A camping trip is the ideal time to indulge the creative talents of children. There is plenty of fun to be had hiking in the woods, swimming in lakes and exploring the landscape. However, many creative children will appreciate the chance to step back, observe everything around them and turn it into art. Different kids have different talents and interests. Here are some tips and ideas to help you spark that creativity on your next trip.
Sketching the Landscape
Some kids might assume that this is out of the question when parents are so keen to pack light. Obviously there isn’t going to be room for an easel and half an artist’s studio. Still, you can help kids create a small travel pack of essentials. A small sketchbook, travel-sized tin of water colors and a few pencils can go a long way. Give them time to sit and paint the landscape around them. Challenge them to sketch as many flowers or birds as possible over the course of the trip.
Look for Some Interesting Materials for a Natural Approach to Painting
One way to avoid the issue of packing painting tools is to use natural materials. This is great for hands-on kids that want to try something new. Feather are ideal brushes. Twigs make bold marks. Moss offers interesting textures. Tree bark rubbings are also a great activity. Obviously, all young artists in this situation need to respect the landscape. Take a little of what you need and don’t disturb any wildlife.
Wildlife and nature photography is one of the best ways to capture native creatures at their best. A creative approach to landscape photography lets kids see the world from a different angle. This is a great opportunity to wean kids and teens off of their phone cameras and onto the real thing. There are two options here. Responsible teens can have the chance to borrow your own digital camera and see what they take. This may help them discover the joys of a long lens and different settings. Alternatively, buy them their own, cheaper point-and-shoot camera. Just make sure that you have a large enough memory cards and the ability to charge any batteries.
Larger Projects at Home
Many creative projects will take place after the trip, with these sketches and photos as inspiration. Kids can take their ideas and observations and use them in a bigger, long-term project. Those that like to paint can turn sketches into paintings. Maybe buy them a canvas then can then hang on a bedroom wall. Others may prefer to bring everything into a collage. This is ideal for kids that dabbled in different mediums over the camping trip. They can cut out photos, sketches and rubbings to create an interesting interpretation of the holiday.
Talk to your kids about potential projects and creative ideas before you go. Together you can discuss themes, goals and any materials they will need. Help them find what they need to get started, give them the time to get creative while camping and encourage their efforts and talents. By the end, you could both have a beautiful peace of art that captures the fun of the family trip.