Friday, September 12, 2008

Nature Jars

My kids are collectors. They save every drawing ever made, pages from magazines, perfect leaves, bits of interesting mulch, rocks, feathers, etc. When the Frog Princess was in preschool, I would find mulch and dried weeds (bouquets) in the pockets of her coat and in the bottom of her book bag. Once after a trip to Home Depot at Christmas time I found cotton batting (from their fake snow and Christmas tree display) hidden in tiny tufts in her shoe because, as she explained to me later, her coat didn't have pockets so she used her shoe.

I always had to be the meanie mom who said, leave it outside. This brought on temper tantrums and tears ... my favorite. As much as I want to support my budding scientist's discoveries and treasure finding, I don't want a house full of compost or bird lice... so I came up with "the Nature Jar"(a flower pot you can stash your treasures in). It lived on our deck at our last house and resides just inside our garage at this house. Whenever the girls find a rock or leaf or other natural treasure when we're playing outside or taking a walk now instead of saying leave it outside, I just say, put it in the Nature Jar and they happily stash it. With two kids, it has now evolved into two jars but who's counting.

I finally had to clean out the jar today (it had a spider family taking over and I think a mouse was starting a nest in it) I'm not sure yet how the Frog Princess will react but I know we'll be filling it up (outside - this time) with even more fabulous treasures as fall brings new leaves, acorn caps, and little treasures. * I also came up with a solution for all of the drawings and papers but that's another post.


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