The art of hapa-zome – a Japanese printmaking technique that uses the natural pigment in leaves and flowers to dye fabric.Read more
It’s almost June, which means #30dayswild is back! #30dayswild was set up by The Wildlife Trust to encourage young people to get out in nature.Read more
AD | COLLABORATIVE POST
There are a lot of improvements you can make to your garden, whether it’s with a little landscaping, creating a patio to spend more time out in it, or building out a conservatory to better admire it. However, one aspect of the garden that shouldn’t be overlooked is the boundary that allows you to enjoy it in peace, privacy, and security. If your wall is in need of an upgrade or you’re building one from scratch, here are a few ideas to keep in mind.
Guest post by Megan from @fawnrose_ & @akemiaromatherapy
There is an old Japanese tradition called Shinrin-Yoku, which literally translates to ‘forest bathing’. It is a practice in which one simply spends time in Nature to feel well. When asked why we don’t practice self-care, the number one reason is that we don’t have time. Shinrin-Yoku reminds us that self-care is inside us; it is a method of stepping away from our screens, letting go of our restraints and simply being outside. It is a preventative step and a cure for many ailments prescribed by Doctors in Japan.Read more
Are you taking part in TMC’s 30 Days Wild challenge and ready to take it up a notch? Why not download and use our 30 Days Wild Free Printables! Scavenger hunts, matching and drawing games, word puzzles and more – make sure to snap a photo and share on instagram, including the hashtag #tmc30dayswild and tag us, @thatmamaclub!
It’s almost June, which means #30dayswild is back! #30dayswild was set up by The Wildlife Trust to encourage young people to get out in nature. It’s where you to do one wild thing a day throughout the whole month: for your health, well being and for the planet. The Wildlife Trust provide packs and materials and you can still sign up and join in, it’s completely free! Once signed up, you will be able to download and print and abundance of material and things to do throughout the month of June.
If you follow the TMC Kids Club Bucket List Challenge you may have noticed that we suggested that something you could do this month is to Create a Hedgehog House.
If you follow the TMC Kids Club Bucket List Challenge (if not, why not!) you may have noticed that we suggested one thing you could do this month is to create a Journey Stick.
The History of The Journey Stick
“First, a little background on the journey stick for you. Aboriginal people in Australia used journey sticks to more easily recount their journeys to other people upon their return. They found a large walking stick, collected materials found along the way, and tied them to the stick in chronological order. Native Americans also decorated sticks to recount their journeys and tell about their travels. These sticks can be used as storytelling and navigational tools. The collected materials and markings have various purposes. Some things can be used as markers for natural features in the land, such as tree bark to indicate passing through the woods. While particular symbols carved into or painted onto the stick could show weather patterns, natural features, or events that took place.”
– Sara McCarty / Run Wild My Child Blog: Journey Sticks and the Art of Storytelling
A Journey Stick is an amazing way of encouraging your children to engage with their surroundings on your daily walk. In a world where we are always on the go, even slowing down on a woodland walk can sometimes be a challenge – so having an activity to do while you’re out can really help with that slow and simple lifestyle.
Making your Journey Stick
Find a nice thick stick! Wrap some string or lots of rubber bands around it (which, from experience, is much easier to navigate with little hands).
Pop on your wellies, a nice thick coat and get outside! Start picking up leaves, feathers, sticks, twigs (anything that’s safe to do so) from the moment you step out of the door. Make sure to start your journey stick from the bottom, so that it can show a chronological timeline of your journey.
Added Bonus: There are hundreds of ways that you can use nature to enhance your outdoor adventures. Whether you turn your stick into a journey stick or something completely different, encouraging your children to use nature in their day-to-day lives is fantastic for their imagination and observation skills.
Here are some amazing books that you could read alongside this activity. Make sure to tag us using #thatmamaclubig with any photos that you take so we can share your ideas!
It’s Almost June, which means #30dayswild is back! #30dayswild was set up by The Wildlife Trust to encourage young people to get out in nature. It’s where you to do one wild thing a day throughout the whole month: for your health, well being and for the planet. The Wildlife Trust provide packs and materials and you can still sign up and join in, it’s completely free! Once signed up, you will be able to download and print and abundance of material and things to do throughout the month of June.
