MAKE AND RECIPE TREE AND TREE AGAIN
Sad to say goodbye to your Christmas tree? If it’s not a potted or pretend one, there are some great ideas for crafty ways to reuse it here. We particularly like the idea of turning it into a didgeridoo, making twig gnomes, and creating a wood slice necklace. Browse the Pinterest board of ideas here. Alternatively, eat it! Find recipes for pine needle shortbread, pesto, tea and, hang on… ICE-CREAM here!
EVENT BAKER’S DOZEN
It’s Twelfth Night. Traditionally, a time of feasting, games and giving gifts, all presided over by the Lord Of Misrule. The Lord was chosen by sweetmeat lottery – whoever found a bean in their slice of Twelfth Night Cake became the ruler for the night, organising the entertainment and setting ludicrous commands. There’s a lovely piece here about the history of the celebrations, complete with a recipe for a rich cake to make (if you can face more sweet stuff!). Ordinarily, London’s Lion’s Part players would, this weekend, be making their noisy way along the south bank, dressed in colourful costumes, the green-bedecked Berry Man at their head, but this year things are going online; watch their Twelfth Night video here.
EVENT GREECE IS THE WORD
London’s Science Museum’s free Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom exhibition examines the way ancient minds viewed the natural world. See how they viewed the cosmos and the oceans through sculptures, musical instruments and more. Many of the objects are being shown in the UK for the first time.
DO BRAIN POWERED!
This year, why not resolve to donate some time, muscle or brainpower to citizen science projects? There are some truly incredible projects that need your help, and are great for home-schoolers. Old Weather volunteers explore, mark and transcribe ship’s logs from the 19th and early 20th centuries in order to advance climate research. Or monitor the effects of environmental change on Britain’s sealife by recording seaweeds in The Big Seaweed Search. If you have a pond in your garden, Genepools would love to hear from you; they’re tracking DNA in pond water. And of course, the big daddy of them all, the Big Garden Bird Watch takes place January 28–30. Sign up today to be sure to get all the information you need ahead of time.
MAKE THE ILLUMINATI
At its most simple, a lightbox is just that. A light in a box. Small children – and older ones too – will be instantly fascinated by them and find a million ways to play. Making one is a lot easier than you might think – find a very simple method here. In winter, they extend playtime on dark afternoons – try using yours to look at leaves, sprinkle sand and shells on it, use it to trace comic characters, do a jigsaw in the dark, or make translucent numbers and letter to make spelling and maths more fun.
WHAT WE’RE READING 100 ways to slightly improve your life without really trying: Whether it’s taking fruit to work (and to the bedroom!), being polite to rude strangers or taking up skinny-dipping, here’s a century of ways to make life better, with little effort involved … 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