Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, friends!
Another fresh new year is here, another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear.
To love, and laugh, and give!
   William Arthur Ward

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 23rd December

Today’s reading

Luke 2:4-6 ESV 

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.

Today’s activity

Give your child a surprise tonight: after they are bathed and in their pyjamas, instead of reading a story, bundle them up in their snowsuit or warm coat, and mittens and bonnet, then take them for a drive around your neighbourhood to see all the festive lights and dressed-up homes.

Only two more sleeps!

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

The 12 Days of Christmas: Exploring Nature With Children

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Next week will be the Twelve Days of Christmas in Exploring Nature With Children

Use the chapter to make the most of your time in nature and with each other.

“Tweet of the Day has been entertaining early morning listeners to the Radio 4 schedule every day since 2013, but this Christmas we will delight in an avian offering of the well known song Twelve Days of Christmas.

On the first day of Christmas so the song goes, a true love sent a partridge in a pear tree. As actress Alison Steadman suggests as ground birds, partridges are not known for their amorous arboreal perching. Why a partridge in a tree could have many meanings, but given the song is of possible French origin, the French or red-legged partridge seems an ideal candidate as sitter in a pear tree.”

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!


We Remember


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

~ Laurence Binyon

Our Nature Journals: Week 44

Rosie’s phenology wheel for October:

A tree losing it’s leaves, and Halloween for the Liturgical / special days section.

My wheel:

A Cherry leaf, and a pumpkin to represent Halloween for the Liturgical / special days section.
Rosie’s Journal pages for this week: a pumpkin of course!
My Calendar of Firsts: This week we had our first frost, which gave us the most gorgeous sunrise. I also painted my wee pumpkin for Halloween, too.

June Phenology Wheels

Back in January, we began to keep phenology wheels to record not only the changes in the natural world, but also the festivals of the liturgical year that we celebrate.

Here are our entries for June. A in previous months, Rose worked on her entry whilst I read from the June chapter of Roald Dhal My Year.

Rosie’s phenology wheel for June:

Robin’s eggs and the Summer Solstice

My phenology wheel for June:

Dog roses, the Summer Solstice, and St. John’s Tide

Our Phenology Wheel posts for the year: