Here are the children’s activities featured in the Summer in Queen Edith’s booklet, with links to resources.
These are loosely grouped by age, but pick and mix whatever will work for you and your family! Take care with small objects and sharp edges, including the foil.
Make a wooden spoon person (or use any other kitchen tool). You can decorate it with pens, paint, nail varnish, pipecleaners, fabric, wool, moss – whatever you have lying around. Maybe you want to make it look like you, or someone in your family, or a friend, or it could be a completely made up character.
When it’s finished, you can put it in your window or in front of your house to wave to people walking by. Or you could agree with your friends to put your spoon people together and create a whole Queen Edith’s Spoonville community. These already exist some in other English towns, in Scotland, even Australia. You can read about them on the internet at spoonvilleinternational.com
How about creating a zoo of animals modelled from tin foil? The easiest one to start with is a duck. Roll a piece of foil around your finger with the open seam up. Pinch together the end by your fingernail to start making the duck’s head. Then carefully remove the foil roll from your finger and pinch the other end to make an upturned duck’s tail. Gently flatten the bottom a bit and then it will float on the water.
Now you can start to experiment with making different animals. You can tear into the foil to make 6 strips which you can roll to make four legs, a head and a tail. You can fold, bend and press together pieces of foil to make more complicated shapes, like antlers for a deer or to put your animal in a dramatic pose.
The bigger the piece of foil you start with, the bigger the animal you can make. You can even cover your foil animal in papier maché, let it dry and then paint it. There are lots of YouTube videos to give you more ideas.
How about… making a film?
Cambridge Junction is inviting entries for its Short Film Festival. Once you’ve made your film, you can upload it to your own social media, using the hashtag #BTLP and tag @CambJunction. They may select it to share via their official channels, with new content posted fortnightly on a Thursday.
If you do not wish to share your film via social media but would still like to enter your film for the festival, send it to email@example.com
The deadline to submit a film is 6pm on Monday 31st August.
Collect leaves of different colours and put them in a line from the lightest to the darkest. Or see if you can collect leaves in six different shades of green.
Use a bunch of leaves tied to a stick as a paint brush and see what patterns you can make. Do you get different patterns if you use different types of leaves?
Make a yarn tree or a tree sculpture using a brown paper bag. To make a yarn tree, cut out ‘tree trunk’ and ‘tree top’ shapes from thick cardboard. Use wool to wind round the shapes, taping both ends on the back. Then tape the two shapes together. Now you can decorate with pompom fruit or tissue paper flowers.
To make a tree sculpture, cut 2cm wide strips from the open end to about half-way down the bag. Open the bag and stand it up. Twist the bottom half of the bag into the tree trunk. Then twist/bend/wrinkle the strips so they poke out in all directions like branches. Using glue, stick coloured paper or real leaves to your tree sculpture.
Keep a list this week of everything you eat/drink/use which originally came from a tree or from the fruit of a tree. How many items can you find? Find out where each type of tree grows. What has travelled the least distance? What’s travelled the furthest?
Watch the bats at dawn or dusk in Nightingale Park. There are (at least) three species there:
- Common pipistrelle
Can you see where they are roosting? The Bat Conservation Trust runs an annual survey.
You might also spot other nocturnal animals.
How many tree species can you recognise? You can identify them by using the height/shape of the tree plus its leaves, bark, flowers and the fruit. Set yourself a target of at least 10!
There’s a helpful guide to UK species on the Woodland Trust website with a link to their identification app.
Make a trail with leaves and sticks or flour for someone else to follow.
Create a barefoot trail. You have 7500 nerve endings in your feet so give them some stimulation! You could try:
- Different textures (rough bark chips, shiny foil, hard pebbles, soft rug, squishy bubble wrap, squelchy cooked pasta). You could even use Lego pieces if you’re feeling really mean!
- Different temperatures (sunny paving stones, cold coins from the freezer)
- Wet (water, shaving foam) and dry (sand, dried beans).
