Other People’s Cool Ideas: Nature Can
I don’t make my own bread crumbs and I don’t want to hear about it. I make a lot of things from scratch but I use canned beans and crumbed bread. What this means is I occasionally find myself with an empty canister which could entertain my daughter, G, for hours on it’s own OR we could add a level of usefulness and I could make something with it with G.
This little can with a lid and strap is genius. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and most toddler parents need a way to contain all the nature (acorns, leaves, sticks) their children pick up as they walk along. I live in Manhattan and even I had nature in every pocket and on every table until G and I made one of these bad boys. As Megan, the author of plumpudding, writes:
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.
And with this explanation, I was sold.
Instead of using fabric scraps we just used paper (which I am sure is less durable) and because G is only two-and-a-half, I pre-cut shapes and let her do the gluing. I went through my papers and used origami papers. I cut out butterflies from one sheet and then used different patterns or solid colors for my tree trunks, leaves, birdie and sun. The music note for the bird’s song is a sticker I had lying around. For the strap I grabbed a soft t-shirt I had just thrown into the rag bin and I cut the bottom hem off – this kept me from having to sew anything – and I followed the directions on plumpudding.
G and I sat down and glued together and the whole project, start to finish, took me about 20 minutes and G about 10. Once the can was completely decorated and given a strap it was put to the true test – will I find myself less burdened by the presence of nature all over my home? Yes, I will and do. G gathered her acorns and put them in the can. Then she realized she had a place for her acorns and a musical instrument – a sort of drum-maraca, or a draraca if you will.
So I cannot promise peace and quiet if you and yours make a nature can, but I can say that chances are you will be less likely to reach into your pocket to pull out your keys only to pull out two twigs and a rock “for grandpa.”