Every Day is Earth Day

Be part of the global optimism. What a beautiful idea.

Planting a seed in collectiveness – what will you be planting? Doing something green – what are your ideas?

The Maple Tree from last year is now unfurling her leaves into the winds of Spring finally.

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We also have have the front garden covered with sprouting Crimson Clover.

 

 

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Today the boys and I will be planting the Echinacea we were given at the end of last Summer, we are going to put the seeds in pots inside the home until they are ready to be moved into the garden towards the beginning of June!

Just imagine if everyone did plant something together today! This is a genius plan. Let’s make it happen.

Join the Facebook Event

Clean up on the History of Earth Day!

Whatever you choose to do I hope you enjoy your day.

Happiness and well-being from PeaceCrafting 😀

Its Puzzle Time!

Throughout my childhood I cannot recollect memories of completing many puzzles although I would love for them to be part of my Sons’ upbringing.
Luckily for me my Sons have indeed already taken to puzzle building like ducks to water. Bizarrely enough it was my little one at the tender age of 2 years that became the puzzle whizz of the family. I was stunned and amazed at the concentration, speed and accuracy of his work, it was and still is incredible and extremely fascinating to watch (even more so if he doesn’t know you are there). My eldest boy is really good at puzzles too although I have noticed he prefers to observe and assist from the sideline. It is ever so cute to watch my boys figuring them out together! Love em!




the boys figuring out their new Cars puzzle…together 🙂

Puzzles are a great concentration task for kids and an awesome way to build children’s problem solving skills and determination. If parents, siblings, all the family or friends can successfully use puzzles to play together then this is a great way for them to learn about sharing and to gain patience as well as building on important social and communication skills.



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The charity shops are packed with puzzles for about £1 each and a lot of them are new where it appears they are not in trend anymore, seemingly puzzles aren’t as hip or cool as the PS125 or Daddy’s tablet.

We have loads of puzzles, so many in fact that I need to go find some reclaimable wood and put up son shelves just so they have a home, totally running out of puzzle space!

this is one of many places we keep puzzles, a few puzzles are around the house and a lot of books are in piles below hence the slumping collection on the shelves. The boys love books and puzzles, they are in nearly every room!


In my eyes, my children (age 3 & 4) are too young and impressionable to be playing computer games or getting neck ache over a tablet. When they do watch a film a few days out of the week they get addicted to the motion picture, asking for it again and they were bought a mini pad but they soon became obsessive, didn’t listen to Mum about posture, went slightly numb and started giving me attitude about putting it down. Urm no thank you! It did get taken away and has been forgotten about. I noticed with puzzles and other games such as Moondough or imaginative scenery play they are ‘awake’ and are learning so much more by expanding their minds, not forgetting to mention how freely their necks can move!

Once your child has taken to puzzles they are a great way for the child to entertain themselves whilst you are busy, washing up, cooking or sorting the clothes etc. Kids can also do a puzzle anywhere with enough surface area! My boys and I love puzzles and we hope you do too, if not then hopefully you will try them out with your little ones today. You may just be amazed 🙂

Cooking with Children

Teaching children how to prepare and cut vegetables is one of the most important and beneficial life skills you can teach them as it a task they will need to do for the rest of their lives. I was gifted the idea of getting children to wash vegetables a while back and they loved using the brush, this time I felt ready to introduce the knife!

Getting children involved in the preparation of food is a great way for them to gain culinary skills and it also helps them understand the process behind seed to mouth gifting them valuable knowledge about the produce.

It is not always easy to amuse my children when it comes to getting dinner prepared, being a single parent leaving the boys to keep themselves busy at this time of the afternoon can be somewhat of a challenge. I was once given the advice that “the tv is a great babysitter” although I don’t really want them in front of the tv and especially not that time of night. I want their minds to settle down and if they have become bored of their toys or just don’t want to do the normal activities what better way to get them active than by helping prepare the food they are (hopefully) about to eat?!

