Craft Activities!

Parents: find a leader for an activity below. You can also find and reach out to a Crafts Leader and let the leader recommend activities to do.

Beaded Lizard Keychain

Boys and girls of all ages will love this cool and creative keychain they can add to their backpacks!

Activity Details
Instructions
  • Refer to reference links, below, for image & video tutorial.
  • Pick up one bead and slide it to the center, so you have two equal lengths of cord on either side.
  • Pick up the first two beads of the second row on one side of the thread. Keep them toward the thread end. Now pick up the other thread end and go through the beads in the opposite direction.
  • Pull the thread ends to slide the two beads to the center. They should stack neatly on the first bead. Make sure your beads remain centered by comparing the tail lengths and adjust as necessary. Adding the rest of the rows of beads for the body and tail are done the same way. Making the lizard legs is slightly different.
  • You will use the cord from each side to make each of the lizard legs. The right cord will make the right leg, the left cord will be used to make the left leg. Pick up two beads of the first color and three beads of the second color for each leg.
  • Skipping the last three beads, put your cord back through the two beads. Make sure you pull the bead tight and slide the beads close to the body. Arrange the three beads that make up the foot into a triangle.
  • Continue the body of the lizard the same way you started in the beginning, by picking up the correct number of beads and placing the cord from the other side through the beads in the opposite direction.
  • Repeat the instructions above for the back legs of the lizard.
  • Add one bead at a time to make the lizard tail. When you are done, you can knot your threads using either a square knot or an overhand knot.
Supplies
  • At least one to two yards of lanyard string
  • Two colors of beads and two more beads of a different color for the lizard eyes (beads must be big enough for lanyard string)
  • (optional) Keyring or Snap Hook Clasp
Equipment
  • Scissors
Reference Links

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Dream Catchers - Paper Plate Style

There are sooo many ways to make a beautiful dream catcher, and here is one way for younger kids! Don't forget to hang it above your bed for good dreams!

Activity Details
Instructions
  • Begin by cutting in the center of the paper plate. Leave a rim of 2 inches all around the paper plate
  • Take your hole punch and punch hole in the rim of the paper plate, about ½ inch apart each.
  • Measure out your yarn 5-6 ft long. Tie one end of the yarn to any one of the holes on the rim of the paper plate.
  • Weave the yarn up, over, and all around the paper plate from one hole to the next one. You can make your pattern any way you like. Make sure to loop through each of the punched holes.
  • You can add the craft beads to the middle of the dream catcher with the yarn as you go through the holes. Simply slip them onto the yarn and continue with the next hole. They will appear to be in the middle of the dream catcher.
  • Once all of the holes are threaded with the yarn, tie a knot at the end of the yarn with the plate and the last hole.
  • Now, take your hole punch and punch 3 more holes in the paper plate at the bottom of the plate.
  • Cut 3 more pieces of yarn, about 5 inches long each.
  • Take each piece of yarn and tie them to the 3 punched holes at the bottom of the dream catcher.
  • Choose some beads to thread onto each of the 3 yarn pieces and then tie one feather to the end each of the hanging yarn pieces.
  • Take your markers and decorate the edges of the paper plate.
  • Lastly, make a piece of yarn the length you need to hang it on the wall. Punch one more hole to the top of your paper plate dream catcher and tie the yarn to it.
  • Hang your new Dream Catcher in a place where sweet dreams are welcome.
Supplies
  • Paper plates
  • Yarn
  • Craft beads
  • Feathers
  • Markers (or paint)
Equipment
  • Hole Puncher
  • Scissors
Reference Links

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Friendship Bracelet - Candy Stripe

This is the best pattern to start with for any beginner. It's basic, but beautiful!

Activity Details
Instructions
  • Cut as many strands of yarn as you'd like to 36” and tie them together 3” down. Separate strands in the order of the pattern you want to create. The more strands you incorporate, the wider your bracelet will be.
  • Working from the left to the right, tie a forwards knot by taking the left-most strand and bend it on top of its neighbor to the right, creating a “4” shape.
  • Wrap the tail of the left-most strand around its neighbor by going under it and pulling the neighbor's tail out through the space between the strands.
  • Hold the interior strand straight and pull knot up towards the top knot, tightening to secure.
  • Repeat once more.
  • Remember, each knot in a friendship bracelet consists of two knots.*
  • The original exterior strand will move to the right and continue to tie two forwards knots around the next string.
  • Repeat the process with the new left-most strand, working your way across each strand of the bracelet until it makes its way to the right. Once one color has tied across all other colors, move on to the next color.
  • Continue until your bracelet is long enough to fit around your wrist. Tie off all strings together, wrap bracelet around wrist, and tie both ends together.
Supplies
  • Embroidery floss
Equipment
  • Scissors
Reference Links

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God's Eyes

An easy but beautiful camp classic for younger kids!

