DO Let’s Go Outside
Getting kids outdoors in January can be a challenge. But it’s a challenge that we’re up for! Woodland Trust have some excellent, free printable sheets to encourage curious kids into nature – try their Winter Scavenger Hunt, their Nature Bracelet, or their Ancient Tree Spotter Sheet. Whether you’re in the woods, the park, or your back garden, there will always be enough materials to build a fairy house – children will hunt for scraps and build creatively for hours. Find inspiration here and here
More sociable and structured, the Wildlife Trust’s organised activities run throughout the year click here to find your nearest forest schools, pram and buggy walks, wildlife clubs and bird watching sessions
EVENT Spell It Out
On the other hand, this is the perfect time of year for visiting museums, staying in the warm and catching exhibitions you’ve been meaning to see. We’ve been meaning to get to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery’s Do You Believe In Magic, which collects over 200 fascinating objects that tell stories of how magic has been used to heal, hunt and harm across the world and across history. It’s a blend of natural and supernatural that’s perfect for teenagers (and curious younger kids). Pay what you think. Until April 19.
EVENT Ice Spy
This weekend is also your last chance to see MELTDOWN: Visualizing Climate Change at London’s Horniman Museum. This searing series of art pieces dramatically illustrates the importance of glaciers to our world’s survival. Noémie Goudal’s large-scale photographic installation printed on biodegradable paper is particularly striking. Don’t miss the museum’s free art workshops, a chance to peep at Ed Sheeran’s guitar, and, of course, the giant, over-stuffed walrus. Head there on a Sunday for a wander around the excellent seasonal outdoor market.
EVENT, LEARN and DO Big Freeze
January 13 (Monday) is St Hilary’s Day, reputed to be the coldest day of the year; in 1205 this was the date the Thames froze over until March. Testing ancient weather lore is fun – try matching the predictions found in the rhymes and superstitions here (or here if you’re in the USA) against
evidence from your own science-based weather station. Although, in our ever-changing climate, some of your findings might be a little terrifying…
RECIPE Souper Douper
January means frugal, warming dinners, and dinners don’t get much more thrifty and satisfying than a putting pot of soup. Our family goes crazy for anything served in a beaten-up enamel mug, and serving up this way makes dinners easy to ‘eat’ around a fire. Try the Moroccan Harira recipe here, loaded with cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, or Nigel Slater’s Parsley and Potato Soup with Garlic Mushrooms. Find some more adventurous vegan ideas here; Samosa Soup, Avocado and Coconut Soup or Chipotle Fall Soup anyone?
****Don’t forget! The Big Garden Bird Watch takes place January 25–27. Sign up today to be sure to get all the information you need ahead of time****
What we’ve been listening to this week:
How do you talk to children and young people about climate change?
“As children and young people become more and more engaged in environmental issues, how can parents support them and talk to them about climate change in an age-appropriate way? We put the question to climate change psychotherapist Caroline Hickman, climate change teacher Fiona Cowan and 19-year old eco-activist Ella Mann - who organised a climate strike in Oxford - on an episode of the Woman’s Hour parenting podcast.” Listen in here