First of all, everyone at Step Outside would like to wish all of you who are Stepping Inside a very Happy Easter!
Today’s Step Inside idea is to use that shiny,
lovely foil from your Easter egg or eggs to make
treasures! In Step Outside’s ‘The London Treasure Trail’,
Baby Tembo visits the jewellery centre of London,
Hatton Garden, and looks at the beautiful gems there,
especially the giant amethyst geode outside
one of the jewellers. Here is a picture of him beside it.
The foil that covers Easter Eggs comes in beautiful, rich colours, rather like jewels. There is a lot of purple foil about, like Tembo’s amethyst geode! But there are plenty of other vibrant colours too.
You can make jewellery by wrapping small objects, maybe dried peas or beans, tiny pebbles or pieces of pasta in foil, then sticking them to a cardboard ring, or crown. What jewels can you make? Here is a colour guide:
Red – ruby
Blue – sapphire
Green – emerald
Diamond – silver
Amber – orange
Topaz – yellow
There are jewels of almost every colour, so whatever colour your foil is, it will be like a jewel. We would love to see photos of your finished crowns or jewellery. Please send them to us at [email protected] , post them to our Facebook page (Step Outside Guides) or tweet them to us @StepOutsideLDN
To make a crown:
Draw a zigzag lengthways along a piece of paper or cardboard.
Cut along the zigzag, then join two ends together to make a long strip. Fit it to your head and make a mark where you will join them to make a crown. It is easier to decorate first, then join the crown up!
When we got our Step Outside Guides ready for you all to explore London this spring and summer, we had no idea that you wouldn’t be able to go to London. Or that schools would be closed. Or that we would all have to stay indoors. No-one did!
But that doesn’t mean we have to stop exploring. With the help of our lovely animal friends, we plan to bring you all sorts of ideas to do at home. Some are easy-peasy, and others are a bit more complicated. They may be a puzzle or a project. They may involve drawing, cooking, writing, making – as you know, here at Step Outside we love to mix things up and do a bit of everything. We’ll post each new idea here.
We hope you’ll want to try some of the ideas. We'd love to hear what you get up to.Let us know at [email protected] or on Twitter @StepOutsideLDN.
• If photos are sent in, this is taken as your permission for the photos or videos to be included in our Gallery.
Octavius, our friendly octopus who is you companion in Down by the Thames loves playing music. You may remember him playing his one man band on Hungerford Bridge!
Today is your chance to make a musical instrument or two, and join in with him.
Stretch different thicknesses and lengths of rubber bands across a box with no lid, and strum away. See if you can change the notes. Tighter and thinner bands will give higher notes, loose and thick bands will strum out the bass.
You could simply whack a biscuit tin or saucepan with a wooden spoon, (it’s best to ask a parent or carer first!)
This may not be very tuneful, but it is fun! Blow a tight-lipped raspberry down the funnel of a watering can or a food funnel from the kitchen, and see what sort of noise you can get out of it. Adjusting your lips can make different notes – try It and see! If you can’t make the raspberry work, just put your lips round the thin end and ‘ooo’ a tune – it will sound different from your normal voice.
Now put on some of your favourite music and join in!
Have you ever drawn a route map, showing someone how to get from one place to another? They can be fun to think about and draw, as our baby elephant Tembo shows in his book, The London Treasure Trail.
Today we can make our own route map!
First of all, think of somewhere you often go when we can be out and about – your school, your friend’s house, a shop nearby – anywhere that you walk to. Now on a clean piece of paper, big as you like, see if you can draw a map showing how to get there. You’ll have to think hard, because you can’t go and check at the moment!
Which way do you turn when you leave your home? Left or right?
Do you have to cross any roads?
Are there traffic lights, or a zebra crossing you can add in? Or a bus stop? Or a shop? Or an interesting front garden? Or a cat you stroke whenever you pass ?
The more detail you can include, the more interesting and fun your map will be.
Write the names of the roads, and the number of your house or flat, and label your home – and your destination!
Put a big title at the top so everyone knows what the map shows. If it shows the way to your friend’s (or your auntie’s, or your granny’)s house, you could take a photo and send it to them!
If you want to send us a photo, we’d be delighted to see it at [email protected]
and we’ll put it in the gallery!
