard camping to introduce children to Mother Nature and teach them to appreciate all she has to offer. Or even to test a new sleeping bag, tent or other camping gear.
“Consider camping in your backyard,” says the NPS. “You don’t have to be in a ‘real’ campground to learn the art of camping and to make memories.”
Celebrating 100 years on Aug. 25, the National Park Service lists these benefits of backyard camping:
1. The house is right there. The familiar setting and security of the backdoor lit at night is the perfect testing ground to introduce sleeping under the stars, especially to kids. If the weather is bad outside, the kids are too afraid of the dark, or you need to dash to the bathroom, your house is right there.
2. Memories in the making. Some of the very first memories of camping as a child begin with pitching a tent a few yards from the house. Make it a fun family event. Invite relatives or friends to share in the experience.
3. The testing ground. Do you need to master the art of making the perfect s’more, or learn how to prepare meals outdoors? Use your backyard to get a feel for what it’s like to sleep on the ground, to prepare a meal outdoors, or to test your gear.
Parenting Magazine suggests planning ahead with fun games, easy snacks, and at-home activities for a chill staycation with the kids.
“Enter the backyard campout: low on stress, high on thrills, chock-full of the fun stuff that camping’s all about (including plenty of dirt), all within shouting distance of clean bathrooms and a stocked fridge,” says parenting.com, in its “14 Ideas for Camping Out In Your Backyard.”
In the article, parenting.com puts a fun spin on a beloved campfire treat with these easy S’mores on a Stick:
“Warm up your favorite chocolate sauce and pour into a shallow bowl or plate; put crushed graham crackers on another plate. Roast marshmallows, dip in the chocolate and then the crackers.”
For old-fashioned, after-dark backyard camping games, play Ghost in the Graveyard, which Parenting mag describes as “tag with a spooky twist.” Here are the simple rules:
1. Designate one ghost to hide in the backyard while everyone else waits on base (like the back porch) and counts: “One o’clock, two o’clock …”
2. When you get to 12 o’clock, shout “Midnight! I hope I don’t see a ghost tonight!”
3. Then go hunting in the backyard for the ghost. Whoever spots the ghost first cries “Ghost in the graveyard!”
4. Everyone then scrambles back to base while the ghost tags runners. If you get tagged, you, too, join the ‘ghost’ gang and the game begins again.
5. Keep playing until everyone’s been caught by the ghosts and the graveyard is full.
Gear Up with New Jammies for Backyard Camping Fun
If your kids are up for an overnight outdoor adventure in the backyard — or even taking it to the next level in a park that permits camping — New Jammies has some colorful, 100% organic cotton pajamas perfect for summer nights sleeping in nature. Check out these popular outdoorsy collections:
• Our Star Spangled PJs are a fun way to celebrate America in patriotic red, white and blue, all summer long. Choose from our stars and flags prints and striped patterns for a colorful shout out to the good ol’ U.S.A.
• Cute and cozy Bug's Life footies, short sets, and PJs showcase insects that flit and flutter while lighting up the night, perfect for camping under the stars.