Nature-Themed Advent Calendar ~ Supplies

Here is a list of supplies you will need to follow along with the nature-themed advent calendar, which begins on December 1st.

Week One

  • A journal in which to record your thoughts & memories about this season of Advent.
  • Ingredients to make hot chocolate.
  • Candy Canes
  • Your nature journals, or heavy paper for sketching, plus your sketching materials of choice (watercolours, coloured pencils etc)

Week Two

As for week one, plus the following:

  • Secateurs, or robust scissors
  • Old newspapers
  • PVA glue
  • Small paintbrushes (ones that you do not mind using with glue; the glue will spoil them somewhat.)
  • Lots of glitter!
  • Cotton thread
  • Garden wire
  • Garden twine
  • Large sheets of paper: I like to use brown wrapping paper, lining paper is another option.
  • Poster paint
  • Small cookie cutters (festive ones will be extra special!)
  • Potatoes ~ you can see where this is headed ūüėČ
  • A selection of Christmas books to read aloud

Week Three

As for week one, plus the following:

  • Bird seed to top up your feeders
  • 300g salt
  • 360g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp¬†sunflower oil
  • 250ml warm water
  • optional extras:
    • Cinnamon & ground ginger (1 tsp each)
    • Peppermint essence (a few drops) and red food colour dough
    • Glitter & food colour
  • Dark-coloured crayons
  • White paper (printer paper is ideal)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Metallic marker
  • Blank cards and envelopes¬†(or make your own cards from folded coloured cardstock.)
  • Ingredients to bake your favourite Christmas treat

Week Three

As for week one, plus the following:

  • A pencil
  • Felt-tip markers or poster paints
  • Metallic marker
  • Varnish or PVA glue & a suitable brush (non-essential)
  • Ingredients to make a favourite mulled drink (If you wish to follow my recipe, you will need a bottle of apple juice, a cinnamon stick, a couple of cloves, and an orange.)
  • Wild bird seed, suet balls
  • A favourite Christmas film

We’re almost there! Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog, so as not to miss a day!

Raising Funds To Support The Charlotte Mason Archives


Dear readers, I recently shared with you of my visits to the Armitt Library in Ambleside, the English Lake District, so that I could make available to you a PDF of the Nature Notebook of Monica Watson; a student at Miss Mason’s House of Education.

The library is responsible for the conservation of the archives from both Miss Mason herself, and the House of Education, and, as a charity, relies solely on donations to keep it open and functioning.

It is with this in mind that I share with you this rather unusual post for the Raising Little Shoots blog: I have been busy knitting some wee bonnets, which I am offering up for sale, the proceeds of which will go entirely to the Armitt Library and Museum.

I do hope that this would be pleasing to Miss Mason. She was a believer in the art of creating meaningful items with our own hands, and taught us to dress our children appropriately for the weather, so we could spend as much time out of doors as possible, so I do believe that she would somewhat approve!

Details are for each bonnet are below. Please do share this post with anyone who may be interested in supporting the Armitt Library and its work.


Meadow Orchid Bonnet ~ 0-3 Months, possibly up to 6 months. Dusky pink. 


Forget Me-Not Bonnet ~ 0-3 Months, possibly up to 6 months. Sky Blue.


Wild Angelica Bonnet ~ 1-2 years. Sea foam green/blue. *Sold*


Lichen Bonnet ~ 2-3 years, possibly up to 5 years. Deep forest green. *Sold*

A huge thank you to Martina for allowing me to use her lovely Maude Bonnet pattern to knit this lace beauty.

The bonnets are £24 each, payable via PayPal. Each one is hand-knit from soft, pure wool. Hand wash only. I have done my very best to represent the colours accurately. Please be aware that the colour may appear slightly different on your device.

Postage will cost £2:40 for 1st Class Signed For within the UK

£4.75 for International Standard (Approx 5-7 working days) to the US

Please contact me for rates to other countries.

If you are interested, please email me directly at:

Thank you for taking the time to read this post! The Armitt is very dear to my heart.

The Armitt Library and Museum Centre is a registered charity, number 1054762

You may donate here at the Armitt website: Armitt Donations


Lichen Week: Exploring Nature With Children

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This week in Exploring Nature With Children is ‚ÄėLichen Week‚Äô.

Here are some helpful links to get you going:

Please note that lichens are a very delicate structures so should be collected responsibly.

Happy exploring!

