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A peek inside my collections: the natural world

What is it with kids and rocks? Why does every kid have a burgeoning rock collection in their pockets? I cannot tell you how many rocks I’ve washed and dried since we had kids. (I’m not sure if that’s a comment on their rock collecting or my lackadaisical laundry skills BUT STILL.)

Awhile back I had the opportunity to redecorate our back porch, a place that had become a repository for a lot of our junk. And this junk included several buckets of seashells I was not allowed to throw away and piles of seemingly random rocks. Gah. Lucky for me we already had a wire baker rack out there, so I took it upon myself to pull everything off of it and reorganize several of our family collections to create a wee bit of a display. I’m so happy I did.

First, I found a few old serving trays and secondhand teacups. Then I sorted everything into piles – rocks, shells, and random nature stuff – and grouped them on the trays. The trays work well here because they act as a catch all, and each collection can be pulled out for closer inspection.

The first tray: dead bugs and things. You think I’m kidding, but I think the girls like this one the best. There’s a butterfly or two, a bird nest, a couple of bees, pretty feathers, snake skin, the dried husk of a cicada, part of a wasp nest, and some pretty beach glass. (Keep a kid-friendly magnifying glass at hand too!)

Wasp nest and beach glass

bird nest and dead bugs for inspection

The second tray contains sea shells from our travels, and some sand in tiny jars:

shell collection


The rocks are on the third shelf. These are the best and most interesting ones in our collection:

Rock collection

pretty stones

More rocks!

This turned out to be one of my favourite ways to display our collections, and it’s extra special because it doesn’t just belong to me, but it’s become a family effort. It may seem like a whole bunch of extra clutter, but I think by keeping this kind of stuff around that we’re encouraging our children to be mindful of the natural world around them. And that can only be a good thing.

Mother of two imps and wife of one. Writer, photographer, pro blogger, adventure-seeker, Ottawaholic, social media evangelist and lover of STUFF. Also known as @missfish on Twitter.

3 Responses to “A peek inside my collections: the natural world”


How fun is that!! Awesome ideas. It looks full of wonder and delight. Makes me want to be a kid again. Thank you for sharing your ideas and fun pictures.


Katherine @ Heartfelt

love this! always like to have some natural objects inside. The wasp & bird nests look great in the tea cups!



I love this. I admit that when you described your collection as a bunch of outdoorsy things, I was imagining a big pail of moldy leaves. Displayed like this it almost looks like a tiny museum – the teacups are so lovely. It’s brilliant!


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