Top 7 Camping Craft Ideas For Toddlers (To Do While Camping)

a child drawing on paper doing crafts for a camping trip

Camping is the perfect time to get your kids involved in some nature-themed crafts. You don’t have to take a lot of craft materials with you, as you’ll be able to find beautiful and versatile crafting items in nature.

Below, we share 7 crafting ideas and you’ll only need to pack a few extra craft materials from home to make them!

1) Make imprints in clay with items from nature

Your toddlers can capture the beauty of nature in these unique prints.

What you’ll need:

  • Air-dry clay. This is clay that dries solid without being baked. You could use play clay (such as Play-Doh) but you might find that bits of the flowers and twigs you imprint will stick to the clay, making it unusable. But, if you have some old play clay that you don’t mind getting messy, then this is a good option for younger toddlers.
  • A smooth surface and something to roll out the clay. This doesn’t have to be a chopping board and rolling pin (although these will work!), you can use a smooth tabletop and a glass bottle or any smooth cylindrical shape to roll the clay out.
  • Natural items to make imprints with, such as small twigs, leaves, flowers, and seeds.
  • Craft paints to add color to the clay once it’s dried. This is optional as using paints when camping may not be the most practical option with toddlers!

How to do it:

Roll small chunks of clay out so they’re flat. Then lay the natural item on top of the clay and use your roller to roll over this, pressing hard enough so it leaves an imprint in the clay.

Air-dry clay can take up to 24 hours to dry, so once it’s fully dried, you could let your toddlers paint it. These beautiful imprints look like fossils so you could include them in a dinosaur-themed game as well!

2) Make a nature-themed bracelet

My little girl loves nature, and she loves jewelry, so a nature bracelet is an obvious craft for her!

What you’ll need:

  • The cardboard tube from a toilet roll or kitchen roll cut into three (you can cut it so the roll is narrower, but you want to make sure it’s thick enough to add lots of decorations to it).
  • PVA glue or Mod Podge. You can take a small container of glue to save on space or you can use double-sided sticky tape if you’re worried about the mess.
  • Natural items such as flowers, berries, leaves and tiny twigs.

How to do it:

Collect small, pretty objects from nature and stick them onto the cardboard. Make sure you attach enough to completely cover the cardboard.

3) Make a tree picture out of cardboard and leaves

This is a super easy craft that requires very little preparation! The end result is a beautiful tree with a cardboard trunk and branches, adorned with leaves and flowers from nature.

a child, boy, applying leaves using glue while doing arts and crafts during camp

What you’ll need:

  • A piece of brown cardstock cut into the shape of a tree and attached to a piece of A4 cardstock. You can make these before you go.
  • PVA glue, Mod Podge, or double-sided sticky tape.
  • Pretty flowers, leaves, feathers, and berries.

How to do it:

Apply glue or double-sided sticky tape to the top part of the card tree, but not the trunk. Then stick down the leaves, flowers, feathers, and berries so the card is completely covered at the top. You’ll be left with a beautiful, one-of-a-kind tree picture that’s bursting with color!

4) Make a leaf lantern out of a plastic milk jug

This project is not only pretty, but it’s practical for camping with toddlers too! These pretty lanterns will light up your campsite and, as they feature flameless candles, they’re super safe too.

What you’ll need:

  • An empty, clean milk jug cut in half, so the bottom of the jug becomes the lantern.
  • Con-Tact Paper or sticky-back plastic, you’ll need enough to wrap all the way around the milk jug.
  • Lots of small leaves in pretty colors.
  • Flameless candles.

How to do it:

Collect, wash, and dry a selection of small leaves. My kids generally get carried away with tasks like this and bring back huge leaves, but for this craft, the smaller the leaves the better!

Cut a clean and dry milk jug in half and recycle the top half. Cut the Con-Tact paper or sticky-back plastic so there’s just a little bit extra to wrap around the seams. Lay the sticky paper on a smooth flat surface and ask your kids to stick the leaves to it, making sure the leaves are face down and that they don’t overlap.

When they’re happy with their design, wrap the contact paper around the milk jug and smooth it down so it sticks firmly.

Finally, pop a flameless candle in the lantern and wait for it to get dark!

5) Make an eye-catching collage with chalk marker leaves

Your toddlers can explore the natural texture and patterns in leaves and add their own beautiful designs by using chalk markers to decorate leaves.

What you’ll need:

  • Leaves of all shapes, sizes and textures. Younger children will find it easier to decorate larger leaves.
  • A set of kid-safe chalk markers. These contain liquid chalk, which is super bright and opaque and, unlike regular chalk, won’t smudge once it’s dry.

How to do it:

All your kids need to do is use the markers to paint the leaves, it’s that easy! If younger children are finding leaf painting a bit fiddly, then collect some smooth stones and let them paint these instead, as this should be a bit easier for them.

6) Make animal sculptures out of objects from nature

There are so many natural objects of every shape, size, and color on a camping trip that your kids will be able to craft some incredible animals. You can go down a themed route of birds, farm animals, or even monsters, or let them create their own animal sculptures. It’s a great way to encourage their imagination!

cute brown chestnut figures among yellow green autumn leaves

What you’ll need:

  • Objects from nature, including large pieces of bark with smaller seeds, berries, twigs, and grass – acorns are particularly useful for making eyes! Always supervise your children during this activity and make sure they don’t pick anything sharp or poisonous up.
  • Craft glue to stick the sculpture together.

How to do it:

This crafting activity could be two activities in one, you could organize a scavenger hunt and make a game out of collecting the items.

Once they have all their objects, it’s really up to them how they choose to build their sculptures! Pieces of bark are useful for using as bodies, twigs make good legs and colorful leaves are great as wings or hair. When your kids are happy with their creations, they can use tacky glue to stick them together.

7) Make magic wands out of twigs and yarn

This is probably the easiest of all the camping crafts, but the one that’s most likely to encourage imaginative play. Once your kids have made their wands, they can run around camp playing witches and wizards!

What you’ll need:

  • Strong, straight sticks.
  • Colorful yarn, or multicolored yarn.

How to do it:

Tie one end of the yarn tightly to one end of the stick, then wrap the yarn around the stick, moving it up and down until it’s completely covered. Then tie another knot to secure the other end of yarn and cut off any excess – that’s it!

The following easy activities will give your toddlers hours of campground fun! And don’t forget to check out our post on camping games and activities for toddlers.

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