Indoor Camping at Home: Creative Ideas


For my daughter’s second Christmas, Santa gifted her with a Frozen-themed camping set. It was complete with a small tent, sleeping bag, and matching flashlight. She immediately loved it, despite not yet grasping the concept of sleeping outdoors. Indoor camping at home is a great way to break your child into the concept of tent camping, encourage creative play, and get in some quality family time.

Indoor camping can be done with little preplanning!

Right now, a number of campgrounds have their capacity set at lower than average numbers, which requires advanced planning to snag a campsite. When at home, setting up camp can be a spontaneous affair and one that the kids can help with! My daughter is now 5 and is very involved in the planning and execution of such projects.

An actual tent is not needed. We have used both our little Frozen tent and a queen-sized sheet draped over 3 chairs to set up camp. The larger set up is ideal for a family campout. We hold the sheet in place by clamping it to the chair backs, but taping or using a weighted object on top of the chair seat also works to keep the sheet in place! Tent set up with indoor camping at home is a quick process.

sleeping bag and indoor camping accessories

Once we set up our tent, we fill it up with our “essentials.” We use our sleeping bags and pillows. My daughter brings in our mini step stools to use as logs to sit on for storytelling. We load up on books and puzzles to keep us entertained. The highlight for my daughter is prepping the snacks. An avid s’mores eater, she stocks us up with a supply tray to build our treats. We have an indoor s’mores maker that we use, which doubles as our “campfire.” S’mores can also be created by warming the marshmallows in the microwave first and roasting them over a handcrafted campfire such as one of the ideas here.

indoor sheet tent with sleeping bags and indoor s'mores kit

Indoor camping gives us time to connect as a family.

With fewer outside distractions, we spend our evening bonding over typical camp activities. In our tent, we tell spooky stories by our “campfire,” eat loads of snacks, complete puzzles, and read books by lantern light. We spend a lot more time talking together as a group without glancing at the television or other screens than we might otherwise do on a typical evening at home.

Indoor camping at home is a wonderful way to experience the fun of a campout without the full orchestration of a camping trip. It is also a great alternative to backyard camping if that is not a feasible option. There are so many different ideas out there on how to make an indoor tent for the occasion. Activity options are plentiful for the experience as well. The memories you’ll keep are priceless.

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