Calendar of Firsts: Week 46


This week’s Calendar of Firsts.
So much COLOUR all around!

In Nature

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In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.
Alice Walker

A Nature Notebook from Charlotte Mason’s House of Education


As some of you will know, I had the pleasure to visit Ambleside, home of Charlotte Mason’s House of Education twice over the last couple of months. Whilst there, I spent time documenting one of the student’s Nature Notebooks from the Armitt archives.

It is with much joy that I share with you a PDF of the Nature Notebook of Monica Watson who was a student at Miss Mason’s House of Education.

This is a free download, but I would ask that you consider making a donation, however small, to the Armitt Library in Ambleside, England. The library is responsible for the conservation of the archives from both Miss Mason herself, and the House of Education.

You may donate here at the Armitt website: Armitt Donations

(Please do not send donations to myself, donate directly to the Armitt, thank you.)

Nature Notebook from Charlotte Mason’s House of Education


A Nature-Themed Advent Calendar

Over the last couple of Advent seasons I have shared with you a daily, nature-themed Advent calendar. So many of you let me know how much you enjoyed it, that I have decided to run it again this coming Advent.

Beginning on¬†December 1st, through to December 24th, I will be sharing last year’s daily Advent posts; an unfolding of the Christmas Story in scripture, and an activity for the day. The activities will be mostly nature-based, with a few special, festive¬†activities here and there, to add a little Christmas magic.

On November 22nd I will post a list of the supplies you will need to stock up on, in preparation for the daily activities.

Please use the share buttons to spread the Christmas joy, and be sure to subscribe to the blog so as not to miss a day!

Christmas Gifts For Nature Loving Children

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It’s that time of the year, when I get to share some ideas for smashing presents for nature-loving children. I hope it helps¬†to give¬†you some ideas for nature-inspired gifts.

We are a diverse bunch here at Raising Little Shoots, with readers from around the globe. Please note that some of the selections may not be available world-wide.


Fox table lamp from John Lewis


Perfect for a child’s room, this beautiful Red Fox Wall Hanging is made from reclaimed wood by Pine Needles and Pins.

Be still my beating heart! Fairy House Kit by GypsyRaku

Brittany has very kindly offered a 10% off coupon to you for anything in her Esty shop: GYPSYBLOGGER10

A lovely sandpit, many of which can be purchased with covers to keep the sand in good, clean condition.

A bug hotel from FlotsamJetsamCrafts

A beautiful stocking present, this Allens Hummingbird enamel pin is from The Knothole Tree


Bushcraft Knife Choice for Children and Young People by Barry Smith. This is a smashing article on choosing the correct knife.

Handmade Curly Maple pen or pencil for your child’s nature journal by Exquisite Ink

Their own quality tools encourage children to be diligent in their work. Gardening equipment from Myriad Online

Depending on your climate, you could give your child their very own fruit tree! Here is some information to help you

And perhaps the ultimate gift: Their own greenhouse!



Woodland Play Set by Happy Nature Kid


This is a real favourite! The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer

The beautifully illustrated Bug Bingo


For your wee one who loves to pretend: Giraffe Ears Headband and Giraffe Tail Set by oKidz

Stilts by Myriad Online


Inspiration for hours of creative play! Tree Blocks Forest Friends by Treemagination

Skipping rope from woodforgeuk



Child’s Hiking Pole

A tent and the promise of an adventure! The family tent buying guide.


2018 Guide to the Night Sky: A month-by-month guide to exploring the skies above Britain and Ireland We have used these books for several years. Highly recommended.


The 5 Best Telescopes for Kids – super article to help you chose your child’s first telescope.

Bring the night sky into your home by shining a flashlight through these coins towards your walls or ceiling. Wooden Constellation Coins by From Jennifer


Annual Pass for a local aquarium.

Sea Life UK Annual Pass

Riding lessons. Here is good advice on choosing a place to learn.


Red light torch for watching wildlife at night time

Audubon Bird Caller Necklace from Lil Bellies

Why not combine the bird caller with this gorgeous book of North American birds? My Book Of Birds


And perhaps this beautiful birding journal from Tanglewood Hollow

I do hope that this list gives you some inspiration for Christmas gifts for your wee nature sprites.

Happy exploring and a Merry Christmas!


Moss Week: Exploring Nature With Children

Moss Week

This week in Exploring Nature With Children¬†it is ‚ÄėMoss Week‚Äô.

Here are some helpful links to get you going:

Happy exploring!