We’ve been taking lots of nature walks in our family lately. Let me be the first to admit that I am not one with nature. Give me an air conditioned space, free of bugs, with plenty of Wifi, please. But my kids seem to really enjoy the great outdoors, so I suck it up and take one for the team.


One of my kids’ favorite things to do when walking is finding treasures. Every rock, leaf, and stick needs to be inspected and kept for safe keeping. And our collecting isn’t just limited to nature walks! With the help of the Educational InsightsGeosafari Jr. SubScope, we can now find underwater treasures like shells, rockis, and more at the beach and lake.


The only problem we run into is what to do with their collection at the end of the day. Normally, I toss it when they aren’t looking (bad Mommy). That was until I had the genius idea to have them make shadowboxes to showcase their finds.

We took all of our treasures from a recent trip to the lake to create our Summer Nature Shadowbox. Here’s how to create the treasure-filled masterpiece!

Summer Nature Shadowbox

summer nature shadowbox

To make one for yourself, you will need:

  • shadowbox (at least 11 by 14 inches)
  • scrapbook paper
  • tacky glue
  • treasures!
shadowbox lunch tray-2

Start by cutting your scrapbook paper to fit the bottom of the shadowbox. For example, if you are using an 11- by 14-inch shadowbox, you will need two pieces of 12- by 12-inch scrapbook paper to fit.

shadowbox lunch tray-3

Next, write the kids’ names in the middle of the paper. This is where they will spell their names out in found objects or, in our case, macaroni.

shadowbox lunch tray-4

Then, they can start adding their treasures to decorate! Help little ones by putting the glue on the back of the object and let them glue it down. Tacky glue or heavy strength glue works best, especially if you are gluing down rocks.

shadowbox lunch tray-5

Let dry before reassembling your shadowbox. You can hang these in the playroom or in their rooms.

How do you display your child’s treasures?