When my children were smaller, largely before Miss J started school, we spent a lot of time engaged in messy and sensory play activities. I invested in a Tuff spot not only to try and contain some of the mess but also to invent small world scenarios. We had such fun, making moon sand, conducting simple science experiments, painting with trains, tracing letters in all sorts of substances (our favourite being Angel Delight powder), and so much more. With the boy not so keen on getting wet and messy, once Miss J was spending her days at school, the fabric of our play changed. The boy and I would mostly play with trains, with a few diggers, dumpers, and wild animals thrown in. I tried to introduce messier aspects, hiding his trains in jelly and ice, but this more often frustrated than delighted him. One activity that really did work for him though were our autumn tracks in the Tuff spot.
We spent the morning collecting colourful fallen leaves at the park then constructed a simple wooden train track within the confines of the Tuff spot and scattered our leaves and twigs all over. At two years old, the boy learnt a lot of new language that week, as we talked about how Thomas had to chuff through piles of golden leaves and how Edward was held up by a fallen tree on the track!
In recent months, with both children now of school age, we haven’t spent much time doing things like this. It is sad really and I aim to rectify it. We were sent a Truly Lovely Potion Kit by Flibberty this week and the children have loved it. What always amazes me with little ones is their ability to extend an activity, to see things for more than they are. When faced with the box of potion treasures, they quickly saw BFG dream jars and, this evening when they played with it again, added glitter to make Christmas lights and night skies in their bottles of liquid.
The kit costs £25 and comes with everything young adventurers need to make beautiful smelly potions and perfumes. Of course, you can add to the collection with herbs, spices, other food dyes, glitter, gems, sequins, and any natural resources you have to hand.
The children got stuck in immediately, filling the included beaker with water, dried flowers, vanilla, colours, grass, and daisies.
I think it was the first time they had used a pipette, and they found the experience exciting, telling me how they felt like proper scientists. They decided their potions were actually dreams and discussed the names they could use to describe them. Their first dream, they announced, was called Glorious Lavender Green.
We spent more than an hour playing with the kit in the garden; the majority of the components are reusable and the dried herbs and flowers look as though they will last a while. It is such a lovely item that I think would make a great gift, and is priceless when it comes to encouraging adventure and fostering a love of nature.
Flibberty offer a whole range of educational products that are perfect for getting children outdoors, being active and creative. My favourites include a flower identification and pressing kit, den building bag, and fire making box. In my experience, children are never more enthusiastic, well-behaved, cooperative (with each other and adults in charge) or happy than when outdoors, with plenty of space to play, and a healthy dollop of risk and responsibility. I will most definitely be purchasing several other Flibberty kits for my little ones come Christmas time and am already excited about the adventures they will inspire us to share.
We were provided with one Truly Lovely Potion Kit for the purposes of this review; all thoughts and photographs are our own.