Family Time

How to prepare and enjoy night-time family adventures

How to prepare and enjoy night-time family adve...

Kith Homestead is our happy place. I’m sure you have one too. A place you return to time and time again, in all seasons and in all weathers. A place you take your family, friends and loved ones – the special people in your life. It’s these places you don’t tell ‘just anyone’ about, for the need to preserve them. These spaces aren’t your home though; they’re somewhere you can escape to, while still feeling the same comfort and safety. Recently we’ve begun exploring the Homestead in the veil of darkness again. With the seasonal change, the shorter days give us a wonderful opportunity to head out in the magical golden hour and beyond. When we first talked about going out in the darkness, there was never an element of worry or anxiety, because we knew exactly where we were adventuring. We know the Homestead inside out: every root, undulation...

How to prepare and enjoy night-time family adventures

Kith Homestead is our happy place. I’m sure you have one too. A place you return to time and time again, in all seasons and in all weathers. A place...

The Tooth Ceremony: a special rite of passage

The Tooth Ceremony: a special rite of passage

Inspired by Jackie Singer’s Coming of Age article in issue 27 of JUNO (Spring 2012), Vicky Sherrard shares a special family celebration My youngest child is so excited, because she has her first wobbly tooth. Yes, of course the Tooth Fairy will come, and that will be fun, but she is also excited because she knows she will at last qualify for a Tooth Ceremony. In our house we have a ceremony and party to celebrate this important event. I want to spread the word about Tooth Ceremonies, because to me, losing the first tooth is the beginning of a new stage of life for our children, and I want to mark it with them. I believe in the importance of marking our milestones with rituals, making them memorable and special. The more I think about it, the more I come to see that celebrating rites of passage throughout our...

The Tooth Ceremony: a special rite of passage

Inspired by Jackie Singer’s Coming of Age article in issue 27 of JUNO (Spring 2012), Vicky Sherrard shares a special family celebration My youngest child is so excited, because she...

Nature Activities: meet a tree

Nature Activities: meet a tree

This game is for groups of at least two. Pair off. Blindfold your partner and lead them through the forest to any tree that attracts you. (How far will depend on your partner’s age and orientation ability. For all but very young children, a distance of 20-30 yards usually isn’t too far.) Help the blindfolded child to explore the chosen tree and to feel its uniqueness. I find that specific suggestions are best. For example, if you tell children to “Feel the tree”, they won’t respond with as much interest as if you say, “Rub your cheek on the bark.” Instead of, “Explore your tree,” be specific: “Is this tree alive?... Can you put your arms around it? ... Is the tree older than you are? ... Can you find plants growing on it? ... Animal signs? ... Lichens?” When your partner has finished exploring, lead them back to where...

Nature Activities: meet a tree

This game is for groups of at least two. Pair off. Blindfold your partner and lead them through the forest to any tree that attracts you. (How far will depend...

Creative ideas for long summer days

Creative ideas for long summer days

Pebble games Our holidays usually involve packing up warm fleeces, a flask of hot tea and a tub of flapjack and heading off for a chilly beach, usually British, occasionally French, but most importantly well strewn with plenty of interesting stones and shells to pick through. Beach pebbles look so pretty when they are wet and shiny, and we are soon happily filling our little plastic buckets. These games and activities have been inspired by many such long days and iffy weather. Please remember when collecting stones from a beach to do so responsibly: some of our beaches need all the sea defences they have to save them from further erosion. Pebble lotto On a large, sturdy piece of card draw some shape outlines, such as a square, circle, heart or oval. Make the shapes different sizes and round off the corners and edges. Leave a space to add in...

Creative ideas for long summer days

Pebble games Our holidays usually involve packing up warm fleeces, a flask of hot tea and a tub of flapjack and heading off for a chilly beach, usually British, occasionally...

Family Camper Van: Claire Thomson shares what she loves about getting away from it all

Family Camper Van: Claire Thomson shares what s...

It is a remarkable feeling to take to the road with ample provisions, shrugging off the day-to-day and household responsibilities, in search of high adventures and a need to reconnect with the world beyond our front door. We are creatures who have roamed for millennia, after all, and deep in our collective make-up is a need to look up at the stars in the sky – or rather, and perhaps a more current phenomenon (certainly for me), a need to switch off from work and spend quality time with my family. Camping offers a more hand-to-mouth existence and, even if you are staunchly the sort of person who requires running water and electricity to enjoy yourself, living outside, whether for a night, a week or more, allows for a different sort of reality. Freer, certainly; more weathered, definitely, with the rhythm of your day then subject to more base conditions...

Family Camper Van: Claire Thomson shares what she loves about getting away from it all

It is a remarkable feeling to take to the road with ample provisions, shrugging off the day-to-day and household responsibilities, in search of high adventures and a need to reconnect...