Here at TMC, we wanted to encourage you guys to join in with #30dayswild -So we have decided to ditch the normal # challenge for the month of June and create #TMC30dayswild challenge!!
How TMC #30dayswild Challenge Works…
Below, we have listed over 100 things/activities/outings for you to do – they are all nature based. They are split into groups, with each activity worth either 5 10 15 20 25 and a whopping 50 points depending on the group they are in.
The idea, is that if you would like to join in – please let us know. We will then create teams by a name picker or out of a hat via Instagram live. Then, throughout the month of June, you and your team pick and choose different activities from the list to do. You post on your socials – either stories, or a grid post – tagging us at @thatmamaclub, as well as your team mates and using #TMC30dayswild – then they are all in one place.
We will then keep a tally of our teams scores, either in the form of whatsapp/instagram team chats. Then, at the end of each week – we will see who’s in the lead..making it a bit of fun! Then, at the end of the month, we will see which team has won overall.
It’s all a bit of fun, encouraging us to get outside more! Please see the list of activities below…
Egg Box colour hunt
Nature based water play
Have a picnic
Play in the rain
Draw round shadows
Do some bird watching
Walk through the woods
Look for snails after it rains
Have breakfast outside
Read a book outside
Listen to birdsong
Fly a kite
Nature cutting tray
Make a nature crown
Nature paint brushes
Mix and match pebbles
Do some gardening
Make a nature colour wheel
Look for mini-beasts
Build a den outdoors
Make a bee water station
Jump in muddy puddles
Nature sensory basket/bottles
Watch the sunset/sunrise
Do wildlife yoga outside!
Make your own binoculars
Watch a wild webcam
Climb a tree
Look for animal prints
Read nature based books
Make a bug hotel
Stay up late to look at the stars
Make some mud pies!
Make a daisy chain
Camp in the back garden
Make a sundial
Make a sun print
Make shapes out of nature
Make a fairy garden
Brew some petal potion!
Go on a leaf hunt
Pick a wild bouquet
Eat something you’ve grown
Make faces out of nature
Set up a mud kitchen
Make Nature scented playdough
Have a teddy bears picnic
Make a rain gauge
Create nature masks
Create a nature collage
Make a flower sun-catcher
Make flower pots out of tin cans
Create a stick wind chime
Make a stick fairy
Go on a flower hunt
Play Pooh sticks
Build a stick maze
Keep a Nature journal
Flower ice water play
Dye cloth using nature
Make tea from flowers
Clay nature print ornaments
Homemade water colours
Make some nature mandalas
Wild flower bombs
Nature based playdough
Making a hedgehog out of clay and sticks
Find some elderflower
Make dandelion cookies
Create a butterfly table
Make a birds nest
Look at the clouds
Feed the ducks at a local pond (try getting bird seed instead of bread)
Create chalk art outside
Have a plastic free day
Celebrate Summer Solstice on June 21st!
Beach Clean up
Good luck! We can’t wait to see what you guys come up with for TMC #30dayswild challenge!
Hello!, It’s Charlotte here from @simply.together. Can you believe that Saturday is officially the first day of Spring. However, it doesn’t really feel like it. The weather to me isn’t particularly spring like, although it’s meant to get warmer pretty soon, so keeping fingers crossed for that! We also have the joys of Covid-19, looming over all of us still, with the hope of this road map out working. I wanted to put together a few gardening ideas people can do with their toddlers over the Spring/Summer. It can also be an amazing opportunity to incorporate learning for older ones without them realising!
Sunflowers are one of the easiest flowers to grow. We used to grow them at school, and now grow them at work with the kids. This year, now Molly is older we wanted to try and grow some! We are thinking of have Ming a pot each, with our names on so we can see who’s is who’s.
Plant your seeds in containers from mid April to the end of May. If you wanted to, they can be sown straight into the ground. Just leave a good 5-10cm between each seed. Cover them with soil and water gently to ensure you don’t undo your hard work. As they get taller, you will need to support them by using bamboo canes. This will hopefully prevent the stems from snapping.
