London’s many elderflowers are in full, joyous bloom right now and the heady, musky-sweet smell fills the air in any wild or open space.
For once, this is a scent you really can bottle and maybe even save for winter, to remind you of these sunny days.
Elderflower (perhaps unlike blackberries!) is a child-friendly plant to forage: no thorns, and some of the blooms often grow at child height (though if your child is very small you you might want to give them a boost, to avoid dog-pee height!).
Every time we cycle to Hackney Marshes we find something new (to us).
This time it was this gem of a nature reserve, hidden away across a footbridge from the Lee Valley Waterworks centre.
It’s an easy, traffic-free cycle along towpaths or through parks from neighbouring Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham. Here’s a map. It’s certainly hidden away, so following signs to Lee Valley Visitor Centre is probably the best way to find it… the bridge into the reserve is just opposite the cafe.
The nature reserve is beautifully designed to nurture wildlife and charm children at the same time. There are pretty ceramic brick signs hidden in the grass, showing children what they can search for nearby. Continue reading “Lee Valley Nature Reserve”
Earth Day is coming up on 22nd April and this year’s theme is reducing plastic pollution. Bringing up children seems to involve a LOT of stuff, much of it only used for a few short months and often made of plastic.
Happily, there are some simple solutions that can save money and the environment at the same time.
Are you looking to pass on what you don’t need any more to a good home, or to pick up things you do need at a more affordable price?
Beyond charity shops, here are some great places to get and/or give away baby clothes, furniture, toys and more in East London.
The weather is even colder than last time I posted, so if the winter sunshine isn’t enough to keep you outdoors, here’s another indoor art-materials activity.
If you’ve stubs and bits of broken wax crayon, here’s a super easy, exciting recycling project that toddlers can do most of themselves.
It’s also one of those transformations that creates something so delightful it seems much more than the sum of its parts. The homemade crayons would also make great gifts, if you could bear to part with them.