Thursday, June 25, 2009

Homemade Gift: Nature Explorer Set

The Frog Princess' friend, Andrew,
celebrated his 6th birthday this weekend.
We thought he needed a
Nature Explorer Set
to play with this summer!

We got him a Terracycle recycled wrapper backpack
and filled it with lots of home-made goodies:

We made him a personalized backyard field guide
with pictures and information
about local birds, butterflies, and leaves
in a simple three ring binder.

A nature journal to record his observations, outings, leaf rubbings, etc.

Two recycled plastic jars
(with small holes in the lids)
for collecting and observing bugs and critters
(I heard from his mom he caught and released fireflies in the big jar!)

A home-made
leaf and flower press

Make your own with
layers of newsprint and cardboard
fastened with rubber bands!

A small "collection" box for fossils (see below)
(original purpose - bead sorter from the craft store)

We also included two of our favorite Toys R' Us finds:
a set of Discovery Store Bug Marbles
and a Discovery Store Fossil Collection.

And finally...
one of my favorite re-purposed
frozen mini-quiche trays
for sorting rock collections, etc.

Why don't you
make a nature explorer set
for your own little explorer?


teachmama said...

too cute. I think we'll do this for some of our summer birthday friends!

Mom, M.Ed. (Jessica) said...

1. I wish we were your friends--what a wonderful gift. :)

2. I'm not sure if I like any of my friends' kids enough to do this for them. Hee hee, just kidding.

Rebecca said...

What a great idea! You went to lots of work. It turned out so cute!!

mamakopp said...

awwww. I want one too! So thoughtful!

Court said...

What a fantastic idea, thanks!

Kristen, The Pajama Mama said...

oh, i really think we'll be doing this for ourselves this summer...very cool! and i bet that gift was a hit with the folks, too! great idea!
enjoy your coffee in the morning from your "new" chair! love finding things of meaning like that-so serendipitous!

pucktricks said...

What a fabulous idea!

Two questions:
1. Where did you get the information and pictures for the homemade field guide

2. How did you make the flower press?

Pink & Green Mama said...

To answer Pucktrick's questions...

1. I got most of my field guide information from the World Wildlife Federation site as well as from the Wild Birds Unlimited site. I also googled butterfly anatomy chart and leaf identification guides.

2. The flower press is just layers of cardboard (I think I used 5 or 6 little rectangles) with several sheets of of clean newsprint in between. We fastened it all together with several rubber bands. You can also press flowers in waxed paper and an old phone book!

Jennifer said...

I totally remember your repurposed quiche trays! Is there anything you can't use those things for??? What a great present!

Morgan said...

Wow-e! You really go all out for birthday gifts! Very cool idea! My 5 year old would enjoy a gift like this.

laylablue said...

great idea! i recently took my 2 and 4 others (their mama came) to a children's zoo--fort wayne, in

each child had their own disposable camera to get shots of their pre-selected animal
(we're doing animal projects)
we have journals/scrapbooks that are ready to be filled...
always looking for more creativity, and i am thrilled to have found your blog--thanks for commenting on mine :)

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