Camping, Wildlife Education and Stuffed Toy Fun

‘Mummy, when are we going camping again?’

‘When it warms up honey. It’s too cold.’

‘But Muuum, I  really want to go camping again!’

Insert pause and a flashback to a post I saw at Learning 4 Kids.

‘Okay, how about we go camping inside instead?!’

And so started a camping at home activity, and you wouldn’t believe the wildlife we saw!

Create a wildlife experience at home

Before I continue, let me mention that I had no idea how many stuffed toy animals we’d accumulated in our house. We always get them as gifts and I chuck them in a pile underneath a large overhanging leaf in the playroom as an area to encourage reading. Our large number of stuffed toys were used in a whole different way last night.

We decided it was customary to go for a bush walk whilst camping, so while Miss Possum put on her shoes, I went and hid all the animals you’d find in the daytime, out in the backyard. Now you can imagine how many stuffed toys we have if we can split them up into diurnal (active at day time) and nocturnal(active at night time) species.

Think of the figurines, images and hand puppets around your house. You maybe surprised at how many you have too.

On our bush walk we spotted:


After we set up the tent and had our dinner it was time for spotlighting. I hid all our nocturnal animal toys around the backyard this time. We’ve been spotlighting in the real wild before, so Miss Possum was quite excited about this, especially since she loved the daylight animal hunt.

On our spotlight we saw:

You can always search for real, live wildlife around the house at night too.

We finished our camping trip by making a fire, singing camping songs and then toasting marshmallows on the gas stove. Let me tell you that the marshmallows were just delicious as toasting them on a real camp fire!

Imagine being able to safely spot jaguars, elephants and tigers on a camping trip.  We may have only been spotting stuffed animals but I think this was a fantastic alternative to the real thing!


Other activities you can do with stuffed wildlife toys

  • Ask your child to group the toys into diurnal and nocturnal species

  • Talk about the animals you saw and the features on their body that help them during the daytime or the night time
  • Does your child already know the words nocturnal and diurnal? Why not introduce the word crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk)?
  • Ask your child to group the toys into arboreal (tree loving) animals and terrestrial (ground loving) animals
  • Let your child take photos whilst on the bush walk and spotlight and create a camping at home poster

How many stuffed animals do your children have?

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    • pawhitehouse says

      Finally, a way we can use stuffed animals! They usually just sit there cloggin up sapce. Thanks for visiting Zanni!

  1. jode@mummymusingsandmayhem says

    Oh i love, love this post!!! So much fun and you incorporated so many activities that i wouldn’t have even thought of! I am going to try a few of these ideas out for my twins…and i bet the teen who loves camping will enjoy joining in too! So clever how you include wildlife into the simplest of activities!!! Your little model is just gorgeous btw! Pinning now!

    • pawhitehouse says

      Thank you so much for your positive feedback Jode. I love reading comments like yours because it really does inspire me to keep thinking of these easy, at home wildlife activities.

      Yes, thank goodness Miss Possum loved getting her photo taken!

  2. Grace Lester says

    Camping at home! I had never had the slightest thought about something like that. It sounds pretty awesome though. I am even thinking of giving it a try with my two little boys. Nice photos!

  3. kirri says

    This is such a brilliant post! The idea behind it, the photos and the charming skills of Miss Possum!
    You are such a fun mum Pen!!

    We wouldn’t be able to do this anymore at our house as I just had a major sort out of all the stuffed animals…when there is no room on the bed anymore because of all the ‘buddies’, it’s time for farming out those animals.

    • pawhitehouse says

      Thanks beautiful. You will collect more. It always happens. Just before you cull them next time, try this activity. I think the girls will looove it!

  4. Grace says

    Oh, I can’t wait until we can go camping!!
    In the meantime, I love the idea of camping at home and bringing out our little army of soft toys.
    I agree with Kirri – you’re such a fun mum, Pen! :) x

  5. Angelique Felix says

    What a great post!! I am looking forward to your contiburion for the WorldAnimalDay – event!!

    Thank you for leaving your link up at the bloghop,

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