We love exploring as much as we can as a family. Australia is a vast and beautiful country, and there’s so much natural wonder in our backyard. On our many adventures, my kids enjoy collecting little bits and bobs along the way, from bottle caps for a ‘Bottle Cap Game’ they made up to pretty fallen leaves. On our last trip up the D’Aguilar Ranges, we saw a beautiful (AND HUGE!) snake on the road. There’s a video here.
At different times during the parenting journey — depending on how old the respective child is and their interests — I’ve made up ‘Discovery Boxes’ out of a recycled shoebox for the kids to keep their collections in. We have quite a few empty shoe boxes at our disposal at the moment now that school’s in.
I’ve wrapped shoe boxes in wrapping paper before, to make it look pretty (like this one) which works wonderfully.
I’ve been working with 3M Scotch tape on a project so I have decorative tape around (and I love it). So this time, my youngest daughter and I made a discovery box covered in tape, which matches the other little decorative projects we’ve been working on (it looks so pretty in her room which is fun).
Decorative Tape or wrapping paper (I used Scotch® Expressions Packing Tape & Magic Tape)
White paper (if you want to cover patterns or brands on the box)
1. Glue paper roughly to the box if you’re using light coloured paper or tape. This way, you can cover any brand names and that sort of thing. I used it on the tops and sides.
2. Cover box with pieces of tape (vertically or horizontally). Horizontal tape around the base of the box makes it very easy because you can wrap it around the perimeter of the base until the ends meet.
3. Add a Discovery Box label if desired. I typed the font in Word, printed it and cut to size.
Just a cute box for little treasures small people find interesting.
Another idea is to have a list of prompts for children to find on a daily, weekly or on a ‘I’m bored’ basis. Below is some ideas I’ve jotted down that could instigate fun moments and interesting conversations.
- Find a flower, lay between baking paper and press in a book. Add to the box in a month. For best results, laminate the pressed flower (and you can even turn it into a bookmark).
- On the Internet or in a book, look for pictures of a place you would like to visit together.
- Go on a colour hunt: find 5 things that are yellow, blue, red, green, purple, pink or whatever colour!
- Look up the meaning of your name and write it on a piece of paper.
- Collect a cool looking stick (and paint it for something awesome).
- Write a letter to yourself to read a year on (remember to date it).
- Look for a seed pod (make into a boat on a rainy day)
- Go on a shape hunt: find 2 things that are triangle, round or rectangle.
- See how many different coins you can find around the house. Pick one. Look up the year it was made and more about the image. Write a few key points or draw a picture on an envelope, slip the coin in and keep in the box.
- Go on a texture hunt: find 1 thing that is rough, smooth, soft or shiny.
- Cut out a picture you like from a magazine or junk mail.
- Something from the beach.
- Something from the backyard.
- Something recycled.
- Find three different types of leaves.
- Look for a special rock (and make it a pet by gluing on google eyes).
- Take a photograph, get it printed, write on the back how it made you feel.
- Draw something you see outside.
- Look up an interesting word in the dictionary and write down what it means on a piece of paper.
- A picture of someone you love.
You can print a PDF version by clicking the picture below.