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  • Jolina Magdangal and Mark Escueta Show Their Version of a Staycation!

    You don’t need to go far to create a fun family camping experience!
    by Kate Borbon .
Jolina Magdangal and Mark Escueta Show Their Version of a Staycation!
PHOTO BY @mariajolina_ig/Instagram
  • We know none of you wants your child to be glued to the screen all day. And you're scrambling for ideas how to keep your kids entertained and occupied (we have here and here). One fun activity is camping, and it doesn't even mean going out to the mountains as Jolina Magdangal and her husband Mark Escueta showed.

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    With their kids Pele and Vika, the couple spent the Holy Week holiday at home, which they fondly call Casa Escueta, and set up a camping site, complete with a tent and food station furnished with a grill and some yummy snacks. From the photos, Jolina posted on her Instagram account, the kids enjoyed the experience, especially little Pele!

    “Sabi ni Pele, excited daw sya ikwento ang ‘amazing camping’ namin (talagang nag-enjoy sya),” Jolina wrote.

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    Benefits of camping at home

    Jolina and Mark prove that you don’t need to spend too much or to go somewhere far to create a memorable experience for your family. You can do it right in the comfort (and convenience) of your home! Camping at home is budget-friendly and more importantly, more comfortable to manage when you have toddlers. You don't have to worry about them disappearing somewhere you don’t know.

    Camping at home is also not as time-consuming — you don't stress as much about the planning or get anxious if you have all the supplies (because you can always dash into the house if you do find that you need something!). And finally, what about the fact that you won’t need to think about where to take your kids when they need to go to the bathroom?

    How to go camping at home

    Camping at home is not as difficult as you may think — all you need is to gather items you already have at home, and you can already build a tent, make food and snacks, and prepare enjoyable activities for the whole family to do.

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    Put up a blanket fort!

    You don’t have to buy a massive tent — items you have at home will do! Just get a big piece of cloth (such as a bedsheet or a tablecloth), at least four chairs, and a bunch of heavy items to weigh down the corners of the tent. Position the chairs in a rectangle, with their backs turned towards one another. Drape the cloth over the chairs and make sure that portions of the fabric are on the seats of the chairs. Put heavy items on those parts of the material, so they stay in place.

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    After building your makeshift tent or fort, set another large piece of cloth on the floor, then furnish the space with pillows and blankets, as well as other items that will keep the kids entertained, such as books and stuffed toys. You might even want to decorate the tent by hanging up Christmas lights or creating a bunch of signs and artworks.

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    Jolina may have a big backyard, but your forts can be in your child's bedroom and the living room! Make it a once-a-month activity, so the family has a bonding experience to look forward to.

    Cook camping food

    What is camping without some yummy food to munch on? Try what Jolina and Mark did by bringing out a grill to cook hotdogs, skewers, or other types of camping food. You can also set up some tea candles and use them as a “campfire” to roast marshmallows and make your own s’mores! Make sure to supervise your children and to allow your children to help you prepare the food since this can help in their learning and development as well.

    Share stories

    Story-telling is another classic activity to do during camping, made even more memorable and intimate by the fact that you and your kids will be sitting close to another inside your tent. You can read aloud your child’s favorite books or share scary stories (don’t forget the flashlight to put under your face as you talk!).

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    Another thing you can try is creating a story chain: One parent gives the first line of a story, the next person in the group says another line, then everyone takes turns repeating this until someone ends the story. It’s a great way to encourage your kids to be creative and to just have a good laugh with one another!

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    Have a sing-along

    As they say, Pinoys love to sing. So why not make sing-alongs part of your family camping experience? You might enjoy singing easy, familiar songs your kids will know by heart such as nursery rhymes and famous pop tunes, or you can just make new songs up as you go along. Don’t be afraid to get silly with the little ones!

    Play fun games

    Fill your tent with items you can use for playing as a family, such as board games and a deck of cards. If you have space, you can also try sports like badminton, Frisbee, and football in your own backyard. Later, when it gets dark, lie down side by side and watch the night sky together, then make a game out of counting the stars and talking about the different things you see, like the moon, birds, or planes.

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    Go on a backyard adventure!

    Got your own little yard at home? Encourage your kids to explore the environment and discover plants, flowers, trees, and insects they encounter there. They can also collect random objects they see that they think are interesting, such as leaves or rocks, then put them all together into a nature-inspired collage you can put on display inside your own home!

    If you're doing it indoors, do something like an Easter egg hunt. Instead of eggs, however, hide ordinary objects in plain sight and offer them clues to what they need to find.

    What's your family's favorite indoor game or activity? Let us know in the comments below and share your photos!

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