Circular-Loom Woven Trivets

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I intended for this old-school camp activity to help fill a Camp Mom morning at home, but it required more dexterity than Travis could master as a six year old. Still, both kids adapted the materials involved to play in their own way, keeping us all busy for an hour! I guess that makes it a Camp Mom success.

For this camp-inspired weaving project, you’ll need an 8-inch embroidery hoop. Separate the two pieces, and tie 6 pieces of string to the inner hoop so they form a starburst. Replace into the outer hoop and tighten.

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Now start at the center and begin weaving yarn, alternating over and under your starburst threads. I realized right away that this would have been a) quicker and b) much easier with a chunky thick yarn. So after Travis tried his hand at it a few times, I told him I would take over. Our thin yarn took quite a long time to fill up the hoop!

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But while I was busy weaving, Travis took the leftover ball of yarn and created an imaginary game involving monsters with tentacles, and pieces of yarn snipped all over the floor.

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Meanwhile little sister Veronika loved pretending her doll was dressed up in extra strands of yarn! So everyone was happy.

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To finish the project, keep weaving yarn, in alternating colors, until your trivet reaches desired size. Every time you switch colors, simply leave the loose threads hanging out the back.

Place the finished trivet over a piece of felt and trace. Cut out the felt, then use hot glue or fabric glue to attach to the back of your trivet, tucking in any loose pieces of string.

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Cover with parchment paper and a heavy book until the glue has dried completely, then snip the trivet from the strings holding it on to the inner hoop.

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Ours turned out to be just the right size for either a small pot or tea mug!

Rocks-to-Gems Treasure Hunt

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Here’s a fun at-home camp activity, if your kids can’t get to real camp this summer! It starts as an art project, and ends with a hunt outside.

To start, we gathered lots of tiny rocks, and then used shiny metallic paints to turn them into gems. Because Travis doesn’t love to get his fingers messy, the painting did end up being mostly a mommy step. But he loved the shiny blues and greens and purples we had as a result.

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While he was distracted, I hid clusters of the “gems” around the yard.

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Little sister Veronika was my accomplice to hide them! Then it was time for a treasure hunt.

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Veronika is of course too young to get in on the hunt in a truly competitive way, but if you’re playing this game with more than one big kid, you can assign point values for different colors, and make it a true competition.

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Travis, meanwhile, enjoyed the hunt and the satisfaction of finding all the sparkling “gems” and bringing his treasure home.

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These were so pretty we decided to leave one out as a lucky find for a neighbor!

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Ice-Dyed Pillowcases

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I was trying to channel old-school camp with this craft today, although it was sort of a fail for Travis. But at least it got us outside in the morning sunshine in these weeks before real camps safely reopen!

The idea was to dye pillow cases with powdered paint and melting ice, putting the heat of the sun to work for us.

I placed a disposable aluminum tray on the patio (with a garbage bag underneath to catch any paint drips), and then placed a rack in the tray.

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Wet your pillowcase thoroughly, then ring out and place on the rack.

Cover the pillowcase with ice. We put on latex gloves (which the kids always think are hilarious to wear), and sprinkled the ice liberally with the powdered paint.

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As the ice melts, the color starts to run into the fabric. Travis thought this was neat to watch for about, oh, one minute.

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Then we got a bit impatient and folded the pillowcase over the ice so that the color transferred to other parts of the fabric, instead of waiting to dye it section by section.

I saw pictures of this craft where it looked more like deliberate designs had been made (i.e. geometric shapes), but I have no idea how this is possible. Perhaps by folding the pillowcase into a square or triangle, and letting color seep through all the layers? If you try, let us know how it turns out in the comments!

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Note: Because I didn’t want the paint to stay on the pillowcase, we used washable powdered paint. Be sure to use a fabric paint or permanent powder, if you want your design to last beyond the “camp” day.

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