If your child loves the idea of a summer camp, but hasn’t made the leap to sign up yet, glamping is a way to get them ready early. It allows them to enjoy the comforts of camp while at home. Break out the tents and sleeping bags to provide kids a test ride of this unique, glamorous adventure — which can be done indoors this winter, or in the backyard when the weather warms up.
Set up Your Camp
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. 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 with a disposable tablecloth to serve as your crafting area.
Here are some craft ideas:
- 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 edges. Cut slits in each edge, creating 2-inch wide strips all the way around the blanket. Tie aligned strips from each sheet together to form a two-sided blanket.
- Dream Catchers — Kits are available online (try 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.
- Scavenger Hunt — Check online for an indoor (or outdoor) scavenger hunt list or make your own clues.
Create a summer camp-filled menu for the kids.
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 inches from a fire for 10 minutes or until cheese melts (if it’s too cold for an outdoor fire, try using a fireplace or oven broiler).
For your main meal, warm up mugs of tomato soup and make grilled cheese paninis. Offer cheese options and add-ons like bacon, avocado, tomatoes and spinach.
Make chocolate fondue, using 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.
Choose a great kid-friendly camp movie to end the night. Ideas might include “Parent Trap,” “Camp Rock” or “Space Camp” for the older kids, or viewing episodes of “Bunk’d,” a Disney Channel original show that’s currently streaming on Netflix.
An easy glamping goody bag is filled with all the fixings for s’mores: chocolate bar, Teddy Grahams and marshmallows. Add a simple note that says, “Life is s’more fun with friends like you.” You also can fill a dollar store cinch bag with travel-sized items like a 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.