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Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

30th January 2020

Celebrate Pagan Imbolc, toddler twig crafts, zing up your packed lunches, spin a yarn for National Storytelling week

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

30th January 2020

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

30th January 2020

EVENT, MAKE and RECIPE Spring Whispers
In pre-Christian times, Imbolc or Candlemas – celebrated this Friday – was known as the ‘feast of lights’ and marked the half-way point between the shortest day and the Spring equinox (we have some ideas for celebrating it here). Candles would be lit in order to give reassurance to others that they were not alone, and that the sun would return. It’s still a chance to celebrate the live-giving power of the sun, as its rays start to gain in strength. Crepes are traditionally eaten on this day – there’s a recipe for them here, alongside other Candlemas treats, including Honey Cakes and Gingerly Baked Custard. Or why not do some Candlemas-themed crafts? Try this hand-cranked storyteller, bend reeds to make a Brigid Cross, pour candles or carve them.

MAKE Stick ‘Em Up
The end of January is all bare trees and mud, so why not celebrate our wintry landscapes with appropriate crafts. Find some sticks – you may have to leave them to dry for a few days – and get creative. The simple painted twigs and wreaths here, make striking house decorations, as do the very simple twig stars here. Really little kids will enjoy painting chalk on sticks, making natural paintbrushes, creating their own stick family, or winding wool around twigs to make yarn sticks.

EVENT Water Babies
This Sunday is World Wetlands Day, a time to consider the importance of our soggiest areas. Find out more about the day and find teaching materials here. There are events at Wetland Centres across the country, as well as a free exhibition and activities at the Royal Geographical Society. Or just head to your nearest watery wild place and enjoy a nature-spotting stroll.

RECIPE Packed With Love
We’re always looking for creative ideas for packed lunches – especially in the winter months. All-in-one boxes or bowls make lunches simpler and we love the variety of ideas here – try the vegetarian squash and beans recipe. We’re also fans of super-powered Buddha Bowls, and if you make double helpings for dinner one night, there will be enough to take to school the other day. Try this child-friendly recipe. We also love the vegan ideas here; the vegan tandoori bao buns and vegetable pasties are filling and tasty.

EVENT Telling Tales
It’s National Storytelling Week – a time when the oral tradition is celebrated and the air is thick with wild tales and monsters conjured from the imagination. Join in the fun at an event near you – there’s a map of what’s happening here. Want to make storytelling part of your everyday family life? Read how Green Parent writer Amanda does just that. Or find more about the healing power of stories and read tale-spinning tips from master storyteller Susan Perrow here

What we’ve been reading this week:

How to reboot family life: from phone bans to a rainy-day fund
“Clear clutter, change who does the washing up, and put worrying to one side, say the experts” Read on here

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