DO WILD SUMMER For many, the starting pistol for the summer holidays fires this week. With the time off stretching in front of us, why not take on a big outdoor project? These long-form ideas are perfect for your garden, a community space or allotment.
*Clay pizza ovens are ambitious builds, but a hugely fun group project, create a focal point for summer nights outside and result in dirt cheap, utterly delicious dinners forever.
*Turn a tiny corner into an abundant garden. Find out here how to make balconies lush and green, build your own vertical garden or turn your lawn into a vegetable patch!
*Try gardening with your kids; make a sunflower alley, a bean teepee or colourful pots Perhaps you might turn your garden into a wildlife-friendly space
*Or create new play areas in your plot; try making a mud pit, a sand hill or water fun park!
*Try making a water wall in your garden. Older kids will love to help construct the splashy maze, and younger children will adore sploshing around with it. The network of pipes and tubes can be endlessly reconfigured, built on, and experimented with – try getting creative with food colouring and using your own collection of junk, pipes, and oddly-shaped bottles to make it more interesting.
*Find a secluded spot, and transform an old bathtub into a wood-fired hot-tub. Scatter candles, take a book or your kids and soak under the stars.
*Sitting around a fire pit, cooking, singing and watching the sparks fly into the air is a dreamy way to spend warm summer nights; why not try building your own?
*For those with smaller gardens, less time or lower budgets, there are plenty more outdoor play space ideas here.
DO AND EVENT VITAMIN SEA It’s National Marine Week. Organised by The Wildlife Trusts’ it’s actually 15 days of all things salt watery. Why not join a sea watch, a beach clean or night time rock pooling safari near you? Alternatively, make a mini, one-minute coastal documentary and enter the film competition.
DO AND LEARN FIVE RING CIRCUS All being well, the Olympic Games start this week (we’re a little obsessed with the BBC trailer - find out about its references and background here). The games were, of course first held in Greece; discover a little more about their ancient history here and their more modern story here. Why not hold your own games in your back garden? Try hurdles, rhythmic gymnastics, discus or relay races?
EVENT HORN OF PLENTY Set high on a south London ridge the Horniman Museum is a cool place to be this summer in all senses of the word. Visit for the mythology-soaked An Ode to Afrosurrealism exhibition, butterfly house and aquarium, and stay for the crazy golf, featuring a replica of our favourite over-stuffed walrus. Be sure to book ahead for the Original Jerk Cookout on July 31 with family activities, live music and mouthwatering food.
RECIPE KEEP IT COOL This summer, keep lunches easy and relaxed. Try our Warm Green Bean, Halloumi and Potato Salad with Olives, Griddled Courgettes with Mint and Lemon or this vitamin-packed Rainbow Hummus Bowl.
WHAT WE’RE READING: New balance: will work be more parent-friendly than ever after the pandemic? - “Between home schooling and hybrid working, the last year has brought rapid and radical shifts in our working habits, good and bad. Now it is time to see whether positive change can stick” Read more here
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING: Minimalism - A Documentary About The Important Things: People dedicated to rejecting the American ideal that things bring happiness are interviewed in this documentary showing the virtues of less is more. Watch on Netflix