My children are still quite young so many home economics activities are still too hazardous although I am testing the waters more often now my youngest has passed the age of 3 years.
It was quite daunting the first time I had them near the stove for our Homemade Chocolate Cooking Lesson, at the time the little one didn’t really show much interest and my big boy Easy had the most fun ever getting to clean out the glass dish! This was one of the simplest methods of cooking when introducing a child to a stove as all that was required was stirring a mixture with a spoon (and being very careful of the flames!). They obviously thought it was super cool managing a wild element and making chocolate in such an awesome way!

This time the teaching was slightly more daunting as they were both using a moderately sharp knife to cut vegetables. They have to Lear sometime, right? Let us start them off young.

I asked my boys if they wanted to help cut the Cauliflower for our creamy rice dish and happily they did. We set up a chopping board and I selected a relatively appropriate knife for them, we pulled up a chair and I showed them what to do. They absolutely loved it and surprisingly it was my Little Al who had the mist pleasure in it, it was so adorable to see him cutting the veg and very cute seeing him pile it into his own little bowl.

It was absolutely lovely to watch my Son in this way, I am glad I kept my good friends’ advice in my head as it was a blissful experience to participate in. Ok so there was Cauliflower flying in all directions and the trimmings didn’t all end up in the designated pile, it was a welcomed mess and I think my baby one did very well!

I will definitely be encouraging them to get involved every single meal time that it is appropriate and one day hopefully they will show me a thing or two 😉 There’s nothing more attractive than a man who knows how to cook a healthy meal 🙂

Depending on your knowledge of the vegetables you are using will determine what the children learn from this activity. Even if you just teach them the name of the vegetable or teach them the simple process of harvesting the veg and cooking it they are still learning something. If you know more extensive details then feed it into your child, it is quite surprising what their memories can hold and it is fascinating hearing what interested them most the next time they speak of it back to you.

I Thank God for my beautiful children and their passion for learning 🙂

Who Lives In The Woods? (part 2) – Eco Explorers Magnifying Life

Another wonderful adventure to the woods was certainly afoot after my Sons’ Aunt gifted these amazing eco toy magnifying glasses to them.

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How adorable are these! We all wrapped up ready to embrace the cold then we clipped together the new lanyards and I hung them around the boys’ neck ready to zoom in on nature. They absolutely love their new gifts and the boys made the most fabulously cute little explorers I have ever seen!

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Down the path glorified by Norway Maples we began our expedition. What would we find?

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Before we had reached the entrance to the woods we showed some love to the Maple trees that had breathed us life for the past year and whom stood ever humble as the last of their leaves were swept away by the fast approaching chill of Winter.

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It was definitely fascinating for the boys getting a close up of the huge roots and of the overgrowing tree stump belonging to the old tree we watched being felled back in the Summer. There was also some beautiful leaves and green moss to be examined which looked awesome magnified.

Into the woods, greeted by a mushy entrance we squelched through the mud and decided it would be much more fun off the beaten track…

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…we hopped (well tried to) over a ‘sleeping tree’ and that was amusing in itself…

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…and onto the Ivy lands!

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The ground below our feet overlaid with Ivy and a coating of dried crisp leaves was a welcomed change in texture. It was captivating to acknowledge how the Earth uses different life forms and materials to blanket itself.

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After passing under an archway of trees that seemed as if they were reaching across trying to gain closure of the woods from the construction site, we took a mini bypass.

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Back in the baby forest we were greeted by a grand presence of majestic trees. The boys are always amazed by the sheer size of these wonders (me too!). We admired the arches and hollows getting up close to inspect the algae and to take a deeper peek into the life of a tree!

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Through the woods we encountered some truly mesmerizing takes on nature when looking on a magnified level. We found different fungi which were not surprisingly very beautiful when a moment is taken to fully appreciate the fine artwork that has actually gone into them.

