Next in our series of staff picks is Martine, the most recent person to join the SMALL-FOLK team. Within our Q&A feature, she shares her favourite items for Thursdays, a day each week that she spends looking after store owner Anna's son Heath.

Martine is not only someone you will meet when you shop with us in Totnes, you may also spot photos of her on our Instagram feed as she is Anna's mother in-law and Heath's granny!

A lover of nature and the outdoors, Martine’s selection is based around indoor and outdoor play, as well as pieces she enjoys herself after a busy day entertaining and caring for young Heath.

We hope our Q&A with Martine below will inspire you for any days you might have spent with family…

Share with us what your Thursdays usually look like...

From 9am - 2pm every Thursday, I look after Heath and we always enjoy spending time outside whenever possible. One thing we have been doing together recently is playing in the small stream just above our homes. We build dams using stones and create imaginary scenarios using bath toys.

I love to tell stories so there is always time for a book or two. It is never too much of a disappointment when the weather calls for inside time, as whatever we do is always entertaining!

How does this vary throughout the year (outdoor vs indoor activities) and what do you look forward to most through the changing seasons?

I love to be in nature all the way through the year and enjoy seeing how the trees and flowers change around us. In winter I look forward to lighting the fire at home, and keeping warm on walks with cosy coats and woollen hats.

In the spring coats are needed for a good while here in England and a hat is always practical for unexpected rain showers. The same goes for the autumn, with woolly hats, boots and jersey tops. On colder days me and Heath build dens inside, complete puzzles and work through drawing books.

Devon really comes to life in the summer and there are certain beaches that have really lovely sun traps. To avoid sunburn we always have hats, reusable water bottles and umbrellas for creating shade to hand. During the spring and summer, we play outside, water the plants in the greenhouse and throw stones in the nearby River Dart.

We heard you and Heath create some elaborate den’s during your time together, what is the best trick you know for building a successful den?

I create so many with washing racks, blankets and clothes. Tying it tightly together with brown string. You have to make sure the roof is strong!

 Martine's Day-Care Activities: Heath and Martine
Heath in the garden and together under an expertly constructed den!

What is your favourite trick/skill/activity to share with the younger generation?

Watching nature, especially the swallows, worms and bees. Generally showing little ones what is around and the hidden homes and lives within nature that might be missed.

 Martine's Day-Care Activities: Martine's Children Book Picks

1. Slow Down... Discover Nature in the Park - Abrams & Chronicle
2. Sunrise Dance - Abrams & Chronicle
3. Ratty's Big Adventure - Lara Hawthorne - Templar Publishing

You are a great storyteller - what new books are you looking forward to reading aloud soon?

Two current favourites are definitely Slow Down... Discover Nature in the Park and Sunrise Dance - Serena Gingold Allen.

One story we haven’t gotten to yet that I am looking forward to reading is Ratty's Big Adventure - Lara Hawthorne.

It takes a lot of energy to entertain little ones, what is your favourite way to relax?

A bath with candles, oils and my cosmic star print organic cotton pyjamas.


 Martine's Day-Care Activities: Martine's Sustainable Day-Care Favourites

1. Bear's Picnic... 100 Piece Puzzle - Abrams & Chronicle
2. Child of the Elements - Wind - Ambrosius
3. Forget Me Not Girl - Ambrosius
4. Amber Beeswax Candles - Pack of 12 - Grimms
5. Dinosaur Set of 4 Vegan Crayons - The Natural Crayon Company
6. Robin Dreamers - 20 Piece Mini Puzzle - New York Puzzle Company
7. Women's Cosmic Star Print Organic Cotton Pyjama Trouser Set - Sissoo
8. Perpetual Calendar - Grapat 

What would an activity-filled Thursday look like for you and which items would you choose? Share your moments and tag us at @small.folk or use #smallfolktotnes

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