DO Show and Tell
Running across the world from April 24 – May 3, the City Nature Challenge is usually an international bioblitz race to discover and record as much wildlife as possible. This year, of course, the citizen science project will run slightly differently. It’s no longer a competition, but more a collaboration that embraces the healing power of nature. People around the world are invited to document the biodiversity around them using the iNaturalist app https://citynaturechallenge.org/participate/ – perhaps you’ll do yours on your exercise walk, in your garden, or even from your window. Use the app to share your sightings, and get feedback from real-life scientists and experts. There’s a great educational toolkit here – build the natural world into your lessons!
MAKE Do or Dye
Charity shops and bricks-and-mortar clothes stores are shuttered, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a brand-new wardrobe. Sunny spring days are tailor-made for dyeing T-shirts, bedsheets, onesies, socks. Try experimenting with natural colours. Store cupboard basics such as onion skins, red cabbage, berries and coffee will each result in different colours, and you’ll need to use a salt fixative. Try tie-dyeing for cosmic effects (we love babies crawling around in rainbow onesies)
DO and RECIPE Magic Flowers
Hawthorn bushes are springing into bloom. The plant is used in Mayday traditions across the world – find out more about its Beltane magic here – a sprig of it is said to banish sadness and protect babies. Find out more about foraging the flowers and leaves here. At this time of year, they are delicate and edible, perfect for adding to salads or just nibbling on the hoof. Find out more about the healing powers of hawthorn and a recipe for flower syrup here.
DO Dig for Victory
It’s National Gardening Week – a time to share your love of growing plants. Instead of the usual programme of talks, workshops and events, this year the RHS is calling on growers to ‘keep on gardening’ to boost their mood and look after their physical health. The website is packed with inspirational ideas for gardens large and small – and is well worth a browse – we love their tips for growing veg during lockdown, clever tips for small gardens and (more) reasons to get the whole family muddy-fingered.
DO and MAKE Lo-Fi Fun
This Sunday is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, the date where people worldwide take some time off from the increasingly technological world we live in and to participate in the simple act of making a pinhole photograph. Pinhole photography allows you to take a photograph using a light-tight container with a tiny hole in one side and a photo-sensitive surface within it.Why not build your own camera? It’s very simple - find basic instructions here. Or you can adapt a digital camera to take pinhole pictures – find out how here. Every picture uploaded to the event’s website will become part of a huge online gallery.
What we’ve been reading this week:
Emily Writes: On being a parent in the Covid-19 era
“We don’t have to be perfect parents, ever. But we especially don’t have to be perfect parents right now. We don’t have to suddenly know how to home school. We don’t need to out of nowhere have all the answers. We can’t possibly be expected to at a moment’s notice to know how to perfectly balance working from home and looking after kids at the same time.
We must simply be there for our children at the most important moments. If your child is playing Minecraft for hours while you put out fires at work? That’s OK. Especially when if in the evening when you’re cuddling them to sleep they can tell you their feelings about missing their friends. Especially when they can talk about their fears.” 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
This month, the world has become a darker, more intense place. Many of us are now in semi- or total-lockdown, living small-scale, confined to houses and, if we’re lucky, gardens. Testing times, to be sure. We’ve started a list of online resources to help, from how to structure your days, to lesson plans and home-ed resources, online story tellers and ideas for kitchen-table art, front-room workouts, inventive ways to play, stress reducers for the family, fun sites to visit, virtual museums to explore, and the online communities springing up to support us all. Please take a look, share and get in touch if you have any suggestions for more resources