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Literary Pursuits

Stay-at-Home Camp-Out for Kids

If you’re still in stay-at-home mode this summer here’s a fun camping “trip” you can plan for the kids in your own backyard. Spending the night outside is optional.

Plan it for a clear evening just as it’s starting to get dark. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Bed Roll for each person (e.g. kid’s sleeping bag, fleece throw, beach towel)
  • Glow Sticks (available at the Dollar Store)
  • Flashlight or lantern to read by
  • A big stack of camping or outdoor themed books 


  • Makings for S’mores (marshmallows, chocolate bars, graham crackers)
  • Trail Mix
  • Hot Dogs or another picnic style meal
  • Water bottles for each person

Just for fun you could let the kids each pack a backpack with whatever “gear” they think they’ll need. They might want to set up a tent (real or pretend). If you don’t have a fire ring you can use your grill instead. Or if that’s not an option make the S’mores in the microwave and carry them outside.

Once your camp is set up and everyone is situated on their bedrolls, pull out the camping books and your flashlight and spend the evening reading. 

It might be fun to mix it up with some campfire songs in between stories. A quick Google search will pull up dozens you’re sure to be familiar with. Here are a few that come to mind:

  • Home on the Range
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • This Little Light of Mine
  • Kumbaya
  • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It

Camping Stories

Most of these are picture books or easy readers, but that’s what makes it possible to read through a whole stack in the evening. I expect kids ages 3 to about 10 would enjoy this selection.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you have the opportunity to go on a real camping trip with your family this summer, I highly recommend it. Check out my Camping How-Tos posts if you aren’t a seasoned camper, and especially Camping With Kids.

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