The Easter holidays are now upon us, and you may be on the lookout for some inspiration for both indoor and outdoor activities to keep your children entertained!
How about a spot of baking? These cute hedgehog rolls are the perfect make for smaller hands!
500g pack brown bread mix
plain flour, for dusting
6 flaked almonds
Make the bread mixture with the butter following pack instructions. It’s easiest to use a stand mixer but not difficult to do by hand. Leave the dough to rest for 5 mins, then knead for 5 mins.
Cut the dough into six pieces. Dust the surface with a little flour and shape each piece into a ball by rolling it between your hand. Now make it hedgehog-shaped by pulling one side out a little and squeezing it gently into a snout. Be quite firm or it will bounce back.
Put the hedgehogs on a baking sheet, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for 1 hr.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Using kitchen scissors (supervise younger children), carefully snip into the dough to make the spikes on the backs of the hedgehogs. Press raisins in for the eyes and push a flaked almond into the end of each snout.
Bake for 15 mins or until the rolls are risen and golden. Will keep for two days in an airtight container.
Build a Bug Hotel
Well maybe it’s not quite a hotel but think of it as the kind of place a bug might take a rest.
Things to bear in mind: Amphibians like stones, bricks and old roof tiles and clay drainage pipes.
Solitary bees will be grateful for bundles of garden cane in the sunshine.
Ladybirds will enjoy piles of dry twigs and leaves later in the year when they come to hibernate.
Cut off the top and bottom of a plastic bottle, then cut the remaining tube into two.
Collect as many of the following as you can: fir cones, dry leaves, bits of bark, twigs, dead wood, straw, hay, cardboard scraps.
Arrange these materials by group, so that all the sticks are together, all the leaves, and so on.
Stuff each plastic bottle ‘tube’ firmly, layering up different shapes and textures until it is so tightly packed that none of the contents will slip out.
Leave your hotel somewhere quiet and sheltered outside.
While humans sleep, many insects are on the move, flying through the night air or crawling over soil. Make a pitfall trap by digging a hole and burying a pot to catch some of these nocturnal creepy-crawlies. Just be sure to let them go again! Try using cheese, fruit or meat as bait to entice the critters in.
Before you let your bugs go, take a look through a magnifying glass and if you have this month’s Willow & Wild Box you will be able to record your bugs on your bug detective sheet.