[Wearing: Fairchild waterproof pants, SISKIN by Engel long sleeve organic wool+silk top, Reima mittens, Bisgaard Tex winter boots, ]
In this old post “Mud pants — wet and muddy season’s essential” I wrote about how great mud pants (aka rain pants, waterproof pants) are for Spring season when snow is often slushy or outdoors is muddy. Unlike snow pants that make children feel hot in warmer Spring days mud pants are thin and lightweight, roomy and keep child cool, but dry while playing outdoors.
This year we switch our brand of choice for mud pants to FAIRECHILD as we were having issues with our Didricksons pants loosing their waterproof quality. Also, FAIRECHILD brand has much better sustainability practices, which is a big factor. They also make waterproof coats and mittens.
Here is a little bit about sustainability practices of this brand:
- Their garments are crafted from 100% recycled plastic bottles
- According to the label that came with our rain pants 19 plastic bottles were utilized in creating of the garment.
- FAIRECHILD offers Take Back program for their used garments that recycles re-used garments. I think this is an incredible initiative!
In this post I wanted to share some thoughts on homeschooling and why we chose to go that route.
Before I dive into this topic, I want to say that it should not be taken as a critic against teachers. On contrary, I think very highly of teachers. But it is the system with which we don’t align.
What lead us to it
I grew up in former Soviet Union and were not homeschooled, but attended a public school. I greatly enjoyed my time at the school — learning was easy for me and of course school was a place I got to see most of my friends. So I imagined my kids to have the same experience when I would become a parent.
My first re-evaluation of what my children’s education should look like came when Ale´ was 1 year old and we went to tour a little Montessori school. My first disappointment came when I saw an outdoor playground — it was smaller than our yard and had almost no vegetation, just some plastic playground equipment. Then I learned that outdoor time was very minimal and most time children spend indoors. Since Ale´ birth he spent most of his time outdoors — napping or crawling next to us while we were gardening, and later watching bees, smelling flowers and picking berries. I simply couldn’t picture him spending most of his day indoors.
The more we can repurpose plastic the less it ends up in nature. We melt it, spring it to fibers, and make it into fun, functional clothes like this one. Works like magic, and saves resources for our kids.
Up until this year we were very happy with the snowsuits from Lea and Jojo which are made entirely from recycled plastic bottles and free from any toxic dies, water-proofing agents and so forth. Sadly this wonderful sustainable snowsuits don’t come in big enough sizes for my older boys. And so this year, we were in need of a new jacket and snowsuit for Ale´, as he outgrew everything we had. A friend recommended to try Finish brand REIMA, and I’m very grateful to her for this recommendation. So I wanted to share a little bit here about what we love about the items we purchased so far — REIMA snowsuit, a jacket and mittens.
In summery, we recommend their snowsuits, jackets and mittens. Although I hope REIMA will expedite their conversion to 100% recycled fibers in their manufacturing.
Hello! Time flies too fast — it is January of 2022 while I am still contemplating a post with our garden update for 2021 !
Today we are having a beautiful winter day full of snow and really crisp temperatures, which is a real treat as so far this winter has been extremely dry and warm. And so while the boys are wrestling with their 74 year old grandma (my mom is truly epic) I got a little time to spend on my blog. So here is a little post about one of our most loved recent additions to kids library — “If You Go Down to the Woods Today (Brown Bear Wood)” book by Rachel Piercey, illustrated by Freya Hartas. This most beautiful book is done by Magic Cat publishing in UK, and is indeed magical!
Hello, 6 months later I’m finally back to my blog. 🙂 Now as all the gardening is about to be wrapped up I have a little bit more time. And as we are in the middle of most beautiful fall season here in Rocky Mountains I thought to dedicate this post to a simple autumn leaves craft project.
Every year boys and I make a fall lantern utilizing some of the beautiful fall leaves that we collect in the garden and in the mountains. I love how this little DIY lantern brings a little bit of nature into our home, and helps us to preserve it even after all the reds and golds are long gone from the trees outside our windows.
This DIY lantern craft is very easy to make with children of any ages, and comes out so lovely.
Last, but not least, it is a perfect zero-waste craft as you only use what nature is about to discard, plus a used glass jar and some tissue or waxed cooking paper that already exist in most homes.
We love having little lanterns for the boys bedroom. Here is our summer version. It is very simple to make and only requires some dried pressed flowers and leaves of choice, used glass jar with smooth surface and wide enough for a candle, and a tiny bit of white glue.
Hope you enjoy. 🙂
I wanted to quickly share this beautiful craft I saw on one of my favorite accounts on Instagram — goldnuss. That account always has beautiful and inspiring nature craft ideas for children.
We have made a few of these garlands almost a month ago, and they still are intact hanging on our windows.
This craft is very simple, but it probably would never occur to me, as dandelion puffs seem so fragile. How do you touch one without breaking? And as far as the yellow stage of flowers — once picked they turned into puffs in a day or so, but those puffs were small and undeveloped.
I’m excited to finally get a chance to post about “How Does My Fruit Grow?” by a wonderful children’s author and illustrator Gerda Muller. I actually started this post a year ago. So finally I’m getting to finish it up. 🙂
Gerda Muller is one of our most loved children’s author. Every single book by this author is so beautifully illustrated. But what I also really love about her books is how much information is packed on each page. The information is presented in a form of a charming story that is easy for a child to relate and connect to.
You might have seen a blog post from a while ago about “How Does My Garden Grow?” book. The story is about a little girl Sophie, who arrives to her grandparents for summer. Grandparents live on a farm. On the first morning Sophie wakes up in a sunlit little attic room to a smell of hot cocoa and pancakes. And after the breakfast the grandpa takes her into a garden and gives her a little garden allotment where Sophie plants her own seeds. As the story goes on a child learns about how different vegetables grow, what is pollination and also about different garden creatures.
