Build a lockdown family time capsule

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Kirsty Prankerd, from photo keepsake retailer Write From The Heart, explains how to build a time capsule with the kids.

If you’re currently looking for an educational family activity that will keep the kids busy during lockdown (and who isn’t at the moment?) then why not try building a time capsule?

Not only is this great fun, but it can help encourage the kids to learn more about the past, and to imagine their futures. Here, I’ll share my tips for creating a capsule as a family.

Make it educational

Before you set out to build your time capsule, you’ll need to decide how long you want to wait until you re-open it. Then, ask a few questions and get your children to use their imaginations.

For example, how old will they be when it’s re-opened? What might they be doing? What will the world be like in the future?

Find a sturdy box

Of course, before you can assemble your time capsule, you’ll need to find a strong box that will keep everything safe for a long time — preferably one that’s water- and air-tight. If you’ll be burying your capsule, it may help to double up and use multiple boxes to help provide an added layer of protection. Placing photos, letters, and newspaper cuttings in plastic wallets will also help to keep them safe.

Decide what to include

You can include any objects that you think might be interesting to revisit years into the future.

All of the following items are perfect for a time capsule:

Money. A few coins and notes will show future generations how money has changed over time.

A list of prices for everyday items, e.g. a pint of milk. This is a great opportunity to teach slightly older children about how the value of currency changes

Newspaper cuttings.

A few handwritten diary entries describing what an average day in lockdown is like — perfect for getting the kids to practice their writing skills!

A family photograph.

A note or letter to your future selves.

Find a spot to stash or bury it

Finally, you’ll need to find a place to buy or stash your time capsule. Remember, you don’t necessarily need to bury it in the ground if you don’t have access to a suitable location. Instead, you can always stow it in an out-of-the way place like an attic or storage space.

Once you’ve buried or stashed your time capsule, remember to make a note of its location so you don’t lose track of where it is!

 

Let us know how you get on and send any photos of your time-capsule in the making to [email protected]

Cornering youth market

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Dance, theatre, yoga, music and making your own bedroom decorations are among the fun activities for young people at Cornerstone’s Youth Festival.

The week-long extravaganza which runs during half term, 16th to 23rd February begins on Sunday with The Elves and the Shoemakers. Meet Sam who is big on imagination but short on business knowhow until one night, two small green visitors climb in and start stitching, cutting and gluing… Suitable for ages 3 upwards, tickets £9.50, concs £7.50, family £30.

Get active with a series of classes focussing on movement with fun from 18th to 21st starting with a children’s art and yoga class, £15, for school years 1-6 and unleash your inner dancer on Wednesday with beginner’s Latin and ballroom dancing, £25, school years 1-6 – perfect for those with an eye on being a Strictly star in the future.

Thursday and Friday it’s the turn of those in years 7-13 with break dancing for beginners, £15, where you’ll learn the basics and then develop the confidence to explore your own style. Friday sees a physical theatre workshop, £20, in which you’ll learn techniques for creating a narrative through movement and storytelling which will be performed at the end of the session.

Award-winning comedy musicians Bowjangles will be putting on a magical show taking you through myths, legends and folklore through a portal in a cello case – where else? – to find a priceless relic, a magical violin bow known as Excalibow. Suitable for all ages, £14, and may contain a few well-known ABBA hits!

Join Yana on Sunday 23rd as she journeys through a strange land, all alone and far from home, unable to understand anything other children are saying and then she encounters a Yeti… This cast of extraordinary puppets  are out to show friends come in the most unexpected shapes and sizes in Yana and the Yeti, £9.50, concs £7.50.

If craft is your thing there’s also the opportunity to spruce up your bedroom for years 1-6 by making your own bedroom decorations on Saturday 22nd, £25, with collage, paint, printing and mark making.

Cornerstone also offers a range of courses for children and young people including theatre, photography, dance and young reviewers.

More info

For more details about these and the Youth Festival and to book any of the events visit cornerstone-arts.org or call 01235 515144

Chilterns Walking Festival

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Photo – Walkers at the Chilterns Walking Festival, credit: Chilterns Conservation Board

If you want to get out and enjoy the fresh air over the next fortnight how about trying the Chilterns Walking Festival?

Now in its third year the festival, 5th to 20th October, has more walks, more activities, more crafts and more dates, and is set to be bigger and better than ever.

The walks provide opportunities to meet artists, craftspeople, farmers, archaeologists, historians, countryside rangers, food producers and storytellers of the Chilterns, and each walk is guided by an experienced walk leader who will bring their story to life.

Whether you’re interested in sampling local drinks and produce, finding out about the history of the Chilterns heritage, or trying out a new activity or experience with your family, there is something for everyone at the Chilterns Walking Festival.

