Introducing Twigs magazine

by Clare Carney

Clare and her daughterHello, my name is Clare and I am a mum from Blackburn, Lancashire. This year I finally launched Twigs Magazine.

Twigs is the earth friendly, plastic free and compostable children’s magazine which encourages positive mental health, enables solution focussed thinking and incorporates the Permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and future care and connections. It focuses on how we are all interconnected and therefore what we do has an impact on everything around us.

Twigs believes that ‘If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it’ (Sobel, D 1996).

The idea for Twigs first occurred after I’d had my son in 2015, as my view of the world and also my knowledge of alternative ways of living, as opposed to the status quo, was changing and expanding. I‘m frustrated that I had been unconsciously in denial and also angry that it had taken me until my forties to begin to see the world differently. Twigs has brought me a chance to do something, to help others via the younger generation and be an activist in my own way.

I have been working on this idea for a few years and it has now come to its fruition, due in no small part, to the dedication and outstanding services of Sally the illustrator and Mike the graphic designer.

Front cover of Twigs magazineThe name Twigs was relevant as it is from twigs that buds bloom and grow; I liked this idea, that something small, no matter where it is, will strive to grow well and to its full and true potential. Bebber Bee is our environment warrior and is there to help provide the information in the activities and will be featured throughout the magazine.

The reason for Bebber is that my son came up with Bebber bee and Zinga caterpillar as a toddler; it was a great way to reduce any fear that my son had about Bees. As an important species, bees are often feared due the buzzing and their potential to sting, so I used Bebber as the only anthropomorphic character to try and help reduce any fear and also using bebber as the name as it is an easy word for young children to say.

Twigs is aimed at children aged 4 years upwards and will help children and families reconnect with nature, and through compassion and love, help them create a sustainable and positive future. In order to help reduce eco anxiety in the younger generations, Twigs does not look at climate change as a whole topic, but breaks this global issue into engaging activities that carry a clear environmental message.

Through fun and engaging activities and stories Twigs will aid the development of imagination and a solution focussed growth mindset as well as basic skills such as fine and gross motor skills, numeracy and literacy.  

Twigs aspires to be accessible to all and includes BSL signs, Dyslexia friendly fonts and organic colours throughout to reduce over stimulation whilst remaining engaging. There are a variety of activities that can be adapted to suit specific needs. 

Twigs' aims are:

  • To promote self care, care of the earth and caring for the needs of all other living things through fun and exciting activities.
  • To instil children with the notion of responsibility for their actions and as caretakers of the planet for example by introducing the concepts of refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, repurpose and recycle.
  • To show children that we can all look after the planet whilst playing and having fun by using sustainable and natural materials.
  • To help raise environmental ambassadors that love and protect our planet through highlighting environmental issues within the activities using simple but effective messages.

Selection of Twig magazinesTwigs would also be a great addition to the environmental/climate change curriculum for young children. It lends itself well to the EYFS-KS2 as an introduction to looking after and healing our world. This magazine has links to the National Curriculum and is ideal for home and primary educators. Twigs is designed to support and extend the development of your child through all 7 areas as set out in the UK EYFS framework:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development
  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

All aspects of the magazine - from the paper to the envelopes, from the stickers to the toy, from the ink to the printers - has all been sourced with environmental friendliness at its core and via UK small businesses. It is recycled and recyclable and compostable too as it only uses vegetable based inks.

Twigs will be a not-for-profit business and will support groups and charities that have similar values of earth care and people care. 

The second edition of the magazine has just been published.