Baby Tembo's own map
We’ve heard a lot about the shortage of pasta, but did you know you can make it yourself? It’s not difficult, and it is fun! Octavius loves making it, but he does get in a muddle!
Here’s how to make delicious, fresh tagliatelle.
For 4 people you will need:
200g flour. (Special pasta flour is best, strong bread flour is next best, normal plain flour will be fine).
A rolling pin
A table or surface that is big enough to roll the pasta
A large pan of water
A colander or sieve
Wash your hands
Using the knife and bowl, mix the 200g flour and eggs together carefully to make a rough dough. You may need to add a teeny tiny spoon of cold water if the dough is too floury, or a bit of extra flour if it is sticky.
Sprinkle a little flour on the table and put the dough on top, then knead it. To knead, push the dough onto the table with the heel of your hand (the part nearest your wrist) Fold in half. Do it again, and keep folding and pushing that until the dough is smooth.
Sprinkle a little flour on the dough and on the table if the dough is sticking at all. Use the rolling pin, roll the dough as thin as it can be. (You may have to do this in two or more goes, depending on space.) Make sure the dough stays slightly floury on the outside so it doesn’t stick to the table or the rolling pin.
You should now have a big, thin layer of dough on the table. Carefully roll it up like a l-o-n-g swiss roll. Using the knife, cut thin slices of roll, no more than a centimetre apart. You will have a row of pasta slices. Pick them up, shake them out and da-daaaa – tagliatelle!
Spread the tagliatelle on the table to dry for at least half an hour. (This will help it not to stick when cooking). Or you can hang it on a pole, perhaps between two chair backs likie the photo - you don't have to hold it!
When it’s time to cook
You may need an adult to help with this part. Fill a large pan 2/3 full with water and when it is boiling, carefully put the tagliatelle in, add a shake of salt and the teeniest splosh of cooking oil. IMPORTANT: fresh pasta only takes about two minutes to cook!
Drain in a sieve or colander and serve with whatever you like to have pasta with.
We bet this will be the best pasta you’ve ever tasted! Send us a picture!
The finished product
on a (clean!) broom handle pole
When we are allowed to Step Outside, we sometimes take our books to book fairs. We like to offer fun things to do at our stand, and one of the favourites is a ‘Design a Skyscraper’ competition. We're not running a competition here, but we'd love to make a gallery on our website of any designs that are sent in.
The London skyline has all sorts of tall buildings and structures, and a lot of the new ones are quite distinctive, and they have their own nicknames.If you have been exploring with any of theStep Outside Guide books you will probably have visited one or two of them. In ‘London’s Splendid Square Mile’, Cam & Bert take us past the Walkie Talkie and the Cheese Grater, and in ‘Christmas in London’ Jennie Wren flies around the Gherkin, and stops at the Scalpel. Then there’s The Shard, and the good old BT Tower – there are all sorts of names and shapes.
Here is your chance to design your own Skyscraper, and to give it a name! Have a think about what will be inside. You could have a zoo inside, or a huge playground – whatever you like! . Perhaps it will be for homes, in which case you may want to put balconies on it. Will it have a roof garden? What are the lifts like? The Lloyd’s building in London has glass lifts on the outside of the building, and some of them have an emergency police light on top!!
We would absolutely love to see your designs, and if you send them to [email protected], we’ll put them in our gallery. You can draw or paint, or make a model out of Lego, cardboard boxes, wooden blocks – whatever you like to build with.
We hope you have fun, and we look forward to seeing the results!
Bert thinking about
The Cheese Grater
The Shard, vanishing into the sky
The Gherkin, towering behind an old London church
The Walkie Talkie
Here’s William the South Bank Lion.
In our book The London Lion Hunt, he loves introducing us to
his lion friends around London.
Now he ‘s written a quiz to see what we know about lions
all around the world. Here it is!
