A camping sleepover party works well for kids who love the outdoors and are looking for a little adventure. Even if you choose to keep the camping in your home, create an atmosphere of an authentic campsite with your decorations, menu and activities. When planning the camping sleepover, consider the group's age---older kids might like to sleep in the backyard and tell ghost stories, but these activities might scare younger guests.
Tents are a must for any camping sleepover---whether the kids will sleep in them. Set up a few tents in the backyard, and let the kids play in them before bedtime. Hang a few lanterns from the trees, or set up lanterns on tables in your backyard. If you have the space and the appropriate weather, build a bonfire in your backyard. Check local regulations about fires first. If you have a fire pit, that will work too.
Consider the safety of your neighbourhood, weather conditions and age of your guests when deciding on sleeping arrangements. Older kids might enjoy camping in the backyard in tents. Younger ones will likely feel safer in a tent in your basement or playroom. If you allow the kids to sleep outside, a chaperon should sleep outside as well. Ask guests to bring sleeping bags and pillows, regardless of where you set up your camp.
Think of items to cook over a campfire or grill when planning the party menu. Throw some hot dogs on the grill, and offer baked beans, crisps and fruit for sides. For dessert, let kids make s'mores. Roast marshmallows to put between graham crackers and chocolate bars. Your bonfire, grill or fire pit can serve as your marshmallow-roasting station.
Gather older kids around the campfire, if you create one, for ghost stories. An adult may tell the stories, or go around the circle and let each child share his scariest story. Let kids play flashlight tag in the backyard. Give the player who is "it" a flashlight, and he can "tag" players with the flashlight. The tagged player sits out, and the last player standing becomes "it" for the next round.