Do you remember as a kid when you used to build a blanket fort in the living room, move the chairs around, and pull the cushions off the couch? Or did your parents pitch a tent in the backyard and let you sleep in it as a kid? I know my parents let me do both things, and they were the highlights of my weekends and summer. It’s crazy how it seems we easily forget about these fun simple activities due to our busy lives. However, I am here to help you remember and give you some tips and tricks to helping your children also have memories of camping outside or inside in their fort.
Indoors or Out?
First, it is important to decide if you will take the kids outside or in the living room. Also, maybe it is not a night outside, but an afternoon. If you need a small tent, this one is perfect. If you choose to go outside, it is helpful to have a tent. I suggest that mom and dad build this tent with some help from your kids, but after it is up, let the kids take control. Ask them to make a packing list. What are the important things they MUST have in order to spend a night sleeping in a tent? Are there any snacks that might need to be made? S’mores were always my favorite, but if that is not an option, check out this recipe for a campfire trail mix with marshmallows. It is the perfect way to bring the s’more taste to the camp out without the fire.
Engineering Your Tent
Once it is decided where the camping will take place, it is time to get to work. If you are building a “tent” inside, allow your children to move the furniture and provide them with some blankets, bed sheets, and clothespins. This is where you will see them really start being creative! This is also a great time to help them when they ask for it. Parents can help teach their children while they build their fort by asking them questions about the design and providing questions that they must work to problem solve. For example, you can ask: do you need to stand up in the tent? How many people do you want to fit in your tent? How many ways in or out do you want to have? These questions get them thinking, and they may have to switch up their design in order to make something work.
Preparation for the Night
Finally, once the tent is created, it is time to play in it and maybe even spend the night in the tent. So, it is important that the children learn to pack for the “trip”. My mom would always give us a small suitcase or bag and ask us to layout out everything we needed for the night on our bed, and then we would pack the bag together. She also would remind me it would all need to fit in the bag. Once I had everything laid out, she would help me go through the items I wanted to pack to make sure I had everything and didn’t have things we didn’t need. This is a great way again to get your children involved, but it also helps to teach and show them what is a necessity and what is something extra. Don’t count a pillow, sleeping bag, or blanket but explain that those are needed as well.
Now, you are ready for your camping adventure, no matter the location. The goal is to just have fun! If you did this as a kid or have going “camping” with your kids at home, please share it with us. We would love to see your fun adventure.
Get your hands on a Let’s Go Camping Tent Set!