Cozy up to the Campfire

There’s just something cozy and comforting about camping in the fall time- the pretty changing leaves making a roof over your head, the chill in the air warded off by the warm campfire, hot gooey s’mores melting all over your fingers. Some people think of camping as a summer activity, but my favorite time to camp is definitely in the fall, so this week I busted out all of the camping activities with my boys! Grab your favorite flannel shirt and some s’more fixin’s and join us for some indoor camping fun!

Fort building/Tent outdoor play: So I originally planned on this being an indoor fort building activity because most people have the materials to do that (blankets, chairs, a table) but then we got an AMAZINGLY cool fall day (76 was the high…like I said, we live in the south! LOL) so I decided to drag our play tee pee outside and let the boys pretend to camp in the actual great outdoors! We set up a pretend campfire with some kitchen utensils and the boys gathered sticks, played in the tee pee, ran around the yard, dug in the dirt, collected rocks and made “soup” out of whatever they could find and hose water. It was a blast!

Nature walk/scavenger hunt: We kind of built this into our camping play as the boys gathered and explored plant life and observed animal life in the yard (we found a spider, an ant, and a centipede!) I didn’t have a specific list of things to find, I just let the kids explore, but you could definitely go to a nearby park and have a list of things to find too- like a flower, a rock, a puddle, a pretty leaf, a squirrel etc. and bring a clipboard to check them off as you go! Most of the things they found ended up in their camping soup… LoL

Pounce brush forest with animal stickers: Have your little create a forest that’s perfect for camping in! First, paint some tree trunks for them. Then, show them how to make “leaves” for the trees by bouncing your brush up and down on the page using different shades of green paint. (I had my little paint upside down so that he could reach the tree tops with his brush more easily). Once it’s dry, have them add animal stickers to their “forest”.

DIY animal track stamps: I made these giant animal track stamps by cutting out pieces of kitchen sponge and hot gluing them to pieces of cardstock! Then I dipped them in paint and let my littles stamp their hearts out on a piece of giant paper from our easel paper roll! I got this idea from Fun A Day!

Hand and footprint campfire: My little LOVES having his feet and hands painted! Use your little’s feet with brown paint to make logs, and his or her hands with red, orange and yellow paint to make a fire (use several prints in each color). You can also add polka dots with their fingertip for stars (my little didn’t want to!) I got this idea from Fun A Day!

Marshmallow counting: I gave my little 10 marshmallows and showed him how to count them, then let him try! He’s not even 2, but he’s doing great (he just always skips 4 and 7! hahaha) If your little isn’t counting yet, counting for them is just fine- repetition is how they learn! I always end it with a “YAY!” and a hand clap to make it more fun!

Going on a Bear Hunt: This is a classic kids’ song that my boys just love. Here’s a link to the version we like on YouTube by the Kiboomers! (Alexa will play it too if you ask her!) We do hand motions with the song too (as noted below and in this video which my toddler found hilarious).

  • We’re going on a bear hunt (pat legs in a 1, 2 beat to the music)
  • I’ve got my binoculars (make binoculars with your hands)
  • I’m not scared (shake your head no)
  • Oh look, there’s ___________ (point)
  • Can’t go over it (move hands in an “up and over” motion)
  • Can’t go under it (move hands in a “down and under” motion)
  • We’ll have to go through it (hands in an “I don’t know” motion)
  • For each item you “go through” just pretend you’re going through it with your body if that makes sense!

Supply/shopping list:

  • Wild animal stickers
  • Play tee pee OR blankets/sheets
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate
  • Graham crackers
  • sponges
  • paper roll

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