The Nature Jar

Lily likes to bring me all sorts of treasures from the great outdoors.

Sticks, dandelions and rocks are among her favorites.

I had to put my foot down when I found her trying to slough a bucket of fresh mud into the kitchen.

Our nature jar was born.  I used a quart sized ball jar (thanks to my sister for the idea).  The jar not only limits the size of nature that can come through my door, but also contains it in one teensy tiny spot in my house.

The next time the sun came out, I took Lily out for a nature walk around the yard.  She took a Ziploc bag with her for “collecting.”  Throughout the walk she found several nature-jar-worthy specimens – flowers, rocks, some grass and a leaf or two.

Once we returned to the house, she had fun transferring her nature to the jar.

I dug through my spare greeting card box and had a couple tag-shaped cards leftover.  I wrote “Lily’s Nature Jar” on a tag and we taped it to the side of the jar.

The nature jar now sits up on a shelf in the kitchen for all to see.  Every few days, we will “return the old stuff to nature.”  (That phrase is code for “dump the dead crap back outside.”)  Lily then reloads the jar and we’re good to go.  The jar is a great conversation piece for kids – ours has prompted several nature-related-conversations about plants, weather, etc.

This jar has really been a super simple win-win.  Lily is happy because she still gets to drag various bits of nature into the house.  I am happy because I no longer find tiny scale models of Stonehenge on my laptop!