This Saturday the 23rd June there will be a fun family afternoon at Dun Coillich community owned nature reserve, not far from Aberfeldy in Highland Perthshire. Sticks and Stories is a chance to have a go at making magical creatures and kites, to try your hand at dowsing, to look for wild flowers and get involved in some storytelling. For more information please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
June is the time to go out and collect frothy cream elder flowers from the hedgerows, all ready to make some delicious elder flower cordial. Either drink it diluted with water or mix a small amount with fresh strawberries or raspberries.
If you are going our for a family walk, take a basket and collect about 30 large heads of elder flowers from elder bushes away from roads, then go home and follow this recipe:
- Add 1.8Kg of granulated sugar to a litre of water and gently bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
- Cut the larger stems off the elder flowers and put the flowers in a large bowl with the grated zest of 2 lemons and then slice the lemons and add them as well.
- Carefully pour the boiling sugar syrup into the bowl and stir in 75g citric acid (available from chemist shops).
- Cover the bowl and leave for 24 hours. Strain through double muslin and pour into clean bottles.
- Store in the deep freeze until needed.
For more elder flower ideas, see our book Nature’s Playground.
We had a wonderful most memorable picnic in the pouring rain to celebrate a special 16th birthday and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on the 3rd June.
Game souls aged from 8 to 80 donned their finest wellies, braved the weather and had a picnic feast in the middle of a field which would have made the Queen envious!
A magical time was had by all and we can whole heartedly recommend to anyone who has never tried a wet picnic party to give it a go!
So next time you have a kids party to organize, think about doing it outside and don’t worry about the weather, you can still have loads of fun in the rain!
The summer issue of Juno magazine has a lovely review of The Stick book. Take a look, they also have loads of wonderful articles, ideas and book recommendations for natural play outdoors with your family. www.junomagazine.com
Wildlife Watch, the children’s wildlife club, held a competition in their Spring 2012 magazine in association with Going Wild.
Children were asked to design a stick creature; you can see the five winning entries on the Watch website here: http://www.wildlifewatch.org.