Friday, May 9, 2014

Easy Camping Activity Bags and More

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My boys seem to start asking about when we're going camping again sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving! Same with the beach- little Ryder could live on the shore! And now that it's getting warm, it's on all of our minds again! Each year we always hope to get more camping in and are happy to take what we can get :)

 So, obviously, I'm excited to be part of today's fun camping themed blog hop just in time- so many great ideas here that will be really helpful for the entire season:

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Campfire Spinach Dip from Heather at Twin Dragonfly Designs 

Printable Camping Checklist from Kim at 733 Blog 

What to Pack for a Camping Trip from Kellie at Nest of Posies 

Homemade Fire Starters from Randi at Dukes and Duchesses

Camping Survival Kit from Emily at The Benson Street 

Camping Charades from Kara at The Joys of Boys 

Beaded Mason Jar Lantern from Amy at One Artsy Mama 

Outdoor Camping Kitchen from Angie at Echoes of Laughter

Blackberry Cobbler from Ginger at Gingersnap Crafts 

Tin Foil Packet Recipes from Camille at Growing Up Gabel 

Best Pie Iron Recipes from Emily at Nap Time Creations 

Camping With Kids from Amanda at The Joi Project 

For my bit, I thought I'd share some camping friendly "busy bags," or boredom buster ideas and how to easily organize to make them work on your camping trip...

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So, why do we really go camping?

We pack and prepare and go a little crazy, honestly, in the several days before leaving for the sake of a lack of stress while we're gone, right? We hope that in the mountains or the grasses or the rocks or whatever landscape we choose to camp in, our kids will remember what real play is and not be concerned about their video games or their texts. We also hope they'll want to be with us, that that space will eliminate the distractions and we can connect and really do the sorts of things that we just can't at home.

The real boredom buster stars of camping are their bikes, cool sticks and rocks and leaves, and the water, at least for us. Still, though, being prepared with the simple tools that allow us to create a few fun things and connect better is a good idea too- no one thing can occupy a young kid forever!

And now that I've waxed poetic... time to see what each of the eight bags in my basket above contains and what I have in mind to do with them...

1) Bet you can't guess- ha! I found friendship bracelets to be a really great summer activity last year and have grand plan for trying new designs. My older boys particularly enjoyed this, but even Cooper was into it some too. I'm guessing girls would dig this even more ;) So this activity bag has a good selection of embroidery thread, small scissors and tape. For a really easy, fun design and tutorial, try this Braided Chevron tutorial:

2) The items in this bag: TP tubes, mini rolls of Duck® Tape, pipe cleaner sticks, and rice. These are intended to make homemade rain sticks with- get the tutorial and see more HERE. These seemed like the kind of thing that would just sorta "fit" for camping and could be unique around the campfire :)

3) This one is a basic beading bag. Inside I have cord that I know the boys can both manage to work with, some pony beads, larger wooden beads and fun buttons with larger holes. Stringing beads seems to be an activity that the boys just kinda always enjoy. These could work well sitting at the campground table and they could possibly find some natural treasures camping to add.

4) This bag contains the makings of the ever-popular bubble snakes! A few outside items will be needed here too, ones that you're sure to have elsewhere in your camping gear. You'll cut the water bottles in half (since these are full, it's kind of a trick to keep my boys hydrated!), then cover the open end of the lid side with the sock. Tape the sock so its tight on the cut end. Then you'll grab some of your dish soap, squirt a bit in a bowl and douse with a bit of water. Dip you sock bottle in the soap mixture and blow out the lid side! Ta-da, awesome bubble snakes! Again, another activity that is always a win :) I also chose these for a bag because the items needed are things you'll already be taking along. For more details and photos regarding these, try HERE.

5) The, again ever-popular, pet rocks bag! Kids go on a hunt for several rocks they want to bring to life, then use the glue sticks, googly eyes and face stickers (found at Michaels) that are in this bag. These could get more extravagant by borrowing items from other bags too.

6) You got it, just plain washi tape. My boys can get really creative in general with my large stash of this stuff, but I do have in mind to create some artsy sticks with this tape. They find a stick and wrap tapes around various parts of it however they desire to create a fun walking stick, a magic wand and the like :) They really like activities like this because they have so much freedom and independence with it.

7) Camping Bingo and Scavenger Hunt. I found the Bingo printables HERE. I intend to have the boys gather small rocks or whatever to use for the markers. And the Scavenger Hunt printables are from HERE. I can imagine this bag will be a first choice for the boys early on in any camping trip- they really enjoy "hunt" types of activities :)

8) This might be called an "anything goes" activity bag. I can see leaf prints and rubbings, rock painting, and general drawing all from this one bag option. Inside I have a good stack of copy paper, washable paints in these cute, easy-to-deal-with-any-mess bottles (found at Michaels), crayons and watercolors. A coloring book might fit nicely in this one too :)

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Other things that would make nice additions outside of an actual bag that would help with any camping boredom:  water balloons, glow sticks, bubbles, Sharpies.

I could go on and on I think about fun stuff to do while camping I think! Hopefully these simple activity bag idea can help someone somehow! They are very easy and basic to put together and will help with any lag time while you catch up on memories and relaxation both :) Be sure to hop around to some other ideas above!

For another favorite camping idea that we've really enjoyed, check out this fun Camping Tree Mail idea:



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