EVENT AND RECIPE WILD EATING
We might be being incredibly optimistic, but recently it has felt as if spring is just around the corner. Our thoughts are starting to turn to foraging. Emerald, tart sorrel (it tastes a little like lemon) emerges in February. Find it growing abundantly in fields, parks and hedgerows (there’s a good identification guide here) or make this the year you start to grow it in your garden. Try it in salads, use it like spinach, or make it the star of the show. We love Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Sweet Sorrel Tart , this sorrel pesto, and this vegan sorrel soup. Find out more about foraging with children here and about the benefits of eating nutrient-rich, wild foods here.
EVENT GROW TALL
This week is Children’s Mental Health Week, and with one young person in four with mental health issues rejected by the NHS and mental health support bought in by schools doubling in three years, it’s needed now more than ever. Set up by mental health charity Place2Be, this year’s event has the theme ‘Growing Together’, both emotionally, and finding ways to help each other grow. Challenges and setbacks can help us grow and adapt, and trying new things can help us to move beyond our comfort zone into new possibilities. However, it’s a gradual process, and sometimes we might feel a bit stuck! Encourage your child’s school to take part with assembly guides and class activities, find tips and resources for parents and carers and get involved in spreading the word here.
EVENT REBEL REBEL
Calling all wildhearts! This year’s Nottingham Light Night’s theme is ‘Rebel City’, which celebrates the city’s heritage as a hotbed of anarchy and resistance. Held over two nights, the city will host innovative, interactive light installations, including ‘Fire Garden’ in the castle’s grounds, ‘Rebel Heart’ in Old Market Square, which is a wall of sound, light and projection that explores the power of change. Expect dancers, sound, and lots and lots of lights – everywhere! There’s even a piece in the Arkwright Street Allotments. Free. Find a map and listings here.
RECIPE THE WHITE STUFF
It’s Sugar Free February, Cancer Research’s fundraising drive, where supporters are sponsored to give up the sweet stuff. We try our best to cut back on refined sugars year-round, which is tough, but our recipes such as sugar-free flapjacks, hot chocolate, cakes and apple puree will make it a lot easier. So rich and addictive – yet free from refined sugars; find more of our recipes here.
DO AND MAKE CHANGING ROOMS
A bedroom makeover cheers and inspires. With half-term on the horizon, why not plan one for your kids now? We’re always on the hunt for interesting bookshelves, and these ideas make use of recycled and repurposed materials. Sorting out your family’s toys and keeping them beautifully helps keep them fresh and used – there are some cunning ideas for storage here. If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, why not repurpose or make a magical bed – we’re jealous of the children who will get to sleep in these incredible creations, while these loft bed ideas are a little more realistic and will save on space. Find more DIY-deas for your own room rejig here (we love the branch curtain rail!
EXTRA! FREE TREES
The Woodland Trust are giving away free trees to UK residents as part of The Big Climate Fightback. The giveaway packs contain two garden-friendly trees of the following varieties; rowan, hazel, crab apple, silver birch or downy birch. Trees are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If your application is successful, your pack will be making its way over to you from early March. Find out more here
WHAT WE’RE READING Is it weird to sing my kids lullabies? Maybe, but science is clear about the benefits: “Cradling a child and singing is a one-stop-shop for bonding and connection – it involves the kinesthetic, the audio, the visual – and has been shown to support maternal health and child development. And in medical settings, the upsides are obvious: lullabies positively influence cardiac and respiratory function in premature babies, and they lower the heart rates of anxious caregivers, making them a near-zero-cost way to calm distress.” Read more here
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING This year’s BBC Winterwatch is over, but you can relive the highlights and catch up on anything you missed online. Find the beloved series’ most wistful moments in a presenter-free, stripped-back format, browse viewers’ beautiful pictures, see footage from the wildlife cameras and watch full episodes.