Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thrifty Nature Bags

I was over drooling at toys at Natural Pod and came across The Nature Bag. FABULOUS IDEA I thought! Exactly what the kids need for our trips through the woods, the swamp, and bog.

Then I looked at the pricetag on what is essentially a canvas bag full of consumables (and anyone with kids knows a hankerchief in the woods is a consumable item...and we've never had a magnifying lens last long either!) and 34.99 was just way out of my financial comfort range.

So off to the dollarstore I went:

2 different coloured grocery sacks with the added benefit of windows for putting photos in (Darkmirror found them each images that suited their personalized bag and made funky nameplated too)

2 different coloured bandanas

2 different coloured pencil cases (filled with left over old crayons (Wild Thing) and pencil crayons (Nature Girl) we won't be upset if one gets lost)

2 magnifying lenses

2 sketchpads

2 cardboard spools of garden twine

2 cardboard "eyespy" squares

2 large ziplock bags in case something wet must come home.

10.00 versus 70.00.

I'm not knocking the Nature Bag - but with a 60.00 difference in price I really can't afford to go with rubberwood and organic cotton. The big thing is GETTING KIDS OUTSIDE EXPLORING NATURE.


krista said...

this totally speaks to my thrifty heart. i love the dollar store for that very reason: creative answers.
so inspiring! i can't wait until finn is old enough for this. right now, we're content to stop at EVERY SINGLE PLANT AND FLOWER on our walks :-)

zoom said...

What a great idea. And what a great idea for making a great idea more affordable.

Oma said...

The kids look as if they are really making use of all their goodies in their nature bags. Are you having Wild Thing wear his glasses everywhere or just indoors?

Mud Mama said...

Everywhere. I was going to hold off on the Nature Bags untril Easter, but I wanted him to get over his fear of going outside so I bribed him with the Nature Bag!

Today he's so attached to SEEING that he has been excellent about wearing them. Though he did cry this morning looking in the mirror and said "I'm only beautiful with no glasses!"

red fraggle said...

He is so beautiful in the glasses! Hopefully he'll get used to the way he looks in them and see them as see himself in them as "him". When he was here one morning , I didn't have my glasses on and he was quite adamant, handing them to me he said "Put these on so that you look like Kathy!"

Soon he'll " look like Max" in the mirror with them on.

Illuminated Attic said...

I like the nature packs, I'm busy building something similar for my son.

I found your blog via The Artful Parent where you made a comment about using a Sculpey type clay produced for erasers to make rubber stamps. I've been looking everywhere and can't find the stuff. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks!

Mud Mama said...

Hi! I got mine at Michaels Craft superstore. Love your blog!

Illuminated Attic said...

Thanks! I did look at Michael's and their resident clay expert salesperson even helped me look but we couldn't find it. I'll keep searching though, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful - thought you might like to know you could include seasonal nature printables from

You'll find wonderful activities in the spring play booklet as well as individual colouring and activity sheets, geared up to the Uk but hopefully useful throughout northern hemisphere, I shall be including them in my version of your nature bag!


Mud Mama said...


Thank you SO MUCH this is an awesome resource, I'mprinting stuff up right now and I'm going to take the site address to our botanical garden and see if they're interested in making Acadian Forest specific versions of this. It is WONDERFUL!!!

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