One of the things that I find particularly endearing about children is the fact that they are such natural collectors of unexpected and unusual treasures. To those below a certain age, a piece of beach glass or a perfectly round stone is as much a prize as one is apt to find. Okay, I suppose that is also true of some people above a certain age as well. Ahem.
Mariam has always been a collector; of acorns, rocks, feathers and other odd bits of nature. I mentioned in my post for Playful Learning that part of our organization of her new project area was hanging some shadow box-like shelves to house a few of her collections. I've had a handful of questions about the shelves, so I thought I might tell you a bit more about them since I didn't get specific in the original post.
The shelves do look a bit like shadowboxes, but really are just deep, cube shaped shelves. I actually got them years ago, probably with an entirely different purpose in mind, and they have just been hanging around the garage, unused since then. I think that they are these. When I wanted somwhere to tuck Mariam's little collections away that was both easy for her to see and safe from the perpetually naughty cat, they seemed like a perfect solution.
a fossilized dinosaur tooth from Utah
The shelves are open to the wall at the back, but I felt like they needed a backing of some kind. I cut pieces of scrapbooking paper to size, and then glued the pieces on to the backs of the shelves to create a colorful background. I suspect it would be quite easy to change the paper out for new, which would be a super simple like magic way to make it look like the shelves themselves were new and different.
The collection shelves aren't quite as clean and pretty now as they were then they first went up a few weeks ago. Indeed, those tiny mineral jars now have a number of companion treasures nestled on all sides of them. Shells found at the lake, more beach glass, a blue jay feather, the shell from a quail egg. And even if this means that things are getting a bit crowded, it still seems fitting. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then it makes good sense to put your favorite finds where family and friends can behold them too, no? Also recommended: keep a pocket magnifying glass on one of the shelves or somewhere nearby to make for extra easy examination of the collection.
I realized this week that September is already half way over! Seems like a good time to offer a deal on last September's issue of Alphabet Glue. Between now and September 21st, get a free copy of Volume Three (story maps, story buntings, reference books for kids and more) when you download a copy of Volume Six, Seven or Eight. Tell a friend!