Set aside the gadgets for a home camping 'trip'
By Boniface Mwalii
Most schools across Kenya have been closed for more than five months since March this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For many parents, having kids at home for such a prolonged periods can be nerve wracking to say the least. Between adjusting to shifting work schedules, playing teacher and trying to keep Covid at bay, it can be a lot to deal with.
However, kids always get cranky after being confined in the house for too long. While smartphones, computers and TVs are often the go-to distractions, parents are generally encouraged to find alternate child-friendly activities. Such activities allow for their continued physical and mental development while creating bonding opportunities between parents and children.
With a bit of planning, camping at home can be an educational and entertaining family activity. It is also a fun and hassle freeway to create lasting memories and pique the children interest in the outdoors while in the familiar comfort of home.
Like any outdoor activity, preparation is key. Pick a convenient date for your home camping ‘trip’ with the family. Put an actual ‘X’on the calendar and get everyone to clear their schedules for the day. The further out you set it, the more room you create to build anticipation.
Camping is essentially about making a temporary outdoor home in a tent, so start there. Sure, setting up an outdoor tent in the middle of the living room or the family parking lot might seem odd but consider it a dry run for the actual outdoor camping experience – whenever that will be.
You will need some basic gear; a tent, sleeping bags, a torch, board games and of course food. The convenience of being at home also means you can enjoy the benefits of a stocked fridge and your own bathroom which can be especially convenient when you have little kids.
As any avid camper will attest, the evening campfire is often the climax of any camping experience. This should be no exception.Whether you like to stargaze, tell stories or sing, you can custom make different activities for the whole family to participate in without connecting to the Wi-Fi.
Without adequate planning, camping at home can easily turn into another boring task. Take time to tune out the details taking each family member’s preferences into consideration. Of course there will be unforeseen problems but if you work around them you will pick up valuable lessons for your next camping trip.