For a while now I’ve been meaning to share some photos from the boys room. One day I hope I’ll get around to taking photos of the complete room, as I think it came out very lovely. But for now, I wanted to share different little beautiful things we have there.
Last year we decided to set boys up with their own room. Up until then Eleon slept on a floor bed next to my bed, and Ale´ slept in his crib bed which was getting too short for him. So we felt it was a good time to give them bigger beds and a room for them to share.
I was truly impressed with all the work and heart that this company put in doing their very best for their customers, their workers and our planet.
We already had 2 beautiful beds for the boys that we inherited when we bought our little cabin in the mountains. But we needed mattresses. It was very important to us that the mattresses would have no chemical off-gassing and were made suitably. After some research we decided to go with Avocado Green Mattress and after owning it for close to a year we remain very happy with it. I was truly impressed with all the work and heart that this company puts in making sure they do their very best for their customers, for their workers and for our planet. So I thought it was good time to make a mention of it on my blog, since it is dedicated to non-toxic and sustainable living. 🙂
We have great and warm rubber boots. We have fantastic mud pants. But when it came to playing in a creek both boys inevitably would end up wading too deep and getting their boots filled to the rim with icy water. Because keeping track of the how deep the water is a thing for grown ups, but is really not that important while you are 3 or 5 years old exploring the world. 🙂
One of the parents from our forest school recently shown me waders she had for her little boy. Since we don’t do fishing I never even heard or seen of such thing before. What great invention they are, especially for the nature loving kiddos!
I wanted to post an update to the previous blog post on winter shoes by Bisgaard for kids. By now we are on our 3rd pair and using these shoes for the 3rd winter. We spend extensive time outdoors, especially since we have started a forest school. Last winter, with Ale´ we did 3-4 hour hikes 4 days each week all through the winter. And just this week the boys did a 5.5 hour program in cold weather doing a 5 km hike. And these shoes continue to be a compete success.
Where to buy and choosing the right size
For information on where we order our Bisgaard shoes (sadly not easily found in US) and my tips for choosing the right size consult this original post on Bisgaard TEX boots.
Read on this post to learn about the reasons we enjoy these shoes and why I recommend them. As always this post is not sponsored.
In one of our earlier posts I shared that last year my family has started a forest school in our area. It’s been a lot of fun and of course a lot of hard work. But we all have been really enjoying having a community of outdoor loving kids exploring together on a regular basis each week. And having my kids spend 4 to 8 hours 3 days each week year around in nature with their friends has been incredible!
Here in this post I wanted to share the outdoor gear and accessories they have been using and enjoying during their forest school time. In the past I have shared our favorite winter gear, as well as our favorites for the wet and muddy season. For summers they simply wear white shirts made from organic muslin fabric and shorts, all sewn by my mom for them. Summer hiking shoes is the only area where our search for the best gear still continues, as we are yet to find something I could recommend.
And in this post I wanted to share some of the accessories we’ve been using on our hikes. As always, the products are sustainable and ethically made and their mention here is not sponsored.
Before I get into my review of Kanken Mini backpack, I want to quickly share with you 3 facts that stood out for me as I did a bit of research about this company prior to buying the backpacks.
The fox isn’t just for the logo.
Fjällräven actually means arctic fox in Swedish. Sadly, these beautiful animals are at the brink of extinction as a result of fur industry and now climate change. Fjällräven is involved in Arctic Fox recovery program in Sweden through co-funding as well as supplying field equipment. I think that is just amazing!
Keeping plastic bottles out of the oceans
The Re-Kanken backpacks are made from 11 used plastic bottles each, with lesser use of water and energy in the production process as well!
On-going research into sustainability practices
The company has a comprehensive set of sustainability values and appears to do an on-going research in this area to keep on improving its operations so it leaves lesser and lesser impact on our planet.
Ok, now that I shared these cool facts with you, here comes my review. 🙂
This Spring as boys were turning 3 and 5 years old I wanted to get them new backpacks. Their old backpacks made by my mom from some upcycled old garments were adorable and very loved by both of them, but they outgrew them. And as we didn’t have any old fabric or garments around which were suitable for new backpack sewing I decided to go ahead and buy them their new backpacks.
I was hoping to find kids backpacks made of canvas, with no synthetic materials. I didn’t find anything of that sort in children’s size (not to say it isn’t somewhere out there), but I quickly discovered Fjallraven brand and was impressed with their sustainability values. I now discovered that it is apparently a very trendy brand as well and if you want to get likes on Instagram just wear a Kanken backpack :))) . But the reason why I chose these backpacks for the boys is because of the company’s sustainability values, great craftsmanship, functionality and perfect size for young children.
As always, this is not a sponsored post. The reason for the post is to merely share with other mamas brands that are sustainable and make great things for our little wildlings to help them be comfortable, healthy and spend as much time outdoors as possible.
Here in Colorado’s front range the Spring has arrived early this year. At least it seems so to me 🙂 It is still middle of March, but the snow is melting away in most places, our daffodils and tulips started caming out and I see first cautious signs of Spring on our walks in the forest as well.
As it’s been wet and muddy I put away our winter shoes and snow suits, and switched to wool-lined rubber boots and mud pants which I don’t know how we would do without. Especially with Eleon who loves mud with passion! 🙂 The moment we dig a whole in a garden he climbs right into it and just lounges there watching us work or pondering about life.
Over the years I found few great brands that make high quality, beautiful, toxin-free and sustainable outdoor gear for the children. So I wanted to make a post featuring all our favorites for this time of year when some days are still cold and some already warm, but you can always count on it being wet and muddy.