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Next it was time to (carefully) lift up a log to to discover what lay beneath! There was not a lot to gaze at if I am totally honest, it must have been too cold for even the bugs to be out although what we did find was amazing. Wow! Upon lifting the old log we were instantly greeted by shiny centipedes which noticing us scurried away but not before I captured these pictures! There were baby roots sprouting all around and a few woodlice that sadly escaped the photograph.

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It was  deeply fascinating for me to see the natural decay of leaves also buried beneath the log. The leaves they were divinely pressed into the Earth’s surface, compacted into whichever they came into contact with by the above weight and it gifted me an awakened view to the nature of true biodegradable matter.

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The leaf, to me, on a deeper level was strikingly attractive too, the mass of its surface gently disintegrating leaving the fine fractal veins that soon will become nourishment for the nearby wildlife. I was immensely captivated – perhaps a bit too much as the little ones had lost interest and were heading out of the woods, over the field to the nearby park. They are at that fun-for-half-an-hour age, not like Mummy who is at the spend-the-rest-of-my-life in the woods age 😉

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This is a great way for children to learn about nature by getting a closer view on it. It is an awesome starting point on how mini beasts live and about what happens down in the roots of life. It turns a walk through the woods into a magical adventure for a child and as a parent I highly recommend you too get a magnifying glass and turn your child into an eco explorer !

A simply wonderful way to spend time outdoors.

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Upcycled Hanging Wooden Aeroplanes


How sweet is my friend! She truly is my Soul Sister, the best girlfriend anyone could ask for. Love!

As a gift idea Natalie used her creative flare and thoughtful love to turn a wooden coat hanger into two Aeroplanes for my Sons!
I was amazed at how they had turned out and at the originality of creativity in looking at a coat hanger and thinking “that’s an aeroplane”!


I absolutely love the idea of reusing and upcycling and would rather this be the eco friendly ethics behind any toy gifted to my children and she knows it so I was overjoyed when I saw how much effort herself (and partner) put into making her idea a reality.

To make these beauties Nat used:

* 1x wooden coat hanger
* A couple of pens
* Sticky tape
* Glue
* Cutting device
* Hanging wire

Her method was somewhere along the lines of:

* See it
* Believe it
* Create it!

Super frugal friendly love 🙂


I just had to blog this idea albeit not my own! I am also keen to try this out with the boys as the satisfaction in the upcycle seems very rewarding, the kids will love it!

Decorate a Living Tree this Year


The perfect way to enjoy the Trees, to decorate and thank them for their love whilst supporting the eco system.

Instead of cutting down a tree or using a faux one in your celebrations this year why not enhance one already living near you! What better way to appreciate the life they give us.

Luckily for us we have just had a tree planted outside our family home and we thought it would be a wonderful idea (as he was starting to look chilly) if we gave him a bit of sparkle to see him through the winter until he gets his new leaves 🙂

My Sons and I reused waterproof items from around our home to create decorations for our tree.

It is so simple and yields great results.

What you will require to create decorations like ours:

– Used plastic milk bottles
– Used fruit and veg tubs
– Tin serving trays
– Used biscuit tins
– A marker pen
– Scissors
– Hemp Cord
– Ribbon



You can adapt your item list to suit what you can reuse from your home.

How to make:

1) Draw your shapes / pictures with the marker pen
2) Cut out all the shapes from all the materials
3) Make small incisions at the top of each decoration for the cord
4) Cut the required length of hemp cord for each then thread it through the holes made tying in a knot
5) Carefully tie your decorations to the branches a Tree
6) Wrap the Tree up in ribbon to keep him warm and for a lovely look!

Tips:

– Choose images, patterns and shapes that mean something to You. You are the one looking at the work after all.
– Use a marker pens and plastic or metal incase it rains (or snows)!
– For these decorations we have used the simplest version without adding, glue, glitter or sequins for effect etc. We used tin which was a fantastic idea as it naturally glimmers. Be very careful when cutting the tin as it is extremely sharp!
– Use Hemp cord as it is strong, biodegradable and is highly sustainable.