How to preserve summer produce: four recipes to try

How to preserve summer produce: four recipes to...

Preserving is a way of making sure that fresh foods can be kept for longer, ensuring they do not go to waste. This was very important in years past, when the vegetable plot outside the back door provided the food that you ate each day. Preserving was a way to keep food on the table in the winter months. Today, when food is grown in huge quantities and imported year-round, and commercial preserves are easy to buy, there is less reason to make preserves, yet many of us still love to do it. There is something very special about cooking a batch of raspberry jam from fruit picked from the garden, or making something delicious from foraged blackberries and apples. I was brought up in a family where we used to come home to pots of green tomato chutney gracing the table, and it was very comforting to see a larder...

How to preserve summer produce: four recipes to try

Preserving is a way of making sure that fresh foods can be kept for longer, ensuring they do not go to waste. This was very important in years past, when...

Wild Camping: introducing children to this outdoor adventure

Wild Camping: introducing children to this outd...

The best adventures, big or little, are those shared with the ones you love. – Clangers, episode 32, ‘Granny and Small’Some of my favourite adventures have been wild camping in the mountains, sleeping with the sound of a stream and waking up to amazing views, and feeling connected to nature. Once my wife and I had children, this was something we wished to share with them. I am a big fan of starting small and building up incrementally. So before I could get to the point of heading off into the mountains with our son with all our equipment on our backs, I needed to introduce him to camping. The obvious first step on this journey was to do the travelling by car. We quickly became comfortable camping with Ewan, and he seemed to just assume that these trips to campsites were a normal part of life. He was happy...

Wild Camping: introducing children to this outdoor adventure

The best adventures, big or little, are those shared with the ones you love. – Clangers, episode 32, ‘Granny and Small’Some of my favourite adventures have been wild camping in...

A new kind of fun: my first festival with a baby

A new kind of fun: my first festival with a baby

Dancing at 6am as the sun rises. Making friends with strangers who you’ll never see again. Waking at noon with a terrific hangover and gasping for water in a stuffy polyester cocoon. These are my festival memories. And there’s one very obvious thing missing: a baby. For me, pre-parenthood, babies and festivals were not compatible. In fact, in the years before children, I probably couldn’t have imagined anything worse.  Then along came my firstborn and everything changed. Now everything revolves around babies – especially our holidays. Seb was a November baby, and when I began thinking towards summer, I realised I didn’t want to miss out on those idyllic festival experiences. I knew it would be difficult, but just how difficult? Really, really difficult? Make-you-want-to-pack-up-and-go-home-and-cry difficult? Surely there’s a reason families keep going back to Glastonbury. Perhaps it was FOMO, or perhaps I wanted to challenge myself; either way, I...

A new kind of fun: my first festival with a baby

Dancing at 6am as the sun rises. Making friends with strangers who you’ll never see again. Waking at noon with a terrific hangover and gasping for water in a stuffy...

Voice of a Grandparent - Summer

Voice of a Grandparent - Summer

Hello, I’m Karen, and I’m grandparent to Gabriel. A love of nature is the legacy I hope to leave my toddler grandson. Together we have smelled wild garlic, seen a frog surface from a pond, listened to magpies, wondered at a fox sauntering by – all within the environs of his urban home, where I care for him three days a week. We regularly spend time sitting and watching the ants emerge from the stones in his back garden, or scattering dandelion seeds with our breath. Simple pleasures, all around us. I fear, however, that in today’s technology-heavy homes, the flat screen may win the day, keeping him indoors, away from nature, as he gets older. Technology has its place and is hugely beneficial in many ways, but learning about the wonders of nature second hand, boxed inside four walls, is no substitute for the real thing. I have one...

Voice of a Grandparent - Summer

Hello, I’m Karen, and I’m grandparent to Gabriel. A love of nature is the legacy I hope to leave my toddler grandson. Together we have smelled wild garlic, seen a...

How to make your own flower crown

How to make your own flower crown

Is there anything that says “Summer, come at me!” more than a flower crown? I think not, says Beci Orpin. Flower crowns have also been a mainstay in music-festival fashion for the past few years, but you can make a flower crown for any reason or any season. We have gone for a crazy, over the-top crown here, using a fairly simple collection of flowers, but with maximum volume potential. I’d say this floral beauty is more suited to an afternoon tea party rather than bouncing around at a festival, but it’s up to you. And I’m pretty sure Frida Kahlo (the queen of all flower-crown wearers) would approve, too. YOU WILL NEED Florist wire or thin wire Wire snips A variety of flowers and foliage: choose different shapes, textures and colours but make sure they complement each other (I used gyp/baby’s breath, sedum and pink hypericum berries)  Scissors Floristry...

How to make your own flower crown

Is there anything that says “Summer, come at me!” more than a flower crown? I think not, says Beci Orpin. Flower crowns have also been a mainstay in music-festival fashion...