Camping crafts: Kids let their creativity go wild!

Back before we had kids, Eric and I camped regularly—and spontaneously. We’d throw the tent, sleeping bags and a cooler in our 1985 Volvo station wagon and head into the woods. These days, camping with kids requires a bit more preparation—including figuring out some kids activities that will keep them happy in the camp site. Since the girls love art so much, it made sense to come up with some camping crafts so they could create in nature.

Camping crafts like this nature collage art project keep kids happy when you're family camping—and require almost no prep or supplies! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

We haven’t gone camping with the kids yet this year, but we camped for Father’s Day last year—and the girls loved doing this camping craft. They did it one morning when they needed a little out-of-the-sun quiet time after hiking, sprinting around the campground, making friends and walking over hot coals. (Just kidding! We’re waiting until they’re at least 6 to walk on the camp fire.)

Camping crafts like this nature collage are a wonderful way to incorporate art into your family camping this summer.

Why camping crafts?

Perhaps your kids have the attention span of a chess master, but our daughters bounce from project to project. And while there’s a lot of good that can come from letting your kids be bored—and plenty to occupy them while you’re in nature—camping crafts are a fabulous way to integrate your surroundings with a quiet activity that will keep them occupied for a while.

Our favorite camping crafts include a found art nature collage. It’s perfect because it requires absolutely minimal art supplies that don’t take up much room—ideal for family camping when you don’t have space to spare!

I also love it because I can send kids out around the camp site with a bucket to collect fallen leaves, twigs, pine cones, flowers and whatever other items in nature that catch their attention. If I’m super-prepared, I bring along plastic tongs or a chip clip they can use as pinchers to pick up the nature items (fine motor skills practice, heyyyyy!).

Camping crafts like this nature collage art project keep kids happy when you're family camping—and require almost no prep or supplies! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

I also suggest they bring their buckets along when we hike. The task of collecting nature items keeps them excited and engaged—and helps me keep them moseying when they get tired. (“Did you see that awesome leaf up there? Let’s go get it!”)

Then back at the camp site, I set them up with a few simple art supplies and let their creativity go wild.

Camping crafts like this nature collage art project keep kids happy when you're family camping—and require almost no prep or supplies! Ten Thousand Hour MamaCamping crafts like this nature collage art project keep kids happy when you're family camping—and require almost no prep or supplies! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Camping crafts: Nature collage

Supplies

  • bucket
  • tongs, chip clip or other grasping tool (optional)
  • white glue
  • cardstock or other sturdy paper

Instructions

  1. Have your kids explore the outdoors, picking up interesting nature items such as acorns, fallen leaves, grass, moss and flowers. Encourage them to collect a variety of nature items and use their tongs to pick them up. Collect everything in a bucket.
  2. Back at camp—on a flat patch of ground, a picnic table or even your tent—invite your kids to glue the nature items on the paper in a pattern they like. (If they’re planners, they can arrange the items on the paper first and glue second.) You may have to help them with the glue to minimize mess and ensure they don’t make a pool of glue!
  3. Repeat as often as you like!

Camping crafts like this nature collage art project keep kids happy when you're family camping—and require almost no prep or supplies! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Do you do kids camping crafts when you’re family camping? 

5 thoughts on “Camping crafts: Kids let their creativity go wild!

  • June 28, 2017 at 8:13 pm
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    We aren’t doing much in the way of camping this summer – although I’m hoping for maybe one late August/early September adventure but these are some great ideas to even do at home or after a nature walk!

    Reply
    • June 29, 2017 at 3:28 pm
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      Absolutely! This is a good backyard project too.

      Reply
    • June 29, 2017 at 3:28 pm
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      Renee, that is a BRILLIANT idea! I think I may have some, actually, stashed away in an art drawer. I’d better dig it out!

      Reply
  • June 30, 2017 at 11:00 am
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    These are wonderful ideas! I think these can also be done during a day at the park or in one’s backyard! I definitely will be trying them out!

    Reply

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