Activity Details
Instructions
  • Begin by crossing two sticks to form an “X”.
  • To secure those sticks, and keep them in place, wrap a piece of yarn around the intersecting points of the stick. You can knot your yarn to start, or you can just trap the tail under the yarn as you start wrapping. Do a few wraps in one direction, and then rotate your sticks, and do a few wraps in the other direction to ensure your sticks are stable, and won’t shift.
  • Wrap your yarn around one stick, close to the center of the God’s eye, and take it over to the next stick. Wrap it around that stick, and take it to the next stick. Continue wrapping and winding in that fashion, rotating your God’s Eye craft as you work.
  • When you want to switch to a new color, simply cut your yarn, and tie it to a new piece of yarn. Trim the ends, and continue weaving.
Supplies
  • 2 sticks or 2 popsicle sticks
  • Different colored balls of yarn
Reference Links

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Hiking & Painting A Landscape

With all the natural beauty surrounding us in the Bay Area, how about painting a picture? Take a hike down your favorite trail or around your neighborhood. Take in the sites around you, notice the flowers, trees, and animals that you walk by. Find a comfy spot and create a painting of what you see. It doesn't have to be perfect! Relax and let your surroundings be your guide! Pack some snacks and bring your family, maybe even your dog!

Activity Details
Instructions

Find a nice spot to sit and set up your paints. Pour a little water into your bowl to be able to rinse your brushes. Sketch out your picture in pencil first. Then paint!

Supplies
  • Heavy Paper or Watercolor Paper
  • Bottle of water
  • Small Bowl (for rinsing brushes)
  • Watercolor Paints
  • Pencil and Eraser

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Lanyards - Basic Box Stitch

New to lanyard making? This is the perfect beginner stitch, once you get the hang of it, you can master all lanyard types!

Activity Details
Instructions
  • First, you have to lay out your string and cut about two feet or more of each color
  • Lay them out in an X fashion. Now imagine they are coming not from a common center but from the four sides of a square. Take the one on the top right and move it down.
  • Follow with the one on the right bottom. Now the bottom left.
  • Finally, take the string on the left top and pass it over the first string, but under the second. You should now have four strings, each going over one string and under the second. Pull this tight against the ring.
  • Simply do the same thing over again, laying each string down to form the same pattern. Make sure to bring each string straight across or it won't look right.

To Finish It:

  • To tie it, first complete one more lanyard knot, but do not pull it tight. Make sure the string is on the left-hand side. If not, tie one more knot.
  • Take any one of the strings and run it counterclockwise past one string. Then put it under the string of the same color on the other side and bring it up through the middle. Take the string that you just went around and do the same thing. Then once more.
  • Finally, the last string is (again) different to make it symmetrical. Imagine when using the last string that the first string had not been tied.
Supplies
Reference Links

Minimum Group Size: 1

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LED Tealight Lantern

Here's how to make charming little hanging lanterns from LED tealights, - this is a great fun craft - quick to make - and the end result is safe for kids of almost any age.

Activity Details
Instructions

* The 'glass' for the lanterns is made from overhead projector film - although any stiff clear plastic film will work.

