Gardening: Learning at Home with Children

This week marks National Gardening Week, the biggest annual celebration of gardening from Monday 27th April until Sunday 3rd May this year, 2020. Whatever the weather and even if you don’t have a garden you can still get children enjoying gardening. Young children love getting involved in the practical side of gardening. But also love as understanding how and why things happen. If you have an inquisitive little one there’s some lovely books to help you with their questions – you find them in our dedicated Gardening Week section on the website here.

Gardening – What We Eat

It’s a valuable skill to learn and have an understanding of the life cycle of plants. Knowing where our food comes from and what it takes to nurture and support its growth gives children a bigger appreciation of the food that they eat. Children who get involved in growing their own fruits and vegetables are often more likely to try these and other new foods.

Children love taking on responsibility. Tending to a plant and ensuring it has everything it needs to grow is an incredibly rewarding pastime. My daughter has been checking her bean plant daily. She likes to ensure it’s in a warm, sunny spot and always reminds me daily that we need to water it – it’s a good job she does! Beans have not been something she’s wanted to try eating. However, at the weekend, she actually tried a French bean as she wanted to see how her bean might taste when it’s fully grown!

Home Learning Garden Ideas

Are you looking for home learning opportunities for maths and literacy? Then growing can be a great way to incorporate these skills in a contextual way. Young children to keep a bean diary documenting either in pictures and/ or words and sentences the growth of the bean. Introducing new vocabulary to them such as root, leaf, stem, shoot etc. incorporates science too. To bring in a little maths you could count how many leaves are on a stem each day. How many more was that than yesterday? You could use blocks or a ruler to measure your plant and track its progress. Learning can very much be active and should definitely be fun.

Growth to children is like magic; especially if you choose the right sort of plants. You can quickly see the impact of your dedication and care. Planting a mixture of plants that will grow at different rates is very useful. This mixture of faster and longer growing times help to keep children interested and involved.

No Garden?

There’s an ever increasing range on the site of child friendly gardening tools, plants, and other resources. All designed to explore the world of the garden through real experiences or play. Even if your ‘garden’ is a pot on your kitchen window you can still enjoy the pleasure of growing with your child. Check out the range here.

Creating Memories

One way to keep the memories of your garden alive is to take clippings and press them. As a child I would press flowers and then make them into bookmarks for friends and family. A lovely creative little craft. You could make leaf and flower collages or check out our arts and crafts range and get journalling your gardening efforts together.

Please do come and join our friendly Yes Bebe Babble group on Facebook. We’d love to see what gardening you’ve been up to with your little ones.

Brilliant Screen-Free Play Ideas for being at Home

Whether you’re looking for some holiday entertainment or having to self isolate this Spring, here’s a little guide full of brilliant, screen-free play ideas to keep everyone busy.


Curled up with a book or ten. Have you noticed that we’ve started to stock an incredible selection of books? There’s something for everyone on the site from birth to adults. Books are an amazing way to lose time, whether getting lost in an author and illustrator’s world of splendid fiction, digging in deep to non-fiction or getting busy with an activity book. There are just so many options. Snuggled up on the sofa, or sat in a tent in the garden, books are the perfect boredom busters.

If you’ve got a more reluctant reader then exploring a book alongside props is a great way to get them engaged. Lots of our small world play toys can be used as story props for your favourite tales.

Love books as much as we do? You’ll love our monthly book club subscription. From birth to 14 years + categories, with options for fiction, non-fiction, activity and Waldorf inspired. An exciting monthly surprise direct to your door. Now that’s something worth waiting in for!

Spring Box

We have some incredible Spring Boxes available right now, with everything you need to get in the Spring mood at home. You can choose what style of box you would like from under 3s, early years, Montessori or Waldorf inspired.

These are the perfect topic boxes to have hours of fun with this Spring. Each box will give you several play ideas to explore with your child.

Jigsaw Puzzles & Games

Does anyone else remember ‘wet playtime’ at school? Well in our school that meant the jigsaws came out, to great excitement from all. The perfect rainy day activity. There are so many skills being developed when children complete jigsaws. Check out this blog post from Usborne on the ways Jigsaws help child development. There’s a huge selection of jigsaw puzzles on the site for all ages.

Have you discovered Orchard Toys yet? We stock a brilliant range of Orchard Toy such as the classic Shopping List, to First Times Tables and Rainbow Unicorns. Fun is at the heart of their range, with a strong emphasis on learning through play. Each game and puzzle has a suggested age range, yet older children get lots of enjoyment out of guiding younger siblings in how to play. A great way for older children to be able to explain concepts such as their mathematical reasoning.

Arts and Crafts

Our selection of arts and craft media, materials and guides are ever increasing with kits available for complete beginners to resources for the experts. Why not try a new craft to pass the time? We have a vast choice of paper mache projects that are suitable for a wide age range, new in are these gorgeous eggs perfect for your creative little ones this Spring. Maybe you fancy having a go at crafting alongside your child and giving crochet, weaving or needle felting a go.