This is such a fun activity to do over the warmer months. Keeping track of who’s Sunflower is the tallest! Once you have a winner and your flower starts to die. You can harvest the seeds to either roast, or keep for next hear to use again!
Make A Sweet Pea or Runner Bean Living Teepee
Browsing Pinterest, I kept coming across these teepees made from plants. You can plant them in pots, and then arrange in a circle, or dig straight into the ground. You then use bamboo sticks, join with twine at the top and then weave twine around the poles as something for the plant to climb up easily. As it grows, it creates a teepee. I thought this would be really cool for Molly to help make and watch grow. Then enjoy when complete. Something to do every year! I need to decide what plant we’d use. Imagine having a little blanket in there in the Summer, snacking on homegrown produce, Perfect!
Plant a wildflower patch
Now, It’s no secret that wildflowers have many benefits to the environment. Last summer I was sent some wildflower bombs and seeds, but never got the chance to plant them. Molly and I grew Corn flowers that we got in out #30dayswild but This year I want to go bigger! I am hoping/planning to have a fence around my allotment, with a gate at the front. Either side of the gate, I’m hoping to grow a mass amount of wild flowers. Little maintenance and look they beautiful. You can watch them grow and then keep a journal of what wildlife it brings to the garden!
Growing Strawberries & other veg!
Who doesn’t love going to a pick your own farm and strawberry picking?! With the possibility of a lock down, this may not be happening for many of us this year, however…you can grow your own!!
Strawberries are relatively simple to grow, and you can do it in pots, raised beds, even bags! Last hear Liam’s mum grew some at home, and we’d have to take molly out each day to check the plant. She’d get so excited when she spotted a bright red one, and would eat it straight away. This year I am hoping to grow more in the garden. Simple things like Potatoes, tomato’s, carrots and hopefully some beetroot!! There are so many different things you can try! It’s so much fun picking the produce at the end as well!
Make a bug hotel
I wanted to make one of these last Summer when we took part in #30dayswild. However, due to lack of space and it not being our garden, I put it off. This spring, We plan to build one at the Allotment. Molly and I have already been collecting pine cones over the winter months and various sticks to use. It’s nowhere near the amount of materials we will need, but it’s a decent start. We are thinking about using the dolls house from Ikea, filling it up with the bits and bobs, and then securing chicken wire across the front to keep everything in place. Don’t know if we will do this, it’s just an idea at the moment.
Pinterest is full of ideas for bug hotels, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. The kids can decorate it and fill it however they like, and again you can keep track on what wildlife it brings.
General garden upkeep
Children, especially toddlers, like to help out. So why not let them?! Getting some warm soapy water, a sponge and some scoops and they are ready to help clean their garden toys and furniture! All whilst developing their fine and gross motor skills-as well as having fun! They can help with sweeping, weeding (don’t let them loose or you’ll loose a few flowers) and watering the plants. These are just a few of the things Molly loves to do around the garden during Spring time.
Make Homemade Seed Bombs
It doesn’t matter if it’s a plant pot, flowerbed, wild patch in your garden or an entire meadow. Sowing wildflowers in Spring provides vital resources to support a wide range of insects that couldn’t otherwise survive in urban or built-up areas. Throwing, breaking up or digging ‘seed bombs’ (or balls) into areas in your garden that need a little brightening up is a perfect way of spending an afternoon!
You will need:
- Meadow flower seeds or seeds collected from the garden.
- Peat-free compost.
- Powdered clay (found in craft shops).
- Mixing bowl.
Creating your seed bomb:
- In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of seeds with 5 cups of compost and 2-3 cups of clay powder (you could use clay soil instead if you have it).
- Slowly mix in water with your hands until everything sticks together.
- Roll the mixture into firm balls.
- Leave the balls to dry in a sunny spot.
- Now for the fun bit! Plant your seed bombs by throwing them at bare parts of the garden and wait to see what pops up!