  • Cut a rectangle of film 8cm wide and long enough to go all the way around your tealight (with a little spare - maybe half a cm) - so mine was 8 by 14 cm.
  • Using permanent, quick-drying markers, draw a colored pattern on the film - I went for a sort of stained glass look.
  • (You might need to experiment or shop around a bit to find the sort of pens that will dry properly when used on plastic).
  • Punch a pair of holes in one of the long edges of the film - about one third of the way in from each end (so at about 5 cm along, and another at about 10cm along the long edge).
  • Stick a strip of double-sided foam adhesive tape around the edge of the LED tealight.
  • Peel the backing off the double sided tape and stick the colored film around the candle.
  • Apply it colored side in, so it won't ever smudge - and stick the film in place so as to only use half the width of the adhesive tape (leaving half sticky and exposed).
  • Also make sure you're sticking the opposite edge from the one where you punched holes.
  • Cut some pieces of colored paper or thin card; A circle about 7cm in diameter - I just drew around the rim of a drinking glass; A strip about 3cm wide by 14cm long (adjust length to fit with a little overlap, if that's not big enough to go around your tealights).
  • Stand the tealight flat on the work surface and apply the paper strip around the edge. It should stick to the exposed half of the double-sided tape. Stick down the overlapping end of the paper strip with a little clear tape.
  • Cut a slit in the paper disc from the edge straight to the center.
  • Punch a pair of holes - they're not exaclty opposite each other when the paper is flat because they need to be opposite after the disc has been made into a cone (see the next step and this will make sense)
  • Overlap the edges of the cut in the paper disc to pull it into a shallow cone shape. Secure this in place with a small piece of clear tape.
  • Cut a length of string or decorative cord about 15cm long - thread the ends down through the conical lid, then in through the two holes in the top edge of the colored film. Tie the ends together in a double knot.
  • And the lantern is finished - switch on the tealight and enjoy!
Supplies
  • Red Card Stock (or any color you have)
  • Double sided foam tape (or double sided tape)
  • Overhead Projector film –(or any stiff clear plastic)
  • String (or Yarn)
  • LED Tealight
Equipment
  • Hole Punch
  • Scissors
  • Permanent Marker Pens
Reference Links

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Pinwheel

This fun and creative craft is great for younger kids and windy days!

Activity Details
Instructions
  • Cut out a 6 by 6 inch square (you can make the square larger or smaller)
  • If using a second sheet of paper, cut out the same size square and glue the 2 papers together back to back.
  • Use a ruler to trace a line from corner to corner.
  • Make a mark on each line 1/3 away from the center.
  • Cut along the lines you traced until you reach the 1/3 mark.
  • Bring the edges to the center of the square
  • Make a hole through all 4 edges in the center
  • Make a small cut into the wooden stick to allow the paper fastener through.
  • Stick the paper fastener (or pin) into a wooden stick, eraser top of a pencil, or into the straw.
Supplies
  • Two sheets of paper with different colors
  • Paper fastener (Optional - Pin if you don't want to make a pinless pinwheel)
  • Drinking straw, popsicle stick, pencil, or wooden stick
  • Markers/stickers (anything you want to use to decorate pinwheel)
Equipment
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
Reference Links

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Puffy Paint

It's like painting with a colorful cloud! Kids of all ages love this twist on paint!

Activity Details
Instructions
  • Measure out all the ingredients, except for any coloring, into a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix the shaving cream, flour and glue together without over mixing. (You want to keep the air bubbles in the shaving cream.)
  • Divide the white puffy paint mixture between 3 to 4 small bowls and add a few squirts of food coloring or paint to each bowl, stirring in, but again being careful not to over mix.
  • Optional: Spoon the puffy paint into sandwich bags. Seal each bag (add duct tape as well to help keep it closed if your kids are extra vigorous squeezers), then cut a small corner off.
  • Either with brushes or bags, paint your beautiful creation on paper!
  • Set creation in dry and sunny place.
Supplies
  • 3+ cups of shaving cream (foam not gel)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup white glue, such as Elmer’s
  • Food coloring or acrylic paint
  • Optional: Ziploc-style sandwich bags
  • Sturdy paper, poster board, cardboard
Equipment
  • Paint brushes

Leader Prep: If doing this with young children, consider using a smock to protect their clothes, and definitely do this activity on a surface which can get paint on it.

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Slime

It's squishy, it's slippery, it's slime! Slime is easy to make and fun for all occasions and ages.

Activity Details
Instructions
  • Add glue and food coloring to bowl. Squeeze the bottle of glue into a bowl. Add your food coloring if desired, and stir until combined.
  • Mix in baking soda.
  • Mix in saline solution. Add 1 1/2 Tablespoons saline solution and mix until combined. If it’s too sticky, add 1/2 Tablespoon more solution at a time. The more you add, the thicker it’ll be. The less you add, the slimier it’ll be.
  • Knead the slime. Using your hands, knead the slime until it holds together. It will be wet and gooey at first, but just keep kneading until it all comes together.
  • Store in Ziploc bag
Supplies
  • 8-ounce bottle Elmer’s white school glue
  • 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons contact saline solution, more as needed
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • (Optional) Food coloring
Equipment
  • Bowls
  • Plastic sandwich bags for storage

Leader Prep: Help us make this activity post better. Activity leaders would like to see what this craft looks like. If you've made this craft, send a photo of your completed craft to kidcare@roughingit.com

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Straw Weaving Bracelets

Straw weaving is such a fun craft idea! Its a great summer craft for campers and an awesome craft for kids or tweens. You can weave bracelets, necklaces, headbands and even belts. Wouldn't they make awesome friendship bracelets!? This method of weaving is easy to learn and its lots of fun.

