When I look back on my own school holidays, the days that really stand out are the ones that barely cost a penny.
My friends and I would spend hours playing in a patch of New Zealand native bush near where we lived (it felt HUGE back then, but it was probably only a few square metres), climbing trees and making bivouacs out of silver fern fronds, while the tuis and bellbirds trilled prettily above us.
It’s a different world now; I wouldn’t let my girls spend entire days exploring on their own like I used to do (we’d head off in the morning and come back when we were hungry – there was no concept of time, and no way of contacting mum until we walked back through the front door), but I still want them to get outdoors and get messy, and enjoy their own nature activities.
Which is why we were excited to team up with BOXWILD.
This delightful subscription box aims to encourage wildlife back into our gardens, with range of products designed to bring all the birds to the yard. The staple product is a nutritious mix of luxury bird seed, created and honed over several years by bird lover and Boxwild founder Ben Kane, and blended with love in his own Surrey kitchen.
If bird seed had Michelin stars, this would have three.
We were sent the adorable CHILDREN’S BIG BIRD giftbox, which includes a ‘Paint Your Own’ Nesting Box, a bird feeder, two seasonal seed blends, as well as a scoop to help little hands fill the feeder.
The girls couldn’t wait to get started, and set about decorating their bird house with the little paint pots included in the kit. While we left it to dry we discussed our next move: we had a lovely green just a few minutes up the road with a thicket of trees, so we decided to take a picnic up there and feed the birds at the same time.
We set up the table from our family camping adventure, and scoffed our sandwiches before filling up the feeder.
We tried out the Boxwild Blend first; this is the company’s trademark blend – a mix of sunflower seeds, linseed, chopped peanuts and safflower – and is particularly popular with blackbirds, dunnocks robins and blackcaps (although the girls were fascinated by the Blue Tit blend, as it included dried mealworms!).
Next, we wandered through the trees to find the perfect spot to hang it (stopping to climb some trees along the way, of course – one of Big Sis’s favourite nature activities).
PS: what do you think of our finished nesting box? So cute, right?
After our bird-spotting adventures we ended up hanging the feeder on a tree in our front garden, and sitting the bird house on our side wall. Since then our lawn has been THE hangout spot for birds – some of them we’ve missed (we’ve just seen the bird seed levels steadily decline) but we have spotted a pigeon and three magpies strutting around our grass like they own the joint.
They sit on the neighbour’s roofline until they can see the coast is clear, then swoop down and help themselves. The girls get so excited to see them, and it’s been really cute to see them taking such an interest in the outdoors.
Thanks Boxwild, for helping us indulge in some back-to-nature fun!
• our Children’s Big Bird Box was provided for the purpose of review