Inside: Book review: A Year of Nature Craft and Play: 52 Things to Make and Do. Includes press sample.
My children would live outside if they could. They love nothing more than to go outside, play in woods and collect giant sticks that then live by our front door for months on end. They also love arts and crafts, always keen to have a go at making various projects. So when I saw there was a book out all about nature craft and play, I knew it would be right up their street!
A Year of Nature Craft and Play is the brand-new activity book by Becky Goddard-Hill and Catherine Hughes. It is divided into the four seasons and gives ideas on different activities that can be done using the materials you can gather throughout the year. From painting leaves to going on a scavenger hunt, it is a must for all children!
I have known Becky for a long time and love her other books, particularly Create Your Own Calm & Create Your Own Kindness which are well thumbed in this house. When she asked me to review this book I knew that I would love it and would be happy to share it with you.
Meet the authors
Becky Goddard-Hill is a children’s therapist and former social worker with a specialism in child development. She is also a professionally qualified life coach and member of the National Council of Psychotherapists. Becky runs several award-winning blogs and loves to write about many things, most especially about wellbeing and emotional health.
Catherine has turned a lifelong passion for nature and gardening into a thriving career as a home and garden writer and blogger. Catherine’s blog Growing Family has been a Vuelio Top 10 gardening blog for the last four years. She is passionate about encouraging children to explore and enjoy nature, and writes regularly on crafts, children’s gardening and nature activities.
A Year of Nature Craft and Play
The book is broken into 4 sections, one for each season, with 13 activities per section and therefore enough for 52 weeks of the year. With seasonal crafts, gardening projects, games, art and science activities – it is perfect for children aged 7+ and their families.
It makes for a lovely activity each week, with a way to bring nature into your lives in nice simple ways – perhaps doing an activity together each weekend after a busy week at nursery or school.
As a family we have always loved being outside and go on regular walks together but I definitely need more prompts when it comes to incorporating crafts. I love the way the book is laid out and that nothing is too complex – perfect for children to do alone or for those that aren’t as confident with crafting with their children.
I also love that the images in the book are all reflective of what is actually achievable. There’s nothing worse than trying an activity but ending up feeling like a failure as your project doesn’t look like the picture. Becky and Catherine have chosen achievable activities and taken the photos in such a way that you just know you can do each and every activity in the book.
Autumn Scavenger Hunt
At the time of writing this review and as the book is launched, it is now autumn and so we went outside as a family to do some of the activities together.
I asked the children what they would like to do and they loved the look of the autumn scavenger hunt. The book lists out 20 things to keep and eye or ear out for. To make it more fun, you can create your own tea-stained list to make it feel as though you’ve stumbled across an old document.
My three love to go out scavenging anyway but it was nice to give them a focus. Looking out for things like a spider’s web or listening for the sound of the wind really helped them to slow down and take notice of everything around them.
They took turns to tick things off and took great joy in finding everything. We even brought a few bits and bobs home with us to use for future activities in the book.
One such activity was making leaf ghosts. With Halloween coming up in a few weeks they are going to look great as decorations. And as one of the tips say in the book – it is much better to use materials we find in nature to create decorations instead of buying them from the shops.
All you need for your leaf ghosts are some large leaves – sycamore leaves are perfect!
You also need white acrylic paint, some googly eyes and a black marker pen.
We enjoyed painting the leaves and will be putting them up around the living room for some natural decor. It makes me excited for Christmas and the decorations we can make using nature! I can’t wait!
The whole book is full of colourful photos and easy to read instructions – it is perfect as a gift for a child or for a family that you know loves to get out and about. You can find the book on Amazon.
This review is part of their blogging book tour to celebrate the of launch A Year of Nature Craft and Play. You can find reviews from other amazing bloggers by clicking through the links below.
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