– Please Collect any fallen decorations as milk cartons and plastics are not designed to biodegrade. Thank You

From the Boys and I, we hope you enjoy crafting and getting closer to nature and that you have a love filled Winter full of laughter and joy.


Homemade Play Birds Nests – Children’s Activity


This day the boys and I were gifted an absolutely adorable sight, I felt very blessed to be able to teach my children an active lesson from nature instead of using our usual whiteboard drawings, books, photos or videos for visual impact.

As we strolled down the sun lit road a rustling sound caught my ear and I turned to discover a beautiful black bird tossing the dried leaves about beneath a tree. It was a wonderful sight and a new one for my boys. I just had to stop, breathe, appreciate and gaze for a while at this characterful bird, encouraging the boys to do so also. It was a fascinating sight to watch this little chap swiftly sifting through these leaves moving them to the side discovering what lay beneath them. We had a friendly giggle at the scene as the bird moved in a peculiar way, dig dig, shift shift, bob bob, foraging away. We loved it and the bird knew we were watching and I am happy to say it didn’t seem to mind 😊
We let him be and continued on our journey finding magical stones along the way.
It tied in with my post wonderfully.

For this activity we learned a few basics about birds and tree nests and what some are made of and how they are constructed. Many species of bird build a nest as their home for their family in trees, be it a temporary or long term place to raise their young. When it comes to bird’s nests no two are the same and there is a range of building styles from simple stone building to intricate weaving and mud cementing. They will often use a Y shaped branch for the simplest of locations or pretty much any branch going and the way they are built is a reminder to man’s nature. The birds will use plant material and often mud to plaster the structure with. They use items such as sticks, feathers, grass, straw, hair, saliva, stones, mud, moss, leaves, rotten wood and flowers to construct their nest, weaved structures are often created and a padding of feathers or moss is regularly used for comfortable bedding. Sometimes there will be just one platform to the nest and others there will be several, all depending on the bird.

We kept it simple for the age group of the children. All items we used were recycled and yes we know Mum isn’t the best artist!
I started by drawing a tree for our nest and then we proceeded in cutting it out, this lead to my eldest Son for some reason asking me to draw a city! I did as he wished and they both enjoyed the cutting.


We then created some birds, eggs and a nest to add to the tree.


To make a nest just like ours you will require:
* Sticks
* Feathers
* Cardboard
* Scissors
* Shredded Paper / Straw /
* Colouring Pens / Pencils / Crayons

After the equipment has been gathered. Draw and colour or paint all the additional items for the activity, the trees, (buildings), birds and eggs. Cut them out and place accordingly. Next take the shredded paper and build a nest in the style of whichever bird you like adding the feathers and sticks etc. Once you are happy with your nest fill it with the birds of choice and their eggs and place it in the tree to complete your scene.

There are many different outcomes available from this activity, have fun finding what works best for you and remember children love the detailed explanation that comes with each stage of tree-nest building.

We hope you have great fun and let us know in the comments how you got on, please do link us to your photos too 🙂

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Get Creative – Reusing Boxes for Children’s Fun


Getting creative and getting ethical, the perfect combination for a joyful activity (life), the kids love it and by reusing materials nothing new needs to be produced, we get to specifically design it to our requirements and it can literally be used for anything your mind can think of.

I am in love with the reduce, reuse and recycle scheme! It has become like a third child to me 😊 The ethics behind it are surely the ones most likely to change the sorry state the Earth is in.

Cardboard boxes, are not one of the main contributors to landfill (unlike plastic pots etc), they do bio-degrade and although this is the case it still needs upmost respect when their desired use comes to an end as it was once a tree.
In my eyes, trees are vital to the human life cycle as they give us oxygen to breathe and clear many bad toxins from the air, they are far too important to be used as paper or boxes especially when they are such plants which do a grand and if not finer job such as hemp which grows at over double the rate.
The longer we can make use out of the material the less it was cut down fruitlessly.

