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Camping can be a fun family outdoors activity. Add to the excitement with a craft project that is inspired by the beauty of nature. With a little forethought, and the right camping arts and crafts projects planned, you can hit a homerun as you create memories.
Kids’ camping activities traditionally include hiking, fishing, canoeing, and roasting marshmallows (with the help of an adult). Families planning a camping trip may want to investigate simple craft projects that can accompany other favorite outdoor pastimes.
Camping Arts and Crafts Projects Activity For Kids
Children, both young and old, can try this simple camping craft activity that utilizes natural items as art materials.
Camping Craft: Natural Materials Mobile
Making a mobile out of natural materials that can be found while camping is an excellent way for kids to learn about the outdoors while discovering fundamental physics and mathematics principles. Concepts such as balance, symmetry, gravity, and movement can all be related to this craft project.
This activity can be easily adjusted for the child’s age. Older children may be more interested in the scientific aspects of this project, while younger kids may want to explore the materials.
Materials Needed for the Camping Craft Activity
Parents will need to bring some of the art materials used for this project with them on the camping trip. The natural materials can be collected while camping. Make this fun for the kids, and play a nature item scavenger hunt or have a contest to see who can select the most diverse materials.
Choose only fallen items. This means sticks, twigs, plant life, and other items that are not live or connected to a living thing (e.g., tree or flower). The goal of this activity is to understand and explore nature, not destroy it. Explain this to children to teach an added lesson on being environmentally aware.
- Construction paper
- Clear drying, non-toxic glue
- Natural materials such as leaves or pinecones
- 2 sticks or twigs
Steps to Create a Natural Materials Mobile
1. Have the child cut at least four shapes out of the construction paper. These should be reasonably large in size. Use at least half of an 8 X 10 piece for each shape. The child may choose to use geometric shapes such as those seen in mathematics (square, triangle, rectangle, circle) or organic shapes (more free-formed and based in nature).
2. Arrange a variety of natural objects such as leaves onto the front of each shape.
3. Glue these onto the construction paper. Set aside to dry.
4. Use a stick to poke a small hole through the top of each shape. An adult should do this.
5. Once dry, turn the shapes over and arrange and glue more natural materials onto the back. Set aside to dry.
6. Place two sticks or twigs together to form a plus sign. Use the yarn to tie the sticks together tightly. Tie another piece of yarn to the middle (this will be how the mobile can be hung).
7. Tie a piece of yarn to each end of the sticks (there should be four).
8. Attach the shapes to the yarn by feeding the end through the hole at the top of the construction paper and tying.
Cautions and Information on the Nature Art Activity
Parents should keep these cautions in mind when created the nature mobile craft while camping:
- Never leave a child unattended. Always supervise the child while he or she is completing this craft.
- Avoid questionable nature items that may cause allergic reactions.
- Use a towel or other art cloth underneath the craft to protect the outdoor landscape. Remind children to be careful and not get glue on the ground.
- Clean up the scraps. Do not leave paper scraps or clippings at the campsite.
- Package these in a small bag and take them home for use on other art projects.
- Do not try this project with very young children. The yarn can pose a severe choking or strangulation risk. Children under five may not be able to handle the materials safely.
- Do not hang or display the mobile in an area that a young child can get a hold of it (due to safety concerns).
- Do not use this arts and crafts project as a crib or infant mobile.
Make a camping trip more fun for kids by adding in a craft project! Collect and use natural materials for this outdoors-inspired mobile-making activity. Bring home the completed artwork for a reminder of a special family vacation.
If you have a little person who is leery of foul weather, you may want to try this How to Make a Rain Cloud in a Jar activity to help them understand the clouds better and take ownership of their feelings about storm basics.
Other posts you may enjoy:
- How to Camp When the Ground is Wet
- 5 Tips for Camping With Kids
- 10 Camping Tips For When It Is Hot
- 11 Tips for Camping with Toddlers
- How to Camp With Dogs
- The Best Kid’s Camping Gear