Phee loves to collect rocks. And sticks. And sometimes leaves. Some weeks, my car floors look like a forest threw up because she finds so many treasures that she wants to keep or take home to show Doug.
In just a few days, we're headed out on a two week vacation to see Doug's parents and then to spend time with friends on Cape Cod. Doug's parents have a big yard and his mom has beautiful flower beds. We've got beach time planned with them and then another full week at the beach.
With this looming ahead, I was struck with the thought that I need to try to curb Phee's habit of collecting everything she sees, or at least to contain her favorites. We can't bring it all back home, as much as I would love to.
I happened upon the clearance table at the grocery store a few weeks ago and noticed a 10-pack of rectangular plastic containers. Knowing we'd use them eventually for lunches or something else, I grabbed a package. It's the perfect size for the project I came up with.
I created a little treasure chest for Phee to use on vacation. It's clear so she can see what she's collected, and show it off without losing any pieces. It has a handle that's long enough for her to put on her shoulder, or across her torso (like a messenger bag). If that doesn't work out, the handle can be knotted so that she can carry it. She can't open the lid herself which, at this age, I think is best so that she doesn't lose any pieces. Whichever adult she's with will be able to screen her treasures, too. I'd rather not bring home a shell which turns out to be a home, or a neat leaf full of bugs.
This is a really quick project to pull together. And it's versatile. Use it for vacation, a hike, a nature walk around the neighborhood or even as the collection container for a nature scavenger hunt. Older children could create and decorate their own treasure chest, too.
- disposable rectangular plastic container
- xacto knife
- printed label and decorative paper if you like
- spray sealer, packing tape or clear nail polish
- Using the xacto knife, cut two tiny holes on either short side of the container.
- Thread the ribbon through and knot the ends so that they catch on the inside of the container and can't be pulled through the hole.
- If you want, print out a label with a title or name for the treasure chest. You could also write a label or name on a piece of decorative paper.
- Affix the label to the lid of the container. Again, you can add decorative paper if you like.
- Seal the label with a clear sealer, clear packing tape or clear nail polish.
I used a clear spray sealer that I use on lots of projects. After three coats, the paper was puckered up in a couple places, but not actually wrinkled. I smoothed it out and used clear nail polish to seal the edges of the label. I'm hoping the combination will be enough to keep the label from coming off while dirty toddler hands play with it for two weeks.
An easy, fun project that you can pull together quickly before vacation. Your little one will have a fantastic time collecting treasures on their trip. And they will be able to keep sharing their vacation stories and treasures long after they've come home.
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