Indoor Camping Day- when it's too hot or too rainy to camp outside!
I loved camping as a kid when we would go up into the mountains and the days would be warm, but the nights would be cool and we’d get a fire rolling and the s’mores roasting…..love it! But now as an adult, I don’t live anywhere near the mountains and it is nothing but HOT around the clock in Texas during the summer. I have no desire to drag my 7 kids into a sweltering tent were we just lay awake all night in the heat, smelling each other, with the kids moaning on top of their sweaty sheets. Plus, the bugs in Texas- chiggers, ticks, all the nasty things- are nothing I want to bring home with us. This is also a really fun activity for a rainy day and you’re looking for something to do inside.
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So I have a much more enjoyable way of camping with my kids- cheating really. I call it: indoor camping. It’s not nearly as exciting, but we still have a great time.
We start out early in the morning, before the heat cranks up in the 100’s, and go for a nice long nature walk/bike ride. We play with the critters we find- usually toads, turtles or June bugs, enjoy some fresh air, and even do a nature scavenger hunt, if we feel like it (For some fun nature journaling and scavenger hunt ideas, check out our friend: Lily & Thistle. To listen to our podcast with her about Nature Journaling, click here- So fun!).
Next it’s time to get out the old tent- or tents if you want to set up more than one. (My husband bought this awesome tent we send with our boys on camp outs, it’s called the 30 second tent. It literally takes 30 seconds to put up, and my 12 year old can do it with out any help. It’s amazing!) We moved the couches (and found a million toys and old popcorn under there), did a quick clean up and vacuum job and proceeded to set up the tent.
The kids grabbed a bunch of card games and hopped in the tent for some fun with their friends. Now my teenagers were feeling a bit too cool for the tent, so I grabbed them for some s’more making in the kitchen.
We decided to do it as a s’more bar. We had all different kinds of chocolate candy they could use instead of just your typical Hershey’s milk chocolate bar (which are still fantastic in my opinion). We had Mr. Goodbars, Reeses peanut butter cups, Hershey’s chocolate bars, 3 Musketeers and Hershey’s Cookies & Creme bars. We also had regular Honey Maid Graham Crackers, and then Chocolate Honey Maid Graham crackers as an option. And of course we couldn’t do it with out some large Kraft Jet Puffed Marshmallows. (I’m a bit of a marshmallow snob- so I don’t go generic on those). For more about the s’mores, check out our post about the S’mOREOs we made. (And these are some other tasty s’more snacks made out of golden grahams cereal and chocolate chips.)
Overall it was a fun day with our friends. The kids could sleep in the tent if they wanted, but everyone decided they’d had enough and went to bed in their own rooms, which made me happy because I could have my living room back. Now I can check off camping for the summer, right??