Ideas for Containing Kids Collections
Kids collect things.That's one of the great things about being a kid, and, if we're lucky, those collections follow us into adulthood. Part of collecting, and why it's a great thing for kids, is that it automatically encourages learning. While most kids collect things like baseball cards, dolls, or Beanie Babies, this article will focus on organizing all of those "found" treasures that our kids pick up along the way.
My kids collect all kinds of things: rocks, shells, fall leaves, pine cones, acorns....and while part of me wants to put it all back outside where it came from, I hold off on that and let them keep their little treasures. Nature is fascinating, and I know I want my kids to grow up with a healthy respect for the environment. Their nature collections connect them to that world. However, once the bedroom starts looking more like the forest or the seashore than a bedroom, it's time to organize those treasures.
Here are a few ideas for storing nature's keepsakes:
- Store seashells in a clear, unbreakable jar or bottle. The kids can still access their stuff, and it will be visible at all times, but it will be contained!
- For rock collections, pick up one of those plastic trays for serving veggies and dip. These are very inexpensive, have a lid, and have all of those great little compartments. Your kids can organize their rocks by color, size, where it was found, whatever. So, besides storing a collection, the kids get a mini-lesson in organization.
- Pinecones, acorns, and any other miscellaneous goodies can be stored in inexpensive baskets. They'll look nice this way, but they'll all be in one place.
- Fall leaves and pressed flowers can be collected in an inexpensive photo album. The sheets will keep the leaves protected, and they won't crumble the way they would if they sat around exposed to the elements.
Kids pick up all kinds of things that we would deem worthless, and cherish them as if they were diamonds. Marbles, bottle caps, rings from gumball machines, valentine cards...there usually is no method to this kind of collecting. The only constant is that, for whatever reason, these items are cherished by your child. Let them have a special, designated space for these treasures. Here are some ideas:
- An old lunchbox
- Purchase one of those cardboard boxes at the craft stores that you can decorate yourself. Let your children paint or apply stickers to their special box
- Dollar stores often have inexpensive jewelry boxes, plastic containers, or baskets, perfect for storing treasures
- If you're crafty, make a simple wooden box yourself and let your child decorate it however they like
Use these few ideas, and let them spark ideas of your own, and you and your childrens' collections can live happily together.
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