Nature Storytelling – Meet the Architects of Blean Woods with the RSPB

Outdoor storytelling in the summer

14th August: 11am – 12.15pm (Slot 1) + 12.30pm – 1.00pm (Slot 2)

Come and meet the natural builders, movers and shakers that have helped shape Blean Woods in Kent with storyteller Helen Tozer!

We’ll take a short guided walk of the woods, stopping to hear short interactive woodland folktales along the way. You’ll have the chance to roll up your sleeves and help make hibernation stations for our most valuable residents and leave with an understanding of how our precious woods have been shaped by creatures great and small.

This is a free event but you will need to book in advance.

RSPB Blean Woods car park, Rough Common Road, Canterbury, CT2 9DD

The car park is about a 15 minute walk from Whitstable Road which is regularly served by buses from Canterbury and Whitstable.

Making gingerbread folk

Telling the gingerbread story got me hungry!

So I decided to make some gingerbread!

I found this brilliant recipe from Lovingitvegan.com

Ingredients:

1/4 cup (56g) Vegan Butter
1/2 cup (100g) Brown Sugar
1/3 cup (100g) Unsulphured Molasses
1 Flax Egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 cups (250g) All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Ground Ginger
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves

For the Icing:

1 cup (120g) Powdered (Icing) Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Soy Milk

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)

2. Add the vegan butter and brown sugar to an electric mixing bowl and cream together.

3. Prepare your flax egg by mixing 1 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal with 3 Tbsp Hot Water and allowing to sit for a minute.

4. Add the molasses, vanilla and flax egg to the electric mixer and beat together with the vegan butter and brown sugar.

5. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves and mix together.

6. Add all the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl containing the wet ingredients and mix into a thick batter.

7. Flour a surface and your hands very generously and transfer the cookie dough onto the baking surface. Roll it into a ball, adding flour as needed so it doesn’t stick.

8. Roll out with a rolling pin to around a 1/4 inch thick and cut out some gingerbread folk. Dip your cookie cutter in flour each time so it doesn’t stick. Move the gingerbread men to a parchment lined baking tray. Gather the scraps of dough, form into a ball and roll out again, cutting out more people.

9. Don’t be shy to add more flour each time, this dough can be quite sticky and you need it not to be as you roll it, so add flour as needed. Any excess flour on the gingerbread cookies will bake off.

10. Repeat this process until you have used all the dough.

11. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

12. After 15 minutes remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating.

13. When you’re ready to decorate, mix the decorating frosting ingredients together. It should be quite thick, but when you stir it into a peak, it should hold it’s shape for a bit before melting back down and should be quite sticky.

Full recipe at: https://lovingitvegan.com/vegan-gingerbread-cookies/

Why not make your own dinosaur fossils?

Make your very own dinosaur fossils using simple kitchen ingredients.

Watch my video to learn how:

Recipe for homemade playdough from BBC Food:

Makes 1 coloured ball

Prep 10 minutes

You will need:

8 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp table salt
60ml warm water
2 tsp food colouring
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Method

1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the water, a few drops of food colouring and the oil.

2. Pour the coloured water into the flour mix and bring together with a spoon.

3. Dust a work surface with a little flour and turn out the dough. Knead together for a few minutes to form a smooth, pliable dough. If you want a more intense colour you can work in a few extra drops of food colouring.

4. Store in a plastic sandwich bag (squeeze out the air) in the fridge to keep it fresh. You can make a batch of colours and give away as kids’ party bag favours or hold a playdough party for your child’s next birthday.

Painting with coloured lava!

Looking for an easy art activity for kids?

Why not brighten up the classic baking soda and vinegar experiment with some food colouring or paint? Perfect for an outdoor activity, or indoors in a big tray or tub.

Materials:

vinegar, baking soda, trays, cups or glass jars

Method:

1. Give each child a tray

2. Put 1 tbsp (15 grams) of baking soda in each cup

3. Add a few drops of food colouring or paint to each cup

4. Pour about 3 tbsp of vinegar (60ml) into each cup and get ready for the explosions of colour and bubbles!

5. Use a paint brush to mix the colours, or dip some paper into the coloured foam. Have fun!