I wonder how you will get on! Answers at the bottom of the page:
William's Wonderful Lion Quiz
1.When they are in the wild how long do lions rest or sleep)
a) Around 5 hours a day
b) Around 10 hours a day
c) Around 20 hours a day
2.Lions can run really fast, but only in short bursts. They fastest they can go is about
a) 48kilometres per hour (30 miles per hour)
b) 81 kilometres per hour (50 miles per hour)
c) 113 Kilometres per hour (70 miles per hour)
3.When a lion roars the noise can be heard from a long way away. How far?
a) 8 kilometres (5 miles)
b) 4 kilometres (2.5 miles)
c) 1.7 kilometres (1 mile)
4. Most lions found in the wild live in southern and eastern parts of:
6. When lions breed with tigers and have offspring, these are known as:
a) tions and lagers
b) ligers and tigons
c) roarers and growlers
7. Which are the best hunters:
a) the male lions
b) the females (lionesses)
c) they are both equally good at hunting
8. You can tell a lion’s age by:
a) By how big his paws are. The larger the paws the older the lion.
b) By how loud his roar is. The louder the roar the older the lion.
c) By how dark his mane is. The darker the mane, the older the lion.
Now have a look at the answers. Did you learn anything new? Which answer surprised you most?
We hope you enjoyed the quiz, and that you are enjoying our other ideas too!
1.c) 2.b) 3.a) 4.a) 5.b) 6.b) 7.c)
WELCOME TO MY QUIZ!
Scroll down the page or click here to join in with our ideas:
Idea 1: Join Octavius's Band
Idea 2: Draw a Route Map with Baby Tembo
Idea 3:Make Your Own Pasta
Idea 5: William's Wonderful Lion Quiz
Idea 7. Spot some birds with Hermione!
Idea 8. Make Easter treasure with Tembo
Idea 9: The Noise Game
Idea 11: Hodge's Letter Challenge!
Idea 12: Make a Museum with Baby Tembo
Idea 13: Make a sundial with Octavius
Idea 14. Make a bird collage with Hermione
Idea 15: Be an artist with Octavius
Have you been to Westminster Abbey with Hodge the cat, in our Step Outside Guide If Statues Could Talk? If so, you may remember the magnificent flags in the Lady Chapel, for people who belong to the Order of the Bath.
Here is the flag that Hodge designed for himself.
Today is your chance to design your own
coat of arms for a flag or a shield.
It can be any shape, or any size, and it can be
as simple or complicated as you like.
You could even make a shield or a plaque to put on the wall.
You can draw, paint, stick things on – whatever you like!
You could include all sorts of pictures and objects - here are a few ideas to get you started:
Something that sounds like your name
Something that shows an interest you have – maybe sport or art or music…
Something that shows where you come from
Your favourite thing
Your favourite dinner
A picture of yourself (like Hodge!)
We would love to see your shield or flag when you’ve made it. Send us a photo at [email protected] and we’ll put it in the gallery!
This is the Coat of Arms that Cam 'n' Bert designed. You can see how they included cheese and gold bars.
Here is the coat of arms for the City of London.
I love the dragons!
If you have been out with Step Outside Guide Kensington Gardens and Beyond, you will have spent time spotting birds with Hermione, the heron on Peter Pan’ statue.
The birds are loving this beautiful weather, and
their songs sound fabulous! You may not have
ducks outside your window, but if you sit and
watch for a while, you may be surprised how many
different birds there are around. Putting out food
will encourage them to visit. Any seeds, nuts bits
of bread will tempt them, (You may want to put
them on an upturned box you can bring in after
dark, so that other animals don’t come and eat them!)
If you don’t have a garden, try putting food out on the
balcony or window sill.
At this time of year, you may see birds with twigs and bits of moss in their mouths. They are collecting these to build their nests, and if you watch for a while and they make several journeys, you may be able to work out where they are building their nests. You could even put a little pile of dried grass, or twigs, to help them.
When you see a bird, see if you can work out what it is. The Wildlife Trust have a brilliant chart at www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife/how-identify/identify-garden-birds to help you. And if you want to tell us which birds you’ve seen, we’d love to hear from you at [email protected].
My favourite garden bird. This little robin always keeps me company when I'm digging!
Here's the card ready to be cut.
Here's the crown, ready for its jewels! I couldn' make jewels for it 'cos I haven't had any Easter eggs yet!
We're giving prizes away for today's game! So do let us know how you get on with this game, and a Step Outside Guide of your choice and a badge can be yours!
Isn’t everywhere quiet at the moment! Fewer cars, hardly any planes, not many people out and about – it is quite strange. But there are still all sorts of sounds and today we have a competition between you and anyone or everyone else who lives in your house. You could also phone a friend, or a relative, and ask them to join in wherever they live.
