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.
I wanted to make a quick post about how we care for boy’s Bisgaard leather winter shoes. We are using Bisgaard TEX boots for the third winter and are extremely happy with them — the boys spend up about 6 hours outside 3-5 days a week all through the winter and their feet never got cold or wet, the shoes are lightweight and have excellent grip. You can see more photos and details abut these winter boots for children here and here.
The pair of shoes in the photo are on their 2nd winter. They are used extensively each week due to how much time our kids spend outside while attending forest school. And with us living in the Rocky Mountains I think our terrain is particularly rough on the outdoor gear. Yet, the shoes are holding together wonderfully.
Recently I realized I never shared how we care for them. The care is really quite simple, but I think it makes a big difference in keeping the shoes waterproof and lasting for a long time in good condition.
This year we had a long and beautiful fall here in Colorado’s Front Range, and so we have collected a lot of leaves during our times in the mountains where boys attend their forest school program. We called them ‘forest jewels’.
In this quick post I wanted to share with you one of our crafts with those beautiful fall leaves. It is very simple. We made this craft with kids both indoors and outside, although having a windy day would make it challenging. This craft is also low waste — it uses forest finds such as leaves and sticks, and the only other supplies needed are a small amount of regular white glue and a bit of biodegradable string or twine.
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.
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.
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.
2022 UPDATE: This post features DIDRICKSONS rain pants, but since this post we had issues where rain pants by this brand lost their waterproof qualities halfway through the season. Although the seller was very helpful and offered auto send us a replacement pair, I was concerned about the waste if the new pair also would not hold up as DIDRICKSONS doesn’t offer a garment recycling program. This year we switched to FAIRECHILD for all our waterproof garments. So far we are happy with their quality, and very impressed with their sustainability practices. FAIRECHILD garments are made from recycled plastic and the company also offers TAKE BACK program for recycling of old garments.
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. 🙂
Hello, now that it is summer I wanted to share a quick little post about how flowers make the prettiest decorations for gift wrapping. Here I used just some of the roses from our own yard that already finished blooming and dried right on their branches. But you could use any other flowers that are abundant in the region where you live. I also really like using some of the herbs for decorating, such as rosemary, thyme or lavender. Those I just clip fresh and add to the little ribbon I’m tying around the gift. They add loveliest smell to the wrapping making it even more special.
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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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 🙂
Welcome to my next post in the series on beautiful books about fall for children. This post features books by Gerda Muller. If you look through all my post on children’s books you’ll see that I frequently write about her books for children. They are truly are absolutely wonderful.
What we love about them
- Incredibly beautiful, realistic and detailed illustrations giving children wealth of information about world around them
- The stories are always about children’s interaction with nature — walking and playing in the forest, gardening and so on
- Her numerous books on seasons beautifully present to children the seasonal changes that take place around them, what to look for and fun activities each season has to offer
- Books also teach children about friendship and family
Both of my sons were extremely interested in these books from about 5 months old onward. Eleon, who is a bit more independent, could be frequently found going through one of Gerda Muller books for the last many months. And with Ale those were our bed time stories for many months straight!
This weekend we are having our first cold weather here in Colorado’s Front Range. No frost yet (whew!), but rather cool nights. So the trees turned color everywhere you look to most beautiful jewel tones. As much as I miss summer already I can’t deny of how beautiful this time of year is. Simply breathtaking!
And while browsing Instagram I’ve been seeing some beautiful posts about fall books, so I got inspired to feature some of our books that are themed around autumn. And the first post in this series is about our latest new book — the stunning “Woody, Hazel and Little Pip” by the extraordinary and magical Elsa Beskow. And I also thought the “Children of the Forest” was very fitting here as well, as even though it is not strictly about fall, it is about seasons and it is another gorgeous book by my beloved Elsa Beskow.
So here are just a few pictures I took to share with you just how stunning they are! I highly recommend them as the stories are also absolutely lovely. Please note that these books come as large format books and mini books. I highly recommend to get the large ones, as you really get to appreciate the beauty of illustrations. See below the list of our favorite online stores where you can find these books in both formats.
Isn’t this photo with our garden pickings from few days ago so beautiful! It is October, but we are still enjoying the tomatoes, fall raspberries, plums and pears and few other veggies. Yet, as much as I refuse to accept it, the summer is finally slipping away. This past Sunday we had a little family farewell party to this beautiful and generous summer we had this year.
Yet the gardening life is still very busy. If you are new to gardening, you might not realize that some things you wish to enjoy next year get planted in fall. Plus if you’d like to add some fruit trees and berry bushes to your garden now is a great time to check for end-of-season sales at your local nurseries.
So here I’m sharing with you some gardening tips on planting bulbs (garlic as well as lovely flowers) and what to look for when buying fruit trees. I hope this helps you get started with your Urban Garden if you don’t have one yet. You will be so rewarded once you get one going and it is much easier than you think. And there is no words that can describe the joy it gives to little fruit bats aka ‘small children’ 🙂 who spend their summer days snacking on fruits and berries as they round around half naked 🙂
A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change… Fewer than half of the bottles bought in 2016 were collected for recycling and just 7% of those collected were turned into new bottles. Instead most plastic bottles produced end up in landfill or in the ocean. — The Guardian
Which is why I’m particularly excited to share with you these beautiful coats by Lea & Jojo that are not only non-toxic (no PHTALATES, nor PVC, nor PFOA’S / PFO’S, nor AZO DYES, nor NONYPHENOL ETHOXYLATES), but are also made form 100% recycled bottles!
On the photo: Winter toddler shoes by Bogs, Organic Boiled Wool Winter Hat by Pickapooh, Organic Wool Fleece Mittens
Since sharing this post we came across much better brand for kids winter shoes. I no longer recommend Bogs if you plan to spend time outdoors with your little one. Instead I highly recommend Bisgaard TEXT boot. You can also look into Viking Footwear. We have not used them yet, but as it is a Norwegian brand I would expect them to be proper winter shoes mean to keep kids feet warm and be lightweight so kids can play outside.
I wanted to write a quick post to share this great find for toddler’s winter shoes. I was looking for shoes that would be comfortable, lightweight, water proof and warm. Surprisingly, it was not an easy task to find such shoes. While it seem to be easy to find warm and comfy adult winter boots, when it came to toddler shoes I could only find what my friend referred to as ‘moon shoes’ – the extremely heavy, chunky and honestly just hideous looking boots. We tried a pair from Sorel and my little son could barely drag his feet in those boots and on top of that his little feet were cool to the touch even after a brief walk. The shoes seemed to even discourage him from his going outside.
I nearly gave up in my search and was getting ready to order a pair of nice winter shoes all the way from Finland through a friend, when I run across Bogs!