Life Experiences Reenacted Through Play

Tree and Car

This past summer I made specific goals for myself and the kids. For the first time in almost 10 years {and a total first with the twins}, we were going to spend a lot of time camping.

This Spring we purchased a permanent lot at a campground about 30 minutes from home. With such a short drive from the city, we were able to travel to our home away from home – when time allowed and the mood struck.

Now that summer has past and our 5th wheel trailer is getting winterized for storage, I can now reflect on our time out there – and what it meant to us as a family. Were my goals met?

A person flying a kite in a park

At first it was hard, we were too used to the busy days in the city and quite often found ourselves bored. You can only take so many walks and play so many games of cards. I had to force myself to adapt to doing barely anything and did soon find peace in just ‘being’. Just sitting and thinking, staring at nature, watching the fire and not constantly having to do something to keep me busy.

The twins learned to ride bikes, and happily rode off with their older sister and explored. They got to practice a lot over the summer thanks to camping. At home and on their own, they only have a little stretch of sidewalk to ride, the streets here are just too busy for my comfort. Out camping, they can roam without worry – so good in many ways.

While our 5th Wheel trailer has a TV and is stocked with movies and games – it’s used only as a last resort, when weather keeps us stuck inside or to unwind in that last half-hour before bed. Other than that, there’s no tech, no devices and no modern distractions {ok, except my phone, which I sneak a photo share or two now and then}.

So, it’s roughing it, as much as you could in a 40ft home on wheels.

To truly see what the kids thought of our first summer of camping, I brought out their Barbie Sisters’ Deluxe Camper for them to play with one weekend last month. They were amazed at all the features of this camper, and compared this camper to ours in real life.

A little boy playing with a toy car

It’s true that in some ways it resembles ours from the separate rooms to the bunk beds and more. What I did notice was that the girls reminded each other to take shoes off outside and not wear them in the trailer, ‘tree stickies will be all over!’ one said.

The girls divvied up chores, made a rule to not waste the water and offered bug spray when they went outside to play. When one Barbie was leaving, the other reminded her not to go too far, and to stay together. ‘The creek is off limits unless you are with Mom‘, one said.

A little girl that is sitting in the grass

The girls would pack up the trailer and head home in the car, only to be back a short time later. While unloading groceries from the pink car, I could tell they were excited to be back.

You know how you can ask your kids how they liked something, and you’re met with nothing but ‘fine’ or ‘good’ {ugh!}. Well, through their play I seen happiness, positivity, excitement and joy.

Their play told me that camping this summer was a success. Lasting memories were made and there is a definite eagerness for next summer. 

The camping season is now behind us and the girls bring out their camper often to play with at home. Again the summer memories are brought back to the forefront as their experience is reenacted in play.

A woman holding a baby

Last spring I questioned what our camping experience would be like.

Through play, the girls tell me their favourite things about camping:  Riding bikes, watching fireworks, catching crickets and s’mores by the fire. The reinforcement and confidence that it really was a great summer, right down to the s’mores!

A toy


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  Text, whiteboard .

I am apart of The Barbie Project and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions are, as always, my own. . .




  1. That is awesome that you were able to spend so much quality time together over the summer.

  2. I love how you’re able to see a reflection of real life in their play. What a wonderful thing to know that you’re making such positive memories.

  3. Some of my best memories growing up are of the ones that my family and I made while camping. I spent many summers at the lake, riding bikes, fishing, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. It is definitely pure bliss.

  4. Squee!! Those marshmallow sticks are adorable! !! We just went camping my girls would love that!

  5. I”m jealous you got to spend so much time out camping. that is one of my favorite leisure times. And I adore that barbie camper. That is something my daughter would absolutely adore.

  6. Camping is a great way to spend family time together. I love the campfire at night roasting marshmallows and telling stories. I love how the girls could reenact their favorite memories with the Barbie camper.

  7. It sounds like you all had an awesome summer! What a great way to make memories that will last a lifetime.

  8. It sounds like you guys had a really great summer! There’s nothing better for bringing family together than camping.

  9. Camping is such a great way to connect with family. You can get back to nature and just BE with each other.

  10. Your kids’ play sounds so similar to that of my own kids. I love hearing them relive life events through play!

  11. Sounds like you met your goal and this summer will be looked back on with many fond memories.

  12. I would love to be able to set the clock back and do this! They grow so fast, it’s awesome to make those memories while they still like hanging out with you 😉

  13. Wow… what a wonderful Summer. I love how you just decided that you needed to spend more time camping and just did it. I would love to do something like this with my kids

    1. You think? I guess she has a bit, but not as much as other toys from the 80s. Some make me cringe on how much they’ve changed.

  14. I love this! I never realized there were so many great add ons to sets. Definitely makes the play experience so much richer.

  15. This looks like such a blast!! I love that your kids got to play with a mini version of what y’all were in! So cool!

  16. These are such cute little accessories. My girls love Barbie dolls so much and so do I!

  17. Loved the post! I’m glad you all had such a great time this Summer. I just LOVED the plastic smores set!

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