I have literally been saving this activity for a rainy day (okay, a snowy one, but basically I was waiting for any form of precipitation). I had a never-used camping play set in the closet that included a pop-up tent, fake campfire with plastic s’mores, a lantern, and binoculars. This make-believe camping is the perfect thing to occupy the kids when you have a day too blustery to get outside and camp for real!
I pulled out the set, and from here the idea really was just to let the kids engage in imaginative play. Of course they wanted to climb into the tent right away.
I wonder what nature treasures Veronika can see through the binoculars!
The campfire was a big hit, as was the pretend food. Veronika loved slicing at the various sausages and veggies and the kids “roasted” their marshmallows.
For a little arts & crafts, I printed out camping templates to color in. These featured signs of hikers, a tent label for our “campsite”, and a fire danger warning sign (you can even do a quick review of Smokey Bear while the kids color this one!).
As a side note, there’s no need purchase a camping set for your kids to enjoy this activity; it just happened to be something in the closet. But any tent (or blankets over chairs!) can be your campsite. For a campfire, use paper towel tubes as the logs and red or orange tissue paper as the flames (tea lights add to the authenticity!).
Real sticks with cotton balls on the end can be used for s’mores, and two toilet paper tubes taped together become binoculars in an instant.
Needless to say, this was a great way to imagine we were in the warm camping days of summer while a blizzard raged outside!