In an ideal world, we would be camping all the time. However, reality is unfortunately different, and there are times when we can’t make camping happen. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! While we are all about clocking some serious TV time and binge watching the hot new Netflix show, we also want you to spend some time doing activities that will have you feeling like you’re outdoors.
Think of all your favorite activities that you love doing when you’re camping. Some of them are going to be hard to recreate indoors, but we are here with some good news for you. There are some fabulous outdoor activities that you can bring indoors so that you can enjoy some of the best parts of camping from the comfort of your own home.
Read on to find out what at-home activities you can do to bring the outdoors indoors.
Turn These Outdoor Activities Into Indoor Ones
Nature makes a pretty great place for a scavenger hunt, but your home can be a close second. By creating a plan of action, some clues, and a treat at the end of the hunt, your kids will have a blast doing this hunt. And you’ll have a blast planning it!
To keep things under control, it’s a good idea to establish some rules before starting the scavenger hunt. These can include things such as:
- No running
- Take turns reading clues
Make your clues relevant to objects in your house that your kids will be able to guess. For example, to get your kids to the kitchen table write something like “I have four legs, but I don’t have feet. I come in handy when it’s time to eat.”
Some other great clues include:
- I can take you to places you’ve never seen. But first type your password in on my screen.
- Watching your favorites is lots of fun. But don’t watch too much! Kids need to run.
- I take your clothes for quite a spin. But first they get wet. That’s how I begin.
- Turn me on and I’ll give you light. I’m used some in the daytime but mostly at night.
- I’m hungry! I’m hungry! Please feed me a slice. I’ll spit it back out all brown and nice.
- The more I dry, the wetter I get. A little one can be used for soaking up sweat.
- I hold all the words you need to know. Use me to make your vocabulary grow.
A scavenger hunt is a fun way for your kids to use their noggins and think about things in a new way, while also getting some exercise making their way around the house.
This one sounds dangerous at first but don’t worry — we are not suggesting you light a fire in the middle of your living room. Rather, head to the stove to get your roasting on. Grab yourself some skewers that will keep your kids a far distance from the flame on the stove, and big marshmallows. You can even turn down the lights for a little added ambiance. Make sure you’ve got chocolate bars and graham crackers to complete the s’more experience.
If you’re a little leery of using the stove, hop online and buy a tabletop s’mores set. You’ll be able to finish dinner (we suggesting going camping themed here too) by gathering ’round and roasting a tasty dessert.
Another take? Make our yummy s’mores nachos in your oven. All the fun of s’mores without the campfire!
Mazes are something kids don’t get to experience much since mazes aren’t super common, but when they do get to experience one, it’s something they’ll never forget. To bring that same level of excitement, create a maze at home using some masking tape. They can use the maze by just walking through it to try and get to the middle, or you can make a smaller maze that works for them to race their play cars in.
Bowling is an activity your kids may love, but going to the bowling alley isn’t something you’re always going to want to do. Instead, create your own mini bowling alley. Find a play ball you can use as the bowling ball, and makeshift pins that your kids can knock down (empty and cleaned-out wine bottles work great!). Set up teams and keep track of strikes and such to make this feel like a real game at the bowling alley (without the dirty shoes).
This may require moving some furniture around, but jump roping is an activity kids love and that will give them some exercise, too. Jump roping can be adapted for all levels. If your kid is a young one and/or a newbie to jump roping, then let them try it on their own and motivate them to just make a hop or two over the rope. If your kid is older and/or more advanced with jump roping, then suggest a double dutch challenge if they’re up to it (and if you are, too!).
Looking at flowers and seeing them in their natural habitat is one of the great parts of camping. However, you can bring that indoors by planting some herbs and indoor plants in your home. Your kids will love that they are helping to build something that will grow and that they can check the progress on daily. When the herbs are ready to use, your kid will be so excited that s/he created something you can use when making food. This is a true moment of pride that you will never forget.
