Their sad, pitiful faces tugged at my heart. Lined up like stair steps, my three little boys gazed out the window as the winter storm added a fresh layer of snow to the accumulation already on the ground.
My 4-year-old looked at me with pleading eyes. "Mama, can we play in the snow? We're bored."
"I wish you could, but the temperature is so low, it's dangerous to be outside."
I knew how they felt. After days spent inside the house, all of us had cabin fever.
Then I had an idea.
"Hey, guys, why don't we go camping when Daddy gets home from work?"
They gave me one of those "Mama's really lost her mind this time" looks, and my oldest son said, "Mom, did you forget it's snowing outside?"
"That's OK. We'll camp inside!"
The sad morning turned into a fun afternoon as we prepared for our big adventure.
Maybe your children will enjoy an indoor camping trip, too. Here's how to get everyone in the family involved:
- Make decorations for your "campground" by coloring pictures of rabbits, squirrels and other forest friends to hang on the walls.
- Place houseplants and silk trees around the room.
- Put a quilt or tablecloth on the floor for your picnic area.
- Build a fire in the fireplace, and roast hot dogs and marshmallows. If you don't have a wood-burning fireplace, serve other traditional picnic fare such as hamburgers or fried chicken.
- Tell stories and sing songs around the "campfire."
- Spread out sleeping bags and pillows. Turn off the lights, and use candles or battery-operated lanterns.
- Pray together. Then go to sleep counting your blessings.
Our indoor camping trip was a wonderful opportunity for our family to spend time together, be creative and make precious memories.
Oh, and guess what! We didn't get a single mosquito bite.
This article first appeared in the Discovery Years edition of the January 2006 issue of the Focus on Your Child newsletters. Copyright © 2006 Focus on the Family. ThrivingFamily.com.
Did you enjoy this article? Read more like it.
Subscribe to Thriving Family magazine!