By Robert Firth
A mum took her daughter for a weekend camping in her LIVING ROOM after the coronavirus lockdown forced them to cancel plans to celebrate her sixth birthday in the countryside.
Lisa Mackinnon, 27, 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.
The stay-at-home mum, from Johnstone, Scotland, spent the weekend camping indoors with daughter, KayliMia, six, her partner, James Kyle, 37, and her stepson, eight, and stepdaughter, six.
Creative Lisa kept tight-lipped about the transformation for weeks, only revealing it to her daughter on Good Friday morning after putting in a 17-hour slog to finish the indoor forest.
She said: “KayliMia originally wanted a big party with all her friends, but I knew that was out of the window when the coronavirus stuff started kicking off.
“I planned on us spending some time in the countryside near Oban, where my parents live, instead.
“But the lockdowns scuppered those plans too, and I started to think about how to bring the countryside indoors – so I decided on an indoor camping party.
“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.
“I also got her to make cut out bumblebees.
“I spent from 7am on Thursday to 1am on Friday morning arranging everything in the living room.
“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.
“I’m so happy that they had such a good time.”
The indoor camping party lasted from 9am Good Friday to 9am on Easter Monday, with KayliMia and the two other 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 kids thought it was amazing and kept saying ‘please can we keep this all up,’ meaning the decorations.
“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.
“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.
“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.”