Category: For kids

Our forest school to-go faves

best kids outdoor gear sustainable and zero-waste

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!

best kids outdoor gear sustainable and zero-waste
best kids outdoor gear sustainable and zero-waste

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. We have tried Wildlings barefoot shoes for children, but sadly it has not been a positive experience (see here a review of the Wildlings Shoes in this post). I just ordered Tadeevo barefoot kids shoes and will let you know how they work out for us in later posts.

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.

Continue reading

Wildlings barefoot shoes review

Wildlings barefoot shoes review

I never thought I’d do a negative review, mostly because it just felt ‘negative’ to me personally. But as we are now on a second pair of our Wildlings Shoes (more on how we happen to own 2 pairs is later in this post) and they are completely falling apart after just 2-3 months of use, just like our first pair, I felt it’d be a disservice to other parents willing to invest into best outdoor gear for their kids not to post this. And hopefully the owners of Wildlings Shoes come to hear of these issues and make much needed changes both with quality of craftsmanship and their customer service, as these shoes have all the potential to be amazing.

Continue reading

Fjallraven Re-Kanken Mini backpack review

Fjallraven Re-Kanken Mini backpack review

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.

  1. The fox isn’t just for the logo.

    Fjรคllrรคven 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. Fjรคllrรคven is involved in Arctic Fox recovery program in Sweden through co-funding as well as supplying field equipment. I think that is just amazing!

  2. 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!

  3. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fjallraven Re-Kanken Mini backpack 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.

Continue reading

What we are wearing in wet and muddy season

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

Continue reading

Organic cotton and wool socks for kids

organic socks for children knee high socks wool socks for children

This year the winter has flew by fast. As we are heading into Spring with its ever changing weather, mud and puddles I wanted to share a quick post about recent addition to boys’s outdoor gear. On one side something like socks seem insignificant, but they can make all the difference in keeping little feet warm and comfortable, while roaming the outdoors.

Continue reading

Mud pants — wet and muddy season’s essential

mud pants for children
mud pants for children
mud pants for children

When it comes to wet and muddy time of year I don’t know what we would do without mud pants also called rain pants! It is probably one of the best inventions, next to the rubber boots to help keeping kids happy and moms sane. :). Truly.

rain pants for children

They are very roomy and made of thin waterproof material, so could be used on a warm day just over shorts, or on a colder day over wool tights. I think some people even use them as their winter waterproof layer over thick wool pants. I love that they have strong elastic and a strap at the bottom so that you can pull them over the rain boots. This way when the boys very energetically stump in the puddles nothing gets into the rain boots. The other great feature is that they go up to armpit level covering the sweater or jacket, thus keeping them also protected during splashing or if kids sit around in mud. ๐Ÿ™‚

Continue reading

The reason I’ve been gone from the blog — we started a forest school!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s being that long since my last blog post — almost 6 months! A lot has happened since then. We had our first vacation in many years and spent some time to Puerto Rico, which was so amazing! Visiting the Caribbean was a dream of mine for years. The boys still talk about wanting to go back there almost daily. And today as I’m writing this post we are sitting out in self-isolation as COVID-19 continues to spread through Colorado and the world in general.

Otherwise our lives have been going the usual ways — we still have been trying to reduce the use of plastic anywhere we can, buy things consciously, tend to our garden, and find other ways to leave lesser foot print on the planet. I’ve discovered some new wonderful plastic-free and non-toxic products that I’ve been wanting to post about. I also have been wanting to share some really incredible books I read. But I just haven’t had time. The thing is, over a year ago my husband and I have decided to open our own forest school. It has fully consumed most of my time. But it has been a really wonderful and rewarding experience, and I am happy to finally having a moment to share a little bit about it with you.

Continue reading

The midsummer tomte and the little rabbits

The Midsummer Tomte and the Little Rabbits

You might remember around Christmas I shared one of my most favorite children’s book — Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits. It is one of those stories that touches deep into my heart and makes me feel like a little child where everything around me is magical again! And I can read over and over and over again with my boys. And now that it is summer, I wanted to share another book about the very same Tomte and little rabbits, but this time it is about Midsummer, or Summer Solstice, celebration.

Midsummer isn’t something that is celebrated in my home culture or here in America, but ever since I was a child I wished there was some special celebration during the summer when we would decorate everything with beautiful flowers, stay up late playing outside all into the night, eating special foods and listening to live music. Wouldn’t that be so beautiful?!

And then I came across this this lovely story that weaves together magical creatures, animals, traditions and seasons into a wonderful and charming story where they celebrate summer, decorate everything with flowers, sing songs and dance all night! Just like I always dreamed. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I hope you read on and fall in love with this book as much as we did!

Continue reading

Best summer sandals for the little feet

pololo children leather sandals nontoxic children footwear

With the long awaited summer being upon us I wanted to do this little post about childrenโ€™s sandals that are so loved in our family. One of the main reasons for this blog was to share the products for children that are non-toxic, comfortable and sustainably made. I found such items hard to find in US, unfortunately. I think it is sad that craftsmen and boutiques have hard time staying in business due to competition with big corporations that flood the market with cheap, low quality merchandise which is often toxic and was produced at great cost to our environment and people making them. So when I find yet another brand, store, maker who offers us a different choice — I’m particularly excited to get it for my children and to share it with others.

This is not a sponsored post in any way. Just sharing the good things, since they aren’t easy to find in the ocean of the internet.

