When planning your family’s next outdoor adventure, consider crafting some of your camping gear and accessories as opposed to buying. Whether you’re making the perfect daypack or creating a piece of organic jewelry, nature can be a fantastic source of inspiration. Take in your surroundings during a peaceful moment outdoors, and use it to influence activities, crafts, and projects. Read through the list below to get started brainstorming and creating your own adventure-worthy gear.
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Keep the kids occupied in the outdoors (sans screens) with this clever, homemade tic-tac-toe game. Looking to make your game more travel-friendly? Paint the game board on a foldable piece of card stock or hinged plywood instead of a tree stump, and don’t forget to coat every painted surface with spray shellac to protect from the elements.
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There’s hardly a better place to settle in with a good book than out in the open under the sun. For your next weekend in the great outdoors, pack a few favorite novels and save your place with laminated bits of leaves and florals. Trim closely along the edges of each leaf for a finished, beautiful DIY place-holder.
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Scavenge your campsite (or better yet, take a short exploratory hike) to gather materials for a natural weaving. If you can source a few sticks for a frame, the only craft material you’ll need to bring from home is a spool of rustic hemp or string. Try weaving various greenery or flowers through the string to make an eye-catching piece of organic art.
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While the creation of this quick sewing project is best left to the adults, its use can help encourage kids toward ownership over their own adventuring. Stash a water bottle, sunscreen, and bug spray in it at the very least, and allow little ones to customize their packs to their own tastes and needs.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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A tucked-away plastic tea light makes this cute homemade lantern one-hundred percent kid-safe. Construct using recyclable materials, then decorate with parchment and tissue paper shapes. As a bonus, this low light lantern works as a night light to help little ones feel safe while tent sleeping.
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Before you take off for your next family hike, select walking sticks for everyone and share the aboriginal tradition of the creation of the journey stick. Everyone can collect items from the trek (think: feathers, pine cones, or acorns), and use them to enhance their own walking sticks. Once the hike is complete, each person will have a tangible representation of their time in nature.
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Decree your crew camping royalty by crafting a set of flower crowns for the whole family. Using silk blooms will ensure an accessory that lasts for multiple seasons, gathering fresh flowers for each crown connects the wearer a little closer to the earth, which makes these the perfect fireside project.
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Mother Nature is the original still life artist, so take a cue from her and create crayon rubbings of fallen leaves. Overlap a few leaves together before placing a blank sheet of paper over top to make easy, beautiful, organic art. Up the ante by using soft pastels; they’ll lend a blurred, softly-focused quality to your artwork.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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There’s nothing better than telling stories around the campfire, so consider creating a batch of outdoor-themed story stones before heading out on your next adventure. Definitely involve the kids in selecting smooth rocks and painting them with images and words, then take turns blindly selecting a few to make up a story.
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Encourage your little ones to scavenge for acorns, and then break out the craft supplies. While it may seem counterintuitive to pack glitter in your camping gear, the outdoors is actually the best place for one of the messier craft supplies. Consider adding sparkle to acorns, pinecones, and pebbles, then affixing to leather cord for rustic jewelry. To be mindful of the planet, make sure the glitter is eco-friendly.