Father's Day is a wonderful time to spend time with your family, celebrating all that the fathers in your life do--your own father, your children's father, any brothers you might have--the list goes on. For children, spending time with their fathers on Father's Day can create wonderful memories that they might one day share or recreate with their own children. We've got an idea for you--camping, and you don't have to travel for it!

Let's Go Camping!


Share with your children that when you go camping, you build a tent--which is your temporary home! Explore camping from the safety of your own backyard. How do you like it?

What You'll Need

  • backpack filled with camping items such as a flashlight, canteen, can of baked beans, pots and pans, binoculars, sunscreen, and so on
  • blanket
  • heavy books
  • 6" length of rope or twine
  • old sheet
  • pillow
  • two chairs

What to Do

  1. Have you ever been on a camping trip? If so, what was it like? If you have not been camping before, share a book about camping with your children. Some notable examples are Bailey Goes Camping by Kevin Henkes, S is for S'mores: A Camping Alphabet by Helen Foster James, and When We Go Camping by Margriet Ruurs.
  2. Pitch a tent outside in your backyard with your children! Choose two chairs that you can tie a rope to--ladder-back chairs work well, but any two easily-moved chairs will do. Set up the two chairs about 5' apart. Help your children move the chairs around.
  3. Tie a rope at the top of the chairs, one end tied to each chair. Move the chairs a bit to make the rope taut.
  4. Help your children toss the sheet over the rope, one half on one side of the rope, the other half on the other side of the rope.
  5. Place a heavy book on the seat of each chair to weigh it down and keep it from tipping.
  6. Pull the edges of your tent out a bit, and weigh them down with books or other heavy objects so you have room inside your tent to sit.
  7. Stand back and look at your tent. Does it need any adjustment?
  8. Fill your tent with a blanket and pillow, books to read, and your backpack of camping items.
  9. Pretend you're camping in the great outdoors! Observe the nature around you: trees, plants, insects, and birds. What do you see?

Additional Fun

  • If you have a fire pit in your backyard, get roasting sticks and marshmallows and make s'mores! 

Happy Father's Day to all of you dads out there!

For more great ways to take ideas for the limitless imaginations of young children and fashion them into reality, check out The Budding Builder (available in both paperback and eBook formats from Kaplan Early Learning Company).