It seemed to take its sweet time, but fall has arrived! I could repeat the list of reasons why fall is the best season, but I will just assume that fall is your favorite season too. Instead, I would like to point out that this is the time of year when my kids can occupy themselves outside indefinitely. Combine that with their strong interest in nature and you have the perfect school session! And naturally, with all their time outside, Elle and Ben have made several “collections”. These collections usually consist of rocks that pile up on my porch.
The Feather Jar
Lately, Elle has been more thoughtful about her nature collections. We recently created a feather jar and in just a few weeks, we have found a variety of feathers from a cardinal, blue jay, duck, woodpecker, chicken, and peacock. We love birds and having the feather jar is a fun excuse to observe and learn more about them.
The Cottonwood Jar
We are also collecting cottonwood sticks. Did you know, when you break a cottonwood stick you can find a star inside? You can see it best if you use a knife and cut through a knobby spot on the stick. I know nothing about trees, but I can tell you if it is a cottonwood or not!
The Leaf Bucket
Kids love to collect leaves and there are so many fun ways to incorporate their leaf collections into a craft. This week I asked the kids to paint their leaves and stamp them on a piece of paper. The results were not quite what they expected as they were not well defined leaf shapes, so then I showed them how to use their leaf like a stencil. Elle figured out how to paint over the edges of her leaf and Ben was content to do things his own way.
Whenever we do a craft, the final product sits on the fridge for a week or two, then it gets stored or thrown away. Well, when I went back to the table to clean up, I noticed that the leaves they used for stamping were also really beautiful. We unintentionally created painted leaves that are pretty enough to be art themselves!
The best part about the collections my kids have made is I can use them for decorating. A simple, clear jar, or galvanized pail make the perfect vessel for a mantel or centerpiece display.
What do your kids drag in from their adventures outside? Do they have a favorite collection? I’d love to hear from you unless you are too busy enjoying the perfect season!