How to play The Sound Game
The aim of the game is to see who can hear the most different sounds in 15 minutes. You can do this outdoors or indoors, perhaps with the window open!
You will need:
a clock or watch, or timer on a phone
paper and pencil for each person taking part
Hand out paper and pencil to each person. Once the time has started, everyone is silent, except for the sound of writing down or drawing. Start the timer, or make a note of the time and off you go! When you’ve written down the most obvious noises, listen very carefully. As time goes on, you will probably notice smaller and smaller sounds.
When the time is up:
Count up to see who has most sounds on their list.
How many sounds are the same?
Who noticed the quietest sound?
Who noticed the most unusual noise?
Were there any sounds that only one person noticed?
You may be surprised at just how many different things you have heard. We would really love to hear about them, and about your game. You can post on our Facebook page, (Step Outside Guides), contact us at [email protected], or tweet us @StepOutsideLDN.
We will send a Step Outside Guide of your choice, and a badge, to the person who sends in the most different sounds.
We will send a Step Outside Guide of your choice, and a badge, to the five people who send in the most different sounds.
Have you heard anything this noisy?
The weather is gorgeous – it feels as though summer has arrived early! And with summer comes icy delicious treats. Cam and Bert, our little mice from London’s Splendid Square Mile have mastered the art of making tiny frozen fruit kebabs, and they’re happy to share their secret with you. So read on to find something you can make that everyone’s going to love!
You will need:
Fruit – almost anything works!
Use whole – smaller strawberries, baby orange segments, blueberries, raspberries, grapes
Cut in half: big orange segments, large strawberries
Cut into chunks: apple, pineapple, pear, banana, mango, kiwi melon
Plastic tray of some sort –lids from icecream cartons are ideal.
Cocktail sticks – if you don’t have any you can just lay the fruit on the trays
What to do
Wash your hands.
Assemble the fruit you are going to use.
Cut the fruit into pieces about the size of a raspberry. (You may need an adult to do the chopping for you.) If you’ve got different coloured fruit, that’s brilliant.
Thread them one at a time onto cocktail sticks – be careful not to poke your hand with the cocktail stick! Try to use a mix of colours on each stick, and be sure to leave space for holding them.
Pop them on the trays and carefully put them in the freezer. They will probably take about two hours to freeze.
Now they are ready to take out and enjoy.
Please send us a picture or two of your kebabs – we love seeing what you’ve been up to. You can tweet to @StepOutsideLDN, go to our Facebook page (Step Outside Guides) or email them to us at [email protected] Thank you.
Hodge the cat is in charge of today’s activity! He was Dr Johnson’s cat, and Dr Johnson wrote the first English dictionary in the 1700s. Hodge loves letters, and in his Step Outside Guide, If Statues Could Talk, he escorts you to statues in London beginning with every letter of the alphabet!
Today he is setting you a letter challenge. You could play this as a competition with other people in your house, or with friends and family by phone or online. Or you could do it for yourself, and see how you get on.
You will need:
Pencil and paper
Choose a letter of the alphabet – you can choose any letter, but Hodge suggests you choose one of the more common letters, such as R or S. Decide on a time limit – anything from five minutes to half an hour, and see how many things you can find in your house that begin with that letter in the time allowed.
They may be great big things, like a fridge, or teeny weeny things, like a little feather. Write them down, and see who has most at the end of the time.
You get two points if you have spotted something that nobody else has seen. Look in every room you can. You might just be amazed at how many things you can spot when you really look!
As ever, we’d love to hear how you get on. Let us know on our Facebook page, Step Outside Guides, on Twitter @StepOutsideLDN, or at [email protected]
Here is Hodge's statue, outside Dr Johnson's house in Gough Square in London.
Baby Tembo loves museums! Here he is, visiting John Soane’s Museum in his Step Outside Guide, The London Treasure Trail. Today he’s going to help you make your own museum!
The most important thing is that this is your museum, so the specimens can be things that you find interesting or exciting or fun – you can choose whatever you like!
You need to think about where you will locate your museum. It will be helpful if you can find a quietish corner, so you can leave it out for a while.
What are you going to put in your museum? Choose a few things – maybe about ten.
You may choose something from the garden – perhaps a lovely
leaf, a snail shell, a feather or a bird’s nest that has fallen from
a tree. Indoors, what objects do you find interesting?