You could also do the walk blindfolded and add in extra stops to find out how accurate your senses of smell, taste and hearing are too.
Sometimes we get to know a place so well, because we live in it or travel through it every day, that we can literally see its map in our mind. But everyone’s version of that map will be slightly different. Draw a map of your own local area and put on it the areas of most interest to you. Then ask your friends and family to do the same thing and compare the results.
You might also like to look at some examples of local maps which people from across the world have put together to illustrate their neighbourhoods during lockdown. They’ve used all sorts of different methods including sketches, collages and pizza!
What 3 Words is a project/web site/phone app “addressing the world”. Every 3m x 3m square on Earth is addressed by using just three words which will never change. They are completely random combinations, for example, the café on Wulfstan Way is brush.digs.oven and the post box next to Fendon Road roundabout is liver.crowned.former
If you go to what3words.com or download the what3words app, you can track a walk which you’ve done or use the addresses to make a route with checkpoints or questions for someone else. What kind of tree would they be underneath at adding.notice.void? What kind of building is at super.panels.bench? It’s important to type the address correctly or you could send people somewhere quite different – super.panel.benches is in New Mexico, USA!
Make floating chalk prints – shave different colour chalk sticks into a bowl of water, rest paper on top, remove and dry.
Arrange different coloured Skittles sweets on a white plate, pour on a small amount of water – the colours will start to travel very quickly. Watch to see how they move about the plate and what happens when they meet up with other colours. Can you ‘paint’ a picture with this technique?
Make these rainbow bubble snakes using a plastic bottle, an old sock and some bubble mixture.
Create a frozen dinosaur dig by freezing toy dinos (or any other small waterproof treasures) into a large plastic container. You can build it up with layers over time. Then excavate them using salt water and age-appropriate digging tools.
Make ‘water shadows’ using a hosepipe to spray someone against the wall.
Build a water wall using recycled plastic pots/bottle/tubes fixed with cable ties, stables or string to a vertical surface. See how you can get the water to flow from one to another – collect in a bucket at the bottom and go again
Make a water balloon pinata – hang up some filled water balloons with strings of varying lengths. Take turns swinging at the balloons – everyone who isn’t hitting is advised to stand well back!
Here are other two projects you can make to cool you down:
We hope everyone is adopting reusable water bottles, but if you happen to have plastic bottles waiting to be recycled, they can be turned into works of art. You can start simply by making these wind spirals…
Finally, if you are feeling really adventurous (and have a lot of water bottles), you can try making this water bottle raft. Bon voyage!
Recreate an old picture – it could be of your parents or grandparents when they were little, or one you’ve seen on a website.
Talk to older relatives or neighbours about their memories of how the area has changed.
Design a ‘village’ sign for Queen Edith’s like this one which is at the entry to Cherry Hinton at the Robin Hood junction. What could you put on it that is special to Queen Edith’s? Where would you want to put it where people could see it?
Visit the Capturing Cambridge website and see if you can find your house or another one you know well. How has it changed inside and out since it was first built? You can find some visual clues by watching this video.
The oldest building in our area is Cherry Hinton Hall which was built in 1839. See if you can sort these other distinctive buildings in order of being built. What clues did you use? Why were they built where they were?
- Rock Road Library, Rock Road
- St James’s Church, Wulfstan Way
- St John the Evangelist Church, Hills Road
- Queen Edith pub, Wulfstan Way
- The Perse School, Hills Road
- Addenbrooke’s Hospital
- Sun House, 23 Queen Edith’s Way
See how the area has changed by playing with historical and current maps side by side.
Write one or more diary entries for a child your age living through the summer holidays 100 years ago, 50 years ago and 20 years ago. What would be different? What would be the same? Think about how you would travel, how you would spend your time, what the latest technology would be.
The future of Queen Edith’s is waiting to be created. Draw a picture, make an advertisement, write a story, create a map showing what you think that future will
– or should – be like. We’d love to see your ideas. Email anything to Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org