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Eco-Friendly Backyard Campout Games & More

Boy in tree with strawberry to illustrate Our Favorite Backyard Campouts Tips

Forget about packing and driving and all the stuff that makes camping work. Adios stress! Skip straight to the fun and create an eco-friendly camping adventure right in your backyard.

Here are some zero waste, upcycled and cost-saving backyard camping tips for eco-friendly families. Learn how to make your own backyard campout games, create a zero waste gorp bar and upcycle found objects into a tent or cozy outdoor nook.

Don’t have a backyard? No worries! Find a local park in your community and set up camp there instead. Just keep an eye on the time since most parks close at sunset.

DIY Outdoor Games

Lots of outdoor games are available for sale, but with a little ingenuity families can save money and the environment by upcycling found objects in their home to make their own outdoor games. In addition to the cost-savings, using items you already own means you won't have to find a space to store infrequently used games that can be bulky.

Painted Lawn Twister Board

Instead of buying the game, create an extra-large Twister board on your lawn using wash-away aerosol chalk spray paint. Based on how many players you will have, you can customize how big you want your Twister board to be, too! When your camping party is over, hose down your lawn to wash away the chalk paint.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of items in nature your campers can find, such as stones, leaves, sticks, etc... Other options include finding items in various colors (red, green, blue, pink, etc...) or textures (soft, smooth, rough). Customize your hunt to your local environment. Write down the list on a white board or chalk easel. Send out your campers with their phones to take pictures of what they find or take notes on a piece of recycled paper.

Homemade Ring Toss or Corn Hole

To create a tossing game, consider using kitchen towels or other fabric you have around the house to lay down on the ground as targets. What your campers toss on these targets can also be found objects around your home, such as bath toys, bouncy balls, unused kitchen sponges, wool dryer balls or anything you have on hand that can be repurposed. 

Zero-Waste Snack Bar

There's no need to create a pile of trash by feeding your campers with single-serving wrapped bars, juice boxes, snack sacks and other pre-packaged snacks. Instead learn how to create a zero-waste gorp bar.

Head to your local natural grocery store's bulk shopping aisle where they sell dry goods in big bins by weight. Bring your Blue Water Bento containers, which have tare weights printed on the bottom, so you can fill these up and checkout without single-use baggies. Stock up on a wide variety of snack foods, such as dry fruits, pretzels, M&M chocolates, granola, coconut flakes, chocolate covered nuts, and other finger foods.

Lay all the options out on a big table with spoons and invite your campers to scoop the ingredients they love best into a reusable snack container

Create A Cozy Vibe

Tents are great, but you don’t need to go out and buy anything new to create a camping vibe. Go retro with a rope between two trees and a flat sheet draped over! Pile on the pillows and a few blankets and you’re good to go! Day or night hanging out in a tent, a pillow fort or any other kind of cozy nook you dream up using items around the house is super fun for little campers. Add to the fun by packing a healthy snack and finding a favorite book to snuggle up with.

Lights & Fire

If you're camping at night, adding a fire or some twinkling solar or energy-efficient LED lights will add a special ambiance to your backyard campsite. Try stringing lights or starting a small campfire to roast marshmallows or pineapple. Or equip your campers with solar flashlights to explore the darkness of the big outdoors in the safety of your own backyard!

Photo by David Allen Studio

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