Unique Nature Creations: Perfect for your next campout!

Books become even better when you pair them with fun activities!

See what we did to go along with this month's Monthly Crafting Camping Book Club theme.

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My bloggy pal Hilary over at Raising Fairies and Knights started a fun Monthly Crafting Book Club - a challenge to create activities to go along with some of the most beloved children's books.

We had some great fun last year (see links at the end) and have continued the fun this year:

January - Ladybug Girl Addition Bugs
February - Giraffes Can't Dance Roll-a-Dance Die
March - How Do Dinosaurs...Social Skills Game
April - The Very Hungry Caterpillar Box

This month, our little group isn't sharing the same book, but the same theme: Camping!

Since we're all about camping over here, it was pretty easy to get excited about the theme, especially when I got my hands on this new printable pack:

One of Gv's favorite things to do on our annual summer camping trip is collect bits of nature.

She keeps everything in a zippered pencil pouch and will take her collection out daily and line everything up along the edge of the tent pad while G and I are fixing dinner -- then scurry off to find new treasures to add to the mix.

What's better than a pouch full of rocks?

This activity isn't just limited to camping, either. Each week we attend a story-and-craft time at a local nature preserve and by the time we've completed our mile-long hike back to the car, my pockets are filled with more "Mommy, can you hold this for me?" souvenirs than I know what to do with -- but now we'll have plenty of nature supplies to use for our crafts!

Since camping is just setting up house out in nature, why not use things like leaves, sticks, flowers and pebbles to create new works of art?

Camping, nature and creativity -- a winning combination!

Even though there are several camping-themed books that we love, once I saw the potential in this pack, I didn't want to limit this month's craft to just one book.

No, I wanted to use several camping books to set the mood for our camping theme, then get out in the backyard to get a little taste of what our summer might be like.

We first revisited a favorite story from last year as well as this fun chapter book just to get us in the camping groove.

Next, I shooed Gv out the door with a basket and the instructions to fill it with as much Nature as she could.

No absence of nature in our backyard!

That task alone ate up a full afternoon -- once, she even ran back inside to get a camera so she could take a few photos of some bigger-than-a-basket discoveries!

We've had a drought here recently, so most everything was dead and brown, but she still managed to find a pretty decent variety of colors and textures.

When she finally dumped her soil-laden shoes on the porch and plopped down next to me smelling strongly of the great outdoors, she was worn-out, but excited to choose the printables to use for her first activities.

After scrolling through all the fabulous pages, she of course asked to do "all of them," but finally settled on two to start with:

The first is titled "Nature People" and I couldn't get over the creativity used in this sample photo!

The second is called "Nature Creatures," but Gv has been calling it "Mr. Potato Head" because the sheet is full of silly facial features to cut out and stick on leaves and things.

She then spent the rest of the evening cutting, rearranging and gluing all the bits and pieces of Nature that she'd chosen for her projects.

I loved how she gave her gal earrings and purses, along with feathers in her hair and a boa around her neck!

What I love most about these projects is that she can do them again and again and wind up with something different each time!

Gv's first critter, using and avocado leaf plucked from our tree.

Gv's second critter, although after cutting everything out and arranging it on the leaf, she decided that I should finish making it, since this leaf was bigger. So hey, I got to glue and draw arms and legs, too!

I'm happy to have her make these projects permanent with a little glue, but I'm also planning to slip a few of the printables into page protectors so she can easily arrange things temporarily and use them over and over again -- like when we're camping!

Yeah, we pretty much make ourselves at home out here, so I know Gv will enjoy days and days of fun using this pack!

Of course, first thing the next morning, Gv wanted to get started on a new project. We had to leave the house for an appointment, but not before printing out her choice for the next time we'd be home:

I can't wait to see what she comes up with for this one!

This great Nature Art & Craft Printable pack includes more than 30 ideas just like this: 

We haven't been able to find all the colors of the rainbow to make this yet, but I know we'll get what we need in the mountains and my rainbow-loving self can't wait!

As you can see, the possibilities are endless with project ideas like these!

Not only will these nature activities encourage kids to spend more time outside, but they'll promote engagement in the tactile experience of crafting with the natural materials they collect!

This pack is perfect for summer -- even if you're not planning to live in a tent in the middle of the mountains for a month like us, I bet your kids will be spending a lot more time outside and this collection is just the thing to provide them with hours of open-ended activities.

I love that the activities provide a little direction in what to do, but each resulting creation will be as unique as your child (and the day, since tomorrow's composition might look completely different from today's!)

We're already having so much fun with the ideas and crafts in this pack; I can't wait to see how everything plays out on our campout this year.

I can just see Gv now -- each hike will become a mission for new things to add to her Nature collection which will become the supplies for these projects!

Don't fret if camping's not your cup of tea -- just get your hands on a fun camping-themed book and shoo the kids outside to collect and create for hours of fun!

You can preorder this kit right now and nab a bonus gift, but even if you wait a day or two, you'll enjoy an early bird special price that's sure to sweeten the deal! 

Still not convinced? Check out this little video for more great ideas:

Sometimes a resource lends itself to multiple book connections, like this one! Besides a camping theme, what other books or topics can you think of to use this pack with?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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Check out the other amazing crafts that my fellow bloggers came up with for this month.

Come back next month and see what crafts and activities we come up with for our next book, Pinkalicious. Join our Facebook Group HERE to participate.

Want to see all the great book activities from last year? Just check these out:

January Animal Action Dice Game for the book Barnyard Dance
February Cause & Effect Box for If You Give a Moose a Muffin
March - an alphabetical scavenger hunt for Dr. Seuss's ABC.
April handwashing fun to go along with The Piggy in the Puddle
May 5 Little Monkeys Fold 'Em Up for Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
June pinecone princess & Cozy Sweater Warrior Paper Dolls for The Princess and the Pony
July - lantern craft for Curious George Goes Camping
August - mini backpacks & dress-a-doll fun for Froggy Goes to School
September - pumpkin fun for It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse!
October - monster shape-sort bags & other crafts for Have You Seen My Monster?
November - cozy paper quilt for Bear Stays Up for Christmas
December - snowflake activities for Millions of Snowflakes

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