After trialling two fantastic monthly subscription boxes from Mud and Bloom* in January and February, this month Flora got her very own blogger mail when March’s box arrived addressed to her! This is the first time anything blog-related has arrived specifically for her and I’m sure you can imagine how excited she was – so, what did she think of the contents?
About Mud and Bloom boxes
If you haven’t read our January and February reviews yet, then let me tell you a bit about Mud and Bloom’s monthly gardening and craft subscription boxes for kids. The boxes come through the letterbox addressed to your child and contain at least two seasonal activities: one gardening and one nature craft – along with instructions, quizzes, and games. Anja Ffrench, the founder, is keen to teach children about the seasons, plants, insects, birds, soil and rainfall. And to make life easy, everything you need is provided in every box – instructions, seeds and even compost, so you don’t need to worry if you don’t have a garden.
The box activities are aimed at 3-8 year-olds and have been created by qualified teachers, with influence from Forest School, Montessori and Steiner education to support the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 national curriculum.
Here’s what was inside this month’s box:
- instructions for growing cucumbers (organic seeds and compost pellets provided)
- instructions for growing giant sunflowers (organic seeds and compost pellets provided)
- some fabric squares, thread, glue, and a glass toadstool, plus instructions on how to make a fairy garden, complete with tipi and bunting
- a fact sheet and signs to look out for in spring
- and a quiz.
Cucumbers and sunflowers
We’ve grown our own cucumbers for the last few years and Flora LOVES them so these were excellent seeds to get. And I think you’d be hard pressed to find any child that doesn’t love growing sunflowers, especially ones that could grow up to 3m tall.
As last month’s tomato and basil seeds had outgrown their little fromage frais pots and been potted on into proper plant pots, we could re-use the frais pots again. After we’d watered the compost pellets and they’d swelled up, we planted our seeds (two to each pot) and put them on the window sill. Five days later the sunflowers were already sprouting, although no sign of anything from the cucumbers (that said, I know from past experience that cucumbers are much slower to germinate).
And here are our tomato and basil plants from February‘s box, below some of my cornflower seedlings.
Flora was so excited to create her own little garden. The activity sheet was for a fairy garden with plants, a tipi, and bunting. But she decided hers was going to be a dragon garden, with no bunting. So I just helped make the tipi and she did the rest. I’d love to say she took inspiration from Beth Chatto’s dry garden but in reality, she just wanted to use her collection of rocks and shells, so that’s what she did. She added the dragons, some giant ladybirds, some little vials of crystals (dragon jewels), the supplied toadstool, the tipi, and a few bits of conifer, and I think the result is really rather stunning.
Facts, signs of spring, and quiz
We love the Nature News facts, we always learn something. For instance, we didn’t know that the birds’ Dawn Chorus is sometimes simply a signal to each other that they’ve survived the cold night! And once again, Flora got all the quiz questions right and she could tick off all the signs of spring in our garden too.
Will we be subscribing?
* We were going to subscribe this month but Flora was gifted the March box as a thank you for our previous two months’ reviews. Although she was under no obligation to review this one, in all honesty, we couldn’t not write about it!
Yes, we will be subscribing, without a shadow of a doubt. These Mud and Bloom boxes are such a fantastic and fun way of doing things with your child and learning at the same time. And all this for only £7.95 including UK P&P. I’ve extolled the virtues of Mud and Bloom at length in my previous reviews so I don’t want to keep banging the same drum (!) But I would like to say thank you very much again to Anja Ffrench for letting us trial all these boxes.
As far as I’m aware, there’s nothing else like this and of this quality out there for children. Both Flora and I think any child (even those over eight years old) would be absolutely thrilled to receive this through the letterbox addressed to them.