Saturday, 23 June, 2018 - 10:45

The weather forecast for your school camp is rain, rain and more rain. But don’t despair, these cheap and cheerful fun activities and art projects will whet your students’ creative appetites – and keep them occupied for hours.

The sun you were hoping for on camp is hiding behind the clouds, and now the rain has set in. Lots of it. A check on your phone’s weather app confirms your worst fear – you’re in for a long, soggy day.

The million-dollar question now is what to do with the dozens of excitable and energetic children on camp with you. The answer? Take a deep breath, get some supplies organised, and start getting creative!

These tried and tested fun activities / art projects will keep your students happy for hours – and best news of all is that they’re easy to set up on school camps.

‘Firework’ pictures
These colourful pictures are an all time favourite with kids – and they’re cheap and easy to make.


  • A selection of coloured crayons, including lots of BLACK crayons.
  • Sturdy art paper squares. (These pictures don’t need to be huge; 10 or 20 centimetre squares are fine)
  • Paper clips

Use the coloured crayons (with the exception of black) to makes designs on the white paper squares. Fill the whole page with colour so there is no white showing on the paper square. Then, using the black crayons, colour over all the paper square, covering the colour well with the black crayon.

Once students have a totally ‘black’ picture in front of them, ask them to carefully scratch out a firework display using the paper clips (unfurl paper clips to create one long scratching post). As student scratch at the black, the colours underneath will be revealed.

Flower and leaf art
Create beautiful, natural flower and leaf ‘canvases’ using nature’s resources.


  • A selection of leaves and flowers
  • Bottled watercolours
  • Blank stamp pads
  • Strong paper (special watercolour paper gives the best results)

Squirt watercolour onto the stamp pads until they are moist. Gently press leaves and flowers into the stamp pad, and then press them onto the paper. Chat about the flowers and leaves students are using – what type of leaves and flowers are they? Are they native to the area? Do they have a scent?

Lollipop posies
A fun project to while away an hour or so while the weather clears up.


  • Pipe cleaners in a variety of colours
  • Scrap fabric
  • Fabric glue
  • Fabric scissors
  • Floral wrapping wire

Bend the pipe cleaners into circular ‘lollipop’ shapes and twist the ends together, leaving a couple of centimetres free. Repeat until you have enough lollipop shapes to create a posy. Glue lollipop shapes onto scrap fabric, using a different fabric for each lollipop. When the glue has dried, carefully cut out each shape from the fabric. Using the floral wire, carefully wrap together the stems of the lollipops, making sure you leave a length of wrapping wire free to create a ‘stem’. Use bits of ribbon or fabric to trim the stems of the posies.

Nature art collage
This is a freestyle art project that encourages students to think about their natural surrounds – and the bounty it contains. It is ideal for camps held near beaches, forests or in natural surrounds, where there are lots of natural resources available.


  • Anything you can find in nature – including shells, pebbles, twigs, leaves, pinecones or bark.
  • Plasterboard or sturdy cardboard squares
  • Craft glue

(Before the rain hits) send students out to gather bits and bobs from nature for their nature art collages. Get students to map out their picture and arrange their nature collection into their desired design. Then simply glue each piece of the picture carefully to the board underneath to create unique pictures native to your camp area.

‘Handy’ keepsakes
These ‘handy’ camp keepsakes are fun to make – and give students something to take home to mark their camp experience.


  • A quantity of homemade play dough (recipe below)
  • Food colouring to colour the dough
  • Rolling pins
  • Waxed kitchen paper
  • Optional: sparkle glue and metallic marker pens
  • A couple of pencils to create ‘hook’ openings on the picture

Ask students to break off pieces of dough the size of a tennis ball. Pat and knead the dough until you have a smooth, round ball. The aim is to have no air bubbles in the dough.

Roll the dough out on the waxed paper until it is approximately two - three centimetres thick and is circular in shape. With fingers splayed, ask students to press their hand into the dough. Students can help each other by pressing fingers firmly down into the dough, so the shape of the hand is well defined. However, be careful not to press down to the bottom of the dough! Using a sharp pencil, get students to mark their picture with their initials or defining squiggle, so they know which one is theirs. Place dough ‘pictures’ on a baking sheet and, using the unsharpened end of a pencil, gently make two holes in the top of the picture. (You can thread string through the holes later to hang the picture). Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for two – three hours. Check regularly to ensure the pictures don’t burn.

When the pictures have cooled, use the gold marker to write the child’s name and date of birth on the back. Decorate the pictures with the glitter glue.

Dough recipe: 2 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of salt, food colouring. Mix ingredients together and knead until smooth and firm.