Spooky fun with Willow & Wild October Craft and Gardening box

Spooky fun with Willow & Wild October Craft and Gardening box

If you read my gardening posts, you’ll know that Flora has very recently become an enthusiastic gardener too.  She has her own patch behind our summerhouse and is taking great delight in finding things to plant and grow.  So when Willow & Wild * asked if she’d like to try their October Hallowe’en themed arts, craft, and gardening kids subscription box, of course she said yes, please!

Willow & Wild

Willow & Wild is run by Abbie and offers a personalised, monthly subscription box for 3 – 8 year olds, packed full of craft, gardening, cooking and outdoor activities.  Inspired by nature, the boxes aim to get children exploring the outdoors and learning about how things grow, the changing seasons, healthy eating, and animal/plant life-cycles.

spooky-fun-with-willow-wild-october-craft-and-gardening-box

There are two options available, a letterbox size and a bumper box, which would be ideal if you had more than one child.  Subscriptions start from £8.95 for a one-off monthly box, with at least two craft projects, vegetable and/or flower seeds, step by step planting and growing instructions, outdoor activity & inspiration guides, and a recipe card.

Willow & Wild also have their own School Gardening Programme, to help provide children with opportunities for learning outside the classroom.  And they’ve recently launched a new range of nature-inspired summer activity bags and party bags too.

October’s box

So, what did we get inside October’s box?

spooky-fun-with-willow-wild-october-craft-and-gardening-box

  • instructions for making a pumpkin lantern and a lolly spider (card, pen, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and lolly provided)
  • a pumpkin puzzle and Hallowe’en noughts and crosses
  • a packet of mung beans with instructions on how to grow and cook them
  • some orange and white paper, and rocket seeds, with instructions on how to make seed paper
  • a bag of raisins and a bag of icing sugar plus ideas for making Hallowe’en fruit treats
  • a booklet with facts about bats and spiders
  • and an envelope for the “grown-up” ie, me!

Pumpkin lantern, lolly spider, games

We started out with the easiest activities to get us in the mood.  We have three cats (including a Ginger one) so Flora decided to make a cat lantern instead of a pumpkin one.  It’s still pretty Hallowe-en like though, don’t you think?  And her little spider lolly looks suitably creepy, albeit slightly cross-eyed…

spooky-fun-with-willow-wild-october-craft-and-gardening-box
As we were doing all the activities in one go on a rainy Saturday, we decided to leave the games for another day.  I think they’d be a lot of fun for younger children, as well as help them develop their fine motor skills.

Mung beans

We’ve grown mung beans before so rather than use a series of recycled plastic containers, I dug out an old jam jar.  The muslin we used previously was long gone but we made do with one of my hold ups and an elastic band. 

spooky-fun-with-willow-wild-october-craft-and-gardening-box

The advantage of a jar and tights is that it’s much easier to rinse the mung beans and top them up with fresh water every day.  Otherwise, we’d have to decant, rinse, and then put them back into a container.

spooky-fun-with-willow-wild-october-craft-and-gardening-box

Mung beans are quite quick germinators so we should be able to harvest them in a week’s time.  Then we can either eat them raw or try them in this rather delicious stir fry recipe – they’re Flora’s beans so Flora can choose :).

Fruit snacks

As we didn’t have any jelly cubes for Eye Ball Jelly and Flora’s not keen on citrus fruit, we opted to just make the Ghost Bananas, and a Bat for luck.

spooky-fun-with-willow-wild-october-craft-and-gardening-box

We found it quite easy to press the raisins into the banana for the Ghosts, so didn’t need to mix up any icing sugar “glue”.  And Flora had the idea to draw some wings to make a Bat with the middle section of the banana – isn’t he cute?

Seed paper

Flora’s had seed paper in a party bag before but we’ve never tried to make our own.  Challenge accepted!  After ripping the supplied orange and white paper into small pieces and leaving it to soak in water for a couple of hours, we blitzed it in the food processor.

spooky-fun-with-willow-wild-october-craft-and-gardening-box
After blitzing, we had to press the pulp in a sieve to get rid of as much water as possible before mixing in the seedsI had to do this as Flora refused to touch it, “It looks like sick, this really isn’t my thing.”  This from a child who will happily plunge her arms into a murky pond in search of tadpoles.  Oh, well.

spooky-fun-with-willow-wild-october-craft-and-gardening-box

After mixing in the seeds, I put the pulped paper between some baking paper sheets and Flora flattened it out with a rolling pin.  Then it was back into the parchment to dry in the airing cupboard for a few days before planting out when dry.

spooky-fun-with-willow-wild-october-craft-and-gardening-box

Bat and spider facts

While we were waiting for the paper to soak up the water, we read up on bats and spiders.

spooky-fun-with-willow-wild-october-craft-and-gardening-box

Did you know we have 17 different types of bat in the UK?  We’ve got a bat box on the side of our house and we did see a few swooping around earlier this summer.  They’re so fast though, I’ve no idea what type they are.  And we learned that spider silk contains Vitamin K, which helps clot blood and stop bleeding.  Before plasters were invented, people sometimes used to put spiders’ webs on their cuts.

