Camp Little Victors 2020: Nuts About Nature

July 14, 2020 12:37 PM

Kids bored at home? This week’s activities will take you and your little ones into the great outdoors together.

camp little victors orange logo
Image by Stephanie King.

To spark imagination and inspire safe fun indoors, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital’s Camp Little Victor’s summer series provides families with step-by-step, kid-friendly activities to enjoy, ranging from arts and crafts, fitness and motor skills to math and science projects and delicious recipes. Check out more Camp Little Victors activities.

The second week of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital’s virtual summer camp is all about the outdoors! Try these fun nature-themed activities with your kids to help get their creative juices flowing. Get ready for a nature scavenger hunt, creating flowers that blossom in an art project, making your own lava lamp and eating delicious no-bake energy bites that will keep you energized.

Arts & Crafts

Blossoming Flowers

Watch your child's creativity blossom by creating colorful flowers with a simple sheet of paper. Work together to color, cut and fold your flowers, and watch your flower "blossom" in water. This project is a great way to teach your child about different flowers and how they bloom.

What you’ll need:

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Drawing materials: markers or colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Washable markers
  • Bowl
  • Water

Instructions:

  • Fill a bowl with water and set aside.
  • Use a marker color of your choice to create a circle center for your flower on a piece of paper, being mindful to leave room for your petals. You can free hand or use a circular object to trace a perfect circle.
  • Draw the flower petals around the circle.
  • Get creative and decorate your flower; choose to make two or three!
  • Once finished, cut out the flower with your scissors.
  • Fold the petals gently towards the center of the flower. The ends of the petals should be touching together in a tee-pee like shape.
  • Place your folded flower bud(s) into a shallow bowl of water and watch it (them) blossom!

Activity courtesy of Raja Aossey, an art therapist at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

Science & Math

Create Your Own Magical Lava Lamp

Creating a magical lava lamp is easier than you think! With a few household items, anyone can create a beautiful lava lamp that will wow their family. Spark your child's interest in science with this colorful experiment.

What you’ll need:

  • One (1) 16 oz water or plastic pop bottle (label removed)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • ½ Alka-Seltzer tablet
  • 1½ cups of oil (vegetable, canola, olive, etc.)
  • Ten (10) drops of food color, color of your choice
  • Glow stick, optional
  • Funnel, optional

Instructions:

  • Pour 1½ cups of oil into the 16 oz bottle.
  • Next, pour ¾ cup of water into the 16 oz bottle, over the oil. Note: This is a good opportunity to explain to your child how oil and water do not mix, which is why they will see separation between the two.
  • Add 10 drops of food color in and have your child help you count! If the color sticks to the bottom of the oil layer, gently move the bottle back and forth until it drops down into the water layer.
  • If you are using a glow stick, this is the time to add it to your bottle. This is particularly neat if you’re indoors and in a dark room.
  • Last, drop in 1/2 Alka-Seltzer tablet and watch your lava lamp come to life! Make sure not to shake the bottle because it will stop working. Once your Alka-Seltzer tablet is done bubbling, feel free to add another to watch it all over again!

Inspired by Jenni Gretzema, child life specialist at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

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Food & Recipes

Make Delicious No-Bake Energy Bites

These healthy energy bites are just five ingredients away from being in your kitchen. Create these snacks with your kids to get them eating healthy and playing happily all day long. What’s even better? They’re ready in under 15 minutes and don’t require an oven!

energy balls on plate
No-Bake Energy Bites

What you’ll need:

  • 2¾ cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup sun butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup cranberries

Instructions:

  • In a large bowl, stir oats, peanut butter, honey and vanilla until well combined.
  • Stir in cranberries.
  • Roll the dough into golf ball sizes and place them on greased or on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill or enjoy right away.
  • To store, place balls in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Inspired by Gimme Some Overn’s No-Bake Energy Bites.               

Fitness & Motor Skills

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Create an exciting scavenger hunt in your neighborhood or on a local trail! Take your child through nature to find items like a nest, fallen branch, something colorful and more. Have them put on their creativity hats and draw some of the items they find, talking with them after about what they discovered along the way.

baby birds in nest in tree
The scavenger hunt gets kids out of the house and into nature.

What you’ll need:

Instructions:

  • Print out the Nature Scavenger Hunt sheet and modify items so that list fits your environment.
  • Color in items as you find them and draw/write your favorite find in the blank boxes provided. Feel free to use the back of the sheet as well.
  • Talk about your finds after. Questions to ask your child:
    • What item was your favorite to find?
    • Which item was the most difficult to find?
    • What did you find most?
    • What senses did you use today? What did you smell, feel or hear on your scavenger hunt?

Inspired by Doing Good Together’s Nature Scavenger Hunt.

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