Summer is in full swing, and what better way to really rock it out in the summertime than by camping?
Not for real camping, my friends–I’m talking backyard camping.
In my book, backyard camping counts. Especially if you’re not all that much of an outdoorsy family.
Because we really rocked it out with our spring break trip to Disneyland, we are laying low this summer, and no biggie beach trip means that we’ve got to be creative with our summertime fun.
So creative we were.
We set up the tent, made some s’mores, and did some reading under the stars until we . . . decided to come back in the house and sleep in our beds.
It’s hard really roughing it with backyard camping.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Backyard Camping and Reading Under the Stars–Summer Reading at its Best:
We invited some friends over during the afternoon for a playdate and a tent set-up. They loved it. Playing in the tent was a huge hit for the whole neighborhood crew.
The afternoon was spent playing in the tent, so really the kids spent the greater part of the day excited about our ‘camp out’.
They played campout. They had snacks in the tent. They played games in the tent. After dinner, at about 6:30pm, Maddy, Owen, and Cora brought sleeping bags and pillows into the tent along with their EVEREADY® flashlights, lovies and books.
They knew that part of the reason we were doing our serious backyard campout was because we wanted to have a chance to read under the stars, just like the Scholastic Read Under the Stars summer reading challenge they were doing.
Really, the reading’s been happening all summer. It was the camping that was totally new.
We had s’mores. We danced a little. We were ready for a campout.
We were all cozy in the tent, teeth brushed, dirty feet tucked into sleeping bags, listening to the crickets and the owls and the distant barking dogs when all heck broke loose.
The chaos began.
The storm had arrived.
The tides were a’ changing.
Cora started crying because the Maddy was too close to her and because the window panel was hanging down by her arm and it wouldn’t stay tucked into the wall.
And then Maddy started getting angry because Cora was not being nice. And so when Cora yelled, I WANT TO GO SLEEP IN MY BEEEEEDDDDD! Maddy said she wanted to sleep in her own bed, too.
And then Owen said, I want to go inside to sleep too. I don’t want to sleep out here anymore.
And so yep.
At 9pm, right after my husband had put his feet up and settled comfortably into a show and a snack, thinking his family was out back sleeping peacefully and that he had a quiet house to himself, the troops came marching in.
Sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, flashlights, and books in tow, and a lonely tent out back.
Poor confused Brady was happy to have his family in the house again. Cora was happy, Maddy was happy, Owen was happy, and I was happy. Back in the cool air conditioning, dirty feet in their own beds, flashlights on and open books in hands.
And? The kids spent the entire next day in the tent.
And what I realized is that we’re not failures or big losers for trying the backyard camping thing and not actually following through; we are winners for trying it. Right? I mean, we came close, didn’t we? We kind of had the experience and maybe we’ll try it again?
I don’t know. The cool thing? The kids were reading. Books and summer reading was a natural part of our attempted backyard campout, so that’s what counts.
Huge and happy thanks to Scholastic for always coming up with cool themes and ideas for their Summer Reading Challenge and for partnering with us for this post series. This year’s Summer Reading theme is Reading Under the Stars, and is powered by EVEREADY®, the maker of batteries and flashlights, to encourage families to discover new and fun ways to explore reading outside this summer.
fyi: I am happy to share my experience with our backyard campout as part of a sponsored campaign. As always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator and by my three little kinda-campers and summertime readers.
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