Anyone who follows the blog will know that we love crafts. The Bear and I enjoy sitting down with an activity and drawing / painting / building / collecting things to make something new. In fact, we have a whole section on the blog dedicated to the little things we make together (be sure to check it out for ideas and inspiration).
When we were at the Just So Festival last month, we came across totbag: a new craft subscription for little ones. We loved it so much that not only did it make our festival highlights, but we immediately signed up for a monthly subscription. Our first box arrived earlier this month and we wanted to share what we thought of it.
WHAT IS TOTBAG?
Created by teachers with experience in art and education, totbag is a subscription service which works to get children connected with nature. Containing nature inspired activities, it’s designed to be hands-on. Its aim is to get kids away from screens and outdoors exploring the world, sparking their imagination in the process.
One thing I do like about them is that you have a number of options available to you. You can purchase a one-off box as and when you like or – if you sign up to a subscription – you get your first box free. This no commitment approach to the service means that you can pick and choose what suits you (and your budget) on a month by month basis.
SEPTEMBER’S TOTBAG – WHAT WE DID
September’s box was inspired by all things autumn and I knew as soon as I opened it that the Bear was going to love it. Based around hedgehogs we had 3 main activities we needed to complete: to build a tortoise home, to build a hedgehog home and to decorate our very own hedgehog with fabric and leaves. Each activity was neatly (and beautifully) packaged and separated out into little activity kits. This allowed you to focus on one thing at a time and really concentrate on what you were doing at that time.
First of all, we needed supplies. The booklet was very clear about what we needed to collect to complete our activities and this month it was a wide selection of twigs and leaves. Therefore, the first thing we did was pop on our wellies and coats to head out on a little scavenger hunt for supplies.
Activity One – a home for a tortoise
So, the first activity we tackled was to build our tortoise home. For this we were already supplied with string and the cutest little tortoise that we needed to accommodate. Darcie was absolutely delighted with this and loved that she had this tiny little animal to build a home for. We added the sticks we had collected to the kit and started building.
The activity was simple. I had to help a little to wrap the string around the top of the sticks to build a little tepee. This is where Darcie took over though and used the leaves, moss and grass we collected to make him a little home underneath. We popped this onto a little plate to contain the house as I had a feeling that the Bear would not let me take it down. I was right as – three weeks later – it’s still sitting in our conservatory.
Activity Two – hedgehog hibernation
Next, we moved on to making a little home for our hedgehog. Again, a cute little hedgehog was provided in our kit along with a matchbox to fill with some of the leaves we had collected.
This activity is where the kit really came into its own. The booklet was packed full of hedgehog facts and the Bear and I had a great time learning all about these lovely animals and hibernation. Learning in this hands-on, interactive way definitely works for her as she’s been talking to me about hibernation and hedgehogs since we completed it and loves to put our own little mummy hedgehog to bed.
Activity Three – hedgehog spikes
Our final activity was to decorate our very own hedgehog picture. In our kit we were given our hedgehog to decorate (prepared with double-sided sticky tape), alongside fabric spikes to add to the leaves we collected. This really is as simple as it sounds, and the Bear had a great time creating her spikey masterpiece.
TOTBAG – OUR THOUGHTS
Overall, we loved this box and will definitely be continuing with our subscription. We found it to have a wonderful balance between information, outdoor exploration and creativity. The activities weren’t too complicated and did not take very long, making it great for little ones. The fact that it contained tiny animals immediately appealed to the Bear and she still has them both safe. No mean feat considering they really are small and she’s only 4!
Beautifully packaged using sustainable materials, this is an attractive subscription for parents and toddlers / pre-schoolers who are looking for outdoor play inspiration. It’s not always easy to think of new, creative things to do so it’s great for our activities to be lead by someone else for a change. I also love the fact that it is designed with hands-on education in mind, as the conversation prompts to talk about as you complete the activities are wonderful. Especially as this is something I don’t always think to do.
I got in contact with the totbag team and asked them if they would be willing to give one Tippytupps reader the chance to take a closer look at their boxes for themselves, and I pleased to say they were delighted to. The winner will receive October’s box to try out. Just enter via Rafflecopter using the link below and follow the usual social media accounts.
This giveaway is open to UK residents only, is powered by Rafflecopter and will close on Sunday 14th October 2018 at midnight. The winner will then be chosen at random using the tool. Please note that this giveaway is hosted by Tippytupps blog, but the prize will be distributed by the totbag team. For full terms and conditions for the giveaway, please visit the Tippytupps terms and conditions page.