Back-to-school campout

Even though your kids are heading back to the classroom soon, there’s still time for one last hurrah! Take time to unplug and enjoy some family togetherness with a campout in your own backyard (or living room). We’ve got ideas for healthy snacks and activities to help make your end-of-summer campout a fun, memorable and no-fuss family event.


What should we snack on?

  • Have a backyard “s’mores-gasbord” on your grill or around your fire pit (if you’ve got one). Swap the traditional milk chocolate for dark chocolate, which has less sugar and more fiber.
  • Skip the chocolate and marshmallows all together and make s’mores using your favorite nut butter and sliced fruit, like strawberries and bananas.
  • Create fun finger food plates (no cooking required!) with whole-grain crackers, low-fat cheeses, hummus, almonds, baby carrots and apples slices.
  • Make vegetable kabobs that you can roast over your campfire.
  • Make the most of summer’s best produce and slice up a juicy watermelon.
  • No fire? No problem! The broiler on your oven will give those veggies and marshmallows a quick toast.


What should we do for fun (without our devices)?

  • Pitch your tent(s) as you would on a “real” camping trip, which will make the experience more authentic. Or build a blanket fort in the living room.
  • Take pictures of the “wildlife” in your backyard, like birds or even the family dog. And consider a nature hike through the neighborhood to see what other wildlife you can spot.
  • Pull out the board games or create your own game of backyard bingo, where everyone must find items on bingo cards you create (or print from online websites – there are plenty!).
  • Have a scavenger hunt to find specific flowers, leaves, rocks, bugs, etc.
  • Use the “treasures” your kids find to construct a nature collage that commemorates your campout.
  • Turn up the music for a dance party or download some old camp songs for a backyard sing-along!
  • Before bed, have story time. Tell funny stories or make up a single story that builds from one family member to the next.
  • Take time to set intentions for the school year ahead. Talk about goals, worries and send them off with some encouraging words.


However you decide to structure your campout, keep the focus on family time together without technology or other distractions that so often get in the way. Bonus points for making funny family camp T-shirts. Happy camping!


The family that plays together

For more family fun-time ideas, check out our Healthy Lifestyles Tips board on Pinterest.