Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

I’ve talked before about how important I think nature is for children and, apart from getting out amongst it as often as we can, one of the other ways we like to incorporate nature into our lives is by bringing it inside. The girls collect ‘treasures’ wherever we go: flowers, shells, sticks, rocks, etc. When we get home they usually put them on the nature table to keep. Our nature tray used to look like this…

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

Not very appealing is it? A mess of who knows what! Consequently, it never got much use. Once things were put here, that’s where they remained. But not any more!

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

Ta-da! The nature caddy. When I saw this tray at one of my local shops I knew just what I wanted to use it for!

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

Doesn’t it look so much more inviting? Everything is neatly organised and easy to see. But the best thing about it is that it’s portable. The girls can easily pick it up and carry it around to wherever they need it at the time. I didn’t think of this at the time that I bought it but it is in fact it’s best feature. This has ensured that it has gotten lots of use. The beautiful natural materials that the girls collect are being put to good use and incorporated in lots more of their play and learning. Here are some of the ways in which the nature caddy has been used so far…

Nature + Blocks

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

Sitting the caddy in the block area prompted new creativity and ideas.

Nature Mandalas

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

I set out a round tray and The Mandala Book and some beautiful creations appeared.

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

Loose Parts Play

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

Whereas once the nature materials were being left on the tray, they are now included in all sorts of loose parts play. Here’s a lovely winter scene.

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

Creating patterns.

Nature + Play Dough

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

Even the littlest girl is having fun exploring everything.

Nature + Art

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

The nature caddy has made it’s way outside to the art table for use in both clay sculptures and paintings.

Maths with Nature

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

We’ve even been using it for some maths! Here Miss 4 is doing some simple addition and using the rocks to help her work out the answers.

Those are just some of the ways the girls have been using our new nature caddy so far, and I’m sure there’ll be many more. It was such a simple idea but it’s really made a difference to how much nature is incorporated into our days. The caddy still lives on the nature table, but now everything is much more accessible…

Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

If your nature collection is not getting much love, try moving it into something different! Make it portable!

How do you incorporate a little bit of nature into your child’s day?

Simple Play Tip: Create a 'Nature Caddy' to incorporate a little more nature into your days!

25 thoughts on “Simple Play Tip: Nature Caddy

  1. genius!!!!

    I really love this because our nature tray looks much the same – all jumbled up and stuff gets lost and messy in there. Divisions makes it so much more accessible, lovely idea!!!! Will keep an eye out for a caddy like this x

  2. Oh wow! I love this and what a great way to carry the beautiful natural items around to different locations/activities! We too have little clusters of natural beautiful mess!! hehe! Might have to adopt something similar! And those mandalas are wonderful – I think we’ll give some mandalas a try too!

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