No, I'm not talking about the dust bunnies my family seems to be collecting in our loft, though it is a collection that may break some records!
People collect everything from spoons (my mother had every state spoon proudly displayed in our dining room), salt and pepper shakers, hats/caps, rocks, coins, stamps, etc, etc...
A few summers ago, I thought it would be fun to start a family collection. This collection had to be one that would require us to spend time together, something that would get us outdoors (a common requirement of mine), and it had to be fun. Several weeks before our annual fishing trip to Wisconsin, I got the kids involved. I asked them each to come up with ideas for our family collection.
We had several great ideas and some truly gross and absolutely no-way ideas (did I mention I have seven kids, and four of them are boys?). We decided on rocks, flowers, pinecones, waterfalls, bird feathers (found, not plucked) and animal footprints (again, found, not pawprinted). We were excited to start our collections.
On our trip, all of the collection ideas were perfect -- they all required us to spend time together and work together, we had to hike and walk miles during those 19 days, and almost of all it was fun and adventurous.
We arrived home with an assortment of rocks, a few flowers, I don't think we left a pinecone in Wisconsin, some feathers, several pictures of paw prints (most were deer a few bear, raccoon and some we have yet to figure out, but by the size of the prints I'm glad we will be figuring this out by picture not by introduction!) and, of course, our waterfalls.
Waterfalls won, it was everyone's favorite. We collected a small amount of water in a baby juice jar, labled it, took several pictures, and wrote a note about the fall, the trail and surroundings. We collected 14 over those 19 days. To date, we have 37 waterfalls in our collection. We no longer collect the water -- we take lots of pictures and add a momento here and there (foliage, flowers, a leaf) that we find along the trail. Our daughter is so inspired that she has started a book she plans on finishing by her 20th birthday
(she is 15).
I love our collection, not only because of the beauty in those pictures, but because of the miles hiked together, the picnics we ate, the fascination and awe of each new discovery. I love our collection for the memories that fill it.
Collections are a wonderful way to connect to and spend time with your children, I loved learning and discovering their passions, knowledge, and seeing their surprise as we found and discovered our collections together. Happy Collecting, I'm off to collect some dust bunnies. ning and discovering their passions, knowledge, and seeing their surprise as we found and discovered our collections together. Happy Collecting, I'm off to collect some dust bunnies!