Arts & Crafts time is always a highlight during our “School’s Out, We’re In!” (aka “SOWI”) program here at Pecometh. While we’ve done several different projects over the year, one of my favorites was creating a photo frame using a combination of ornamental bits and pieces we provided and an assortment of things the campers found on a nature scavenger hunt! This craft would be a great way to entertain kids when they're off school, or it could even be adapted as a way to create a keepsake on a family vacation.
Prior to craft time, we gave the kids a varied scavenger hunt list. The list included lots of different objects they could collect, identify, or draw, as well as possible decorative items such as feathers, shells, colorful rocks, and seeds. After the successful hunt, campers were then able to use their imagination to put together beautiful and creative photo frames to take home.
This project combined many skills: campers needed to read the list, count items, explore the world around them, and use creativity in deciding how to decorate their frame. The craft also worked for the entire range of elementary school ages (K-5th grade) because each child was able to work at their own level (though the younger children needed a little more supervision and guidance with the glue!). As you can see, each frame was unique and beautiful!
If you are in our area and looking for fun things for your own campers to do over Christmas break, our next SOWI session is December 27-28. Your elementary aged children can come for one or both days. Register by December 14 by visiting our website.
Nature Photo Frame
- Wooden Frames
- Craft Glue
- Scavenger Hunt list and collected items
- Optional: pom-poms, glitter glue pens, artificial feathers, magnet strips (to hang completed frames)
1. Gather all supplies together. You may want to put down newspaper to contain any mess made.
2. Sort through the scavenger hunt items. Some things (such as medium to large rocks or unsavory natural items) might not be appropriate to put on a hanging frame. Other objects may need to be cleaned before using.
3. Allow camper to decorate as they wish, using the glue to add items. As with any project, be sure to monitor the amount of glue they are using: not enough and the object won’t stick, too much and the glue won’t dry. Be especially watchful with glitter glue (trust me)!
4. After decorating, leave plenty of time for the project to dry (several hours is best).
5. If you are using magnet strips, now is the time to attach them to the back. Depending on the weight of the frame, use one to three 1.5-2.5” strips per frame.
6. For the photo, I recommend printing a photo to fit the frame and trimming to allow some extra space for gluing or taping the photo to the back of the frame. You could also attach the photo to heavy cardstock or another type of backing, if the frame you use doesn’t come with its own.
7. Show off your campers’ work! The SOWI parents gave great reviews!
Note: We completed this craft on the second day of a 2-day camp program. We used photos from Day One that we had taken specifically for the project.
Sample Scavenger Hunt List:
1. Two different types of grass
2. Leaves from three different trees
3. Large rock
5. Three different colored smooth stones
6. Something plastic (explain how it doesn't belong in nature)
7. Animal tracks (draw them on the back of your paper after you find them)
8. Nut or acorn
10. Something red
11. Feather12. Seeds
14. Something that makes noise
15. Something faster than a snail
16. Two shells from the beach
17. Something that begins with one of the letters in “PECOMETH”
18. Something shiny
19. Something white
20. Something soft
21. Something blue