As a teenager, Summer, for me, meant Camping with friends. We’d pitch a tent up in a nearby field next to a river, buy a crate of beer and spend the night laughing and drinking until we fell asleep in the early hours. Such fond memories of the good old days.
I haven’t been camping in years though. I can’t wait until Cici is a little older, and less busy, so that we can go off together and enjoy the great outdoors. But there’s nothing stopping us from enjoying the experience now, at home. Not even the weather. We haven’t had the best of weather lately. For the first time in years, my little village experienced horrendous floods. Fortunately, I live at the top of a big hill, so my home wasn’t affected, but being stuck indoors made Cici and I restless. So I got my thinking cap on… And came up with the idea of recreating our own indoor camping experience. Read on to see how we got on!
First of all, we needed a den. You can make your own using blankets or sheets draped over the dining table for a cheap option. Or if you already have a tent, you could have a go at pitching it up in your living room. Cici and I? We opted for a Wigwam (from Big Game Hunters)! It didn’t take us long to put up, just a matter of slotting together the 6 poles and sliding them through the canvas. The great thing about our wigwam is that it can be used indoors or outdoors. The cotton canvas has a wipeable finish and it feels thick and strong, so not easily ripped or damaged. We’re so looking forward to next summer now to put it to the garden test!
So now we had a structure, we needed to make it cosy. We added a soft blanket and lots of comfy cushions. We also wanted to decorate the outside so we added some pretty fairy lights and some bunting ready for when darkness set in. You could even invite your favourite teddies along!
Our tent was now a home. What else is absolutely necessary for that ultimate camping experience? That’s right… A camp fire! Now I do not recommend building a real fire in the middle of your lounge, that would be crazy!… But you can fake it! There are lots of amazing ‘pretend’ camp fire tutorials on the net, made from empty toilet roll tubes and orange & red paper, but I had no empty tubes to hand. We needed to improvise. We put our thinking hats on & went on a little scavenger hunt around the house to find something orange or red that could help us create a camp fire.
We found it in Cici’s fancy dress box… Last years Halloween devil costume! We are geniuses! We pulled out a mixing bowl from the kitchen cupboard and covered the base of it with the top part of the dress. The red skirt of the dress had orange & yellow material dangling off of it; the red made up the bulk of our fire, and the orange and yellow material made perfect flames. We added a battery operated tea light to give it a fiery glow, but for better results, I’d recommend using more than one tealight, and opting for one that has an orange glow. Much more effective than our white ‘flame’!
No camp fire is complete without… Toasted marshmallows! We simply slotted a marshmallow onto the end of a skewer and toasted over our ‘camp fire’. Mmmmm, delicious!
Once we’d demolished the marshmallows, Cici delved into her backpack to see what camping snacks we had brought with us. We had crisps, biscuits, sweeties… But there’s no limits! Think about your favourite camp snacks & pack those. Hot chocolate is another favourite camp must. We don’t own any tin mugs so again we improvised and used our handled glass jars. It warmed us up & made us sleepy…
Just in time for a story before bed! Our favourite books right now are ‘Oddbods’ by Steven Butler and ‘Pom Pom Is Super!’ by Sophy Henn, but we also read ‘Maisy Goes Camping’ because… well, you can guess why! If it’s too dark to read storybooks, why not use a torch? You could even gather around your ‘campfire’ and make up your own stories. I love a good ghost story!
Cici and I had such a fab time indoor camping! Who knew you could learn so much?! It’s helped Cici develop her role play skills and her imagination, and it also enabled her to practise ‘sharing’.
We can’t wait for our next ‘camping’ trip! Have you got any recommendations or tips on how we can make our next one bigger & better? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: The Wigwam by Big Game Hunters is a PR sample sent to me to test out, however the opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own!