Easy Tip for Managing Kid Collections

My daughter Emily loves rocks, shells, crystals and all things geological. So much so in fact that I’ve had to make it a habit to check her jean pockets on laundry day because they’re often stuffed with her latest jagged find. As much as I love her passion for earth science, I hate tripping over her scattered assortment of stuff that ends up all over our house.  I needed a way for her to keep track of  her treasures without making a mess for me.

So, for her last birthday, I created this simple catch-all for her collection.  To create it, I bought this plastic bead organizer in the craft section of WalMart for around $2. I wanted to make it unique to her (it was a birthday gift, after all) so I opted to add her name and the title of her collection to the lid of the box. First, I printed out the details on a sheet of paper and then taped the paper to the inside of the clear lid for a guide. From there, I simply closed the lid and traced the lettering with my sparkle paint pens (purchased in the same craft aisle of WalMart for $8). Once it was dry (about 20 min) I removed the paper template from the lid.

Our basic rule is that she can keep as many rocks as will fit in her box.  Once it’s full she has to start purging her least favorites to make room for any new additions. Not all her rocks fit in these small slots of course, so she’s allowed to have up to three big ones on her shelf – anything else she finds has to live in the flower bed outside.

Of all the presents Emily opened that day this is the one she uses the most.  If you ask her, she’d tell you that her favorite part is that the lid closes very tightly so it’s virtually impossible for her inquisitive little brother to raid her stash.  She likes to display her Rockin’ Rock Collection box on her shelf but it could just as easily stack vertically in a bookshelf or get tucked under her bed.

So, for around $10 (and almost no effort) I created a simple solution that keeps my daughter’s tiny treasures organized and out of my way. If you’ve got kids that love to hoard stuff too, you should definitely give this easy tip a try. Just thought I’d pass it on.

Sumo Sweet Stuff

The Girl Creative


  1. I love this idea! Sammy is a rock junkie as well! In fact, I just bought one of those bins the other day for my DMC floss. Totally cheap! You could also cut out the letters and tape them with packing tape on the inside of the box, too. I’m not sure I’m willing to pay $8 dollars for a set of markers just yet. Thanks for the tip!

    BTW, we used your CTR badge idea at our teacher in service meeting last Saturday. Thanks again for that one. We really could have used them on Sunday!

  2. Love this idea. It’s perfect for my daughter’s polly pocket clothes. Would you mind telling me what fonts you used? Thanks!!

  3. No problem, Helen. The name font is called Eccentric Std and the size is 250. The ‘Rockin’ Rock Collection’ font is called Simpson and the size is 78. Good luck!

  4. Very cute! I like the trick with the paper taped underneath the lid.

  5. Where did you find the plastic jewels? I need some for table decorations at our Relief society birthday celebration. You have such great ideas and inspire me!! Thanks

    • Actually I found those at WalMart too. They came in a clear plastic bag and cost about $4. I think there were about 20 in the pack. They were available in pink, purple, and clear. You can find them in the craft area by the other vase fillers. Good luck with your activity!

  6. Just popped over from The Girl Creative…

    I need some of these! Great idea! We always seem to be collecting little bits and pieces here and these would be perfect. Adding them to the shopping list…


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