Here are some plants to try growing indoors:
- Salad green and microgreens
A day in the park with some tasty snacks is one of our favorite ways to spend an afternoon. And guess what? You can recreate your favorite picnic inside your home.
You’ll need a few things:
- Plastic/paper plates and silverware
- Food and snacks
- Nature sounds
Start by mixing up some of your favorite picnic snacks and foods in the kitchen. If your kid is old enough, this is a great way for them to get involved as well. Have him/her help you prepare the food and pack it all into a basket or bag to take to the picnic spot. Make sure you’ve got the tools you need to eat, and have your kid set that up on the blanket.
Once you’ve got your spread set up, consider finding some nature sounds via an app like Naturespace to make it feel like you’re out in the great wild enjoying your tasty treats.
Water Guns or Balloons (in the shower)
Running around in a yard playing with water guns or throwing water balloons is almost a right of passage for kids. Chances are good that you’ve never thought of allowing the same activity indoors because there is just too much around the house that could get ruined by such a game. However, you can take the running out of the equation and simply keep your kids in the bathroom and shower, close the shower curtain or door and let them have fun soaking each other.
Hide and Seek
This game is a classic outdoors, but also indoors. You can get involved in the fun, too. Find some great hiding spots and revel in hearing your kid’s laughter ring through the house while searching for you.
Volleyball (with a balloon)
A great outdoor activity can be brought indoors by making your own court with the help of masking tape, and by switching out a volleyball for a balloon. Divide up into two teams and watch your kids hit the ball back and forth and have fun doing this outdoor sport inside.
Having a great time camping doesn’t always require leaving the house. Some of our fondest camping memories happened right at home. Simply pitch a tent in the living room and set up the tent with sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets just like you would when going on a real camping trip. Bonus points if you’ve got a fireplace and light the fire. If your kids are old enough, consider telling some ghost stories, and definitely roast some marshmallows (per our suggestion above).
Perform a skit
If your kid likes to be in the spotlight, then he or she will have a great time performing a skit. This is a favorite camp activity for many, and is something that is very simple to do at home. There are many great camp skit ideas on the internet, and all it takes is doing some research to find one that fits your family’s age groups and interests. Here are some of our favorites on ultimatecampresource.com. All of these take very little work and preparation, and focus more on the fun along the way. Regardless of how many people you have at home with you, you can make these skits work.
To use when camping at home and in the outdoors, a fun craft to do is make your own lanterns. This takes minimal supplies and as little time as you want to spend on it.
Here’s what you need:
- Glow sticks
- Glass jars
- Glitter (optional)
- Dish soap (optional)
All you have to do is break the glow sticks, fill the jars with water, put the lid on and you’re ready to rock and roll. If you want to elevate your lanterns a bit, add some dish soap and/or some glitter to really make them shine. Your kids will have fun making these and using them all around the house.
Playing board games is an activity kids love while camping, but guess what? You can easily do the same at home. Stock up on some of their favorite games to enjoy playing by lantern light or flashlight while at home, and when you’re ready to go camping in the outdoors, take them with you to enjoy there as well.
Surprised at how much outdoor fun you can have while hanging indoors? We were too. Just because you’re inside doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of the favorite camping activities. Keep this list on hand for those times when you can’t make it to the campground for the weekend, and recreate your favorite times from the comfort of your own home.
Leslie, a.k.a. Copy Girl, is a copywriter who gets butterflies from telling stories through words.
Her voice comes from a place filled with passion, dreams, and lots of sugar. “Cake over steak” is her go-to motto.
With over 10 years of experience in crafting words, and years of embarking on travels that have taken this Montana girl to some incredible places, Leslie love the adventures of both body and mind her writing takes her on.
Everywhere she goes, she takes this advice with her:
“Hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown.” – Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
To see what Leslie’s up to in the writing world, visit her website here.
Kampgrounds of America, Inc is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and affiliate advertising program. Some links may be affiliate links and Kampgrounds of America, Inc may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these links.
Prices are accurate at time of publishing. Note that are subject to change at the discretion of Amazon or their marketplace sellers.