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Let's Pretend - Camping!

Published July 16, 2010        by Rae Ann

If you're not all that fond of "The Great Outdoors", how about set up a camping experience indoors!  Turn off the TV, set up the "tent" and get ready to make memories.

You can use a real tent for your sleeping quarters, or create one of your own!  A couple chairs and some large sheets or blankets are all you need to create the illusion of a tent.  Grab a couple flashlights and books, tell some ghost stories, make shadow puppets and enjoy some one-on-one time with the kids.

What about the campfire, you ask?  Below is a fun craft that is perfect for pretend play!  Some toilet paper rolls, cotton balls and tissue paper make for a realistic mini campfire you can sit around to make your camp out even more fun!

Supplies:campfire craft Lets Pretend   Camping!

  • 6 cardboard tubes
  • brown acrylic or poster paint
  • large paintbrush
  • red, yellow and orange tissue paper
  • 2 twigs
  • cotton balls
  • white craft glue
  • hot glue gun


1. Paint all cardboard tubes with brown paint and let dry. repeat for a second coat if needed.

2. Cut tissue paper into three squares for each color. The yellow squares should be a little larger than the orange and the orange should be a little larger than the red.

3. Glue cotton balls to the ends of twigs for marshmallows.

4. Arrange cardboard tubes into a pile, you will need three of the tubes to be pointing upward with some room in the center of the pile where the tissue paper will be.

5. Use a hot glue gun to quickly tack them together, but reinforce with white glue as it holds together better.

6. Place a square of red tissue paper into the palm of your hand, lay a piece of orange on top of that and a piece of yellow on top of the orange square. Stick your pointing finger into the center of the yellow square and close your palm around your finger. Hold tissue paper in place and remove your finger.

7. Put some glue on the end of the gathered tissue that is in your palm and insert it into one of the open cardboard tubes that are sticking up at the top of the campfire pile. Repeat this process for all the other two sets of tissue paper and glue into the remaining two tube that are pointing upward.

8. For added stability, and to make this easier for your child to carry, glue the entire project to a piece of sturdy cardboard to create a base. You can even create some pretend rocks to go around the campfire!

And if you are doing a "pretend" camping trip as part of a kids party, why not give each kid their own little miniature camping lantern keychain as party favors?  They'll love them!

Special thanks to Amanda Formaro for this fun craft and photo idea via!