If you follow me on here, you’ll know that Flora has been trialling some fabulous monthly subscription boxes from Mud and Bloom since the beginning of this year. A perk of Mummy’s blog (!) the first three boxes were gifted but this is our first paid for box, so did it measure up to the previous high standards?
Mud and Bloom
Mud and Bloom offer a monthly gardening and craft subscription box for kids. Letterbox friendly, they come addressed to your child and contain at least two seasonal activities: one gardening and one nature craft – along with instructions, quizzes, and games. Everything you need is provided in every box – instructions, seeds and even compost – so it’s really easy to use and get children learning about the seasons, plants, insects, birds, soil and rainfall.
The boxes have been created by qualified teachers with influence from Forest School, Montessori and Steiner education. They’re aimed at 3-8 year-olds – although our experience is that older children love them too – and support the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 national curriculum. (Our January and February and March reviews are here if you’d like to catch up on the first three boxes).
This is what was inside April’s box:
- instructions for growing peas (organic seeds and compost pellets provided)
- instructions for growing nasturtiums (organic seeds and compost pellets provided)
- some gift tags, card, tracing paper, suncatcher template, glue, plus instructions on how to make a suncatcher and decorative tags and card
- a fact sheet and what to look out for in the woods
- and a quiz.
Peas and nasturtiums
I’ve never grown peas or nasturtiums before so I had no idea about how easy / difficult they are to grow, or their germination rates. Last month’s sunflowers (three) and cucumbers (two) have been potted on so we could re-use our fromage frais pots again. As before, after the pellets had swelled up with water, we planted our seeds (two to each pot) and put them on the window sill.
Two weeks later all four pea seeds are growing happily and since this photo was taken, they’ve been transplanted to our veg patch. Only one nasturtium germinated but it looks very healthy so it’s been potted on and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for when it’s finally transplanted outside. Note: both the nasturtium leaves and flowers are edible so we can look forward to some colourful summer salads. And the pot in the middle is one of our basil plants, sown from seed in February’s Mud and Bloom box!
Suncatcher and gift tags
The craft activity this month was to collect and press some flowers to make decorative gift tags and a suncatcher. We had a lot of fun choosing some colourful spring flowers (primroses, mini daffodils, chionodoxa, hyacinth buds) which we laid between two sheets of A3 paper and then put four heavy encyclopaedias on top for just over a week to press them flat.
As you can see, they faded quite substantially after pressing but are no less pretty for that. Flora decided not to make a card, she just wanted create the gift tags and suncatcher. We had to be really careful with the flowers as once dried they were very fragile and tore easily with the glue application. Tip: lay out your designs first and take a photo so you have something to refer to as you glue individual flowers down.
We shared the cutting out of the suncatcher template, Flora cut round the outside and I cut out the trickier inner circle. After I’d taken a photo of the finished suncatcher, she ran upstairs to her bedroom to stick it up in pride of place on her window. Since it’s gone up, I’ve heard her telling friends all about how she made it too!
Facts, what to spot in the woods, and quiz
This month we learned that you can make soup and tea from nettles (just the top few leaves on newly grown plants) as they’re full of vitamins and minerals apparently. I wish I’d known that before I took weedkiller to our nettle jungle last year but I’m sure we’ll find some new plants… And Flora could tick off seeing all the what to spot in the woods signs from our garden, except the wild garlic which hasn’t started flowering yet (I only planted it last year).
As previously mentioned, this month’s box was our first paid one (£7.95 including UK P&P) and Flora absolutely loved it. She couldn’t wait to get started when it arrived, and she’s taking great delight in seeing how the plants grow day by day. Fun and educational, we think the Mud and Bloom subscription boxes are brilliant value for money. And I’m so pleased to write about them on here as I don’t think I’d be able to share our love so widely in any other way!