How to Bring the Outdoors In: Family Indoor Camping!

Indoor camping how-to

A huge part of the thrill of camping is, of course, enjoying the outdoors. So while we’ve been writing up indoor camping as a just-as-fun alternative for the kids this fall and winter, what about the wonders of nature? We’ve covered the basics, like creating a homemade indoor tent and even building a faux campfire. Now, comes the challenge of simulating a campsite ambience right in your living room or children’s play area.

Need some suggestions for how to bring the outdoors in? We found these really clever ways to give your happy little campers a feel of an "actual" campsite—perfect for enjoying camping games and activities, then snuggling up for a night in a tent "under the stars"! (*this post contains affiliate links)

Get Creative for a Campsite Ambiance Indoors

Imagine the sights and sounds of outdoor camping in a woodland setting. Then, recreate them with crafty projects and cool products like these. (Note: The source links for each are at the end of this post.) Feel free to add more of your own!

Simulating the Outdoors for Indoor Camping

First, the "forest feels." Assemble a faux indoor tree (1) out of cardboard and tissue paper, mounted on a wall. Lay out artificial grass (2) to mark off the camp area and make it kid-safe for camping fun. Bring in cut or fallen branches from your garden or a nearby wooded area—or craft DIY fake logs (3) out of pool noodles, kraft paper, tissue paper and paint (yes, there is a tutorial!).

In keeping with the season, string up a fall maple leaf garland (4) or two. Then, for an authentic touch, display DIY camping signs (5) around the campsite.

For outdoor forest sounds, play a CD of a running stream (6) or download an app of the sound of wind through the trees, birds singing, or crickets chirping.

And for overnight camping, how lovely would it be to have a starry night sky (7) projected on the ceiling—or download an app like Google Sky or Night Sky for Apple. Then, have cuddly plush forest animals (8) and an artificial campfire “burning” (9) to keep the kiddie campers company all through the night.

Okay, with the campsite all ready, let the indoor camping adventure begin!

1 – Wall tree (Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds)
2 – Artificial grass (Macy’s)
3 – Fake birch logs (Sand Between My Piggies)
4 – Fall maple leaf garland (Amazon)
5 – Camping signs (Simple Seasonal)
6 – "Wilderness Stream" CD (Amazon)
7 – Sky Lite Projector (Amazon)
8 – Plush treehouse with animals (Amazon)
9 – Fake campfire (Amazon)

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