It can be difficult to motivate everyone to get outside on wet days. But why not make lemonade out of lemons, pull on some warm waterproof clothes and revel in some muddy, damp play? We have a recipe for mud paint, plus ideas for mud baths, village building and sculpture here and further ideas for elemental play – including how to make your own mud pit – here. Discover fifty more wonderful ideas here – search for damp-loving animals, build nature boats, take a tree shower, or, for the truly brave, make mud angels.
EVENT AND RECIPES SPIRITS AWAY
Ward off evil spirits, worms and maggots, and encourage the ‘good’ robin at a wassail. Traditionally held in orchards on Old Twelfth Night (January 17), ceremonies involve singing traditional songs, making lots of noise to scare off ghoulies, and hanging a cider-soaked piece of toast on a tree. Find a National Trust event near you here – we love the idea of orchard mayhem at Tyntesfield in Somerset on the 22. Or bring something noisy to an event near you – Forty Hall’s party with mummers, poetry and noise sounds fun. Sadly, many wassails have been cancelled this year. So why not visit your nearest apple tree, and hold your own noisy, magical ceremony while drinking a traditional wassail cup? Try these recipes for traditional and alcohol-free versions.
EVENT MIME IS MONEY
Celebrating the best in physical theatre from around the world, London International Mime Festival returns in real-world form this year. Among the colourful, gasp-inducing performances (find the full line-up here) are family friendly offerings that include Bluebelle, a ‘journey into the wilderness of parenthood’ inspired by Angela Carter and the Brothers Grimm, and a retelling of The Red Balloon using marionettes. Can’t get to the festival itself? Enjoy five specially commissioned filmed perfomances online.
RECIPE AND LEARN WONDERFUL WORSHIP
World Religion Day is a chance to reflect on different forms of worship around the globe and this year falls on Sunday. Find out more about the day plus debating points and lesson ideas here. Why not use the day as an excuse to try out some new, religious-themed recipes? These ideas for eating like a Buddhist monk not only sound delicious, but are also an informative walkthrough of Japanese ingredients, try some Jewish recipes (the vegan Eggplant casserole Passover recipe is killer), try a Diwali-themed vegetarian curry feast or a Christian Easter Simnel cake
DO LOOK TO THE SKIES
Winter is a great time for stargazing – the early evenings mean that even tiny kids can experience the dark. We’ve got some great ideas for places to visit for excellent sky-watching here, and what to look for here. If it’s cloudy, or you can’t face the cold, try these constellation crafts; we love the constellation sewing cards and DIY constellation flashlight.
WHAT WE’RE READING Study outlines ways to help children learn forgiveness: “A recent study suggests that teaching children to understand other people’s perspectives could make it easier for them to learn how to forgive other people. The study also found that teaching children to make sincere apologies can help them receive forgiveness from others.” Read more here
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO In the new series of The Wellcome Collection Podcast, broadcaster and journalist Bidisha and guest presenter Moya Lothian-Mclean explore the meaning of positive emotions. Each month they are joined by guests including artists, activists, neuroscientists, anthropologists, and people with inspiring stories of positivity and transformation, and talk about ways of being happy, rising from hope and joy to tranquillity and resolve, all the way to ecstasy and euphoria. Listen in here and check out the rest of the absorbing series of events on and offline here.