This month Flora, Alan and I have been really excited to try a monthly subscription box with a difference – it’s one for kids! Mud and Bloom * deliver fantastic seasonal nature crafts and gardening activities through your letterbox at the beginning of every month. Each box includes everything you need to help you get your kids out into nature.
About Mud and Bloom boxes
The boxes arrive addressed to your child and they’re aimed at 3-8 year-olds – although we know two ten year-olds that would love their own boxes too. Each box includes at least two seasonal activities: one gardening and one nature craft – along with instructions, quizzes, and games aimed at teaching children about the seasons, plants, insects, birds, soil and rainfall.
The activities have been created by qualified teachers and support the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 national curriculum, with influence from Forest School, Montessori and Steiner education.
Mud & Bloom’s Anja Ffrench believes passionately in connecting children to nature, so everything you need to grow is provided – instructions, seeds and even compost! You don’t need special equipment, there’s no need to even have a garden. And the craft activities come with all the building materials you need to make things, using easy-to-find seasonal treasures from your garden or local park.
This month’s box contained:
- instructions on how to grow an avocado tree (toothpicks provided)
- instructions on how to build a twig boat (sail, glue, and cord provided)
- instructions on how to grow your own edible sprouting seeds (seeds and muslin provided)
- a fact sheet and things to look out for this month
- a checklist of birds to be seen in January
- and a quiz.
Trees and seeds
Flora and I decided to tackle the avocado trees and sprouting seeds first. After removing the stones from the fruits and washing them, we both had fun stabbing them with toothpicks and then suspending them over jars of water. They’ll take a few weeks to root so we’ll keep you posted on progress.
Then we tackled the sprouting seeds. This was slightly more labour intensive as it involved washing and rinsing the seeds three times each day. But after six days they’d all sprouted madly and completely filled the jar. And, yes, we did eat them for tea, I was so proud of Flora for trying them and even liking them!
Building a boat
This was a project for Flora and her dad, so they went off to collect some suitable twigs (easy enough after all the high winds). To be fair, Flora struggled with fastening the knots as she’s only seven, but between them, they did a great job. The boat’s maiden voyage on our pond met with no mishaps, although I suspect our resident frog and newt may have been a little startled. This was her favourite activity in the whole box.
Facts, birds, and quiz
The Nature News fact sheet was really interesting – did you know that moss spores look like mini lollipops? Or that hedgehogs will often hibernate in compost bins? After a quick read through, Flora was delighted to get all her quiz answers correct 🙂 And we were so pleased that with one exception, (Goldfinch), we could tick off seeing all the January birds in our garden.
What did we think?
I’d been looking for a gardening subscription box for myself so when the lovely Word of Rachel messaged me about Mud and Bloom I was really excited. In fact, this box is so much better because it’s something that Flora really got engaged with and had fun with – and it got her away from the iPad/TV for a while too – result! She was very lucky to attend a Montessori nursery, so we know first hand how beneficial it is for kids to get grubbing around in nature. But many primary schools just don’t seem to have the time to devote to these kinds of activities in the same way, sadly. This box has been a brilliant way of getting our whole family involved in and learning about nature again – with the added bonus that all the activities link to the national curriculum too. We think these boxes are an absolute steal at only £7.95 each including UK P&P, so a huge thank you to Mud and Bloom for sending them over – we can’t wait to see what’s in our February box!
Are you tempted to try a Mud and Bloom box? If you are (and why wouldn’t you be?!) then you can use our code LISASNOTEBOOK to receive a 50% discount on your first box. Who do you know that would love their own nature and crafts subscription box?
* We were gifted this January box for review but all opinions and photos are our own and this is an honest, unbiased review.