If you are working as a summer camp counselor, you may be assigned to find some arts and crafts projects for the kids and lead them in creating these projects. In every case, you will want the projects you pick to be kid-friendly, but you may also want them to be earth-friendly in the event that kids decide not to keep everything they make. The following craft options are both kid-friendly and earth-friendly, and are fun to play with too.
Aqua gems, or "water marbles" as they may be called in some parts of the country, are tiny, water-soluble spheres. When the spheres absorb enough water, they swell up to the size of a marble and are clear, like glass. They bounce, jiggle, and fill containers in creative ways. You can find aqua gems for sale in most craft and hobby stores.
Kids can have fun experimenting with the aqua gems and seeing how the marbles respond to touch, bouncing, etc. You can also fill a pool with the dry gems, add water, and let the kids jump in; the spheres fill with water and gradually release it as it gets hotter and additional pressure is added. You can also experiment with flower arrangements/arranging or plant seeds in the fully engorged gems and monitor the growth progress of the seeds through a clear glass container. The best part is that the aqua gems are non-toxic (perfect for kids) and biodegradable (earth-friendly).
Recycled Paper Crafts
Many of these crafts use recycled, unbleached, untreated paper to create three-dimensional projects and dioramas. Since the crafts are designed to be constructed without glue (and often without scissors too!), nothing sticky or unpleasant ends up in the camp environment. Theses crafts utilize tab and slot construction, as well as some folding or origami techniques. The best part is, if the kids decide they do not want to keep these crafts, the recycled paper is chemical-free and can be used for kindling to start camp fires.
Any craft project that you can eat is definitely earth-friendly and kid-friendly. There are many edible craft kits out there that also help kids explore science and cooking. Kids can create sugar crystal candy, salt crystal formations that can be scraped or ground down to season food, and hard candy and taffy making kits (both of which require boiling water). The ingredients are completely natural, found in most kitchens, and will not hurt the environment if emptied into the garbage or accidentally dropped or spilled on the ground.