Activity Details
Instructions
  • Tape the ends of 3 straws together so that they are side by side
  • Cut three pieces of yarn, about 3 times the length of your straws. Then thread one piece of yarn through each of the straws.
  • Tie the ends of the three pieces of yarn into a knot. Leave a little extra yarn after your knot – about 2 to 3 inches – so you can tie them into a bracelet at the end.
  • Tape the straws to the table using masking tape or painters tape.
  • Using another piece of yarn (from the ball of yarn), tie a knot around the top straw.
  • Then you can start weaving! Take your yarn under the middle straw, then over the bottom straw.
  • Then go under the bottom straw, over the middle straw, then under the top straw.
  • Then repeat the pattern: Go over the top straw, under the middle straw, then over the bottom straw.
  • Keep weaving following this pattern:

Under and around the bottom straw, over the middle straw, under the top straw. Over and around the top straw, under the middle straw, over the bottom straw. Repeat.

  • Every 3 to 4 lines, push your yarn towards the tape and pull the yarn to make sure all the loops are snug.
  • Keep following the over, under, over, under weaving pattern until you’re happy with the length of your bracelet.
  • Cut the yarn, then tie it in a single knot around whichever straw you finished weaving on. Don’t double knot it yet. You just want it to stay in place while you pull it off the straws
  • Remove the tape holding the straws to the table. Then remove the tape holding the straws together.
  • Then carefully slide the woven loops off the straw. Push them off towards the end of the three pieces of yarn that were knotted together before you started weaving.
  • You should have 4 pieces of yarn at the end where you finished. Tie them into a knot, as close to the woven bracelet as you can.
  • Tie the ends together and slide the bracelet onto your wrist and you’re done!
Supplies
  • Yarn
  • 3 Drinking Straws
  • Tape
  • Wooden Skewer (optional)
Equipment
  • Scissors
Reference Links

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Tissue Paper Flowers

If you don't have a green thumb, don't worry! Instead of growing flowers, just craft them with some tissue paper

Activity Details
Instructions
  • Take the tissue paper out of its package, stack three sheets on top of one another, line them up, and cut into 12-by-6-inch sheets
  • Start with the shorter side (in this case, the 6-inch side) and make a 1-inch fold to start off an accordion fold.
  • Once you have made a 1-inch fold in your stacked tissue paper edge, turn your tissue paper stack over for the next fold, then turn it back for the fold after that.
  • Keep folding and turning over the paper until you have an accordion-style narrow strip of tissue paper.
  • Take your scissors and trim the ends of the stacked tissue paper strip so that you have a rounded edge on both sides.
  • To ensure the stem is centered, fold the tissue strip in half and place the green pipe cleaner or chenille stem at the fold.
  • Loop the "stem" around the middle of the folded tissue paper strip.
  • Twist the pipe cleaner onto itself to hold the tissue paper strip in place.
  • Starting on one side, begin opening up the tissue paper folds you made.
  • Gently separate the tissue paper sheets to unfold the petals of your flower.
  • Draw leaves on green paper and cut out the leaves.
  • Glue one or two leaves to the stem of each blossom, placing them wherever you want
Supplies
  • 1 green stem/pipe cleaners
  • 1 sheet of green cardstock paper or construction paper
  • 3 sheets (12-by-6-inch sheets or larger) of colored tissue paper
Equipment
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
Reference Links

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TP Roll Binoculars

Before you go bird watching, you'll need these handy and eco-friendly binoculars!

Activity Details
Instructions
  • Begin by connecting your toilet paper rolls. We chose to use three glue-dots to stick ours together. If the binoculars are going to be played with a lot, we recommend using white glue or hot glue for a stronger hold. Wait for the glue to dry before continuing to the next step.
  • Decorate your binoculars however you choose!
  • If you want to be able to wear your binoculars around your neck, make sure you add a strap.
  • Measure and cut your string.
  • Then use scissors to cut a small hole on the outside edge of each roll about a 1/2 inch from the top.
  • Take one end of your string and thread it through the hole you made. Tie a knot to secure. Repeat with the other side of the string.
  • Now you're ready for an adventure!
Supplies
  • Two toilet paper rolls
  • White glue
  • Glue-dots
  • String or ribbon
  • Construction paper or butcher paper
  • Optional: decorating supplies (markers, crayons, stickers, tissue paper!)
Equipment
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun (optional - must be used with caution)
Reference Links

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