Mum takes daughter camping in living room after birthday plans are cancelled

Mum Lisa Mackinnon had planned for an excellent countryside camping trip for daughter KayliMia’s sixth birthday, but the coronavirus lockdown halted the great adventures.

So the 29-year-old decided if they couldn’t go to the countryside, they would be bringing the country to them.

The mum, from Johnstone, Scotland, transformed her living room into a campsite, complete with logs covered in real moss, tents and a hot tub paddling pool for the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Lisa spent the weekend camping indoors with KayliMia, partner James Kyle, 37, and two stepchildren.

And it took the creative mum 17 hours to put the whole indoor forest together – without the children finding out.

Lisa explained: ‘In the weeks before I started taking her to the forest on our daily walks and we’d try and collect all the sticks and moss and take it home.

‘She had no idea that she was doing this for her birthday and it was a massive surprise for her.

‘When she first saw it on Friday morning, she was screaming “this is amazing” and in total shock.’

Lisa added: ‘And when my stepson and daughter arrived in the afternoon, they were speechless.

‘It was like their eyes were going to pop out of their heads.’

The children even asked if the living room could always be a forest.

The indoor camping party lasted the entire weekend, with the children sleeping in the tents, under a green bulb light, to give the room a wooded feel.

Lisa made or recycled all the decorations in the room, only buying the three tents for £60 in total from Argos.

The flowers she decorated the walls with were created by chopping off the bottom of plastic drinks bottles and cutting a flower shape out of them, before painting them with nail gloss.

And the realistic-looking glow in the dark fireflies were made with fairy lights, chocolate coins and string.

The logs, which the family used as seats throughout the weekend, were made by painting plastic containers with brown paint.

Other items such as the paddling pool and decorative foliage Lisa already had and were re-purposed for the camping party.

She said: ‘I covered the logs in dried moss that we collected when we went out collecting the sticks.

‘Some bugs came off the stuff we had collected from the forest and the kids liked that – it made it all the more realistic.’

The family played camping games during the days and ate and slept in the living room together at night.

Lisa also made sure to use sellotape and blue tack around the house as it’s a rented property.

She added: ‘I was knackered the morning after setting everything up, but it was also like Christmas morning for me and the young child in me got an adrenaline rush.

‘My partner is as much as a child as me and loved preparing everything We’re very much for the children and I love celebrating things.

‘My mum and dad say that I would celebrate opening a banana. I tend to get my idea from the kids by asking them what they like and want and then I explode their ideas and try to make them happen.’

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