THE SNAIL AND THE FOREST PLAY BOX
The first play box I made had hand-scribbled ideas for play and (amongst other items) a lovely little shell I had found in our garden. When the parcel arrived, a snail popped out of the shell and the mum contacted me to say, “thank you so much for including the snail, we have adopted it as a pet”. You may be sad or pleased to know that I am more careful now to rehome any stowaways before the postie arrives.
My passion is free and messy, creative play, with anything natural. We are hearing all the time that connecting with nature is good for our well-being; but how do we do that and how can we encourage a love of nature in children? The forest plays boxes are just one of them.
My hope is that families who do not have easy access to forests and woodlands, will have a joyful experience with each of the boxes.
The purpose of our Forest Craft and Play Boxes is to give families a box of natural items they would not see every day. Expert den builders are tasked with designing and building a mini survival shelter to test over several days outside.https://www.forestcraftandplay.com/product-page/island-survival-pack
For the little one who has a stone, feather, and collection of seeds in their pockets; Mr Prickles the hedgehog will provide hours of fun collecting and sorting.https://www.forestcraftandplay.com/product-page/hedgehog-and-his-home
The instructions include simple ideas and pencil drawings to inspire creativity and imaginative play. There is no right or wrong. Everything can be taken apart and reused to make something else afterwards. We include fresh moss and leaves to give you the scent of a forest; and there are all sorts of interesting textures. Most importantly, we do as little as possible to all the natural items included.
As much as possible is sourced from my own garden and private woodlands within a ten-mile radius. For the craft items, our suppliers have been chosen very carefully. We all want to lead more sustainable lives and make ethical purchases as much as possible. I only work with suppliers who happily share the source of their products so that I can trace (as far as possible) the origin of everything I buy for you. The paper we print on is recycled, the fabric I buy is organic cotton with named mills in India. The felting wool is one hundred percent natural (I love that fact that it smells a bit of sheep).
When you unpack one of our boxes you will notice that it is different to other craft packs and may wonder why. It will feel different. The reason is everything is natural. When you open one of our boxes you are experiencing a connection with nature.
The most wonderful feedback I have consistently received is the length of time children stay engaged with our forest play boxes. “I couldn’t believe three hours later they were still happily playing”. “The next day she asked if we could go for a walk and find something to add… she had an idea.” It is my genuine aspiration that I can offer parents a stress-free way to give children a break from screen time and that these boxes of nature’s “leftovers” bring excitement and happy shared experience of connecting with nature at your kitchen table. I do have one warning though: please make sure you have a space you can easily clean before you start. This is VERY MESSY PLAY!