I long to spend the night in a tent a few times a year but packing up the van and heading to a campground is tricky with four kids and two dogs. I have opted for backyard camping adventures with whomever may want to enjoy an evening in a tent with mom.
Our current tent will not house our entire family or the dogs but is fine for an adult and two kids. I have always heard that you should buy a bigger tent then you need so you have room for gear. I am also considering two tents that house 4 people which should give us ample room for ourselves and our gear. Another bonus of owning smaller tents is indoor camping during the Winter! I keep in mind the tent size and if it will fit in our living room with minimal furniture arranging! If we had a large den or basement I would keep those spaces in mind for sleepovers and birthday parties.
We are also looking into new sleeping bags and air mattresses depending on what size tent we buy. I have been looking at tents that will house a queen size mattress which means queen size bedding. I highly recommend an air mattress over a sleeping pad for more comfortably sleeping. Each child brings out their own pillow, blanket and a snuggle toy or ten!