Mud and Bloom Kids Nature, Craft & Gardening July Box – review + collab with Hello Bexa

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I’ve been looking forward to this month’s Mud and Bloom subscription box for two reasons.  One, because it gets Flora away from the iPad and two, because this is my second collaboration with the lovely Hello Bexa (the first being our TreatBox collab).  If you don’t already follow Bexa (why not?!) then do go and check out her creative lifestyle blog for some seriously inspiring and helpful posts and some amazing photography.

Mud and Bloom

For those of you who haven’t read my previous Mud and Bloom posts, the company offers monthly letterbox subscription boxes for kids.  The boxes have both gardening and nature craft seasonal activities with full instructions and kits, quizzes, and games.  They’re designed to follow the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 national curriculum (ages 3 – 8) but in practice, older kids (like me) love them just as much.  So that’s why I asked Bexa if she’d like to trial a box too.  Don’t forget to check out Bexa’s review to see what she thought!

July’s box

Here’s what was inside July’s box:

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  • instructions for growing radishes (organic seeds and compost pellets provided)
  • instructions for growing lettuce (organic seeds and compost pellets provided)
  • a bag of buttons, some glue and washi tapes plus instructions for decorating summer flower vases
  • some wool/string plus instructions on how to make nature paint brushes
  • a fact sheet and what leaves and trees to look out for
  • and a quiz.

Radishes and lettuces

We’ve only tried growing radishes once before, without much success, so fingers crossed for this time – apparently these ones can be harvested within four weeks of sowing – yum!  And it’s always lovely to pick fresh lettuce leaves for salads rather than from a plastic bag in the fridge.

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We planted our seeds straight into larger pots with some good compost and have been keeping them on well-watered trays in our greenhouse.  It’s so hot outside that most of my other vegetables are suffering, but the greenhouse has some shading so the seedlings don’t get so scorched.

And we’re extremely proud of our avocado plant, grown from a stone as per January’s box instructions.  When the weather gets colder we’ll bring it inside the house as it’s a tender plant which won’t survive the frosts.

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Radishes

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Lettuces and our avocado plant from January’s Mud and Bloom box!

Summer flower vases

The activity involved decorating some jam jars or similar with the buttons and washi tapes to make some pretty flower vases.  Having used my spare jam jars for June’s activity, we resorted to using an empty wine bottle and a spare hyacinth bulb vase instead.

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It was a challenge to get the buttons to stay stuck on so we used some sellotape as well in the end.  But Flora enjoyed doing it so much she found some extra washi tape and stickers to decorate another vase.  Don’t they look pretty?

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Nature paint brushes

Flora wasn’t too sure about this activity to start with.  She had to collect some twigs that weren’t too thick or too easily snapped and then some flowers and foliage to tie on for the paintbrushes.  But after a little trial and error, she got the hang of it very quickly.

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This is what we came up with (I helped her tie things together).  Quite a range, including an old bone and feather as well as various leaves and a few flowers.

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The instructions suggested using acrylic paints rather than watercolours so we used some leftover paints from our previous boxes.  Below is her first attempt, just playing about with colour and seeing which brush gave what effect.  Our cover pic is her third attempt – aiming for a depiction of Bonfire Night.

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This turned out to be her favourite activity in the box and she was very disappointed when I said we couldn’t wash the brushes and use them again at a later date!

Trees and leaves spotting and quiz

July’s quiz threw up a surprise – did you know Beech trees can live to 1,000 years old?  That’s the only question Flora didn’t quite nail, but she got all the other answers right.  We installed a bat box on the side of our house a few years ago and she’s spotted some bats flitting in and out at dusk recently.  And she could easily name far more than five things you might find in a seaside rock pool – as befits a future Marine Biologist 🙂

We had five trees to try and recognise this month and managed three out of five, with an Ash and a Silver Birch still to spot – although we do have a Weeping Birch in our orchard.

Final thoughts

Once again, this month’s box was a huge hit.  My greenhouse is pretty well given over to Mud and Bloom plants this year (tomatoes, cucumbers, beetroot, peas, and now radishes and lettuce).  But the activities are such good fun too, always creative and always engaging.  All this for only £7.95, including P&P.  Bexa, we really hope you enjoyed your July Mud and Bloom box as well, we can’t wait to see how you got on.  And we can’t wait to see what we’ll be making and growing in August!

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Bexa
Guest

Wow Lisa! Those radishes! Mine haven’t got to that stage yet but I have high hopes for them now I’ve seen yours. I LOVE Flora’s washi tape vases, they are so creative & pretty! Great idea to use extra washi tape, this has given me inspiration to decorate my other jar in different patterns too. I think they look really effective. Flora’s paintings are brilliant, the Bonfire Night artwork is great and really impressive that it was created using natural paint brushes! I really loved doing this collab with you & thank you again for my Mud + Bloom box.… Read more »

Babita
Guest

Great post you have here dear! The crafts look beautiful!

Xoxo Babita
http://travelhues.com

Merkitty
Guest

Such a cute little box and I definitely think this box is a great idea for little ones looking to get out in the garden.

Cordelia Moor
Guest

I love this box! I don’t have kids, but I love growing things, and this looks like the perfect way to get back into a gardening. Such a good value box for everything you get, and the joy of watching plants grow is one of the best things on this earth.

Cordelia || cordeliamoor.com

Antonia
Guest

I haven’t heard about this box before. This is such a great idea. It looks so much fun to do. x

Antonia || Sweet Passions

Lupe
Guest
Lupe

I love how varied the activities are in the box, the decorating vase craft was really cute!

what corinne did
Guest

Oooh loving the natural paint brushes! Such a cool result! making for some great art! and the mud + bloom box sounds so amazing! i love growing plants!

Creative Nails
Guest

I remember reading your previous reviews on this box and it always sounds so interesting! It’s such good value and contains so many different things to get children interested in nature! Flora’s paintings are great, I would have never thought of creating paintbrushes like that – it’s so interesting, especially to see the different effects you can create with them 😀 also love the decoration to the vases!

Amy,
https://creativenails.uk

Sophie
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Sophie

Aw I love Bexa and this is such a great collaboration idea! I’m so glad that you and Flora loved your July box, that depiction of Bonfire night is gorgeous, very modern art and such a unique painting style!
Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

Sophie Wentworth
Guest

Once again, I feel like I say this every month, but I think it’s amazing that you grow your own veg and that Flora is getting to do it at such a young age too. I love what she did with the vase, they all look so pretty! These boxes have such a great range of activities in them too x

Sophie
http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

Louise
Guest

What a lovely box Lisa. I love the nature paintbrushes activity idea, and how the box encourages creative skills alongside interest in the natural world.

Rose
Guest

Mixing art and nature! WOW. What a great idea. I am inspired <3
I have been writing up activity plans for when/if I work with kids again, so that I have something cool to present to my new workplace in a possible nearby future. Don't mind if I take this idea on board? 😉
The colors are so beautifully vibrant as well! I bet it was great fun to do this. <3