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…
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!
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!
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
Sitting the caddy in the block area prompted new creativity and ideas.
I set out a round tray and The Mandala Book and some beautiful creations appeared.
Loose Parts Play
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.
Nature + Play Dough
Even the littlest girl is having fun exploring everything.
Nature + Art
The nature caddy has made it’s way outside to the art table for use in both clay sculptures and paintings.
Maths with Nature
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…
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?
What a wonderful way to organize nature finds! It looks like it worked out great for you. 🙂
Really loving this Idea..Normally when nature comes in we play with it and it goes right back out. This is an idea my kiddos will love knowing that mama is not tossing it back out right away!
The nature caddy looks so inviting and there were so many wonderful activities inspired by it.
sometimes the small things make the difference……
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
Hope you find one!
I love it all. Fantastic and Inspiring x
Thank you 🙂
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!
Thank you 🙂
Wow! The design in the circular tray is beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration.
I LOVE these ideas! And your pictures are so inviting. Nature on the go with a caddy — so many ways to get creative & learn!
Thanks Jacquie! 🙂
Really,very good. I also know how I also arrange this type of stone,cells collected by my daughter.