EVENT, DO Spawn Free
It’s the time of year to start thinking about pond-dipping; we’ve spotted mating frogs and spawn. Dig out your nets and head for the nearest park, or make a day trip to somewhere special. National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire often hires out pond-dipping equipment to curious kids; there are experts on hand across London’s nature reserves – we love Woodberry Wetlands’ network of reed beds and reservoirs, filled with newts and frogs, while Allen Banks in Northumbria provides a stunning backdrop to a search for the jelly-like eggs. Check out the Wildlife Trusts’ events page to find an organised dip near you, and if you spot some spawn, why not add your sighting to the Woodland Trust’s excellent Nature’s Calendar, where you can record seasonal events to help experts build up a picture of the state of the nation’s wildlife.
EVENT and RECIPE In The Pink
Love a sharp tang in your cooking? Head to Wakefield this weekend for the Rhubarb Festival, a party to celebrate the best of the pink wonder – this is the heart of the Rhubarb Triangle where ‘forced’ crops grows out of season and are harvested by candlelight (find out more here). Watch live cookery demonstrations, including jam-making talks, enjoy a comedy night and wander the market. There’s lots on for kids; face painting, live music, vegetable carving and chef hat making, you can even take a tour of the mysterious rhubarb sheds and listen to the plants growing! Bring your own custard. Alternatively, explore some new ways of eating (and drinking) the vegetable (yes, it’s a vegetable); Rhubarb and Ginger Shrub Drinking Vinegar (vegan), chilled Rhubarb Soup (vegan), warming Rhubarb and Lentil Soup (vegetarian) and Cinnamon Panna Cotta with Roast Spiced Rhubarb (vegetarian).
EVENT and LEARN Special Day
Saturday is February 29, the once-every-four-years leap day. Most people know that traditionally, this was the day when women could propose to men, a custom that seems somewhat archaic now. However, did you know that in Germany, girls leave branches decorated with ribbons on the doorsteps of anyone they have a crush on, that in Taiwan, a married daughter is expected to bring pig trotter noodles to her parents, that there’s a French newspaper that only gets published on this singular date, and that a special club exists for anyone born on the extra day. Find out more here
DO When The Wind Blows
Windy enough for you? Why not make the most of the blustery weather with these inventive play ideas? Of course, flying a kite is fun, but try watching birds flying in the gusts, discover which way the wind is blowing, watch clouds race, send messages along a line, and experiment with wind socks, windmills and streamers!
EVENT, MAKE and RECIPE Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!
It’s St David’s Day! If you’re feeling traditional, head to Cardiff for a parade that celebrates the best of Welsh culture. Alternatively, there are family friendly events at museums across the country; there are parties on Saturday at the Museum of Wool and on Sunday at the National Museum Cardiff, St Fagan’s, and the Waterfront Museum in Swansea, Or perhaps revisit a site that inspires magical days out and learning – Land of Legends. Alternatively, celebrate at home and make your own milk bottle dragon mask, and bake some delicious, fragrant Welsh Cakes!
What we’ve been reading this week:
There’s No Such Thing as ‘Quality’ Time
“Often when we are trying really hard to attain something, we end up missing the fact that we’ve had it in our hands the whole time. Sure, letting your kids blow off school for a fun day together can be wonderfully special — but so can the 20-minute drive in traffic to school. So can mailing a letter or watching a garbage truck meander through the neighborhood.” Read more here