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How to do Union Jack face paint

TweetUnion Jack face paint: it’s not just for football fans. Whatever else the Jubilee has brought us – hagiographies of the Queen’s dress sense, forced street parties – it has produced an eruption of British flags and bunting on an unprecedented level, and that includes my daughter’s face. Yesterday, the school Jubilee day necessitated last-minute, early morning face painting. To the...

The truth about teaching children to knit

TweetBecause our parents lived through our own childhoods and then endured those years when we thought they didn’t know anything, the grandparent years must be a rich time. It’s when they can spoil your kids, reverse your decisions whenever your bring your brood to their house, and hand over a big bag of sweeties just as you’re getting in the car to spend a glorious Sunday afternoon on the M4 to...

How do paint-your-own-pottery stores survive?

TweetThere are plenty of unanswerable questions in parenthood – the root causes of colic, how to stave off the first drink til after 7pm – but the latest one dogging me is: how do those paint-your-own-pottery stores survive? I know they’re popular. My daughter has been to a party at one and loves to go several times a year. We have a stack of plates decorated with everything from her tiny baby...

Clash of the Christmas traditions

Tweet For the first time in years I’m going to be celebrating Christmas in my hometown, the place I spent the first 18 years of life and frankly couldn’t wait to leave after graduating high school. Now I’m absurdly excited about having Christmas there with my English family and also seeing my siblings and their families as well. But the other day at lunch I heard the first indications it might not...

A magical night of Christmas storytelling in Henley

TweetAvril Lethbridge was disenchanted with Christmas seasons animated by the latest Nintendo or Apple accessory. As a result, this granny decided to do something about it. “I dreamt up this very silly idea of a walk around trees, which are lit, and the trees tell you their stories.” A simple idea: to create a holiday experience connected to nature and storytelling rather than frenetic stores and shopping. And...

How to make Halloween sensory boxes

TweetSince I am The American in our circle of friends, certain things are expected of me. I must talk loudly and slap everyone on the back. I’m expected to start wars then appear on aircraft carriers declaring them won. It’s taken for granted I will ruin the world economy. But in addition to all that, it’s a given that I have to kick ass at Halloween. After all, Halloween is one of America’s...

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