Issue 96 is out now
Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

21st May 2020

Wildflower lollies, DIY sensory toys, radical gardening and free, world-class author talks! Plus mid-century Eid crafts and foraged bouquets.

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

21st May 2020

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

21st May 2020

RECIPE Chill Out Petal

We have declared this Elderflower Week. The fragrant heads are hanging low on trees and in hedges, perfect for flavouring cordial, cakes and fritters with their deep sweetness. This year, we’re making more than ever, ready to make Elderflower Ice Lollies. The combination of pretty flowers and ice into a delicately refreshing ice is tempting us to go further – find Tropical Mango Pansy Pops, Lavender Pops and Paloma Pop recipes here or a more general, all-purpose recipe for floral ices here.

DO and MAKE Avant Gardener

The Chelsea Fringe festival is ordinarily one of our favourite yearly events – an abundant celebration of radical gardening ideas, blooming with workshops, craft sessions and parties. This year, it’s gone online, but is still just as inspirational. Why not make a rebellious floral crown, enter their mini garden competition - a great home-ed project, try nature-inspired block printing, make a bouquet from foraged materials, take part in an online garden yoga class, or join a garden-themed book club. It’s not easy for big events to take things online, but the intelligent approach of the Fringe, the main RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Hay Digital (see below) have proved that it’s possible to keep a warm, communal feel, cutting-edge content and, perhaps, to reach a far wider audience than ever before.

EVENT The Reading Festival

The organisers of the Hay Festival have been equally creative; the event is now Hay Digital. Ordinarily the event would have brought together writers and readers for a radical programme of readings, workshops and walks in Wales. This year, it’s entirely online. There are five days of events and resources aimed at young people going live this week. Join hosts Konnie Huq and Jennie Valentine for author talks from Cressida Powell, Patrice Lawrence, Lucy Worsley, Liz Pichon, and Karl Nova. The main festival has a blockbuster line-up, with Stephen Fry, Vanessa Redgrave and Benedict Cumberbatch performing Wordsworth, and a programme heavy on environmental issues. Join the audience for talks and live Q and A sessions with Gloria Steinem, Simon Schama, Tori Amos, Greg Jenner, Roddy Doyle, Margaret Atwood, Hilary Mantel and Miriam Gonzalez Durantez. All for free. Phew!

LEARN and MAKE Eidy Riders

This weekend is the end of Ramadan, or Eid al-Fitr (find out how a moon sighting determines the exact date here). Celebrating what is ordinarily a communal event in lockdown is set to be a very different experience, but it’s still possible to reach out to friends and family at this time – find some creative ideas here. Why not try some Eid-inspired crafting? We love this gorgeous, mid-century style ceramic hand dish, this cheery origami star necklace and this super-stylish good deeds tree, which will look beautiful perched on a window sill all year.

MAKE Good Sensory

Sensory toys and tools calm, de-stress and occupy all kids, but are especially effective for additional needs children. However, they can be pricey. Why not try making your own at home? We love the ideas for weighted vests, tactile experiences and easy-to-make fidget toys here and the super-creative ideas for making rope chairs, woven wrap swings, balance boards and rockers here.

What we’ve been reading this week:

It’s Impossible to Give Each of Your Kids Your Full Attention—and That’s Okay
“I felt incredibly guilty that my younger kids didn’t receive my undivided attention like my first did. Then I realized my three children not only have me, but they have each other.” Read more here

Found something inspirational to read that you’d like to share? Want to share your lockdown creations with us? Have an idea for things to do? We’d love to hear from you. Email Kate

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