Kristy Adams
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Ideas to entertain your kids in lockdown, make your own golf course.

Whilst my friends who are two NHS doctors are hard at work every day, I agreed to facetime their daughters (aged 9 and 11) and lead them in multiple creative sessions, to keep them occupied whilst mum and dad are working. I’ve planned the first 5 sessions to last 3.5 hours, and one to last 7.5 hours, creative and fun! This blog will provide you with a list of materials and the planning and ideas. Here is a short film to show how we made a set of 20 flags and a golf course.

 

 

The goal in sessions 1-4 is to create a set of flags that can be setup outside, which can provide hours of making time and also play time, creating fun games with the flags for children aged 4-11.

Session 1: Making flags

We’ll be making 20 handmade flags, drawing numbers on them. Using coloured card or paper (whatever you have at home) or if you don’t have any paper, look in your recycling and use the back of cereal packets. Decorate the flags with a number and with patterns, invite them to draw pictures of what is going on in their life. One child I did these sessions with loves animals, so on one of our flags she found a gerbil in a covid mask in a magazine, cut it out and stuck it onto a flag… Once made, the flags are attached to a stick of approximately 45cm long. These sticks can be purchased online (plant support sticks work perfectly), or use anything you have in the garden. You could even collect sticks whilst you’re out on your daily walk, just remember to choose fairly straight sticks.

Why make boundary flags?

They can be used by the children to create a circle to play in, a safe space. It’s a way of ensuring that even the youngest children know where they can and cannot go – an easier way to keep an eye on them. So once this challenging time is over, you can take these flags into woods, rural places and ask the children to mark their safe space using the flags and not to go beyond the flag markers. In a time of restriction, this activity gives the children an opportunity to decide where they’ll play. Creating the 20 flags alone took a total of 8 hours. We’ll be making a small scale 18 hole golf course (you can choose 9 holes if you prefer) and using the flags you make in this session to mark each hole, start saving yogurt pots/plastic bottles to cut into small cups for the golf holes!

Materials list

  • Card, 20 sheets, pre-cut to make flags size 17cm x 15cm, so one long rectangle of 34cm x 30cm – folded in half.
  • Scissors.
  • Colouring pencils.
  • Colouring felt tip pens.
  • Stamps/ink pad, stickers.
  • Black permanent marker pen (Sharpie).
  • Old magazines/newspapers.
  • Pritt stick.
  • 9 or 18 yogurt pots or equivalent sized pots from your recycling box.

  • One small trowel per child to dig in yogurt pots.
  • 20 straight sticks, approx. 45cm in length, these can be either skinny garden sticks (they normally support new plants) or gather sticks that have fallen from trees while out on your daily exercise walk.
  • Phone or iPad, laptop for FaceTime with someone who can sit remotely with child as they decorate the flags.

  To Do

  • Draw a large number on the left side of the flag, and then the same large number on the right, so both sides of the flag show the number.
  • Draw images on the flag on each side, things that are important or funny or remind you of happy times.
  • Cut out images from old magazines and newspapers, pieces of wrapping paper. Use rubber stamps and an ink pad if you have one, add stickers. Anything goes, the brighter the better.
  • Use a pritt stick to glue one half of the flag inside, insert the stick and fold around the stick.
  • I like to make my flags waterproof so I wrap them in sticky back plastic and cut to size. Make 20 flags in total, all numbered.
  • On the computer, create a score card, numbering each golf hole with space for each player.

Session Plan

8.30am – good morning chat, number flag and colour in number, decide on how to decorate, themes.

9-9.30am – workout on YouTube with Joe Wicks

9.30-10.15am – decorate flags

10.15-10.30am breaktime, drink & snack

10.30am-12 noon – decorating flags

In the following sessions (5 & 6) , these are the instructions to make a golf course:

