You've heard the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure," right? The person who came up with that phrase obviously was a parent.
Kids find the oddest "treasures." To you, that rock looks like any old rock and a ladybug looks like any other ladybug. But your kid sees it differently. To a child, those everyday items can be special.
How many times has your child come to you proudly displaying her latest find when you've been out for a walk or hanging out at the local park? Using a few simple supplies, you can help your nature lover create a necklace to display his latest and greatest finds proudly.
This project was inspired by the two-piece, plastic containers that you find in the trinket vending machines at grocery stores. You know, the shiny, red machines that entice your children to beg, "Can I please have a quarter? Please?"
Although the contents of those machines are certainly no treasures, the little plastic containers that hold the prizes do lend themselves to a more creative application. Next time you are at the grocery store, hand out some quarters to your shopping assistants and pick up a few of these containers for a future craft project.
Once you've collected some containers, you're ready to create necklaces for your treasure hunter. Using a thumbtack, carefully push some holes into the top of each container (an adults-only job, obviously). The holes need to be large enough to easily thread a piece of ribbon or string through. Cut a piece of string and thread it evenly through the holes in the plastic top so that both ends can be loosely tied around your child's neck.
If your child might use their necklace temporarily to transport any living bugs, poke several additional holes in the plastic top to allow for air flow. All bugs should, of course, only be observed short-term and then set free.
Once the necklace has been constructed, add embellishments like beads or additional ribbons to personalize it.
Secure the trinket necklace to your explorer next time you head out on an excursion. Kids easily can remove the bottom portion, install their treasure (be it bug or flower) and securely snap the top back into place.
Encourage them to explore. Who knows what they might find to display?
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.
See more of Caitlin's stories here.