If you read my July Treatbox post, you will know the lovely Lisa from Lisa’s Notebook and I have a second collaboration and this is it! I was so excited when Lisa offered to send me a Mud + Bloom box; I had seen these boxes on Lisa’s blog over the months and loved how fun and creative they were. If you haven’t read Lisa’s blog before, I encourage you to go check it out. There is really something for everyone, whether that is a gorgeous gardening post (seriously, Lisa’s garden is #gardeninggoals), a brilliant beauty or book review, or a fun family and lifestyle post. Also, Lisa’s Instagram and Twitter is always bursting with bright and beautiful flowers – it really adds a splash of colour and positivity into my day!
Mud + Bloom is a monthly subscription box created by Anja (a mum of two young boys) who is passionate about finding ways children can enjoy learning more about nature, gardening and crafts. It’s aimed at children between 3 – 8 years old and each box includes everything you need for 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 they support the national curriculum.
When I unpacked the box, I was impressed at the amount of goodies inside, it is just like getting a surprise Christmas present. There are six colourful information cards, 2 packets of seeds, compost pellets, plant labels, glue, buttons, embroidery thread and my favourite item, washi tape! I have a slight washi tape addiction so these two are going to be a very welcome addition to my forever growing collection.
The first activity I decided to do was planting the lettuce and giant radish seeds. This year, I have actually impressed myself by keeping 4 potted plants alive in my garden (a record for me) so I was feeling a little more confident about growing my own seeds. I did have to follow the instructions carefully though as I have never done any planting before but thankfully it was all very straight forward and easy.
Inside the kit, organic compost pellets are provided which just need to be soaked in warm water for 10 minutes to activate them. Once they have expanded I think they look like little rolled up sleeping bags which is kinda cute. All you need to do is place a seed inside it’s sleeping bag and find a small pot or egg carton so that it stands upright.
How perfect are these pots? I found them at the back of the cupboard and think they make for ideal seed sleeping bag holders. You then label your pots to avoid lettuce/radish confusion, pop them on a sunny windowsill and water regularly. When they are a couple of inches tall you remove them from the bags and plant them outside in a larger pot. It is pretty exciting to check on them to see if there are any changes.
What I particularly love about Mud + Bloom boxes is that they are so educational. Over the months, I have learned so many interesting nature facts from reading Lisa’s posts. This month I found out that a Beech tree can live to 1,000 years old and those flowers which look like giant daisies are called ox-eye daisies. Everything you need to know is on a Nature News card which explains what is happening with plants, animals, insects and birds in July.
As well as a quiz, there is also a spotters card which encourages you to go exploring and see if you can find the different leaves and trees. This is a fantastic idea and not only is it educational, it also makes nature and going for a walk fun and interactive.
I was really keen to do the Make Your Own Summer Flower Vases craft activity. Funnily enough, my mum recently gave me a couple of empty glass jars as she thought I could get creative with them, so this kit was perfect timing. Everything you need (glue, washi tape and buttons) are provided so you can get started straight away.
You get an assortment of different coloured and sized buttons to decorate your vase with.
I love that the kit encourages creativity – there are no rules, you can have a couple of washi tape bands, cover the whole vase in stripes and add buttons, beads and any other treasures you find to your vase. It’s really fun, and the fact that it’s washi means you can easily peal it off and start again if you want to experiment with a different pattern or design.
I was really impressed with this and think a simple design looks really stylish and effective.
As well as the spotters card, the Nature paint brushes activity is another way to get outside and explore your surroundings. On a walk, you collect a selection of twigs, leaves, dried grasses and flowers. Back home, you use the embroidery thread to create home-made brushes.
The home-made brushes help you appreciate the different shapes and textures found in nature. You can then add paint and see the different styles of artwork you can come up with using these creative natural paint brushes.
Overall, I thought this whole box was excellent, there are so many enjoyable activities and things to learn. My favourite activity was making the summer vases and I loved the pretty washi tapes which were included in the kit. Anything which encourages children to get outside and explore nature as well as get arty and creative at home is fantastic in my opinion. A monthly Mud + Bloom box is only £7.95 + free UK shipping which is great value for money and even though it is aimed at younger children, I think it’s great for the whole family to get involved with.