I loved this article on kids & collections posted today on Facebook, and had to recommend it as well as repost my response below, because Lee Valley is such a fantastic, undiscovered gem.
Regarding kids and collections:
Great article, and I’m absolutely smitten with all the Simple Media sites! My child is an avid gatherer of all things outdoors, from dried cicada skins to leaves, rocks and dozens of other small, fragile and often formerly-living things.
Far and away the coolest thing I’ve ever run across is from Lee Valley Tools (www.leevalley.com), which should be explored in it’s entirety without skipping sections you think don’t apply to your life (like woodworking). Their products are amazing, such as the little canisters that attach to bags and kids for contact info or fun messages. But I digress…
For collectors like my child, you must check out the inexpensive and very cool watchmaker’s cases. They stack, display and look great. We have one for mini shells from a vacation, one for yard items… the list goes on. They are great for kids and adults alike.
Seriously, check out the watchmakers’ cases mentioned above. They turn everyday things and kids’ collections into curated collections, and they are great for getting kids to limit what they gather. For example, Sophie found some pussywillow tips and carried them along a walk stroking them, knowing they were the perfect size for her collection tins. They are a great way to preserve special things and display them without clutter – I obviously can’t rave enough about them. Good for beads, office supplies, you name it. A few pictures of some of Sophie’s (these are the smaller ones, which are about 3″ x 8″ each:
As long as I’m singing their praises, a few other cool items from Lee Valley:
Speaking of which, it isn’t available through Lee Valley, but the Journal 10+ is one of the cooler items I own and a great gift. Instead of multiple notebooks, it’s a 10 year diary/journal in one. It’s great if you only want to jot a sentence or two a day (a great quote from a kid, something notable that happened or the every day things that make up a life), but there is plenty of room to go into more detail when time permits. It’s obviously a little pricier than your average journal, but you’re buying one for ten years – that’s $4 a year. It’s SO worth it.