Final thoughts

Despite Flora’s reluctance to touch the paper pulp, I think she really enjoyed all the things to do in her Willow & Wild box.  Her favourite things were her Hallowe’en lantern, and the Ghost and Bat banana snacks – which she ate for pudding later that evening.  I think the mix of arts, craft, gardening and cooking are a really great way to introduce children to growing and eating their own produce.  And judging by the range of activities in her October box, there really is something for all ages.  Including grown-ups – my envelope had a lovely tea bag for me to relax with after all the making and doing, haha.  Big thank you to Abbie, we’ve had a lot of fun this month!

What’s your favourite activity from this box?

* We were gifted this box in exchange for a review but all opinions are our own and this is an honest, unbiased review.

spooky-fun-with-willow-wild-october-craft-and-gardening-box

Follow:

30
Leave a Reply

avatar
15 Comment threads
15 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
16 Comment authors
Ms ViaMerkittyLauren ClarkRuthPauline Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Bexa
Guest

This looks like such a fun subscription box with a good mix of crafts and educational activities. I’m loving the Ghost Bananas and Bat, a very creative way to eat healthy! The cat lantern looks awesome, great job Flora! It looks like such a perfect rainy day activity. I’ve never heard of seed paper before, so it was interesting to see how you make it. I’m always learning something new on your blog Lisa, that’s fascinating to know that spiders webs can stop bleeding and help blood clot. I’m petrified of spiders but it’s nice to know they are useful… Read more »

Alice v
Guest

I love that this is educational and fun at the same time. I’ve been looking at boxes myself for my own children.

Victoria
Guest

This looks adorable! Love the banana Ghosts, such a simple but effective idea ?

chelsea
Guest

I think this is just the cutest idea! I love the concept behind this and I love the pumpkin lantern! Too adorable.

what corinne did
Guest

This box is so adorable! I would have loved to receive that as a kid! I love gardening and crafting so it would have been so perfect for me! So creative as well!

Kim
Guest

This is such a fun subscription box. I love how the encourage kids creative sides and teach them some little gardening techniques. My favourite items are the pumpkin “cat” lantern and the noughts and crosses.

Amie
Guest

This is such an amazing idea! I’m going to show this to my sister in law as my niece would love this so much!

Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan

melissa major
Guest

This looks like such a fun subscription box with lots of different fun activities! I just love that it is Halloween themed too. Tempted to buy one now

Melissa ? | Moonlight Mel

Jenny in Neverland
Guest

Okay I never thought I’d look at a banana and go, “awwww”. Those are very cute and I can imagine a great way to encourage kids who might be a bit fussy to enjoy fruit and veggies more! This looks like such a cute box – perfect for you and Flora! Flora seems like the coolest kid! xxx

Holly Bird
Guest

I Love the lantern project! This is really a great activity for children!! Thank you for sharing them!

Pauline
Guest
Pauline

This looks fun!! I’m always hesitant in ordering subscription boxes for kids because of the quality of crafts.

Ruth
Guest

Wow, what a great box of goodies! I like that this is a more unusual Halloween activity. The banana snacks are so cute, I love the fact Flora decided to make one into a bat. It looks like such a fun way to spend some time together. Great review, and such a perfect product for the two of you!

Lauren Clark
Guest

The subscription box looks very fun and hands on and it’s great that Flora is liking gardening. It’s always good for children to spend time outside. Such a great post lovely ?

Merkitty
Guest

Such a cute box! I bet my niece and nephew would love this.. though they’d probably have the same thoughts about putting their hands in paper pulp too! Never heard of seed paper before though, so that was pretty interesting to me.

merkitty.co.uk

Ms Via
Guest

This is such a cute box with a mix of craft and gardening. Flora must have enjoyed. I am glad that she has her own space to grow and take care of the plants. Such a nice activity Lisa. I remember making these lanterns in our craft time. We used to add a little tassel too. haha! Lovely post as usual. 🙂

Via | http://glossnglitters.com