Plant a sunflower
If you want a row or two of towering sunflowers in your garden come the end of summer, you have to plan in advance. Fill a flowerpot with compost soil and sow two or three seeds about 1cm deep. Keep the pots in a sunny spot on a windowsill and water regularly. When the seedlings have grown and the weather is warmer, plant them outside.
Give a worm a home
Making a wormery from scratch is easy and a great way to observe the work of worms first-hand. First, find a container – a kitchen bin is good – and drill holes in the bottom and lid. Line the bottom with fine nylon mesh on the inside to stop worms escaping, then fill the bin with a mixture of top soil, shredded cardboard, grass, leaves and straw. Now buy some worms from a garden centre and welcome them to their new home. Feed the worms kitchen scraps such as vegetable peelings and egg shell. The bottom of the wormery will now fill with nourishing compost which you can remove for your garden.
Pack a basket with classic picnic fare and head off to your local beauty spot for the season’s first outdoor meal. Finding the perfect spot for your picnic depends on whether you like people watching or prefer to be far from the maddening crowd. And, don’t forget the joy of a simple ice-cream.
Make spring bonnets
Search local charity shops or flea markets for old hats to decorate. Make tissue paper flowers, ribbon from long strips or crêpe paper and birds out of cardboard then pile everything on, securing with plastic covered wire – the madder the better!
Tiptoe through bluebells
It is lovely to stroll in the woods and admire the magical carpets of flowers. To locate the best bluebell walks this year, check out the National Trust or the Tree Council’s websites.
Indulge In cream tea
The ceremony of pouring tea or hot chocolate and tackling a pile of freshly baked scones with lashings of cream and a pot of strawberry jam, is a treat for children of all ages.
Bake hot cross buns
Sift 450g of flour with a pinch of salt and two teaspoons of mixed spice, then mix with one sachet of dried yeast, 125g of dried fruit and 110g caster sugar. In a separate saucepan, melt 50g butter and gently warm 250ml milk, whisk in an egg and add to the flour mixture. Mix to form a dough and knead for 10 minutes. Leave to rise in a warm place for one hour, knead again and divide into 12 buns. Leave on a lightly greased baking tray to rise for a further 45 minutes. Blend one tablespoon of flour with half that amount of water to make an elastic dough, then score crosses in the buns and drizzle the new dough into the indents. Bake at 400F/200C/Gas 6 for 20 minutes. Brush with warm golden syrup.
The custom of the annual spring clean has virtually died out, but for centuries this was the time of year reserved for cleaning the house from top to bottom. Believe it or not, small children rather like to join in with simple projects like polishing wood or cleaning windows – just don’t let them loose with spray polish or any other chemically-packed cleaning product.
Visit famous authors’ haunts
Share your favourite childhood stories by visiting the places that inspired the authors. Try visiting the Hampshire downs, the inspiration for Watership Down, or Haworth inYorkshire known for its association with the Brontë sisters.
Fly a kite
A blustery day is the perfect time to grab a kite and head out. To get you off to a flying start, there are kite-flying festivals in Dorset, East Yorkshire, Wiltshire, Lancashire andSuffolk. To find out more visit The Kite Society.