EVENT Roots and Culture
National Tree Week runs from 25 November to 3 December. It’s a chance for communities and individuals to celebrate the wonders of branch and bark, get their hands dirty, and join in events that contribute something positive to the local treescape. Find an event near you here. Take part in tree dressing ceremonies, storytelling, tree planting, or wintery walks across the country. Alternatively, why not visit your favourite tree, or find one and create a new family ritual – it’s a brilliant way of bonding. Visit the Woodland Trust site for inspiration. Find our ten reasons to hug a tree here and our ten ways for kids to enjoy trees here
MAKE Whittle Down The Wind
While you’re out communing with the wintry trees, why not pick up some branches or bits of wood to use in craft projects. Whittling with your family builds bonds, hones motor skills and results in some beautiful objects. We love Frank Egholm’s book The Danish Art of Whittling - find his tips and tricks here and a simple pencil project here. Find more whittling projects including a viking chess piece and forest spirit wood carving here
RECIPE Pudding on the Style
It’s Stir Up Sunday; five weeks before Christmas, it’s the day on which you’re meant to make your Christmas pudding. Try our delicious paleo/vegan alternative here, Jamie Oliver’s gluten-free version or this fruity and juicy vegan take.
EVENT Banking on It
Visiting the Southbank Centre during winter is a modern London tradition. This year’s festival is now in full swing. The big Christmas shows include the warmly enchanting Circus 1903, complete with Warhorse-style elephant puppets and a retelling of Black Beauty. Other treats in store include a free Caribbean Christmas family party, a free performance by Drag Syndrome – the world’s first collective of drag kings and queens with Down’s syndrome – and a series of free, family-friendly film screenings at the pop-up cinema. Don’t miss the sense-stimulating Soundpit, giant sandpits illuminated by beautiful graphics, in which you can create music with your own movement. Perfect for toddlers and any fan of interactive art.
RECIPE Rice and Spicy
It’s cold outside, and we’re craving warm, vitamin-packed food that packs a little spicy punch. A sizzling bowl of Korean Bibimbap ticks all the boxes. It’s a bit of a faff to make, but has the world’s best name and is a lot of fun to eat. Perhaps get the kids to help chop the vegetables and hone their kitchen knife skills. This vegetarian recipe pulls together a rainbow of ingredients (including that all-important yellow egg) =, while this vegan version is sizzlingly good .
What we’ve been reading this week:
Why Scandinavians Leave Their Babies Outside in the Cold, by Linda McGurk
“For generations, the people of the North have bundled up their babies, taken them outside in their prams and then left them out in the freezing cold, sometimes for hours on end. If this sounds like reason for calling the Child Protective Services, please hear me out. As it turns out, letting your baby nap outside could be good for them.” Read more here