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Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

19th November 2020

Celebrate kindness, get outside and ride, stir up your puddings, make a ship in a bottle. Plus put children first and learn French the easy way!

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

19th November 2020

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

19th November 2020

DO Incredible Journey

Put down those screens, shake off that central-heating fug, and make the most of Sunday’s Go For A Ride Day. This event is all about adventure and the outdoors, and a time to enjoy the journey as much as the destination, which makes it the ideal lockdown celebration. Why not take the opportunity to try out an alternative mode of transport? Dig out your roller skates, skateboards, spacehoppers, pogo sticks or unicycles, and see how far they will take you! Or simply jump on your bikes, pack a winter picnic and hit the road or trails.

LEARN and EVENT Oh La La!

The bilingual – French and English – South Ken Kids Festival is usually held at London’s Institut Francais, but this year’s event is, of course, online. Although it’s disappointing not to be able to meet the likes of Axel Scheffler or Michael Morpurgo in person, it does mean that the party is accessible to everyone, with exhibitions, improv-illustration and storytelling with live drawing sessions. This year’s theme is Kindness, Fraternity and Diversity, with the event highlighting Kind: a multi-illustrator picture book all about kindness, written by Alison Green, with a foreword by Axel Scheffler, profits from which go to Three Peas, a charity that supports refugees (buy a signed copy and limited-edition print here). Some events are ticketed, some are free; view the programme here. Or delve into the Institut’s archive for more French-English books, resources and videos.

DO and LEARN Kids United

This year has been particularly tough for kids, but Unicef’s World Children’s Day is a time for optimism and regrouping. Young people are invited to come together to imagine a better world. Unicef are calling on governments to adopt a six-point plan to protect our children, including reversing the rise in child poverty and supporting their mental health. This year, landmark buildings across the world will be lit blue to raise awareness, and you may spot kids taking over traditionally adult roles in media, politics and entertainment. Find out how you can get involved, get lesson plans, and watch ambassador David Beckham in conversation with 18-year-old student Sebabatso here.

MAKE Nautical Steps

There’s something romantic and magical about ships in bottles; the seemingly impossible meets the deeply creative. If you’ve visited the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, you won’t have missed Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, bedecked with sails made from Dutch Wax Fabric, commonly associated with African identity. The museum may be closed, but you can get a whiff of salty sea by making your own encased schooner with sails that reflect your own identity. Find out more here. Or take a deep dive into the history of ships in bottles here

RECIPE Pudding On the Ritz

It’s Stir Up Sunday – five weeks before Christmas, and the day on which you’re meant to make your Christmas pudding - find out all about its traditions and history here. There’s an excellent vegan recipe for traditional pud here, but this year, why not try something a bit different? This orange and chocolate version is a festive alternative, or try a raw vegan and paleo recipe. Alternatively, why not make a vegan Christmas cake? Don’t forget to make a wish as you stir…

What we’ve been listening to this week:

Kindness Can Be Taught. Here’s How. “Most kids value success and achievement more than caring for others, according to Harvard’s Making Caring Common project. Who is to blame? We are. We talk to Scarlett Lewis of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement; Jennifer Kotler Clarke, vice president of content research and evaluation at Sesame Workshop; and Thomas Lickona, author of How To Raise Kind Kids, for some ideas on how to do better, and why.” Listen in here

Found something inspirational to read that you’d like to share? Want to share your creations with us? Have an idea for things to do? We’d love to hear from you. Email Kate

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