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Merlins Moments

Merlins Moments

Good Morning Merlins


Apricot Honey Rock Cakes

Rock Cakes

This recipe doesn’t taste overly sweet because it uses honey and apricots in place of some sugar. You can also make it healthy by using half and half wholemeal flour to plain flour, but you can make it using all plain flour too. Although these are ‘healthy’, they are still a lovely lunchbox or afternoon tea treat!

Ingredients

150g wholemeal plain flour

150g plain flour (or just use 300g plain flour)

3 tsp baking powder

55g caster sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

90g cold butter

80g dried apricots chopped finely

2 tbsp raisins or sultanas

1 egg

2 tbsp honey

80ml milk

 

Method

 

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C or Gas Mark 6. Line two baking trays.

2. Rub the butter, flour(s) and baking powder together.

3. Stir in the sugar and dried fruit with a knife.

4. Mix the honey with the egg and stir in to the mixture.

5. Add in the milk and stir together well.

6. Dollop tablespoons of the mixture onto the trays. You should get between 13-15 dollops.

7. Put them in the oven for 15 minutes, until the tops are golden and the bottom of each cake is dry.

8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool down.

 

Recipe adapted from womensweeklyfood.com.au


Nature Ice Exploration

Summer is a time for lots of lovely smells, colours and feelings.

In this activity you will be exploring summer smells and cold ice. If you do this on a hot day, the contrast between hot and cold will be really stimulating.

What you need

Picked flowers and grasses – I’ve used honeysuckle, lavender and some grass in seed.

Herbs- I’ve used basil and  rosemary

Ice cube tray

Water

 

1. Explore all the flowers, herbs and grass. Crush them, rub them against the skin, tickle with them.

Do they smell nice or nasty?

Are they soft or spikey?

Are they colourful or just green.

2. Put a small amount of the flowers, grass and herbs into each part of the ice cube tray.

3. Fill up with water and freeze overnight.

4. Pop each ice cube in turn out into a tray or a hand. How quickly does it melt? What can you see hidden inside? Does it still look, feel or smell the same?


30 Days Wild

Activity: 30 Days Wild

Short description: Engage with nature by performing a random act of wildness every day for a month

Teacher: Shelley Smith

Suitable for: All (but chosen with Merlins’ students in mind)

 

This list of possible activities link with The Wildlife Trust’s ‘30 Days Wild’.

For more information see their website at https://wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild

You can download their app for more ideas of random acts of wildness, some of which are suitable for the whole family, adults and children.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Sit or lie on the grass and look up at the sky/ trees. Listen to the natural sounds around you.
  2. Meditate/be still outdoors for a set number of minutes (or seconds!)
  3. Take a tour of your garden (or go out for a walk) at different times of day.
  4. Record and listen to birdsong on your phones and switches.
  5. Accessorize an outfit, hat or hairstyle using wild flowers such as daisies, dandelions and grasses.
  6. Do some tai chi exercises or yoga outdoors.
  7. Make something to go in a picnic that has a lovely natural ingredient such as honey.
  8. Explore outdoor things such as herbs, flowers and cut grass, using the sense of smell.
  9. Put out a bowl of water for the birds and wildlife visiting your garden.
  10. Go out in the rain and catch the raindrops.
  11. Stay up late to watch the sunset.
  12. If you can get out to feed the ducks, give them some peas to eat (not bread).
  13. Hug a favourite tree.
  14. Make a cuppa using mint leaves, or dandelion roots and leaves.

 

There are lots more things you can do – I'm sure some of you will have additional inventive ideas! So take the challenge and go wild!!

30 Days Wild (Part 2)

Activity: 30 Days Wild (Part 2)

Short description: Engage with nature by performing a random act of wildness every day for a month

Teacher: Shelley Smith

Suitable for: All (but chosen with Merlins’ students in mind)

 

This list of possible activities link with The Wildlife Trust’s ‘30 Days Wild’.

For more information see their website at https://wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild

You can download their app for ideas of random acts of wildness, some of which are suitable for the whole family, adults and children.

Here are some more ideas to keep you involved:

  1. Help with watering the garden on a dry day, using a watering can or hosepipe.
  2. Pick up litter in your street or when out on a walk (best to use a litter picker or wear gloves and wash your hands really well afterwards).
  3. Listen to some nature inspired music e.g ‘The Flight of the Bumblebee’ or check out ‘The Hour of the Blackbird’ by Ninebarrows at https://youtu.be/id9cqLRjnZ0
  4. Do some painting using grasses as brushes. Do a new tai chi exercise (Gathering the Flowers).
  5. Make something different to go in a picnic that uses herbs e.g. tzatziki dip
  6. Lift up a log and look (or even feel) underneath to find creepy crawlies.
  7. Watch the Chichester peregrines on their webcam before they fly away. https://www.carnyx.tv/LiveCameras/WildlifeCameras/Chichester.aspx
  8. Dance in a downpour - get out in the rain and move it!
  9. Tickle your toes with the wild: squelch/squeeze your toes in grass, sand, mud...
  10. Plants some seeds – you could use the seeds from inside a tomato or pepper and see if they grow.
  11. Collect and explore a variety of textured objects: fluffy or feathery; hard or shiny; spikey or knobbly. Use them for a DIY tacpac with some favourite music.
  12. Try out a wild face/handcream made from crushed mint leaves and honey.
  13. Make a mobile from twigs, leaves, string and paper butterflies.
  14. Go for a walk (or a drive in the car) near to the seaside or a river.

 

Ask your family to use their imagination to come up with more ideas. Come on everyone - take the challenge and go wild!!


DIY bird food

Activity: DIY bird food

Short description: Making breadcrumbs to use as bird food

Teacher: Shelley Smith

Suitable for: Merlin’s students (could also be used with younger pupils)

This activity can be linked with a Merlin’s Moment video but can be used separately and/or repeated if your child enjoys it..

Create some breadcrumbs by using a blender or food processor. Break bread up into pieces (obviously eating it might be an option for some).  Emphasis on ‘ready’ steady, go’ before pressing the switch/button. Take the breadcrumbs outside & sprinkle out on the ground for the birds or put into a bird feeder. Wait, listen and watch to see if any birds come to feed – if you have starlings it might be noisy.  Take photos or video of the birds.

This would link in with Mental Health Awareness Week and the associated concept of kindness. Looking after the birds and getting in touch with the natural world can help us all!

Shelley's Bird Food


Merlin Moment - Wildlife Hunt


 

 

Making a Bug Shaker

Making a Bug Shaker (.pdf file)


Merlin Moments - Bubble Snake



Merlin Moments - Jelly Paints

Merlin Moments - Shaving Foam Cars


How to Make a Sound Story (.pdf file)

Merlins Sound Song Example from Liz (.mp3 fle)

Merlins Sound Song


What if the Hokey Cokey is What's it's all about


Merlin Moment - Noisy T Shirt making


Wildlife Tai Chi - Flying Fox


Merlins Tai Chi - The Coffee Plunger


Merlins Tai Chi - Four Directional Breathing 


Tai Chi - Gathering the Flowers


Merlins Tai Chi Happy Days


Merlins Bird Songs


Merlins Moments - Getting Ready for Summer Gardening


The Easiest Banana ‘Ice Cream'

The Easiest Banana ‘Ice Cream’ (.pdf file)


Merlin Moment Solo Sports Day

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