Continue reading

Natural rubber rain boots for children

natural rubber rain shoes for 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.

Jumping in puddles is one of the biggest joys of childhood as I remember it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Another one is being able to get really dirty or stump around in wet, slushy, dirty mud. Recently we got both boys their first pair of wellies (rain boots) so they could do exactly that — stump through mud, jump in puddles and any combination of these two beloved activities. ๐Ÿ™‚ And they have been a priceless addition to their outdoor gear both in cold and warm weather, in the forest as well as in the garden.

While there are many rain shoes on Amazon and possibly department stores I learned not all are of equal impact on the environment, some are considered toxic and of course there is quality of craftsmanship to take into account. So I wanted to share with you here the shoes we love and recommend; other brands we tried and what we didn’t like about them; some of the information on the natural rubber rain shoes vs PVC ones. Basically all that I learned and discovered so far on the topic of rain shoes to help you find the best ones for your little wild creature at home ๐Ÿ™‚

Bisgaard rain shoes review
kids natural rubber rain shoes review
Continue reading

1001 Things to Spot book series

If you are looking for some fun educational books for your little willings these series are really wonderful. They are among the favorite for both of our boys since their youngest age. What makes these books so great in my option, is that they are reach in content, yet the content is presented in simple ways and easy to grasp portions. And the illustrations are fairly realistic. Each page in one of these books shows an eco-system, such as forest, garden, vegetable patch, ocean, sea shore, desert, etc. And on each page there is a list of creatures that are to be spotted on the page and a number showing how many of them there are.

It aligns with my belief of learning through play is the best way. And here they learn both about natural world and numbers in a playful way.

Continue reading

Learning about Penguins:
beautiful animated film + books

children books about penguins

Hello, I wanted to share with you a few things we’ve been enjoying and learning about penguins from. It is nothing major, but it is fun, beautiful and educational and is a good introduction into the subject of Antarctica and the fascinating creatures living there.

Our boys’ love for penguins started with a beautiful Russian/Japanese animated film called “Lolo the Penguin”. To parallel their love for Lolo I found them a wonderful little book about penguins that they have been going over and over on their own or with us reading it to them. I also found some good brief videos about penguins on youtube. And lastly we have large Maps book with very beautiful map of Antartica that we reference as well to see where the penguins live and who else live there.

Continue reading

Our children’s play room

kids room decor ideas toy storage kids
kids room decor ideas toy storage kids
kids room decor ideas toy storage kids

Hello friends, and Happy New Year! I thought to start the year by sharing with you some of the things from our boys’ play room (our former home office). We all want our kids room being beautiful and Pinterest and Instagram have endless feeds with inspiration. But when I searched for the room decor and organization ideas I came to notice that a lot of those pretty rooms didn’t seem to be designed truly for children, but instead designed by adults for other adults to admire :). For example, the storage is often such that children simply can’t reach many areas on their own, the wall art is abstract, the objects like maps, Earth globes and clocks are too high to be seen well should children feel curious. And then lots and lots of purely decorative little things all over the walls to give mamas extra cleaning to do.

In arranging the boys play room we wanted to make sure that it was most importantly designed for them. That it was organized in a way where they could easily reach what they needed and easily put things in order afterwards. And lastly so that it’d be fairly easy for me to dust, mop, etc. It took few trials to find the furniture and storage we felt worked really well for us, but I think it finally came together really lovely. It is airy, cozy and beautiful. It has lots of storage as well as plenty of play space, reading area and beautiful educational art and objects.

Continue reading

Our little indoor Monkey Wall

kids room decor ideas toy storage kids

Monkey walls like this with much more fun parts to climb on are very common in Russia, and as you might know from my previous post on this topic called “A space for little monkeys to be monkeys” I’ve been really wanting to have one for the boys room. Surprisingly these seem to be nearly impossible to find here in America. And after searching high and low the ones I did find are actually from Russia/Ukraine anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ordering one from Russia with all the cool things as I wanted was really expensive due to all the freight charges, but fortunately few months ago I cam across this product and it was very reasonably priced. (This is not a sponsored post.)

While our monkey wall is very basic it nonetheless given our boys a lot of opportunities to try themselves at new physical challenges, experience a bit of risk and acquire new skills. All of which are so good for their development both physical and mental. In this post I cover some more details about it, where you can buy it if you are interested and share a very cool video of a 3 year old girl doing all sorts of amazing fits of acrobatics on a similar equipment at her home. Hoper you enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Continue reading

The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits

children Christmas story winter books Yuletide story

Here is a post on one of my personal favorite Christmas-themed books of all times! To be perfectly honest, the story is still a bit long for my boys who are 3.5 and 1.5 years old. I tired reading it with Alexandros by breaking it down into parts, but somehow couldn’t quite get him into the story. Part of the thing, he is really into snakes, dinosaurs and maps right now. Currently on his Charismas gift list is a cobra. He understand Santa can’t bring him a real one from India as a cobra just wouldn’t like it, so he says he is OK with that, just wants a toy cobra that is very realistic! Earlier our Christmas list had a live tarantula and an anaconda. ๐Ÿ™‚ So…. the cute bunnies aren’t quite cutting it for him as far as the story goes ๐Ÿ™‚

But in any case, this story is so good and the illustrations are so wonderful that I think this book is one of those classic ones you can read over and over again throughout your entire childhood and later. I re-read it every winter. So here it is.

children Christmas story winter books Yuletide story
children Christmas story winter books Yuletide story
Continue reading