Pretend play camping

Take advantage of the dark winter evenings and set up a fun pretend play camping adventure in your living room!

ToddlerGirl will often come up with random ideas for games she wants to play. Don’t get me wrong, I love that she has such a great imagination and is able to concoct these ideas, but I do sometimes wonder where the inspiration came from!

Today, she decided that she really wanted to play camping, complete with a campfire, ‘roasting’ (as opposed to ‘toasting’!) marshmallows and turning off all the lights to make a night sky. As I was about to prepare dinner, we made a deal that she if she let me concentrate on that, I’d help her set up her camping game afterwards.

This turned out to be a really fun and lovely post dinner activity. It was easy to set up. Her Daddy used a clear Duplo bucket to make the campfire, lining it with orange sugar paper and placing a torch in the middle to give a sort of flame effect that worked surprisingly well.

We set a few of her toys round our campfire, turned all the lights off and used her sister’s elephant toy to project stars onto the ceiling.

Luckily, we even had some marshmallows in the kitchen, so we chopped a couple up for a teeny taste (as bedtime was looming and we didn’t want a sugar filled girl!) We popped them on forks and pretended to toast them, ToddlerGirl taking it very seriously and BabyGirl on my lap studying the ‘campfire’. We even sang a few songs, although neither I nor the husband could think of any traditional campfire songs off the top off our heads so lullabies had to do!

ToddlerGirl got up to do a special ‘camping dance’ (there’s always a dance involved in her games!) before deciding that of course you can’t go camping without a tent, so we flung a quick den together using a chair, the sofa and a throw. She piled her toys in, while the husband and I leaned back and looked at the stars on the ceiling. There is something very relaxing about turning all the lights off and, sleep deprived as we are, we had to be careful not to nod off!

This was such a lovely and calm family activity, perfect for that after dinner, before bedtime portion of the day. I don’t know what made ToddlerGirl think of camping but it was an inspired choice for a dark winter evening!


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