How about…

Spending quality time with the family?

From Iron Age time travelling and stunning autumnal walks with breath-taking views, to ghostly tales from the riverbank, there are so many to choose from

Exploring and discovering?

The Chilterns is brimming with history and heritage and with so many places to explore it is no surprise there are many walks offering the chance to discover more about our rich heritage and ancient landscapes. Why not take a ride on a heritage steam railway from Princes Risborough to Chinnor, explore and discover Grims Ditch or hear the story of the 1830 machine breakers’ riot

Learning something new?

Whether it’s mastering tree identification, practicing map and compass navigation, or having a go at Nordic walking or a watercolour workshop, there are lots of opportunities to get involved and try something new

Time for a rest?

What better way to end a scenic walk than by sampling some of the fabulous food and drinks by local producers. Why not try a gentle guided walk around Wilstone Reservoir Nature Reserve followed by a distillery tour and gin sampling? Or sample the famous “Bedfordshire clangers” on a ranger-led walk around the beautiful Barton Hills National Nature Reserve and Farm

Joining a storytelling walk?

For those looking to escape the everyday and immerse themselves into something a bit different, why not try one of our storytelling walks such as Ghostly tales from the Riverbank: complete with hooded monks, phantoms & headless horsemen

Improving your health and well-being?

Focused on sharing techniques and tips to increase health and improve general well-being, there are a number of walks from yoga and mindfulness to a visit to Amaravati Buddhist monastery

More details

Details of the more than 80 guided walks, events and activities available in the autumn programme can be found here

Most are free of charge though some require a small fee which is advertised. To assist walk leaders with expected numbers, most events must be pre-booked

30 Days Wild challenge

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Picture credit: Nick Upton

More than 10 million random acts of wildness in month-long challenge

More than 400,000 people carried out in excess of 10 million ‘random acts of wildness’ as part of the 30 Days Wild Challenge in June.

Wildlife enthusiasts were encouraged to do something wild and enjoy nature every day, taking part in the Wildlife Trusts’ initiative which proved to be more popular than ever this year.

As well as the 50,000 households who signed up for their free packs, wall charts, stickers and wildflower seeds, more than 9,000 schools, 1,300 businesses and 570 care homes also took part.

Wildlife Trusts’ head of communications Joanna Richards said: “It’s been an extraordinarily wild month! We’ve loved seeing the creative and inventive activities of people taking part right across the UK – getting up close to bugs, butterflies and birds, rewilding a garden or making a daisy chain.  You don’t need to go far to appreciate wildlife and often the simplest interactions can bring us the most joy.”

Wildlife gardening in homes, care homes and schools was a popular activity, with people creating small ponds, building homes for bugs, sowing wildflowers, noticing the birds and insects that visited and pledging not to mow their lawns, to encourage more variety of wildlife to flourish.

Other Random Acts of Wildness included:

– Waking up early to hear the dawn chorus at its best

– Organising beach cleans and litter picks

– Noticing a rainbow of flowers and trees growing in towns and countryside

– Creating wild works of art from petals, leaves and feathers.

– Care homes residents and carers have enjoyed planting pollinator-friendly blooms, making leaf art and creating wild playlists, with music inspired by nature.

Abingdon events

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Cycling, MG cars, rowing and WWII commemoration all part of an unmissable day in Abingdon

Abingdon is the place to be this Sunday – there’s so much going on you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Start the day on your bike with the Abingdon Cycle Festival which runs from 9am to 4pm with free rides and cycling activities for all ages and abilities.

The event, which offers more than 20 rides for road and mountain bikes and anything else with two wheels, aims to encourage as many as possible to get on their bikes, with rides starting from the Market Square from 9am.

Live music, food and bike displays add to the atmosphere and make for a great family day.

For more on this visit the Freewheeling site

 

If four wheels are more your thing then Abingdon MG car club is holding a rally leaving from Miele at 10am. The classic cars are always a great attraction for watching crowds.

For more details on this see the MG Car Club Abingdon site.

 

From the roads to the river with the Abingdon Spring Head of the River Rowing Festival – more than 360 boats from across the country will race on the Thames watched by spectators at Rye Farm Meadow and along the course past the Marina and along to Culham weir.

There’s a BBQ, local beer, tea and cakes, Morris dancing and much more to enjoy too.

The racing starts around 10am, for more on this visit Abingdon Rowing Centre

 

And if you’re still hungry for more then step back in time with The Thames at War, 1940s Day at Abingdon lock commemorating the water-borne Home Guard during the Second World War, the Upper Thames Patrol.

The day (10am to 4pm) will be full of fun with Home Guard displays, exhibitions, talks, re-enactors, military vehicles and vintage boats, including Dunkirk little ships.

Find out more at the Thames at War website