By Kate Hodges

16th June 2017

Join the Big Lunch, send secret messages, make a human sundial, peep behind the scenes at a university and celebrate the arts under a Blue Sky!

By Kate Hodges

16th June 2017

By Kate Hodges

16th June 2017

EVENT and COOK Dinner Winners
The Big Lunch is a yearly event that aims to bring communities together for a sociable gathering. With delicious food! Win, win, win. This is an event in which children can really get involved; they can make decorations, help design menus, make simple food and act as hosts (there’s nothing cuter than a kid pretending to be a waiter). There are always a load of ready-set-up lunches across the country to join, or start your own! This year, the Big Lunch has paired with The Big Iftar to promote lunar lunches – great if you’re celebrating Ramadan, on irregular shifts, or just fancy a candle-powered gathering, and the Great Get Together, held from June 16-18 to celebrate the life and beliefs of murdered MP Jo Cox, who famously said, “We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.” Why not take the opportunity to try out these mouthwatering vegan picnic recipes?

DO and LEARN Secret Messages
Make like 007 and explore the world of codes and cyphers this weekend. Younger children will enjoy using simple codes – a symbol for each letter of the alphabet – to write messages. Older kids will love trying out our favourite pigpen code to write messages to each other quickly and secretly Sit down together and learn morse code, so junior spies can signal to friends using lights at night, or whistles across a park. Alternatively, try semaphore for sending messages across long distances - Y-O-U-R T-E-A I-S R-E-A-D-Y There are ideas for more elaborate ways to hide messages here - we love the Cardan Grille method. Playing with cyphers fosters basic computer coding skills, makes literacy fun, and opens gateways to our spying past.

LEARN and MAKE Throwing Shade
It’s getting consistently sunny enough to think about creating art using shadows. We love the idea of tracing pictures of the shapes cast by objects – this grape sculpture idea is fun, or try using more sheer objects such as net curtains. We like this shape tracing idea or try it with Lego creations For a more scientific take on the idea, try making a human sundial or a tell the time using your own real sundial

EVENT Mancy Around
The University of Manchester throws open its doors for a fun-filled day of hands-on activities, including spectacular live experiments, theatre, behind-the-scenes tours, music workshops, art, flight simulators, 3D model-making, Chinese crafts, and and a chance to chat about studying at university. Full programme here

EVENT The Sky’s the Limit
Corsham’s joyous Blue Sky Festival celebrates the arts through performances, exhibitions and workshops, and lots of it is free! Make wings and head garlands and glow-worm jars at the Wild Weekend, see explosive science, have fun with the creator of Mr Gum, Andy Stanton, or dance with your dad! Small and perfectly formed. Some events ticketed, some free.

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