  • Ask the child/children to make a map of their garden, with details like slopes and things that are important when planning a golf course, interesting places and identify sites that would be good to dig a small hole the size of a yogurt pot. They should consider not hitting any windows/buildings/greenhouse, so ensure they don’t plan to put a hole in the line of sight of any of these.
  • Ask them to check out the Royal North Devon golf course online, https://www.royalnorthdevongolfclub.co.uk
  • This golf course has 18 holes, each hole has a number and a name, ask the children to look up the names and use them as inspiration for naming the holes on their golf course/map.
  • Ask the children to decide if they want a 9-hole or an 18-hole golf course.
  • Now invite them to add the location and names of each hole to their map. Ensure no holes are in the middle of a lawn (flower beds are good for holes, or less precious parts of the garden, suggest they use any left-over drain pipes or the inner tubes from wrapping paper to add to making the golf holes interesting.
  • Check the map, ask them to amend any golf hole locations that could result in a broken window.
  • Invite them to take the map, a trowel and the yogurt pots to dig the holes for the pots. The children I did this activity with had building work in their home, so they had access to lots of spare sections of drain pipe and they used these on a number of holes to add interest. Keep in contact through FaceTime, whilst the construction is taking place.
  • I don’t have any golf clubs so made some out of off cuts of wood, remember to bind the top with some gaffer tape, to protect against splinters.
  • You can make a golf course in your own garden, while the children are making one in theirs. Once the lockdown has ended you can visit each other’s gardens for a game of golf.
  • If you don’t have a garden, you could make a map of a family members garden/grandparent’s garden, decide the number of golf holes, create a plan, collect the sticks, collect the yogurt pots and make the flags. Put everything in a box with a trowel, this can be your ‘make a golf course kit’.

 

Have a great time playing garden golf, create a number of hits expected for each hole and create a score card with a line for each player. Stay safe.

Eating round the world for 20 days in lockdown, day 7 Sweden

If you have shopped and eaten at Ikea, you may be wondering why there is red jelly but no gravy with this recipe for Swedish meatballs, according to my research online a Swedish woman said the traditional way of eating meat balls in Sweden is without gravy, I have combined her recipe with one from BBC Good-Food online. This recipe made too much for 4 people, the left-over meatballs can be frozen or used for lunch the following day. One of my family members toasted a pitta bread and added the left-over meat balls with salad, he said it tasted great! Sweden has provided an educational model of how to connect students with nature and the outdoors through forest school, and in doing so have given opportunities for children to get out of the classroom more often. They’ve taken flatpack design at Ikea to a whole new level, but how many of us have been challenged to work out how to put things together? In the music of Abba, the Swedes have caused us to sing, laugh and dance. Why not play the Mamma Mia movie tonight and enjoy with a Kopparberg cider while you have dinner?

Swedish meatballs, redcurrant or cranberry jelly (for 4 people)

Ingredients

400 g of British beef mince or British lean pork

1 egg beaten

1 onion finely chopped

1 teaspoon of lazy chopped garlic or 1 garlic clove chopped

85g breadcrumbs

Salt and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper and ¼ teaspoon of seasoning or all spice

2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped parsley

125ml of milk

Oil and butter

4 x Potatoes

Jar of redcurrant jelly with port (or Lingonberry jelly if you can find it in the supermarket)

Butter/milk for mashing potatoes

Green beans

Swedish Cider

Method

  1. Mix the breadcrumbs with milk, egg, garlic, salt, pepper and all spice: leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  2. Add onion, meat and parsley, mix well and create golf size balls.
  3. Add oil and butter to a saucepan, heat until medium hot. Add meatballs in batches to cook.
  4. Boil potatoes, mash with milk and butter, salt & pepper.

Serve meatballs with redcurrant jelly (sadly not lingonberry jelly!) mash, green beans and Swedish cider, Kopparberg.

Eating round the world for 20 days in lockdown, day 5 Austria

Watching the sun rise at 6am and transform the sky into a shimmer of pink and mauve. A view of snow-covered peaks in the winter, and sheltered inside a mountain cabin with a wool blanket and a warm red wine with cinnamon. Friends from Norway would describe this cosy scene as hygge. Later venturing outside with two planks of wood and hurtling down a 45-degree slope, hoping not to break anything before I reach the bottom of the slope. This is the country of opera, Mozart and a haven for culture vultures. This is a simple and easy meal from Austria.

 

Weiner Schnitzel for 4 people

Ingredients

Either buy flat chicken in breadcrumbs or make your own wiener schnitzel with:

4 x veal cutlets or chicken or pork pound flat with a rolling pin (cover meat with cling film.

