There is bad weather and you can’t be outside with your toddler. You might want to do some activities indoors, like indoor camping. This is a great activity for toddlers because you can have fun, play a lot, and spend time without screens. As an added bonus, this can be the way to prepare them for real camping trips outside. Here are some age-appropriate indoor camping activities for the toddler and yourself. Also, check out these other age-appropriate, indoor camping ideas for preschoolers and indoor camping ideas for adults.
1. Make a tent
You can use the big tent for adults, or maybe even a small tent for children. The toddler will be so amazed by the tent that they will want to be there for hours.
Or you can even make your own DIY version for toddlers. Take an umbrella and drape a cloth over it to make a small tent. Throw in some blankets and pillows inside a tent. Put some toddler’s stuffed toys inside of it, so that the toddler can camp with its “friends”.
2. Make a campfire
Of course, don’t make a real campfire, but a fake one from paper. Cut red and yellow paper to make one. Then you can pretend to be baking marshmallows over it. You can read this guide about making arts-and-crafts campfires from toilet paper, glue and regular paper.
3. Do some other camping-related arts and crafts
- Make binoculars from toilet paper tubes and colored paper.
- Make s’mores to grill over fire from cotton and skewer sticks.
- Make a fake lantern from paper.
- Make a nature bracelet. Make a bracelet from a piece of cardboard. Make cardboard leaves or animals colored with crayons. Glue them to the bracelet.
4 . Make camping foods
You can eat real camping foods like hot dogs or s’mores. You can also make your own camping foods using Play-Doh and Kinetic Sand
5. Learn about wildlife
Show photos of animals in the encyclopedia to learn about wildlife. Make up stories about them.
6. Tell a story
Make up some story about camping or animals living in the woods. Or get a children’s book about camping or nature, with lots of pictures, and then read it together.
7. Play the scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts can be done both inside and outside. This is also a great way for a toddler to learn. For the first timers, make a simple scavenger hunt and don’t use a too large area to hide things. Here are some examples of scavenger hunts:
- Alphabet scavenger hunt: Draw a list of letters to find. Hide magnetic or post-its letters.
- Number scavenger hunt: Draw a list of numbers. Hide magnetic or post-its numbers.
- Clothes hunt: Draw or tell them a list of clothes they wear in color, e.g. green socks, blue pants etc. Hide the clothes.
- Favorite-objects scavenger hunt: Draw a list of their favorite toys of objects, and make them find it.
- Outdoors scavenger hunt: Make or draw a list of objects outside that they can easily find outside, e.g. yellow flower, brown leaf, green cup etc.
8. Play with a glow in the dark sticks
Use glow sticks to have a glow in the dark party.
9. Play the sounds of nature
Play sounds of nature on Youtube to simulate camping experience. This can be rainfall sounds, cricket sounds, jungle-animals sounds, forest-animals sounds etc.
10. Use flashlights
Toddlers love flashlights. Read them a story under flashlight light. Hide under the blankets with only a flashlight. Use flashlights to make shadow animals on the wall – point the flashlight towards the wall and then use stuffed animals to make a story.
11. Make cookies
Every toddler likes making cookies. Your toddler can shape the cookie dough into many different shapes – leaves, flowers, stars, trees. You can bake them. Here are some cookie recipes.