Summer is the best time to try new and exciting activities for kids. And if you’re looking for a fun thing to do with your kids that’s low on the budget but high in learning and creativity, why not explore the great indoors and go camping inside your condo – especially one that’s family-friendly and has everything your family needs! The upside? You won’t have to worry about pesky mosquitoes or the nasty business of doing your, er, business in the bushes. It may not be the real deal, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be as much fun. Need tips on how to get it done? We got ya, fam.
Tent Times Better
Move aside the furniture in your condo and pitch the tent in your living room. No tent? No problem. Set up one using chairs, a blanket, and all the pillows you have at home. Nobody is ever too old for a pillow fort, after all. Put sleeping bags or a duvet on the floor. The cozier, the better! You want it to be perfect for story time later. And since you can’t do much stargazing indoors, go next-level Mom and hang some twinkle lights or attach glow-in-the-dark star stickers to the roof of the tent.
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, those little camping veterans, will advise you to always “be prepared.” Make sure your kids are ready for their adventure by packing their camping kits. Fill a backpack for each kid with camping essentials: a flashlight, a change of clothes, individually packed ingredients for s’mores (more on that later!) or trail mix, plus whatever else they’ll need at the “campsite.”
Explore the Wilderness!
If your kids can’t go to the wilderness, bring the wilderness inside! Move the houseplants in your condo around your tent so your kids still feel like they’re in the great outdoors. If you really want to go the extra mile, buy and lay out some artificial turf so they feel like they’re walking on grass every time they step out of the tent. As a camping activity, hide their stuffed or little plastic animal toys around the room and have your kids look for them.
How can you tell stories by the campfire without a campfire? It’s not like you can light a fire pit inside your home. Duh. Here’s an idea—and no, you won’t need to have the fire department on standby for this! Dress up one of your desk lamps as a fire pit. Surround it with garden rocks, prop up some sticks by the lamp base, and stick on “flames” cut out from orange, red, and yellow Japanese paper or wrapping tissue.
Indoors or outdoors, you can’t go camping without s’mores. That’s one of the cardinal rules of camping. But those marshmallows aren’t going to toast themselves. So skewer them on barbecue sticks, head on to your kitchen, and help your kids toast those mallows on your kitchen burner or on tea light candles! (P.S. We don’t need to tell you that this activity is going to need strict adult supervision.) Once the marshmallows are all gooey, assemble the s’mores and head on back to the campsite.
With your “campfire” and s’mores ready, it’s time for ghost stories! Turn off the lights and take turns telling tales of horror. Remember to whip out the flashlight and place it under your chin for an extra spooky effect! The one who tells the creepiest tale gets an extra helping of s’mores.
You don’t have to go all out to make indoor camping fun. It can be as simple as building a pillow fort, crawling in with your kids, and reading them their favorite storybook. What’s important here is not whether your faux fire pit looks this close to the real thing or your tent is Pinterest-worthy. It’s not even about whether you have—gasp!—s’mores or not. It’s about spending time and bonding with your kids. That’s what will make it extra memorable.