A Simple Way to Display a Child's Nature Collection
Carving out a little space in your house to display a child’s collection of nature finds can be a great way to engage them in nature and allow them to explore natural items at their own pace. I see the goal of a nature space as being an invitation to a child to touch, explore and experience nature. This simple little space can be a great way to instill a deep love and respect for the natural world in kiddos and it’s super simple to set up.
It can be as uncomplicated as the top of a child’s dresser or a dedicated shelf on the bookshelf in the hallway - this was our nature space for quite some time. Recently I put up some little shelves that I found thrifting (one is an old spice rack) in our living room at child height so that Juni would display her collection in a place that was more out in the open and inviting. Have the nature space be at a level where child can easily reach the items.
Our nature space started off with Juni collecting things on our neighborhood walks and her adding her new finds to her collection. After seeing how much she loved to just hold and ponder pieces of nature, I started supplementing it with purchased gemstones and minerals. Over the course of the last few years, out collection has grown with fossils we have found together and shells we have collected on beach outings. There are also baby jars full of acorns and various seed pods we have found, bits of bark and moss, and feathers (which are safe for children to collect). To aid in exploration, I keep a magnifying class and a Creature Peeper (a simple child’s microscope) on the shelves. I also keep nature I.D. guides at hand so that if Juni is so inclined, she can look through them to see what other shells, fossils or flowers there are out in the world.
With this simple act of setting aside a little space for nature in your house, you are helping to introduce your child to the amazing and incredible world we live in. You can never teach the lesson of love and respect for Mother Earth too early!