Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Morning Nature Museum

Problem: The kids LOVE to collect treasures whenever we go on hikes, play at the beach, or basically have any kind of outdoor adventure. The first thing they do is ask for their treasure bag (very simply, a plastic bag in which to collect things!) and then they proceed to spend much of the outing putting things, large and small, into it. The collecting itself is NOT the problem - it's actually sweet and wonderful and I love that they enjoy and appreciate it so much...the problem occurs when we try to decide what to do with the "treasures" that we've found. I've tried having them choose 3 favorites or having them put things in a special place before we leave, but that's always a battle and goodness knows I have enough battles with my preschool trio so I'd rather not add one to the list.

Solution: My first inclination is to hold onto the bags of treasure for a week or two and then when I think the kids have forgotten about them, I toss them in the trash or return them to an outdoor home. As you can imagine, this has gotten me into trouble from time to time when the kids suddenly remember some lost beauty and I have to explain that we don't have it anymore.

Now that the weather is turning more springlike and we're spending some time in the back yard, the thought occurred to me that we could have a "Backyard Nature Museum" - the perfect solution to our issue of where in the world to store dirty rocks, sappy pine cones, and hundreds of acorns!!! Of course today I realized that the grass has grown unpleasantly long so this morning we simply made a little museum on the back patio. Hopefully we'll get around to mowing sometime soon and be able to move our collection to it's eventual home in the yard. For today, it provided a lovely Monday morning activity for the kids and I to do together.

...and yes, there were visitors! Elise was bummed we couldn't invite friends over on the spot, but she seemed quite pleased once her troop of stuffed animals and dolls joined in the fun!

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