Sarah Said That Reviews : Mud and Bloom

I’ve been a bit lacking in the old activity front with the boys lately. After the various Christmas crafts in the lead up, we then actually had to get on with erm, Christmas itself. Shopping, visiting, playing, cleaning up you know the drill. Followed by H starting nursery again in the new year, I feel bad I simply haven’t had much free time to dedicate to some messy, crafty stuff. Plus I feel like we’ve been stuck indoors for weeks with the cold, rainy weather.

So, when Mud and Bloom asked me to review their January nature and crafts subscription box I was more than happy to!

Set up by the lovely Anja, with Mud and Bloom you can sign up to receive a little box of outdoor and indoor, forest-school inspired activities every month, perfect now the nicer weather (crosses fingers) will soon be on its way and we’re all keen to get out with our kids into the fresh air and away from watching Ryans Toy Review.

I don’t know about you, but my kids always love being outside in the park or the woods, it never (usually) fails to calm a tantrum, help us when we’re all going a bit stir crazy in the house. I’m super keen for my two to get out and about this year, exploring and playing together.

And, as you know from my insta feed and facebook page I LOVE doing structured activities with the boys, but whilst my littlest is now getting some one on one mummy time in the mornings, I’m also keen to find something to do with my 3 year old to fill that void that used to be nap times, in the early afternoon.

And with my ‘free time’ seeming to dwindle down each week, I’m finding it harder to be inspired by and plan new ideas.

So, if someone wants to do the hard work for me, research and plan 3-4 age appropriate activities AND send it all through the post to me with the materials I need each month I AM SOLD.

When the pretty brown box popped through our letterbox (perfectly sized) I was really excited to see what was inside and start planning our mummy and toddler time. The pack came with four printed, well-written, easy to follow and beautifully illustrated instruction cards, and some materials needed to help you complete the tasks.

January’s box included:

-Making a twig boat

-Sprouting an avocado

-Growing beans

-Wild bird watching

I was actually pleasantly surprised that these activities were going to last us the whole month, you could easily pick one a week even if you’re pushed on free time.

Reading through I decided we’d start with growing beans, as then we could hopefully see some of them start to sprout by the end of the month.

My toddler enjoyed looking at all the different shapes and sizes of beans and seeds – obviously asked which ones were used to make baked beans (haha) but right there he was fascinated to learn that beans don’t have to come covered in tomato sauce. I always find he’s more encouraged to try eating something new if he’s had a hand in making or cooking it, so we’ll give this a try once they’re fully grown. Plus the mason-jar looks cute on my windowsill in the meantime.

Next up – a trip to the park to spot some wild birds and collect twigs to make our boat. We probably collected a few too many but we had lots of fun finding ones which were similar lengths and widths and laying them all out to see which ones we wanted to use. It was so good to have an hour or so out getting dirty and muddy, I felt we hadn’t done that properly in quite a while. The lovely wild birds seemed to be evading us however, probably because we were being quite loud! We did manage to spot a robin, but now even mummy is educated we can keep this card and look out for them on future trips.

My toddler was probably most excited about making the twig boat. He’s at the younger end of the ages that Mud and Bloom are aiming the activities at, so the actual making was mostly mummy’s work, but he had a good go at wrapping the cord round the twigs and I rather enjoyed making it together with him.

The weather that week was particularly rubbish unfortunately so we had to resort to sailing the finished boat in the sink – it wasn’t quite the neat and tidy master-piece I had in mind, but I guess that’s the point of making something from nature, it doesn’t have to be all perfect, and he loved it regardless!

Last up was sprouting an avocado. We had loads of fun getting messy trying to get the stone out, squishing the avocado flesh – a great sensory activity and he’s never been that fond of the eating the green stuff but gave it a try for me!

Again I helped with the cocktail sticks, piercing the stone, but this activity was a winner too, he keeps getting up each day, excited to see if it’s sprouted!

It’s been really great having my weekly crafting/messy activities already planned out for me and definitely encouraged me to spend the time with my toddler doing something different, where we had got in a bit of a bad habit before Christmas of too many films eating popcorn under blankets.

The box was so well thought out, everything was easy to follow and make, and I’ll be trying some of these things again I’m sure when littlest is a bit older.

I have lots of comments from mums who want to do crafting or messy play activities with their children, but are really daunted by the thought, don’t have the time to plan them, buy for them, or just don’t know where to start. This is why these little activity boxes by Mud and Bloom are kind of genius. It’s all done for you, a lot of it is outside so the mess can stay there, all you’ve got to do if find a bit of time together to do it! Please have a look at their website http://www.mudandbloom.com and instagram page @mudnbloom as they have lots of other fab outdoors and nature inspired activities.

I can’t wait to see whats in February’s box now! Already excited for our next Mud and Bloom adventures.

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