Before going camping with kids, we advise you to try camping inside because that way you can show your kids what it looks like to sleep in a tent and not in a comfortable bed. Also, they will see what it’s like to function in a small space with more people.
You will see what your children like, is the idea of camping interesting to them or maybe you better skip this activity? Besides, even if you don’t plan to go camping with children outdoors or you have already done so, camping inside can be a fun activity for the whole family.
Therefore we bring you some interesting ideas and we'll divide them into two groups. In the first group, we'll put the activities you should do before camping outside and in the second ideas what to do while camping inside to make it fun!
Group one - before camping outside
The first activity you need to do (and at the same time the most important) is that the children sleep in a tent. Why is this important? Because you will see if the size of the tent is good or you need to buy a bigger / smaller tent. Also, you will find out if the sleeping bags are comfortable and do you have enough pillows and blankets. The fact that children won't sleep indoors but outdoors can make it harder for them to sleep as well as the fact that they won't sleep in their bed. Make it easier for them by getting them used to sleep in a tent and they will sleep much more peacefully during the camping.
Kids also have to get used to food because not all food they normally eat will be available to them while camping. Try to prepare some meals that you will make on camping and see if these flavors suit children. Start with dinner, and after sleeping in a tent, with breakfast. The food prepared by the campfire won't taste the same as the one prepared at home so this is a very useful step.
Have a conversation with the children
In order for children to better remember some important things about camping outside, you need to repeat them several times. While sitting by the "fire" on camping inside you can tell the children how real fire is dangerous, what to do in case of fire, and similar instructions. Tell them about what outdoor camping looks like, what they can do there, and how far the camp is. Ask your children if they have any questions and make sure you answer each one.
Group two - what to do while camping inside
Search for animals
While camping outside, children can see a variety of animals, so it might be interesting to look for them in their own house. You can use toys or draw animals and hide them around the house and tell the children to go in search. In the next round of the game, the kids may be the ones hiding the animals and you are looking for them. This way, the whole family is involved in the game.
Eat on the floor
We believe that children will be delighted with this idea because they are bored sitting quietly at the table anyway. Take a large tablecloth as well as cushions on which you can sit and arrange the food on the tablecloth. Make a variety of foods and serve them on plastic plates. The great thing about eating on the floor is that you don’t have to worry about mess, you just remove the tablecloth and everything is clean! Instead of pillows, you can also sit on folding chairs, they are very common while camping outdoors so they could give you an even better atmosphere.
Make a campfire
If you have a fireplace in the house or a stove, then you have a slight advantage over those who don’t, but we also have a solution for that! You don’t necessarily need a real fire, you can use candles. Be careful- never leave children alone near the fire. Fence the "fire" well. If you are afraid to keep candles lit near children, you can use flashlights. Take the pillows and make a circle out of them, then add a lamp in the middle and cover everything with a blanket. Turn off all the other lights in the house so that the only thing that creates the light is your improvised fire. Sit with kids near the "fire", sing, talk, and socialize. If you are able, turn on the sound of a crackling fire in the background.
Turn off the technology
Nowadays, children at the earliest age are already exposed to mobile phones, tablets, television, and other technology. There is no such thing while camping! Turn off all devices and instead of watching cartoons, you can read a book to children, they can play board games, sing, dance, whatever you want. Adults can also enjoy the silence, we believe that a little rest will come in handy. Instead of the sound of the camera, open the windows, cover yourself well with blankets and listen to nature.
Outdoor camping involves a lot of movement. Of course, you are limited in your home in this regard, you cannot walk around the camp with the children but you can all do the training together! This is a great way for children to lose the excess energy they have and to sleep better and more peacefully.
Make a tent
The tent is a must-have on camping. You don't have to use a real tent for camping inside, children can make it themselves so that everyone has their own. For example, place chairs from the kitchen and spread them out, children can cover them with their favorite blanket (preferably as dark as possible for a better impression). Add some comfortable pillows to the floor and the tent is ready.
Have a movie night
After the kids are comfortably seated in the tent, turn off the lights and turn on their favorite movie. The best choice would be some comedy whose plot takes place on a camping trip, such as The Parent Trap. Of course, the choice is yours.
You know your kids best and we believe you know how to entertain them quickly. Although indoor camping is in itself a kind of game, you should include a few more activities like card games, puzzles, twisters, bingo, and more.
Camping is definitely one of the most fun activities the whole family can participate in. If bad weather has ruined your outdoor camping plans, there is always camping inside as a solution. It’s a great way to prepare children for real camping as well as to entertain them while you are at home. The choice of activities is quite large. Put up a tent, some fine food, an artificial fire and let the fun begin!