By Kate Hodges

10th February 2017

Try cute Valentine's crafts, make teapot nest boxes, amazing, free Scandinavian-themed kids events, swap meets and cheap, super-eco-friendly veggie recipes kids will love!

By Kate Hodges

10th February 2017

By Kate Hodges

10th February 2017

MAKE Love Conquers All
Lots of kids are on half-term this week, so now is the perfect time to stock up on craft materials and find some fresh ideas for makes. Why not theme your creative endeavours around Valentine’s Day? This brown paper heart is stylish and easy to make, while this glorious flower creation is more ostentatious, but a lot of kitschy fun. A thumbprint platter that features all the family’s fingermarks is something you or a relative will treasure forever, while these homemade bath bombs are great for teenagers to make, and are brilliant gifts. Even tiny kids can make beautiful tissue paper hearts and there are more ideas for small children here and here (we love the celery stalk rose stamps and heart-shaped crayons!)

EVENT AND MAKE Nest Please
Even the smallest of flats has space for an outside birdhouse. National Nest Box Week starts on Tuesday February 14 and aims to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes to promote and enhance biodiversity as well as conserve our breeding birds. Putting up a nest box and, if you’re lucky, seeing a bird raise chicks in it, is incredibly satisfying and inspirational for children. Why not hold your own nest-box making session this weekend? There are simple instructions for a traditional box here, or find how to make a cute one from a kettle here and from a carton here . There’s more quirky inspiration here (we love the house number homes) and here.

EVENT We Love Scandi
The totally brilliant Imagine Children’s Festival at the Southbank Centre runs from today until February 19. There are dozens of Nordic-themed shows, live bands, workshops, and lots of book-related activities taking place. Build LEGO cities of the future, dance at an ABBA disco, watch a pedal-powered screening of The Little Mermaid, join a pyjama party, try sensory pottery and walk through the magical, immersive Adventures in Moominland exhibition. Mostly free, some events and exhibitions ticketed (prices vary).

COOK Brit Crops
As you probably know, some UK supermarkets are experiencing a vegetable shortage, and the price of courgettes, lettuce and pepper has rocketed. If you’re not lucky enough to be growing your own, UK-produced crops are not only much more environmentally friendly, but also much cheaper right now. Need some cook-spiration? We’re massive kale fans – our kids can’t get enough of eating it chinese seaweed style, and there are more kale ideas here. Alternatively, this red lentil and carrot soup is spicy, comforting and kid tried-and-tested, and this parsnip gratin is rich and perfect for a Saturday night, kitchen table dinner.

EVENT Word Party
The yearly Discover London Book Swap takes place tomorrow (February 11), when you’ll be able to dive into all manner of venues, from theatres and libraries to book shops and exchange your kids’ old tomes for something new to you. If you don’t live in the capital, why not hold your own? Invite some small friends along, each with three old books they’re done with, and swap away (find inspiration for your swap meet here).

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