Sunday, 19 August 2012

Bush Camp Crafts

Children have an innate need to collect things. When I do the washing I am continuously removing, stones, pine cones, seed pods, leaves what's ever was irresistible, from my children's pockets.

I love this process as it shows me that their eyes are open... They are taking in the world around them with that wonderful sense of wonder. Something catches their eye and they find it so irresistible that they just have to pick it up, hold it, examine it, and keep it safe in their pocket for later.  I think I am probably so partial to this as am a bit of a pocket collector myself :)

You can see the great joy in children's hearts when we then use these treasure to make things. We have a few simple  craft items in our stash when we travel and these get used time and time again.

Here is a few of the camp crafts we get busy with:

Mobiles/Wind Chimes
Cotton twine or fishing line
1 stick
Pocket full of treasures

We tie one long piece of string from one end of the stick to the other. Then all along the space in-between we tie  our treasures. This can either be simple, one  treasure/one string, or more complex tying treasures at intervals along the string.

Sometimes we make large communal ones and put a tag at the end of it with the name of where all the parts were collected from. We have a number of these at home, which is really nice way to remember a holiday or special place.

One beach camping Christmas we made long strings of beach treasures and tied them all around the communal tarp. We then threaded vine around and some coloured lanterns and it was very festive and rather beautiful!

Clay Prints
Air drying clay or natural clay found in the ground
Pocket full of treasures
String/ wire

We make round flat (1cm thick) 'plates'. We put a hole all the war through the top, like a pencil hole. Then we use our treasures to make imprints in the clay. Once finished we leave it to dry. Once dry we tie some string on it and hang it in a tree or somewhere important to the maker of the print.

Stone Stacks
Lots of stones

My two are particularly fond of collecting stones. At times a can clear a whole bucket full out of the back of my car!

So just like you would with building blocks you encourage the kids to stack the stones, large up to small. How many can you get to balance  in a tower?

Stick Strings
This is a more long term project but I have a friend who's son likes to collect sticks as much as my kids like to collect stones. She was lamenting as to what to do with their stick pile. I suggested that she could drill a hole in each one, write in small black texta on it where it came from and thread them all on a long string that hangs in his room. This idea was taken with great enthusiasm as it encouraged him to collect smaller 5 cm long sticks and gave a neat and interesting place for all the sticks to live. This family does a lot of bush walking and their son now has a stunning looking, 2m long collection of sticks hanging on his wall. It is amazing the differences in colours, textures and shapes sticks are form different regions. We as adults wouldn't always notice this as we never see them all together!

Pocket full of treasures.

As the wonderful Jeanie Baker demonstrates, we can do marvelous things with collage. Some treasures have greater success being glued down than others but experiment and find out!!

Bush Prints
Pocket full of treasures

Not a complex one, you dip the treasures in paint and use them to print on the paper. Leaves, pine needles and feathers make particularly good 'paint brushes'

Rainbow Rocks
As collectors of many rocks, I have had to come up with a lot of inspiration in this area :)

Larger rocks
Paint brushes

This is simply rock paintings. We make all sorts of creatures or 'pets' out of ours. Sometimes we paint them beautifully and hide them back in the bush and theorize about what we think the animals might thing when they find them!

Acorn Creatures
Living in the Acorn capital of Australia - Canberra, I clean out as many acorns, during acorn season as I do stones!

We find 'hats' to fit the acorns, glue them on and draw faces on them! You can make whole families!!

There are many more, but until the next installment I will leave you with these!

What crafty things do you do with a pocket full of treasures? I would love to expand my collection!!!

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