As we approach Labor Day weekend the temperature has started to cool, a majority of schools around the country are back in session and despite the first day of fall is still a few weeks away, the harsh realization that another summer has come and gone starts to set in. In the final post of our family fun month series we focus on one of the most enjoyable ways for a family to spend time at home.
While camping under the stars with the sound of crickets and fresh summer air may sound enjoyable, it may not always be the case with unpredictable weather, ankle biting mosquitoes and other unwelcome “guests.” By creating an indoor campsite, your family can still have the camping experience in a safe and pleasant environment while creating memories your child(ren) will treasure forever.
Once you select the perfect spot in your home to set up your campsite (living room, den, basement) decide whether you want to use an actual tent or makeshift lean-to out of blankets, couch cushions and chairs. Next bring in sleeping bags, flashlight (since there aren’t floor lamps in the wilderness the lights will need to be turned off), and pillows.
Create a “Campfire”
The campfire is an essential part of a camp out and ideal source of light when roughing it in the wilderness, but since you will be inside think of substitute. If it is a cool night and your campsite is in a room with a fireplace you can opt to light a fire, or since it is August, a few candles or a battery operated camping lantern are good alternatives.
This step may be hard but it is completely necessary. Put your phones, iPods, handheld video games and all other devices with an on/off away. This should be an electricity free camping experience and removing these items will allow your family to focus on bonding.
To save time you may opt to prepare your food before setting up camp and pack it in a cooler or you can take a quick trip to the kitchen, which is an obvious bonus of camping in the comfort of your home. Some items to include on your dinner menu:
- Hot Dogs/Burgers
- Pasta/Potato salad
- Baked Beans
Snack menu ideas:
- S’mores of course! You can make these in the microwave or with a gas stove/fireplace.
- Ants on a log (celery sticks covered with peanut butter and topped with raisins)
- Trail mix
- Ice cream bars
- Fresh Fruit
Serve drinks from a canteen or thermos for an extra authentic touch.
Fun Ways to Pass Time
Now is your chance to have fun with your family without the distraction of the outside world. Take this time to do things you normally don’t have time to do. Some ideas to get your night going:
- For those who are gifted musically bring out a guitar and have a sing along
- Play board or card games
- Tell ghost stories
- Make shadow puppets
- Make up a story. Have each member of your family say a word or sentence and have the next person continue the story.
Planning fun activities with your family, like indoor camping, are memories that will last forever. Memories that make up the true Value of the Home.