As the saying goes, there’s no such things as bad weather, just wrong clothing. If it feels like you’ve been stuck inside then heading outside in your garden can be a welcome relief, especially as Spring is coming along and the weather more mild. If you don’t have a garden then bring the outside in with pots and window boxes.

Children love hands-on, real experiences; especially experiences that allow them to do what they consider ‘adult work’. If they’re at home, getting them involved in household jobs can be really rewarding. Helping out with cooking and baking are very popular, yet exploring the outside and gardening is often high on the list of favourites. We’ve got a lovely selection of child-friendly tools and other gardening resources.

Child sized tools are perfect for little hands and to get them as involved as possible. We’ve also got some lovely little kits such as grow your own carrots and sunflowers to botanist kits. If you are looking for some Spring gardening tools, plants and topical books make sure to check out our Spring Boxes which give you a carefully selected box of Spring time goodies just for your little nature lover.

While out tending to your garden you’re sure to spot some creepy crawlies. We love the new Usborne books Creepy Crawlies and Bug Homes. They’re the perfect companion to find out more about minibeasts. We’ve also got bug pots and explorer kits so you can carefully observe little creatures before returning them to their homes.

Outdoor Play Play Ideas

Our top choices for outdoor play this Spring include this superb little sand and water table that comes with a lid. There are two sections that sit within the table where you could choose to add sand, water, soil or leave empty for small world play or storing your craft supplies. The lid fits securely on to turn the sand and water area into a perfect little picnic table. We’ve also just introduced a range of scrunchable sand and water play tools. Not only does this mean they are light weight, but can be stored easily inside the table.

Budding artists will love this outdoor easel. The painting screen is easily washed so that it can be used over and over again. The ultimate way to explore messy play!

Loose Parts Play Ideas

Loose parts are an incredible open ended play resource. Whether using to make beautiful pictures and mandalas or using them to represent food, coins, magic objects the possibilities really are endless. You can collect natural resources from outside as well as there being wonderful toys made just for loose parts play. We love Grapat loose parts and these natural resources.

Home Gym

Need to burn off a little excess energy? Then balance and rocker boards are ideal. They come in a range of styles, sizes and colours with something everyone will love. Why not add a pillow for the perfect relaxing rock too!

Looking for a little more challenge then put together your own combination of climbing greatness with the stunning range from Sawdust and Rainbows. Supporting development of both fine and gross motor skills through active play.

We’d love to hear what your top recommendations are for staying at home play. Do leave a comment with your play ideas.

If you’re not already a member of our Yes Bebe Babble Group on Facebook, do come and join us. We’re a supportive, growing community who are happy to help out with play ideas and recommendations to keep you entertained through holiday and if you’re having to self isolate.

Little Bear’s Spring

Little Bear has just woken up from his long winter sleep. But when he pokes his head out of the den, the world around him is vast, white and silent. The only thing he sees is a smooth little stone, just as alone in the snowy wilderness as he is. He nestles it in tight to his fur and off they go in search of friends. Let’s explore this Story Sack……

Little Bear's Spring Cover and Characters
Little Bear’s Spring Cover and Characters

Little Bear's Spring Wolves and Wolf Figure
Little Bear’s Spring Wolves and Wolf Figure

Little Bear and Chick
Little Bear and Chick

Little Bear's Spring Rabbits and Rabbit Figures
Little Bear’s Spring Rabbits and Rabbit Figures

Little Bear’s Spring is a lyrical story about friendship, with a gentle introduction to spring and what happens to the natural world when the seasons change. Written by star picture book author Elli Woollard and illustrated by Briony May Smith, whose artwork brings a sun-dappled springtime landscape to life with breathtaking beauty.

Create this Story Sack:

Little Bear’s Spring

Little Bear



Rabbit (ears down)

Rabbit (ears up)


Raspberry Republic

These clothes are just pure JOY. Colour co-ordinate, clash, mix and match, Raspberry Republic looks great whatever way it’s worn.

Papaya Power and Ignacio the Iguana
Raspberry Republic – Papaya Power and Ignacio the Iguana Red

Samba de Janeiro and Ignacio the Iguana Orange and Brown
Raspberry Republic – Samba de Janeiro and Ignacio the Iguana Red and Brown

Papaya Power Dress and Trousers, Ignaacio the Iguana Orange T Shirt and Brown Baggy Pants with Samba de Janeiro T Shirt
Raspberry Republic – Papaya Power Dress and Trousers, Ignaacio the Iguana Red T Shirt and Brown Baggy Pants with Samba de Janeiro T Shirt

Ignacio the Iguana Orange
Raspberry Republic – Ignacio the Iguana Red

Ignacio the Orange T Shirt and Brown Baggy Pants
Raspberry Republic – Ignacio the Iguana Red T Shirt and Brown Baggy Pants

Papaya Power Sleepsuit and Bonnet
Raspberry Repunlic – Papaya Power Sleepsuit and Bonnet

Papaya Power – Leggings

Papaya Power – Dress

Papaya Power – Sleepsuit

Papaya Power – Bonnet

Samba de Janeiro – T Shirt

Ignacio the Iguana (Red) – T Shirt

Ignacio the Iguana (Brown) – Baggy Pants

Kite – Happy Me

The Happy Me Collection was always going to be a complete stand out. It combines unicorns, rainbows, suns and other nature inspired motifs in a colour palette that shouts SPRING. Kite do what they do best, creating clothes which can be mixed and matched without losing their impact.

