DO, MAKE AND RECIPE BONFIRE BRIGHT
It’s November 5! The tradition of guy-making has all but died out, but we’re determined to revive it. Guys can be as complicated or straightforward as you want to make them – the most basic are just clothes and a pillowcase stuffed with newspaper or rags. Or you can get creative with plaster-of-Paris heads, home-made masks, or even build an effigy! Find ideas for yours here https://www.helpforbusymums.com/how-to-make-a-guy-fawkes-for-bonfire-night/ . Bobbing for apples is a bonfire night tradition – find out about its unexpectedly romantic history here. And don’t forget the food; toffee apples are a must, while cinder toffee is fantastic fun for kids to help make; watch it puff up as you add the bicarbonate of soda! Or try something very old-fashioned; a slice of sticky, gingery parkin. Find ideas for a greener, cleaner 5th of November celebration here.
If you’re not keen on real bangs and wallops, why not stick to some gentler fireworks crafts. Damien Hirst-style spinning art is both a fun process and gives some beautiful results, while this bonfire collage cleverly combines natural materials with paper. Make rockets out of old toilet rolls, try out salt art, or make headbands perfect for wearing out to a display. If you’ve got older kids who like a more edgy (verging on the insane) project, there are instructions for making your own real-life fireworks here) Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
EVENT GREEN SCREEN
The Into Film Festival is the world’s largest film and education event for young people, with over 3000 free screenings and events across the UK, including lots of free film screenings. The festival aims to inspire young people to watch and understand film in new and creative ways, and is open to all educators of young people, including, of course, home educators. Their film resources are excellent, and their competitions inspiring and a great springboard for home learning or after-school film-making fun
Got the feels for more reels? Explore the UK Green Film Festival programme, which brings the best eco documentaries to venues across the UK, and runs until November 14. Find the programme here
Or use movies as a prompt to get outside. Here’s our guide to where in the UK to follow in the footsteps of characters from some of the best-loved flicks of all time.
EVENT LIMA-NAL SPACE
The British Museum is going South American with its new blockbuster exhibition, Peru: A Journey in Time, which opens on November 11. Marking the country’s bicentennial year of independence, this is a deep dive into Peru’s history, beliefs and culture. Why not find out more about the country? The Museum’s online timeline and background reading are useful resources, while the free online introduction to the exhibition from its curators on November 11 will explore the wider themes and highlights from the show and is accessible for everyone (book ahead here). Smaller kids won’t miss out on the fun; book ahead now for the Museum’s in-person, free crafts sessions on November 25 and try weaving, pattern spotting and paint a bag to take home.
DO INTO THE PINES
Fancy an early winter forage? Pine needles and seeds are both edible. Heat a cone over a fire and shake it to release the nuts. They’re best eaten toasted or used as an ingredient in pesto. Or try making fragrant pine-needle tea, incredibly rich in vitamins C and A and beta-carotene – best avoided if you’re pregnant, however! If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try baking scented Pine Needle Shortbread, making this aromatic Pine Needle Vinegar or experimenting with White Pine and Rosemary Ice-Cream . Don’t forget to take a few cones; use a few scraps of felt and turn them into adorable, wintry elves.
EVENT COOK AND PLAY
With the best of intentions, it can be brutally difficult to get out of your house with babies and children, and not all kids are suited to in-person meet-ups. Kids Kitchen’s virtual playgroup is set up just like a real-world parents-and-children hangout, with food-based sensory play, and a chance for adults to chat over a hot cuppa. The Kitchen gang create spaces for kids and parents to explore cooking locally produced, sustainably grown food, avoiding dairy, eggs and meat. Booking is a nominal £1, which will get you access to all sessions or email to get on the list. Find out more here.
WHAT WE’RE READING Forest schools flourish as youngsters log off and learn from nature. ”Of more than 200 forest schools surveyed by the Forest School Association (FSA), about two-thirds said demand for their services had increased since March 2020. Among the reasons cited were increased awareness of the benefits of the outdoors, especially in relation to stress and anxiety, safety, and dissatisfaction with the school syllabus after months of pandemic homeschooling.”
Read more here
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING As COP26 hits the headlines, the need for accessible explanations of what environmental action is about increases. Made by kids for kids, this colourful, fun explainer breaks down climate justice for anyone new to the concept. Find more from Climate Ready Schools here