Family Time Calendar: Get Relaxed - iVillage

Finding it hard to round up the kids and get them into bed on these long summer evenings? Give tonight a twist by bringing the beds (or sleeping bags, at least) out to them!


What you'll need:

  • Family-size tent
  • Sleeping bags or air mattresses
  • Pillows
  • Lightweight blankets (if not using sleeping bags)
  • Flashlight

What you'll do:

In the afternoon, on a level spot in your yard, pitch the tent according to the manufacturer's instructions. Set up your sleeping bags and/or air mattresses inside.

Prepare a campout dinner: Grilled hot dogs, baked beans and s'mores. Spread out a blanket and eat in front of your tent!

After dinner, get your campers and yourself into outdoor PJs -- sweatpants or shorts, and T-shirts. (You might want to give everyone a misting of bug spray as well.) Then settle down into your sleeping bags for some family time. Some ideas: Tell ghost stories or fairy tales. Play "The Listening Game" -- everyone stays silent for two minutes and then shares the noises they heard. If your kids are very young -- under four or five -- you might want to let them drop off to sleep outside and then carry them into their own beds. What's the flashlight for? Use it as a nightlight, or for those middle-of-the-night bathroom runs.

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