We are joining the North Dakota Today Show Monday morning (watch here!) to share about our downtown Summer Camp along with some crafty camp-inspired projects. We’d love for your campers to join in the fun for one heckuva summer – below is some inspiration with a science project with bouncy balls, adventure project with our explorer book, and an a-frame tent with the coolest fabric. As a bonus at the very end we’ve got some healthy camp snacks as well!
Throw in a little bit of science with your household items to create a bouncy ball! These little guys need to be stored in a ziplock bag when not used and will last a couple weeks. “Real” super balls are made by compressing rubber with thousands of pounds, but this is a great DIY you can do with any age right at home.
Borax (in the cleaning aisle near detergents)
Also: 2 cups/small bowls to mix in, 1/2 cup measuring cup, tablespoon, popsicle stick or something to mix with, paper towel, ziplock baggie to store in
1. In one bowl/cup mix 1/2 cup of very hot tap water and 1 tablespoon of borax. Mix until it mostly dissolves.
2. In another bowl mix 1 tablespoon of Elmer’s glue and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
3. Add 1-3 drops of food coloring and mix.
4. & 5. Drop the glue mixture into the borax mixture. Let sit before mixing for 20 seconds. Stir around a bit for 20 seconds.
6. Use a fork or popsicle stick to get the glue mixture out of the container.
7. Begin to knead and roll with your hands. Little air bubbles will maybe pop and feel re-sticky. Drop in borax mix again and stir around. Take out again and it’ll be less sticky. Pat your hands occasionally on a paper towel to start to help the ball to dry. Balls will not maintain shape – reroll each time you take out of baggie!
8. Balls will bounce best on tables and against wall! They won’t bounce very high directly on the floor while standing.
*Put a few mason jars together and try to bounce balls into certain jars for certain points!
*Bounce balls off garage!
*What to do with all that borax? Try monster slime, silly puddy, or grow crystals!
*Create different shapes to see how angles affect the bounce.
Variety of envelopes, little bags, sketch paper
Scrap leather (can substitute paper grocery bag, cardboard, thick fabric, etc. instead of leather)
Glue (hot glue or tacky…I hate tacky glue because I don’t have patience, but just give your drying time longer if you use it!)
Accessories like feathers, beads
1. Cut sketch paper down to largest envelope size. Line up papers how you want them to go in the book.
2. Cut the leather or substituted material to be a little wider on all sides than the papers/envelopes (big enough for a hole punch to go on both short sides).
3. Optional: Sew around edges to embellish or add any fun stitching for interest!
4. Glue a full side of envelope to each wrong side of leather to anchor the insides.
5. Glue the rest of the papers/envelopes together to these but only glue up to the middle on each to allow for easy opening.
6. Punch a hole on both sides of the short ends of leather on both layers.
7. Pull your cord/twine through your hole punches.
8. Use scrap leather or fabric to glue on a “binding” to the end of the book.
9. Tie some feathers together. Glue a small piece of twine to the back.
10. Tie feathers to the main cord to allow it to move back and forth to allow easy tying still of main cord.
Then go take your explorer book to the park, beach, or on your summer trips! Collect any fun nature items and create other fun projects with your collections. Maybe even create a scavenger hunt with items that would fit slick in the explorer book as well!
A-frame Tent DIY
For this tent we pretty much followed the instructions found with this blog post. We’ll show you a few things we focused on below as well! We did skip the hemming of the ends of the tent as we wanted to make this as easy as possible, but you sure can go for it!
We used 4 – 1″x 2″ x 48″ pieces of standard lumber from Menards – the beauty is they come this size already! Same with the dowel – we used a 48″ x 3/4″ dowel. You certainly don’t have to drill the hole through the 1″ x 2″‘s and could just use more twine to hold the dowel in place on top of the sides.
But if you do drill be sure to do it through all 4 1″x2″ about 6″ from the top. This was exciting to me to try with a 3/4″ spade bit. No joke. We did it on our way out to a fancy evening;)
You’ll see in the full blog tutorial more details, but we decided to sew on the elastic pieces with 2 zig zag stitches that we went back and forth on quite a few times to strengthen it.
We also are obsessing over Modern Textiles fabric of course…so we also had to buy mini pom poms instead of twine!!
It’s like a perfect little reading nook, play area out of the sun, perfect for indoor rainy days, and whatever you want! The frame came to about $12 for the wood pieces so it’s really up to whatever fabric/vintage sheet/twine you want to use for the rest. We used 83″ x 44″ of fabric and it worked perfectly 🙂
Bonus Snack Time!
Roasted Strawberry Parfait
Check out the full recipe we used here. Loved this! Roasted strawberries are to die for. No measuring was involved here, but we combined quartered strawberries with brown sugar. Put them on parchment paper to bake at 425 degrees for about 8 minutes. Combined Greek yogurt with local honey and then layered!
Layer with the yogurt mix, strawberries, and granola (we used a delicious organic blueberry/apple grandola) and top with mint.
For this we used a teaspoon to make little half balls of melon! Ultimately we were going for blueberries but the grocery store was out?! So blackberries won. We put greek yogurt again combined with honey in the base and then layered with the fruit using the yogurt as the “glue.” We also topped it with a little piece of mint. It’d be fun to substitute some cool whip as well!