It is such a simple method to reuse things that it can be applied almost everywhere and the kids have heaps of fun. If you like, you could paint your box first to give yourself a brand new canvas to work with.
A quick drawing does wonders for a Child’s mind and heck even the box as it comes is full of wonders to my kids 😁

This time around we used the Animal Castle theme and created a great home for out animal toys. It was a spontaneous activity and was quickly created in about 15 minutes.
We cut out a drawbridge and some windows and doors, created a musical merry-go-round playground and added a backyard full of trees bringing fruits and serenity.



The boys absolutely adored the game, so much so that they just had to dive right in and become part of it.

There are so many different types of scenes to create, for something similar to this game all you require are a few colours, some scissors and an active imagination.

Happy re-using!

A Day Out At Alice Holt Forest

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My friend and I took a rainy trip to Alice Holt Forest. Loaded with two boys each and after a rather bumpy start to the day we set off on our nature adventure! All the way there the weather held out and then as soon as we parked up down came the rain! Being the warrior eco Mums that we are, my friend and I were still determined to have a great day out with the kids.
The beauty of Alice Holt is it is perfect rain or shine, the trails are interesting, the length of the walks are just about right for everyone and not forgetting to mention it is free!
Situated in Hampshire it is a national forestry commission that has gone fun crazy! With an abundance of activities, there is also a range of wide open spaces for gatherings and a café for convenience food and beverages, there are trails for walking and also cycle trails for the keen rider, bring your own bike or borrow one of the parks. There is the Go Ape adventure trail using harnesses and ropes to cross zip lines on high above ground trails for the older children and adults.

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Nature focused, Alice Holt gives parents the opportunity to teach their children about nature and the relation we have with it as well as the impact we have on it.
Along the habitat trail there are sign posted activities for the children, magical bridges to cross and waterfalls to amaze all, there are many things to play on and exciting things climb. Climbing to the top of the great towers enables the children to get a birds eye view over where they are exploring, this is a great way to get a different perspective on forest life and the kids love it.

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Growing up in that part of the country, Alice Holt was only a few miles away and I frequently visited there for an adventurous day out with family and friends. Upon moving to another place in the country the joys available there became distant in my mind until my friend from the home-education community suggested we should take a trip over as the usual group we attend each week had been cancelled. I was more than happy to accept her offer and I am so glad I did. Alice Holt is enclosed with forest as far as the eye can see so the little ones can roam free getting to know about woodland areas. There is also a large park a short while after entering the park with a huge pirate ship drawing the attention of the children which is a blast for the young ones to discover and they will want to spend all day there so be sure to tell them of the wonderful things that the trails hold.
All the boys had a wonderful time and loved all the climbing, getting wet and muddy exploring the forest! At the time of our visit Alice Holt had a Gruffalo trail with activities along the way and it is still there now so if you love the Gruffalo be sure to check it out.
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I highly recommend this day out to all. It is great fun for all the family. 
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Painting & Stamping – Children’s Activity

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We all know how much children love getting mucky, right? With paint or mud being perfect options this particular day we chose paint! Along with the paintbrushes we have we also have several different stamps to create shapes and pictures with. The stamp pads clearly were not as fun as painting onto the stampers, they didn’t hang around for too long before the brushes were used instead.

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I just love the creativity in the art of painting the activity lets the children be totally free to literally paint their imaginations. The outcome can be many different things making it one of the most diverse activities out there.
The boys went free style finger painting and enjoyed painting their hands, they always show amazement at the fact that their hand print is now on the paper and I love to observe this.
One of my boys loves doing patches of different colour and the other prefers to mix them all together to create an almost tie dye like effect 🙂
One thing is for sure we never get the same results twice!
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Incorporating stamping gave a very aesthetically pleasing effect to the outcomes we achieved on this particular day. We had love hearts and smiley faces, flowers and cute little messages to liven up the free formed brush strokes and everybody had a wonderfully fun time.
Giving the children the option to create art free style gives their minds opportunity to expand and pushes them to think for themselves and remember what they have learned. What parent wouldn’t love to see their child’s mind on paper 🙂
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