If your child loves the idea of camping, but really doesn’t want to battle the bugs, here are some tips for a great indoor experience.
Published: June 1, 2019
By: Pam Molnar
If your child loves the idea of camping, but really doesn’t want to battle the bugs, the elements or sleep on the hard ground, then glamping is a great alternative. It allows you to enjoy the great outdoors while you are surrounded by the comforts of home. And glampers can even set up their camp indoors for nights when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.
Here’s some great tips:
Dress up your tent with a soft floor of thick blankets and colorful pillows. Inexpensive inflatable pool floats make a nice bed, especially when covered in soft quilts. Camouflage the canvas tent walls with fabric draped from the ceiling and tied back against the wall. For a shabby-chic look, purchase old fabric or sheets from a thrift store. Dangle white holiday lights from the ceiling and around the door frame to give the room a soft glow.
Set up a low table under the stars with pillows for chairs. This will serve as your crafting and dining table. Start with decorating it for your meal with mismatched china, flatware and a beautiful tablecloth. These are great thrift store finds or you can rent them from your local party supply stores. When it’s time to move on to the crafts, switch to plastic, disposable table coverings.
- Bohemian Lantern – Paint the outside of mason jars with a 1:6 mixture of paint to water. It will give the glass a thin, muted layer of color. When dry, decorate with puff paint, glitter or rhinestones. Add a battery-operated tea light or string of lights and seal with a decorated lid.
- Shabby Chic Blankets – Use two twin-sized sheets from the thrift store. Prewash and then lay them on top of each other, matching the edge. Cut about 4” from edge of fabric in 2” wide strips all the way around. Tie together to form a two-sided blanket.
- Dream Catchers – Kits are available online on Amazon or Oriental Trading with everything you need to make a dream catcher. While kits include beads and feathers, you might want to offer other decoration options like ribbons, strips of fabric or dried flowers.
- Conversation starts – Prewrite conversation starter questions on smooth rocks and add them to a fancy jar or vase. Have the guests take turns pulling them out and reading the question out loud.
- Yardzee – Make your own lawn dice by decorating same sized square boxes. To keep up with your boho theme, you can decorate the dice in vintage wrapping paper and add the dots with solid colored paper. Make each girl a score sheet from an online printable or keep everyone’s score on poster boards nearby.
- Scavenger Hunt – Check online for an outdoor scavenger hunt list or make your own. When the sun goes down, you can also do a glowstick hunt around the yard. Assign each guest or team a color for an added challenge.
- For an easy appetizer or movie snack, make campfire nachos. Fill individual foil packets with nacho chips, cheese, tomatoes, corn, beans, meat and avocados. Seal foil and cook 4-5” from fire for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.
- For your main meal, warm up mugs of tomato soup and make grilled cheese paninis. Offer the guests cheese options and add-ons like bacon, avocado, tomatoes and spinach.
- Chocolate fondue is an alternative to birthday cake. Use strawberries, bananas, pound cake, angel food cake or marshmallows for dippers.
- For breakfast the next morning, let the kids make their own cinnamon rolls on a stick. Use kabob sticks (presoaked in water) to secure the rolls and let cook slowly (about 15 minutes) over a low heat. Drizzle with icing and serve with a fruit cup.
Screen a camping movie
Choose a great kid-friendly camp movie to end the night. If you are screening the movie outside of the Glampground, try filling an inflatable pool with blankets and pillows for a cozy viewing setup. Camp movie ideas might include: Parent Trap, Camp Rock, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 or The Great Outdoors.
An easy glamping goody bag is filled with all the fixing for s’mores – chocolate bar, small graham cookies and marshmallows. Add a simple note that says, “Life is s’more fun with friends like you.” You can also fill a dollar store cinch bag with travel-sized items like toothbrush, hand sanitizer, makeup removers and lip balm.
Pam Molnar is an avid party planner and mother of three. She loves glamping as she is more of an indoor girl.