Flora and I have been having so much fun with her monthly Mud and Bloom subscription boxes this year. We’ve grown flowers and vegetables, done nature walks, created a twig boat, a fairy garden, and painted pebbles. So we couldn’t wait to get started on June’s curation of activities.
Mud and Bloom
As you’ll be aware if you’ve read my previous posts, Mud and Bloom offer gardening and craft subscription boxes for kids which come through your letterbox each month. The boxes have gardening and nature craft seasonal activities with full instructions, seeds, compost pellets, quizzes, and games. So you don’t even need your own garden to get started! Although they follow the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 national curriculum and are aimed at 3 – 8 year olds, we’ve found older kids are fascinated by them too.
Here’s what was inside June’s box:
- instructions for growing calendula (organic seeds and compost pellets provided)
- instructions for growing beetroot (organic seeds and compost pellets provided)
- a sticky card template and instructions for making a nature walk journal
- acrylic paints and a citronella tealight plus instructions on how to make a jam jar lantern
- a fact sheet and what butterflies to look out for
- and a quiz.
Calendula and beetroot
I’ve never tried growing calendula flowers (although I know they’re edible and can be used in skincare) and neither have I attempted beetroot. Flora wasn’t so keen on the idea of beetroot but I overruled her!
This time, we planted our seeds straight into some pots with seed compost, along with our sweet pea and pumpkin seeds from May’s box. (We didn’t plant those last month because of an imminent holiday). We’re lucky to have a greenhouse but you could just as easily use a sunny window ledge – just make sure the pots don’t dry out.
Nature walk journal
The nature walk journal activity was delegated to Alan, so he and Flora set off for a walk around the ponds in our village. The idea is to collect twigs, feathers, leaves, flowers and stick them to both sides of the card (which already has double sided sticky tape on it).
From memory, they picked a rather hot day to do the nature walk so by the time they got back, most of their treasures were wilting!
Tip: take a plastic bag with some soaking wet cotton wool or kitchen roll at the bottom, so any treasures you pick on a walk will stay a little fresher for longer.
Jam jar lantern
I love the thought that clearly goes into these seasonal activities. Now that summer’s here, we’re sitting and eating outside much more so a citronella candle is ideal to help keep bugs at bay. And personalising the jam jar lantern makes it that much more special.
Flora asked to paint two lanterns and this is what she came up with: perhaps not the most colourful of creations, but continuing her favourite themes of dragons and cats (!)
Butterflies spotting and quiz
Have you ever heard of a hissing butterfly? Me neither, but apparently our native Peacock butterfly hisses to scare off predatory bats and mice! And although we knew why birds take dust baths (to absorb excess oil on their feathers) here’s a good tip about drinking water. It’s not just dogs and cats that appreciate a shallow bowl of water being left out for them in the summer heat, birds and smaller creatures do too.
We didn’t do so well on the butterflies spotting, only three out of five this time, with a Brimstone and an Orange Tip still to watch out for.
June’s box fully lived up to our expectations, with the jam jar lanterns being Flora’s favourite activity. I know I keep saying this but I really do think these Mud and Bloom boxes are amazing value at only £7.95, including P&P. Where else could you get a monthly subscription with this range of art, nature, and garden activities, and that’s linked to the National Curriculum too? They really do offer a fun alternative to the iPad and other infernal electronic devices. And with the summer holidays looming, now’s the ideal time to try one!