Monthly Crafting Book Club - Camping Edition

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

We're halfway through the year and so far, have really had some great fun:

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.

Now it's July, and instead of choosing a specific book for the month, the group went with any book related to camping.

Hmmm, camping.

There's a topic we know a little something about. {wink}

Our only problem was, since we enjoy this family activity so much, we have quite a number of books about camping.

So I decided to highlight our favorites:

Curious George and the Berenstain Bears illustrate Backcountry Bob's Law perfectly, which is a big reason we enjoy reading these selections over and over again.

Despite our love of camping, I had a tough time coming up with a unique activity to go along with these books.  I looked back to Gv's past Colorful Campout Birthday Party for a bit of inspiration, but ultimately it was one of Gv's new toys that helped me settle on my idea.

Some sweet friends gave Gv this adorable toy campfire set for her birthday this year - she has played with it literally every day since she got it, so I can say that it wil be an absolute hit for a little girl (or boy) who loves to camp!

Since she turns the flickering campfire light on all the time (just for ambiance), I decided she might enjoy her own little lantern - not only can she play with it around the house, but she's bringing it on our yearly camping trip, too!

This project was fairly simple to do, but I think the results look far fancier.  Here's how to make your own little lantern:

1.  Grab an old can that doesn't have sharp edges and that you can clean out fairly easily.  I wanted a small lantern, so used a tomato paste can.

2.  Wash and dry the can thoroughly, then find some tissue paper in your desired colors and tear or cut off little pieces of it.

3.  Cover the outside of the can with the tissue paper scraps, using this stuff to stick it all down.

Don't forget to put down your handy shower curtain liner to protect your work surface during this project!

4.  Let the can dry completely.  Meanwhile, gather your can-punching supplies.  What worked best for me was to make an initial punch using a small nail and hammer, then remove the nail and use a wide screw to enlarge the hole.  You might find that a drill makes this job even easier, but our drill wasn't charged and my method worked just fine.

5.  Cut a piece of scrap paper that will wrap around the can.  Draw your design onto it, then tape it on the can and punch holes along the design's outlines.

6.  Remove the paper and punch holes on either side of the top for your handle.

Gv chose a heart design for her can

7.  Unfold two large paper clips.  Thread the smallest-bend sections through the holes on each side and wind the ends around and down to keep them secure. 

Needle-nosed pliers might make this job easier, but I was too lazy to go get them from the garage and just used my hands.

8.  Thread beads onto each side and then join the largest-bend sections of the paper clips together in the middle and wind them together.

9.  Slide the beads up onto the joined portion of the handle to keep them together.

These were just random wooden beads I found in Gv's room, but if I make a lantern for myself, I'll probably go pick out fancier beads (and enough to fill the handle up).

10.  Drop a light like this or this down into the can and enjoy your lantern!

If making this craft inspired you to get out in the woods with your family, then check out this cool camping kit!  

The cutest ideas for a family camp-out!

These are the same gals who created the high-quality printables I used with my Passport to Fun gift for G this year, so I know this kit would be perfect for planning your own family camp-out!

I have to admit, I love the look of this little lantern so much, I might just make a few more to decorate the house with!  Gv's been using hers as a night light to fall asleep to, would your little one enjoy this project, too?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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