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Homemade Nature Explorer Set….Guest Writer MaryLea of Pink and Green Mama


I stopped in my tracks the minute that I read this post by MaryLea, I just KNEW that I had to make one for my own little explorer.  With just a little back pack full of things to inspire exploration, I am sure that we will have many wonderful walks on the trails around our town and beyond.

A bit about MaryLea….

MaryLea Harris is a former art teacher and a stay at home artist Mama.  She lives in Virginia with her husband, two daughters, and a menagerie of pets.  She writes the blog Pink and Green Mama where you can find crafty ideas and see what kind of artsy messes she had been making with her kids.


Home-Made Gift: Nature Explorer Set

The Frog Princess’ friend, Andrew,
celebrated his 6th birthday this weekend.
We thought he needed a
Nature Explorer Set
to play with this summer!

We got him a Terracycle recycled wrapper backpack and filled it with lots of home-made goodies:

We made him a personalized backyard field guide with pictures and information about local birds, butterflies, and leaves in a simple three ring binder.

A nature journal to record his observations, outings, leaf rubbings, etc.

Two recycled plastic jars  (with small holes in the lids) for collecting and observing bugs and critters
(I heard from his mom he caught and released fireflies in the big jar!)

A home-made leaf and flower press.

Make your own with
layers of newsprint and cardboard
fastened with rubber bands!

A small “collection” box for fossils
(original purpose – bead sorter from the craft store)

We also included two of our favorite Toys R’ Us finds:
a set of Discovery Store Bug Marbles
and a Discovery Store Fossil Collection.

And finally…
one of my favorite re-purposed frozen mini-quiche trays
for sorting rock collections, etc.

Why don’t you make a nature explorer set for your own little explorer?


I think we might just do that MaryLea, thank you so much for sharing this great idea for a gift with us.

To learn more about MaryLea, please visit her at her blog and her shop.

Pink and green Mama Blog

Pink and Green Mama Etsy

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 05.17.2010 7:33 am

    Oh, my goodness! I love this 🙂

    And what good thinking to include so many containers for collecting – I know my kids especially are very into their collections and are constantly sorting them and playing with them.

    Terrific ideas! Andrew is a lucky kid 🙂

  2. 05.17.2010 9:51 am

    What fun! I love the repurposed bead bin idea! Thank you for sharing this terrific gift idea!

  3. 05.17.2010 4:03 pm

    What a lovely idea to pack everything together in a backpack so it can be carried with him on all of his explorations! I’m sure that must have been the best birthday gift ever!

    We’ve always used craft store bead sorters for our boys’ collections! If you can find the nice shiny see-thru ones so much the better, then they can be taken down from the shelves and looked at by the younger kiddos without worrying about spills or loosing any precious “treasures”!

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