Top plants to include in your seed bombs:
- Bulbous Buttercup – Ranunculus bulbosus
- Chamomile – Chamaemelum nobile
- Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil – Lotus corniculatus
- Common Spotted-orchid –Dactylorhiza fuchsii
- Lady’s bedstraw – Galium verum
- Red Clover – Trifolium pratense
- Wild Thyme – Thymus polytrichus
- Common Knapweed – Centaurea nigra
If you guys try any of the above, don’t forget to tag us @thatmamaclub over on Instagram!
Spring might not officially start until the 20th March but we are huge advocates for the fact that as soon as March hits, Spring is upon us!! Nature is beginning to come back to life, daylight sticks around a little longer and the sun shines a tiny bit more. Snippets of Spring are everywhere we look…
Spring is possibly my favourite season… maybe Autumn.. No, Spring. I LOVE THEM BOTH FOR VERY DIFFERENT REASONS. Spring just feels so fresh and as much as people say that the new year is for new beginnings but for me, my fresh starts begins now. We thought we’d share with you our goals for Spring and what we are looking forward to.
- Reach 10k on Instagram
- Reach 200 newsletter subscribers
- Stick to website content schedule
- Have first paid opportunity
- Interview another author for That Mama Book Club
- Reach 5k monthly views on Pinterest
- Reach 50 email subscribers
- Start a podcast
Spring ends on the 21st June so keep an eye out for an update on how we do with our goals!
What We Are Looking Forward To;
- The weather getting better! Especially as a parent of boys who love to be outside – it seems much more appealing once it isn’t pissing it down. We went for a walk at one of our local National Trust parks and it was such a lovely day, chilly but sunny. It felt so nice to enjoy the fresh air and let Teddy run free.
- Easter – chocolate for days, Easter egg hunts for the boys… I love it.
- Our general moods are so much brighter once the days get brighter! Exposure to sunlight increases the hormone serotine in our brains, it’s an actual science and who are we to argue with that!
- The flowers are beginning to bloom, the trees are growing back their gorgeous green leaves.. It has definitely been as i’ve gotten older that i’ve truly come to appreciate nature in all her glory.
- Fresh flowers make our home so much brighter! Tulips & daffodils are out in force and I love having a few bunches dotted around the living room and kitchen.
- It is time to get out in the gardens and allotments, Spring is the perfect season to make a start on our outdoor spaces and give them a freshen up before the summer hits.
We thought we’d also share some snippets of spring, that we have spotted recently. What are your goals for Spring?
Does anyone else hate being stuck indoors all day when its raining? To be honest, as much as I love a good old duvet day every now and then, nothing beats a bit of fresh air. Rain or shine. Our little family always tries to embrace the weather and go out as much as we can, regardless of the conditions. The last few days however have been ever so wet. So, I thought I’d compile a list of some of the rainy day activities I do with Molly. Yes they are all outside, in the rain. Just stick your tiny human in a puddle suit and some wellies and you’re good to go!
I love making play dough! Its one of the most easiest things to make and I’m pretty sure most children love playing with it! I made some at Halloween and I try to make it for every occasion! This particular play dough recipe features bright colours and different fresh herbs. Perfect for natural based play.
To make you Play Dough You Will Need:
2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of salt
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 and half cups of just-boiled water
Herbs and colours of your choice
I chopped up all the herbs we had collected from the garden and put them in little pots for later on. Then In a large mixing bowl, I mixed together all of the dry ingredients with the oil.
Next, I separated the dough into containers. I then added in the gel colouring into each one. I did this part as I didn’t want Molly’s hands to get stained. We spoke about each colour and she would choose which one we did next.
When it was time to add in the herbs, I let Molly do it. I told her what herb it was, got her to sniff it and have a little taste before sprinkling it into the dough. We then kneaded the dough to make sure the herbs were fully incorporated.
Now its time to play! I set up the play dough on a serving tray that I had from Molly’s 1st birthday. By recycling it, I now use it for crafts. I had a tub of cutters and her safety knife, as well as a tub full of natural elements and her rolling pin. Safe to say she had a blast!
Have you ever had a go at making play dough?
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