The classic Kite dress design shines in this print. Made from 95% organic cotton with a smidgen of elastane for that comfortable stretch it features a shoulder opening fastened with coconut buttons. The dress is perfect for an occasion but equally dressed down for everyday wear,  it is paired here with Kite Flower Tights.

Kite Happy Me Dress
Kite Happy Me Dress

Happy Me Dress, Flower Tights and Dandy Ditsy Bowband
Happy Me Dress, Flower Tights and Dandy Ditsy Bowband

The print translates beautifully onto the leggings also, available in standard and ‘mini’ so even the smallest among us can join in the Spring Happy. The Happy Me T Shirt in Blue is  a joy, as is the Unicorn on Coral Pink.

Happy Me Leggings and T Shirt
Happy Me Leggings and T Shirt

Unicorn T Shirt
Unicorn T Shirt

Kite Happy Me – Dress

Kite Dandy Ditsy – Bowband

Kite Flower – Tights

Kite Happy Me – Leggings

Kite Happy Me – Mini Leggings

Kite Happy Me – T Shirt

Kite Unicorn T Shirt

Piccalilly Mustard Long Sleeved Top – The Season Staple

This top is nothing short of an essential. Piccalilly do this so well, an item which pairs with so many other items flawlessly. Check out these gorgeous, vibrant looks perfect for Spring 2019.

Piccalilly Alpaca Dress and Mustard Stripe Top
Piccalilly Alpaca and Mustard Stripe Top

Piccalilly Dragons and Mustard Stripe Top
Piccalilly Dragons and Mustard Stripe Top

Piccalilly Mustard Stripe Top & Maxomorra Strawberries
Piccalilly Mustard Stripe Top & Maxomorra Raspberry Leggings

Piccalilly Tiger Dress, Mustard Stripe Top and Blue & White Stripe Tights
Piccalilly Hello Tiger Dress, Mustard Stripe Top and Blue & White Stripe Tights

THE Mustard Stripe Top

Alpaca Dress

Dragon Trousers

Raspberry Leggings

Hello Tiger Dress

Blue Stripe Tights

Share your looks with us in our Facebook Group and tag us on Facebook and Instagram.

Piccalilly Alpaca

Alpaca! These cute and fluffy South American camelids are up there with their cousins the Llama for being everyone’s favourite fashionable friend right now.

Piccalilly Spring/Summer 2019 is right on the money with their collection so your little one can wear Alpacas in a variety of ways.

Alpaca Dress
The dress

The simple lines of this stunning summer dress create a loose, comfortable and cool outfit on it’s own. Made from organic cotton jersey this piece features the holy grail in dresses…..pockets! Two pockets for your little ones to collect treasures in while they play. Don’t forget to check them before you wash though! As always Piccallily create clothes to the highest standards, not just in ethics but quality too, so that machine washing keeps them vibrant.

The sleeveless nature of the dress is asking to be paired with a top underneath in cooler weather. We think the Ghita Blouse by Alba in the Seaport Mini Hearts colourway fits the bill perfectly. It picks up on the blues and pinks and with light rose lace details around the neck and raglan sleeves it’s a really versatile, comfortable blouse.

Piccalilly Alpaca Dress with Alba Ghita Blouse
Piccalilly Alpaca Dress with Alba Ghita Blouse

And in a third look, dress down and pick up the yellow of the Alpaca nose by adding this Mustard Stripe. From the same Piccalilly collection the colour match is perfect. It works so well as a wardrobe staple, pretty much a must have! (It’s such a staple in fact see more looks you can create with it here.)

Piccalilly Alpaca Dress and Mustard Stripe Top
Piccalilly Alpaca and Mustard Stripe Look

So that’s the dress….. but have you seen the skort? Yes you read that right! For all your little one’s cartwheeling needs! The integral shorts underneath are in a contrasting blue stripe and the waistband is fully elasticated. Quirky, cute and completely practical: a Spring/Summer essential. It’s hard to resist the matching T Shirt right? Our fluffy friend sits pride of place in beautiful applique and the short fluttery sleeves are a lovely additional feature. Handy hint- up to and including Age 2-3 have poppered shoulders, getting those wriggly little things dressed can be quite the challenge!

Alpaca Piccalilly Set
Alpaca Piccalilly Set

If dresses and skirts (even with hidden shorts!) aren’t your thing may we present the equally adorable Dungarees and Leggings. As with the whole range in this print they lend themselves perfectly to playing ‘Matchy Matchy’! And let’s face it who can resist that for cuteness and an excuse for double Alpaca! The leggings are paired here with the Alba Habian Hood Blouse in Beeswax colourway, a great combination to highlight the yellow in the Alpaca print. (Penguin is model’s own!)

Alpaca Twins
Piccalilly Alpaca

Browse the whole range here. We LOVE to see your little ones in their beautiful Yes Bebe clothing so please do share with us in our Facebook group or tag us on Facebook or Instagram.