I’m always wary of subscription services, but Mud and Bloom is a complete treat for those wanting to encourage their kids to get out in nature and for adults who aren’t naturally good at craft. The lovely Anja, owner and creative mind behind Mud and Bloom sent me a sample to review, so how I could say no?
I should add a disclaimer though, I grew up with keen gardeners so I’m quite good when it comes to growing things, and I’m also quite good at certain crafts. However, when it comes to combing the two I’m lacking, I’m never going to be one of those parents who have boxes of buttons, ribbons, pine cones and the like knocking around. I try to keep things for future craft projects but I hate clutter so throw them out. I am usually in a mad, last minute dash to make the latest craft project for nursery, grabbing whatever I can find and super-gluing bits together.
The Mud and Bloom monthly nature and craft box subscription is perfect if you’re a mum like me. Each month you get a nifty little package which contains enough bits and bobs to complete several small projects. They’re designed for children aged three and upwards, but I helped Small Boy and he was fine.
The July box
The July box came and was packed full of activities – easily worth the £7.95 subscription (which by the way you can cancel anytime and there’s no P&P either!). There were four main activities. The first two was gardening focused, with seeds to plant both lettuce and giant radishes. You don’t require any particular skills or space. We planted outs in an egg carton on the windowsill in the two compost pellets provided. This makes it perfect for those with limited space or without a garden. You simply transplant your seedlings to slightly larger pots when they’re strong enough. I’ve grown peppers, lettuces and herbs on a window sill quite easily before now. My son loved planting these and watering them.
The third activity in the July box was decorating a vase or glass jar. We used an old coffee jar, perfect for picking small flowers from the garden, and keeping the leftover bits from our crafting activity. There was more than enough craft items supplied to decorate the jar, including string, fancy ribbon tape and buttons. Even glue was provided.
The fourth activity for July was making paintbrushes from branches and shrubs from the garden, tied together with the string supplied. I never would have though of doing this, but we used rosemary from the garden and it smelled beautiful.
The August box
We weren’t sure how the August box could top this but it arrived through our letterbox and we were delighted. It again came with small compost discs for planting seeds. This month was all about herbs with the opportunity to grow chives, parsley and coriander. These are actually three of my favourite herbs and ones I use most in cooking so they are sat in pride of place on our windowsill, next to our egg carton lettuce and radishes, which will soon need re-potting. Yet again, the colourful and clear instructions are easy to follow, and also come with some tips on how to cut your herbs and the types of recipes you can use them in. Great idea!
The second activity in August was creating butterfly pictures. Three templates were provided, with beautiful pictures of your butterfly’s body. The challenge is to pick flowers and stick them on with the glue provided to create a pretty butterfly. Our garden is looking a little forlorn from the heat and mostly has shrubs, so this is a good activity to do in a park of woodland area, with wildflowers. We are going to take a walk to the country house we live near on the weekend, and pick some flowers. A very pretty gift for a relatives’ birthday, as well as fun!
The third activity is a caterpillar hunt. We had so much fun poking about the garden looking for caterpillars to tick off our list. The checklist in the Mud and Bloom box comes with a little information on each type of wiggly thing you’re looking for, which is great for kids. We couldn’t find any so we are going to be taking it out again on our park walk. I’m sure we can find some creepy crawlies in the woods. There’s a quizz too, which is great for older children. I’ll be hanging on to these resources when my son is a little older. Given the pride he had, parading into the kitchen, holding a snail, I’m sure he will enjoy that no end!
The final activity was making a Twig picture frame, which was easy as we’ve cut back a lot of our trees and shrubs. The kit even comes with metal hanging hooks for your to clip your picture into – perfect to keep your butterfly picture.
So did it top the July box? Absolutely.
This is probably the best of the subscription boxes I’ve tried as it really is excellent value for money. You get such a lot in each box, and don’t require any particular skill or knowledge, so even the least green fingered of parents can help. There’s also a good selection of activities – quiz, hunts, gardening, painting.This means it’s easy to use the box with several children of different ages, or complete some of the activities and put others away for the future. A lot of thought has gone into this, which I appreciate.
Also, if you’re not sure if you want to subscribe to Mud and Bloom there are also purchase a limited number of older boxes too, just like these. That said, you can cancel at any time anyway. They ship worldwide form the UK and have everything you need to start enjoying nature and learning about it without any previous experience, skills or knowledge.