A CLEVER mum created the ultimate camping experience in her living room for her daughter’s sixth birthday after the coronavirus lockdown forced them to cancel their weekend away in the countryside.
Lisa Mackinnon, 29, wanted to recreate what would have been so transformed her living room into a camp site complete with with logs covered in real moss, tents and a hot tub paddling pool.
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With KayliMia’s birthday fast approaching, the-stay-at-home mum from Johnstone, Scotland, was trying to think up ways to celebrate her daughter’s birthday without leaving the house.
KayliMia originally wanted a birthday party, but her parents ruled it out when knowing the coronavirus outbreak would make it impossible.
Instead, Lisa thought to spend the weekend away near Oban, where her parents live and own cottages, only to have those plans cancelled too.
So the creative mum got to work in recreating the camping experience and kept tight-lipped about the plan for weeks, only revealing it to her daughter on Good Friday morning after putting in a 17-hour slog to finish the indoor forest.
The indoor camping party lasted from 9am Good Friday to 9am on Easter Monday, with KayliMia, her step-brother, six, and step-sister, eight, 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.
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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.
In the weeks leading up to Easter, Lisa started taking her daughter to the forest on their daily walks and they’d collect sticks and moss and take it home.
To keep KayliMia busy in lockdown, Lisa also got her to make cut up bumblebees but she had no idea it was going to be a part of her surprise birthday weekend.
Lisa explained: “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.
“I used cellotape and blue tack to put everything up because I live in a rented property and didn’t want to put holes in the walls.
“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.
After spending an entire day transforming the living room, Lisa revealed that KayliMia was “in total shock” when she discovered her birthday surprise.
She said: “When she first saw it on Friday morning, she was screaming ‘this is amazing’ and in total shock.
“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.
“They all loved it and kept thanking us for it and asking if we could keep the living room like this after it finished because they’d enjoyed it so much.
Lisa and her partner James Kyle, 37, also spent the weekend camping with the kids and participated in fun activities to get them through the weekend.
Lisa said:“During the day, we baked and played games, like retrieve the sweetie from the paddling pool. The winner got a prize and I just used stickers from sticker books as the reward to keep the cost down.
“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.
“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.”
Other parents are getting creative with their time indoors such as this mum who created incredible outdoor cinema for her sons using a shower curtain, Home Bargains cinema box and projector.
While a mum used old Domino’s pizza boxes to create stunning wicker letters for her kids’ bedroom doors.