4 tablespoons of plain flour

150g of breadcrumbs

Cooking oil

2 eggs

French fries

Redcurrant jelly, buy ready made

Salt

White ¼ and red cabbage ¼, cut into bit size pieces

 

Method

  1. Once the meat is flattened with the rolling pin, roll in flour, dip in egg and roll in breadcrumbs and season. Heat oil in a frying pan until hot and place cutlet in the oil, keep turning so it doesn’t burn.
  2. Oven cook french fries according to the instructions on the packet.
  3. Chop and boil cabbage for a few minutes, season.
  4. Serve with redcurrant jelly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating round the world for 20 days in lockdown, day 4 Italy

 

‘Ciao Bella’, we’ve arrived in Italia, terrific country with passionate people, stylish fashion, wonderful soft light for painting (visit Florence) and colourful food. I’ve backpacked around Italy and lived next door to Italian’s for many years, to know them is to love them. One of my Italian neighbours had an unusual way of parking his car, you know who you are Toni. He would parallel park by hitting the car in front, then hit the car behind, eventually finding a mid-point to bring the car to a standstill. I never parked near his house after watching his daily ritual. His wife made the most delicious tiramisu, and my other neighbour Angela made the best lasagne in the world.

 

Creamy pasta carbonara

Ingredients

4 smoked rashers of bacon

2 teaspoons of chopped lazy garlic

Low calorie cooking spray

200g dried tagliatelle or fresh pasta if you can find it

100g frozen peas

150g button mushrooms halved

2 slender leeks thinly sliced

2 large eggs beaten

50g parmesan cheese, finely grated

50ml Elmlea, double cream alternative

Salt and pepper

 

Method

  • Spray frying pan with cooking spray, add garlic, bacon, leeks and mushrooms, cook for 4 minutes.
  • Cook pasta in microwave according to packet instructions, add peas for last 2 minutes, drain. Add pasta to frying pan.
  • Beat the 2 eggs, cheese and Elmlea in a bowl, pour over contents of saucepan to warm through on low heat. Add salt and pepper.
  • Serve with garlic bread and salad.

I wasn’t able to buy tagliatelle or bacon, or mushrooms, or leeks, or eggs or parmesan cheese! So instead I combined chunks of chicken (3 chicken breasts), 1 chopped onion, 3 dessertspoons of pesto, 2 teaspoons of lazy garlic, cooked in a frying pan with low calorie spray, added half a broccoli broken into florets, sliced lengths of yellow pepper, a can of sweetcorn. Cooked the dry pasta in the microwave and drained, added the pasta to the pan and poured 1/3 tub of Elmlea over it, with black pepper and salt. Served with garlic bread and salad of a handful of fresh spinach, 3 leaves of iceberg lettuce shredded, 2 tomatoes cut into quarters, 2 spring onions and sliced cucumber. Served with a glass of Italian red wine, a meal fit for a king.

Eating round the world for 20 days in lockdown #1 England – Fish & Chips

We start our round the world food journey tonight in England. But if you live in another country, start from where you live. We could choose beef, roast potatoes with Yorkshire puddings, or the country’s most popular food: curry. Instead, we’re going for the easy to cook option: fish and chips. Now to focus on the job in hand: to eat our way round the world in 20 days.

Fish and chips with mushy peas

Ingredients

4 cod in breadcrumbs, frozen department of supermarket

4 large potatoes, chopped into chip sized lengths

Low calorie cooking spray

2 cloves of garlic

½ large onion chopped

250g frozen peas

100ml chicken stock

Method

  1. Buy cod in breadcrumbs from the frozen department of the supermarket and cook according to instructions. If you are near a fishmonger you can buy haddock and brush with egg and roll in homemade breadcrumbs, spray with low calorie cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes.
  2. Chop 4 large potatoes into chip sized lengths. Place in a microwave bowl, add a little water and microwave on full power for 7 minutes. Remove the chips from the bowl and dry off any moisture on kitchen paper. Spray baking tray with Fry light and place chips on tray, spray chips with Fry light. Bake at 200 degrees for a fan oven, (220 degrees for other ovens) for 30 minutes. Turning after 15 minutes. Or for the really easy option, order takeaway fish and chips!                       
  3. Mushy peas recipe – Melt 15g butter into a saucepan, add 2 crushed garlic cloves or use lazy garlic (2 teaspoonfuls), half a large onion chopped, place into a saucepan with Fry light, cook lightly until soft. Place 250g of frozen peas and onion and garlic with 100ml of chicken stock into a blender or hand blend in bowl, blend until the peas are mushy. Or for a quicker option, just cook frozen peas.

For fun whilst you’re eating dinner – discuss who are England’s greatest artists, scientists, business people, inventors. What are the weirdest phrases English people use?

Later: 

We failed to eat England’s best experience of all, afternoon tea, a shocking omission and I apologise. We missed out on a chance to have tea with milk, cucumber sandwiches with the crusts removed, homemade cake, scones, jam and cream, and also to dress for the occasion. I may have to come back to my home country to correct this omission!