We do like to do Easter big time and this year was no exception. This time around we had a workshop dedicated to the crafting of Easter Bonnets for our Easter Bonnet parade and of course an Eggstreme Easter Day hosted by the Easter Bunny. We had some cracking bonnet designs from the Cat in the Hat to Dinosaurs, abstract ones and mega Spring flowery/bunny/chicky/lamby extravaganzas.
Eggstreme Easter involved a mega Easter Egg hunt, pin the tail on the Easter Bunny (in which anyone with the surname Dinham invariably pinned it right on the exact spot every time!), guess how many Lindor eggs in the jar and a host of cooking and crafty fun. We made Easter trees from sticks and old tin cans, bunny brooches, chick egg cosies, hatching eggs on sticks, marbled squeegee painted easter eggs and in the kitchen we made Easter nests, Easter biscuits and Easter lamb cupcakes. Leigh Dinham brought two different kinds of dough he’d made so we could bake bunny buns – nom nom. The Easter Bunny proudly paraded around the garden with children proudly wearing their hand-crafted bonnets and joined in the Egg and Spoon Races– a very happy bunny indeed, though a flaky one as she forgot to award prizes (sigh).
Next came a thrilling Outdoor Adventure day with Channel Adventure who run activities at our fab new local community and outdoor sports centre, COACH in French Weir. The kids loved their archery and axe-throwing and making a fire in the firepit and toasting marshmallows on it followed by games onboard Channel Adventure’s awesome inflatable rafts, an impromptu dip in the river and a cheeky bit of kayaking. We hope to make this a monthly event through spring and summer.
Earth Day we never quite manage to celebrate on the actual day but we are never too far off. Bees, food waste and renewable energy were big themes this year. We made a bee garden, planting an array of wildflower seeds designed to attract bees and then carefully protecting them from chicken incursions – as shown below the chickens were very helpful in terms of preparing the patch for the garden as they know how to till soil but their involvement is now at an end. Pippa made up packs of mixed seeds to sow – the kids just had to sprinkle on a patch, cover with some compost and water.
We ordered in a load of hollow bamboo tubes to make bee and bees – these are intended for solitary bees, often overlooked but incredibly important for our ecosystem. Recycled materials including old bits of woolly clothes and cut off plastic bottles were also involved. These are so simple to make but you need to put them somewhere sunny, at least 1 metre from the ground and not under a tree. The Pom Pom kit came out again so we could make super-cute Pom Pom Bees and you could make a fabric wildflower to use as a brooch or hairpiece. Ellis had the most amazing home-made Bee outfit – just breeliant!
We did our bit to combat food waste by gathering recipes involving cunning ways to turn scraps and leftovers into tasty meals and deserts – check out our “Waste Not, Want Not” cookbook on the Publications page! We also now have our own Taunton Home Ed Earth Day Smoothie recipe involving banana, strawberries, orange juice and large quantities of spinach to make it all lovely and green. It was great to see the kids blending that goodness up and knocking it back. To compensate for all this healthy eating there was ‘Worms in Dirt’ made from chocolate icecream, smashed up biccies and gummy worms and Earth (green and blue) cupcakes.
Earth Day also saw the inauguration of the Mud Kitchen which as you can see was used for its intended purpose!
The ballot box was dusted off from Ferocious Felines and used for a vote on whether the UK could and should switch to 100% renewable energy by 2050. This proposition came from the company which supplies renewable electricity to Weir Lodge, Good Energy. EVERYONE VOTED YES – but we all thought it should happen way sooner!!!
Finally this month saw a new issue of Free Spirit our literary/artistic mag – ooh a cracker it is too with some fab artworks, stories, poems, photography and even a speech – you can read it by downloading from our publications page.
Ooh ooh and another finally…this just in the amazing Isaac Turner, young HE trampolining supremo just qualified for the British Championships. WOWZA GO ISAAC!!!!!!