When I was pregnant, I imagined myself as the perfect Pinterest mum, doing all kinds of crafts with my children. As it turns out, Max isn’t really into crafting at all, and is far more excited to get outside and explore, or learn about how things work. When I first heard about Willow and Wild’s Subscription boxes, I knew they’d tick the right boxes for both me and Max, with their focus on teaching children about nature and the world around them, with a little bit of craft thrown in too.
Willow and Wild is a monthly box which fits through your letterbox, and is filled with a huge range of activities to help children learn about and engage with nature. Like all good subscription boxes, it’s letterbox sized, so fits right through your door, with no worries about missing the delivery. They’re intended for 3-8 year olds, so at 4, Max is the perfect age for it.
What’s In The Box?
We were kindly sent the January box to try out, and when we opened it I was really surprised at just how much was packed into it. The different activities include:
- Grow your own Willow tree and Sweet peas
- Make a telescope
- 2019 nature journal with January winter walk scavenger hunt
- Make your own popcorn and create a popcorn birdfeeder
- Make twig worms and sycamore seed dragonflies
- Draw the Constellations
- Make newspaper pots
- Rocket spot the difference & colouring sheet.
Popcorn Bird Feeder
We looked at all the activities, and Max was most excited to try making the popcorn bird feeder first. We popped our corn on the hob, which he thought was the most exciting thing, and then sat down to thread our popcorn onto the wires to make our feeder.
It’s fair to say it’s harder than it looks, and Max needed a fair bit of parental help with this part. But after a while we had enough popcorn on our wire to make a feeder to hang outside in the garden for the birds. We talked about how birds might struggle to find food in the winter, and how it’s good to put food out for them at this time of year.
One of the other activities that Max was keen to do was to make wriggly worms, using some sticks we found in the garden, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes and pom poms. This was a much easier one for Max – he loved wrapping the pipe cleaner around the stick, but was most happy playing with his worms once they’d been made.
I like the fact that there are a good range of different length activities here, so you can choose depending on the time you have available, or your child’s patience levels that day. Things like growing your own willow are quick to set up and something that you can check in on as you start to see roots grow over the month. Whereas other things like making the popcorn bird feeder are more of a 30 minute activity.
Grow Your Own Willow
We’ve popped our willow sticks on our windowsill, and it’ll be lovely to watch them growing, especially over the winter, when there’s not much going on in the garden.
One of the activities we’ve not got around to yet, is making our own telescope and talking about all of the planets and constellations. Max loves space, so I was a bit surprised that he didn’t want to do this one first, but I think the lure of getting to sneak some popcorn was too much!
We also need to plant our sweet peas on the windowsill alongside our willow. I’m just saving up enough toilet rolls (which act as root trainers) so that we can do them all in one go!
What We Love About Willow and Wild
This really is a box of activities that will keep you going for the whole month. With prices starting at £7.25, I think it’s great value for money. Quite a few of the activities require extra bits, that you’ll need to find on walks outdoors (like sycamore seeds), or around the house (like empty toilet rolls), which sends you on a little scavenger hunt to find all the bits you need. It does require a little bit of planning when you first get the box, to work out all the things you’ll need for the month, but if you’re a family who likes to get outdoors anyway, most of these things should be fairly easy to get hold of.
I love the focus on getting outside and enjoying the world around you that Willow and Wild bring to their boxes. Max has been full of questions with some of these activities, which is always great (even if I do struggle to answer some of them!). We’re looking forward to trying out the rest of the activities in our box, and getting outside to enjoy the winter sunshine.
You can buy your Willow and Wild box directly from their website, and prices start from £7.25.
Disclosure: We were sent the January Willow and Wild Box to try out for the purposes of this post.