School’s out, weather's sunny, and we can’t WAIT to get outside and do some camping! Glamping possibly ;)
Regardless of whether you like to go camping or if relaxing at a cottage is more your thing, we all have a bit of prep work to do to get ready for our vacations. Groceries, packing, bikes & swim toys -- the list goes on!
There are so many people looking forward to getting outside this summer! If you’re new to camping or if it'll be your first time heading up to a cottage for the week, then get ready for an adventure! A few of us have grown up camping, and we thought it would be fun to share a couple of the ideas we’ve used with our silicone beads and craft supplies on our own trips with our families!
Water Safety & Lifejacket Lanyards
Even if your kids are great swimmers, life jackets are a must any time you’re near water. Kids can get extra silly when they’re playing around water and accidents can happen!
Especially when you’re out for a boat or canoe ride, it's important to have safety measures in place. This year we made a few silicone beaded name tag lanyards for our kids' life jackets and they’ve been a hit so far with both the kids, and the adults watching them.
A lanyard is looped around the shoulder of our life jacket, and includes a few essentials: a whistle to call for help, a name tag, and a water-proof phone number card. We made our water-proof phone card by laminating a piece of paper with self laminating sheets (you can find these at your local office supply depot or amazon!). Should a child be separated from a group, they’ve got easy identification and a way to get attention.
We picked up our whistle in a generic multi pack from Amazon, but if you really want a whistle that is loud and shrill, you’ll want to order a Fox 40 Whistle. They’re piercing and loud, work wet or dry, and while you might not love them for play time, they’re an amazing quality whistle. Why would we know anything about whistles? One of our husbands l o v e s the outdoors, and researched kid safe whistles.
And if you’re wondering, yes we did get a few whistles blown in our face by our kids :) and yes, there are whistle rules now ;) #necessary
Zipper Pulls for Little Hands
“I can’t find my sleeping bag zipper!”
“My zipper is stuck, and I’m too cold to do it up!”
“I can’t find my sleeping mat - it keeps moving!”
Any of these sound familiar?? You get them all into the tent, everyone on their mat, and tucked in their sleeping bags. After a song, a prayer and 5 minutes of silence -- well, you thought you zipped them in, but apparently your kid turns into an octopus in their sleep. Somehow that zipper found its way down. That neatly closed and folded sleeping bag is now an open faced sandwich that can’t find it’s zipper. You don’t want to accidentally wake up the sibling next to them and it’s too late to turn on the lantern.
Mama, we’ve got this. We took some time to figure out a few zipper pulls designed completely with little hands in mind. They’re easy loops to grab on to, bulky enough to find in the dark, and strong enough to last more than a few years. These pulls should make it easier for your kids to zip up their own bag.
Spy that first design? That’s simply a tube pendant tied together at the ends! It’s simple, thick, and super durable.
Somehow flashlights always end up at the opposite end of the tent and are constantly being dropped. We wanted our kids to find them and hold on to them easier.
It’s super easy for little hands to hold or loop on an arm, hangs up, and makes searching in the dark for a flashlight a touch simpler.
When you’re camping you tend to need to bring a lot of stuff - clothes, supplies, kitchen items, you name it. The more efficient you can be the better! When we were kids, we had our own camping cup that we used for all of our drinks. They were usually color assigned, but it would have been so much easier to have our names more than Sharpied on tape on the side ;)
Making personalized items is super fun for kids - it feels special and gives them a sense of ownership. We used some of our newly learned macrame skills and added some fun cording and beads to the handle of our cups. Easy to hold, washes up great, and no fuss!
You can also use some of our past tutorials for fun ideas! We went back into the archives and dug up the tutorial for sunglasses strands (you can find it here!) to make a sweet little lanyard. Hopefully these help keep sunglasses around for a tiny bit longer ;)
Camping isn’t camping without a rain day or two! Preplan for some gloomy days by pulling together small games and crafts for your kiddos to entertain themselves with.
If you’ve been camping, you’re familiar with the concept of ‘Comfort Stations’. When we were growing up, they were far from comfortable, but they filled the need for showers and washrooms. Comfort Stations have come a long way, but they’re still not the best set up places for showering and bathing. They’re usually missing shelves or any safe place to put your belongings off the tiled floor -- and good luck finding a shelf for your soaps.
We saw this idea a few years ago and shower lanyards are incredibly useful! Each member of your family has their own shower lanyard complete with their preferred soaps, shampoos, etc, and a handy little clip end to hold the loop of a loofah or wash mitt. Simply loop your lanyard around the shower head of your shower! Everything stays off the ground, no gathering bottles or extra items, and you can get out of that shower a little quicker because of it.
We’re breaking down how to sew one up and it couldn’t be easier! You’ll probably want a sewing machine to do this, but you can hand stitch if you don’t have one!
- 1.5 yards of 1 inch wide nylon webbing (we found ours at our local fabric store)
- 2-3 carabiner clips
- 1 large hook lanyard clip
- Sewing machine & scissors
- Coordinating thread
- Travel Soap Bottles with carrying holes or loops
Step by Step
1. Take your webbing and slide your large hook lanyard clip onto it.
2. Fold over your webbing so that the ends meet. Overlap the ends by about 1.5” and sew a zig zag stitch over the ends. Make sure that your webbing isn’t twisted at all before sewing.
3. Slide your lanyard clip all the way to the opposite end of your sewn ends. The sewn ends will be the top of the shower lanyard, and the lanyard clip will be the bottom where your loofah/shower mitt hangs off. About 3-4 inches apart, loop your webbing back on itself in an ‘S’ shape. Your loop should hang downwards and be no longer than 1” in length. Taking your sewing machine, sew a simple straight stitch across the top loop of your ‘S’ shape.
4. Repeat this until you have as many loops as you want.
5. Clip your carabiners into the loops created, making sure that the clip faces down. To make your carabiners more secure, we also sewed a straight stitch as close to the carabiner as we could - this will keep it from sliding around or turning.
6. Position your loops and your bottom lanyard hook, and sew a straight stitch beside your lanyard hook as well to keep it from moving.
7. Clip your bottles on your carabiner hooks (we found these Silicone bottles on amazon!), and you’re ready to go!
There’s so many great things you can do to make your vacation even better, and we hope you liked a few of these ideas!
Do you have more hacks that you use? Let us know in the comments below!
Hope you have a restful and safe summer!
*The products, materials, and supplies sold by Cara & Co. Silicone Craft Supply are intended for use by adults and should never be left unattended with a child.
***Small objects and beads can present choking hazards to young children. Never leave a child unattended with beads or other products. Always dispose of any damaged product. No product is completely indestructible, and fully formed teeth could potentially damage product if chewed aggressively, so responsible attentiveness is needed for any user or purchaser. Customers should always inspect and monitor their products, discontinuing use at the first sight of damage.
****Once our products have been sold and shipped to our customers, Cara & Co Silicone Craft Supply Inc., waives all responsibility and liability from the use of our products. Customers are responsible that their final products made from our supplies meet the appropriate safety requirements for their region. Our buyers understand that by purchasing our products or using suggestions from the above tutorial, the buyer assumes any and all responsibility and liability for the use of the products.
*****Cords, clasps and pacifier clips are not intended to be chewed on and may present choking hazards.