The Seasonal Parent: January Edition
We adore seeing our little ones running naked through sprinklers in the summer. Being buried knee deep in autumn's windfall. Their cheeks filled with the red glow of a snowball fight and their eyes boggled by the new beginnings of spring. So we have decided to jot down a few ideas that help us create more of these moments at home: Growing, Cooking and Playing together.
Our ideas don't cost the earth, embrace the seasons and can be bashed out in 15 minutes if need-be. Now move over Joe Wicks, this is the Family HITT!
Grab a little space in your home or garden and designate it as your “Families Little growing place” for 2018. Promise to feed it with love and smother it with fun.
- It's cold outside this month so everything is in the prep. Start to gather seeds from any vegetables or fruit that you have at home and dry them out on a ceramic or glass plate ready for planting. You can save seeds and pips from peppers, watermelon, Aubergines, Tomatoes, cucumbers... The list goes on! Then put them in named envelopes for safe keeping until the spring.
Grab a few potatoes from your shopping this week and drop them into the bottom of an old egg box. Rip the lid off and keep them in the garage or porch. No need to water, just have fun watching them little shoots sprout from the potatoes. After 6 weeks they will be ready for planting and, before you know it, you will be able to harvest your own crop.
Sprouts, not the Brussels kind but the sprouting type, can be grown virtually anywhere and on anything. We've even tried grow alfalfa sprouts on the back of a kids old dumper truck! Just grab a packet of seeds from your local health food shop or garden centre, read the instructions and you are good to go!
Lets get our kids amongst it.
Let them butter the bread, rip up the ham, grate the cheese, press the buttons on your food processor, pick herb leaves, crush garlic, peal veg, smell, touch, taste, whisk, sprinkle, kneed, shake, rattle and roll… and anything else that is safe!
Everyone wants to get healthy in January so its a great time to get the kids making a root vegetable soup. Peeling, chopping and whizzing. It's so much fun!
Feeling brave? Well, with Burns night tonight, now is the time to introduce the brood to the famous Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. Why not make an unwitting adult perform the Address to the Haggis too!
- For those of us who have already fallen off the wagon, why not try The Mug Cake Challenge! Get each member of the family to make a mug cake in the microwave, they only take three minutes, and let the kiddies judge whose is best. Great for a cozy sunday afternoon treat!
Kids should be kids and so should adults! Let's get our play-on!
- Grab yourself an old jam jar or tin, label it “Our Family Adventures” and place it at the heart of your home. Stuff this full to the brim with everything your family wants to do this year. You must promise to visit it regularly and commit to doing anything that's pulled out.
Grab a few small action figures (Anna and Elsa are particularly good for this) and drop them in a glass dish filled with some water. Pop outside on a freezing night and, in the morning, see them in their frozen world. If you want to cheat then pop them in the freezer - No-one will ever know.
Turn the lights off in your bedroom, perch on the windowsill (with the windows locked, or course) and shut the curtains behind you. What can you see? Spaceships? Different planets? Constellations? Grab your binoculars or telescope for a closer look.
Build a winter bonfire and toast marshmallows or, the American upgrade, The S'more.
Look after our flying friends this winter and make a bird feeder in a plastic cup stuffed with seeds and lard.
Make snow paint... if we are blessed with the white stuff again! Fill a water pistol up with water mixed with food colouring and then squirt away to your hearts content!
Monitor rainfall by cutting the lid of an old plastic bottle and leaving it outside. Mark the height of the water every day for a week and take time to notice the difference.
Now its over to you... tell us what you've been up too.
Let us know how you have kept your young'uns amused this month in the comments box below. Perhaps share a photo or two.
Don't worry we don't judge if things go wrong. This is a safe haven for the have-a-go-types because we know that real fun happens when things don't quite go to plan!