Make a bucket. It sounds really basic and simple, but here at Kids Activities Blog we LOVE when something basic and simple transforms a family outing. Today Amy is sharing how her family was inspired to create the perfect family outing companion…a bucket on a string!
Back over the summer, my kids and I went out for a drive. They both fell asleep in the car and I was driving with no real destination. I stumbled upon a farm and when the children woke up, we had an impromptu blackberry picking trip. It was a beautiful day and the blackberries were ripe and delicious.
As we carried our green buckets provided by the farm, we ran into a father-daughter pair who weren’t using their buckets. Instead, they were wearing containers around their necks. We stopped and asked them about it and they informed us that they go berry picking annually and have made their own containers. An old gin bottle and some rope became their receptacle for collecting berries.
As I watched my son carry the filled green bucket and spill blackberries all over the place as we walked to the farm stand to pay, I started thinking that this might actually be a brilliant way for kids to feel in charge of their bounty and avoid the mishaps of toddler hands and unpaved paths.
We never went berry picking again this summer and now that apples and pumpkins are out, I thought this idea would have to wait. But then, I noticed just how many cherry tomatoes were still in our garden and was going to need a helping hand collecting them. Additionally, one of our favorite things to do in the fall is go on nature walks and collect leaves, pine cones, acorns, marigold seeds, and the like. This would be a great way for my son to keep his collection together (and out of my pockets).
Make a Bucket
When we finished a bottle of orange juice (no gin here), I saved the empty container to use as our collection receptacle. I was excited to be reusing the container, as I am a fan of recycled art. I reminded my son of the people we met while blackberry picking and told him that we would be making the same kind of container that they had. He was so excited!
I am a klutz most of the time and cutting the container is too difficult for a child to do, so we employed the help of my husband. He cut the neck of the juice bottle off, leaving us with the wide base. He also used the scissors to poke two holes in the side of the bottle where the rope would go.
My husband was concerned about the edges of the cut plastic potentially being sharp, so he suggested that we cover them with electrical tape. My son was very happy to help with this task.
I had purchased nylon rope at our dollar store for another activity (though I don't remember what it was), so I decided to use that for the neck strap. Nylon, it turns out, is not the best choice for things that require knot tying as it tends to be slippery. For now, it would suffice. We put the rope through the holes in two sides and tied it on best we could.
My son tried the container on for size. He didn't want to wait for the morning to go on our next nature walk, so instead, he raided the refrigerator and picked some grapes.
He really enjoyed being in charge of his bucket and couldn't wait to take it with us on our next walk around the neighborhood. He is even planning on taking it to the beach one day to collect seashells. And, of course, we will most definitely be taking it with us berry picking next summer. How versatile!
A word of caution, as with anything that goes around the neck, please keep an eye on your child, making sure that they don't twist it around or carry anything too heavy. It can also be worn across the body over one shoulder if you don't want it to be too heavy in the front!
What is your child's favorite thing to collect?
More Kids Activities
Make a bucket with your kids for all their treasures from your next family outing. Kids Activities Blog has other ideas for kid treasure keeping, because at some point that bucket is going to be full!