Each had a box to keep her treasures in. Charlotte and the paper dolls lived in Laura’s box, and Mary’s quilt blocks and her scrap bag were in Mary’s box.
—On the Banks of Plum Creek
Everyone loves a treasure box full of mementos of good times to remember. This summer start a new family adventure by creating a treasure box and filling it with new treasures from your favorite summer crafts and activities.
Ideas for Making Your Treasure Box
Start by going to your local craft store and finding a wooden box, wicker box, or pail. Be creative and paint it, stain it, or color it. If you are more adventurous, make a box from scratch. Now it is time to start filling your box/pail with memories of time spent with family, of being creative, and enjoying the simple things. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Favorite rocks, twigs, leaves to make a fairy playhouse
Go on a nature walk and collect a variety of rocks, twigs, leaves and other small natural objects. Find a favorite area of your yard, perhaps under a shade tree and create a magical village where fairies might come to visit.
Pick up a locket charm at your favorite craft store. Open the locket and insert a photograph or draw and cut a picture you can place inside. You can get a chain or colorful ribbon to create a necklace.
Chalkboards were a necessary learning tool in Laura Ingalls’ day. Now you can use them to enjoy drawing a new picture each day depending on what inspires you.
The supplies for homemade clothespin dolls are simple items from a sewing bag. Gather some ribbon, lace, and decorative trim.
To make your doll, draw a face on the front of the clothespin. Make your doll personalized by then decorating the doll with the trim to make a nice dress for your doll.
With any extra clothespins you can play the Clothes Pin Drop Game. First, stand up straight or kneel on the back of a chair. Hold the clothespin up to your nose. Drop the pin from your nose and try to get it into a jar that is placed on the ground in front of you.
Weaving is a wonderful activity the whole family can be involved in. You can work together to make a basic loom with nails and wood. First, decide on the size of the wood frame. 6”x6” is generally a good size. Hammer nails around the frame. Leave 1/8-1/4 inch between nails.
Once you have your loom ready it’s just a matter of weaving! Loopers can be purchased at a local craft store.
Create a memory book of your summer adventures. Create your own memory book by using stickers, paper, cardstock and more. You can put your photographs into this book or draw pictures to remember your experiences.
This is the simplest item to put into your treasure box. Cut a piece of string 50 inches long and tie the ends. With string games, you can play by yourself or with a friend. Here is a great website with string game ideas and instructions.
Laura loved to string glass beads for Carrie. A local craft store will have a variety of beads to choose from to make a necklace or bracelet for a friend or sibling.
Pet rock or blessing rock
You can collect a variety of rocks and paint them or create a “pet” rock to have just for you. You can also paint a rock with the word “Blessing” on it and give it to someone special to let him or her know that they are a blessing in your life.
Laura wrote, “The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.” Take a few minutes with your children this summer and build a treasure chest of memories from the simple things in life.
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Michelle C. Kendall is the founder and creator of MinutesWithMe.com. She studied Elementary Education and Recreational Therapy at Brigham Young University. Over the last 25 years, Michelle has been involved with teaching children in public and private schools as well as in community and church environments. Michelle is the proud mother of four children and has been married to her supportive husband for 25 years. She lives with her family in Highland, Utah. Michelle’s parenting mantra is “learning is all around you.”