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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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!

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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Little ‘A’ had a box – Children’s Activity

This is such a simple game that so much can be learned from.
It is great for children, they love to have their own box.

This time we did a basic box with the letters of the boys names, next time I think we will make an activity out of painting the boxes first as they could look much more appealing and personalised, also I feel this would help the child realise the box belongs to them on a more personal level.

The aim of the game is to associate the letter on the box with finding items around the house with names that begin with the same letter. We chose the letters from our names, you could do the same or you could start at A and change the letter on the box for all 26 letters or go one step further and have 26 boxes to fill!

Give your child a box and decide which letter to use. Take an adventure around the house or out and about and find what begins with your letter, spell the word and explain in detail about the item then fill your box with those things.

This helps the child learn the names of objects and what they are as well as realising the same letter can start different words. The child learns by seeking and finding, discovering and gathering.

A much loved game that can be played again and again.

Cut Out People – Children’s Activity



What a great and simple way to set off a creative flare within your children, designing and making your own little people.

Having the children draw in their own detailing and possibly naming the figures helps the child become more involved in the activity encouraging them to deeper relate to the characters. It teaches them through demonstration and aids understanding of the nature of people, their features, expressions, activities and moods.

We created several backgrounds for the figures to explore various places from all around the world outside of a home. We also role played in these places to teach the children what people do at each place.

We used a collection of natural items we foraged from the woods on a previous outing to give detail to the backgrounds. This taught the children about using objects for different uses and brought out pictures to life.

The varieties of people that can be created and the background scenes that can changed about are of no end. The imagination can really be exercised.

All you need is paper, card and some colouring pencils for basics.
Draw the outline of the figures, cut them out. Design and create the characters. Design, draw and build the different background scenes. Take the cut out people on journeys into the different scenes to create a wave of learning through imagination for your children.
Anything can be incorporated into this art to create a lively background scene, for example the nature items or what about fabrics, dried foods like organic pasta or seeds, old pictures, used packaging etc. There’s so much diversity of inspiration out there that its all down to what you have around you and the creative mind at force.

Sticky Tape Fun Collage

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October hits us with its inundated beauty. It brings vibrancy to our lives showing the changes in seasons and gives us a true taste of the divine. So many colours and windswept treasures lay before us in such abundance, that … Continue reading