Nature can keep a child busy and amazed for hours and provide numerous opportunities for teaching. Not to mention, provide much-needed refreshment for you and your kids (I can't believe it's almost 70 degrees here today! I'm looking forward to my nature-refreshment this afternoon!)
Kids love inspecting and collecting every little, or big, thing that catches their attention. Our kids always try to pick up the largest stick their little bodies can maneuver and carry it around until it turns into a weapon and they're ordered to drop it. Then they stuff the bottom of the stroller with bits and pieces of found treasure.
Now, instead of filling and dumping our stroller and pockets, my kids can carry their own nature collection box, fill it with whatever they choose and keep it or dump it as they like. These are our new Nature Cans.
These are made from emptied oatmeal boxes and fabric scraps. It's such a simple and satisfying project to make for your kids, with your kids, or with your kids for a kid! (We just gifted a 5-year old friend with one who happens to be starting a nature class).
Here's a little tutorial if you're interested in making your own Nature Can for your next outdoor collecting trip (or birthday gift).
See materials above.
1. Rip paper off oats box.
2. Measure your box. If you're using a full-size box, you can use these measurements: 9" high by 16" around.
3. Cut and glue your fabric to the box. (I'm not a good one to ask about best glue. I used some combination of glue stick, Fabri-Tac, Tacky Glue, and super double-stick tape).
4. Cut out designs for decorating your box and glue them.
5. Locate spots on opposite sides of your box, about an inch or two down from the top, and cut a small X for inserting your strap ends.
6. Measure and cut your strap according to the size of your child. (I used a seam from an old pair of jeans for one of these and short pieces of scrap fabric knotted together for the other).
7. Push the ends of your strap through the Xs and knot inside the box.