You might have a rainbow pencil, that writes in several different
colours at once, or some beautiful old buttons. Perhaps
there is a pot or plate that you think is especially nice. I have
some kitchen scales that my grandma bought when she was
married in 1927. I still use them, but I would definitely put them
in my museum! If you want to put anything that belongs to
another member of the family in your museum, make sure you
ask them first.
When you have gathered the specimens, the next thing to do is to make labels for each of them. The label will say what the object is, and you can add as much information as you like; where it is from, who it belongs to, how old it is. You can ask your parents of carer what they know about the history of old objects, and you can even research in books or online to find out a bit more.
When your labels are complete, you are ready to make your museum display. Place each object in your chosen location, and put the matching label beside it. You could name the museum and make a sign for it, too. Then it’s time to open your museum, and show the people who live in your home.
You could also take photos and send them to your relatives and friends. We’d love to see them too! You can send them to us on Twitter @StepOutsideLDN, post them to our Facebook page Step Outside Guides, or send them to us at [email protected] .
TO MY MUSEUM
A doubloon from A crown (not real!)
my friend Octavius
An urn from John My treasure chest!
An oyster shell I'm holding old this
When Octavius escorts you along the banks of his beloved river in Down by the Thames, it begins at the great sundial at Tower Hill station. It is spectacular and fascinating, but sundials don’t have to be that grand. Octavius is here to show you how to make your own sundial in your garden or on a sunny window ledge. And the weather at the moment is just perfect for this!
Most importantly, you need a place which the sun shines on for hours on a sunny day. This might be in your front or back garden, or on a window sill, or on the floor of a sunny room.
Next, you need a steady surface. If you are making your sundial indoors, and you don’t have a hard floor, use a large book or a hard tablemat on the carpet.
You will also need
A bottle, 2/3 filled with water. A small bottle is best. Food colouring or paint in the water looks good!
Something to seal the top of the bottle, but soft enough to make a hole: several layers of foil, or plasticine (play dough melts in the sun!) or a hole in the bottle lid if an adult is able to do this for you.
A sharp pencil
A clock or timer
For an indoor sundial: blank paper, another pencil or pen
For an outdoor sundial: chalk.
To set up your sundial
Bung the top of the bottle with the foil, plasticine or lid.
Place the sharp pencil in the bottle neck, point upwards. It should be sticking out of the bottle by a few centimetres. Make sure it is firm, and that it points straight up.
Place the bottle in your sundial location. The earlier you place it, the more hours you will be able to mark! It needs to stay in the same place, so draw round its base. Then if the bottle needs to be moved, you can replace it in exactly the same spot.
Now, set your timer or alarm to go off each hour, on the hour. When it sounds, make a chalk or pencil mark where the tip of the pencil makes a shadow on the ground and write the number of the hour beside it. Repeat this each hour. The more precise your mark is, the more accurate your sundial will be. At the end of the day you should have a series of marks, like the photo on the right.
Tomorrow,if it is sunny, look at the sundial without checking the time first and see how accurately you can estimate t the time.
As ever, we'd love to hear how you got on, and see some photos. Do send them to us at [email protected], or go to our Facebook page, Step Outside Guides, or tweet us @StepOutsideLDN
Our own home made sundial.As you can see, we have just marked the hour at 2.00.
The magnificent sundial outside
Tower Hill station. It tells the history
of London around its dial.
Hermione has been busy again, and this time she’s been collecting all sorts of seeds, leaves, petals, twigs, feathers and little pebbles, all sorts of natural bits and pieces she has found around Kensington Gardens, where she lives. (You may have been there with her in the Step Outside Guide Kensington Gardens and Beyond).
She has created some lovely pictures of birds with all the things she has collected – here is one of them. Now you can make some too!
What you will need
A paper bag
All the bits and pieces you collect (see below)
Plain paper - A4 is ideal
What to do
First of all, you need to collect your materials from the garden or a nearby park. It’s a good idea to have a bag to put them in so they don’t get crumpled and spoiled.
Leaves come in all sorts of interesting colours, shapes and sizes, and there are petals from flowers, too. If there are any ash trees nearby, they have ‘helicopter’ seeds that they are dropping just now. Can you find any interesting grass heads, with all the seeds on? Look out for feathers, too, and for small snail shells, tiny pebbles – anything that you like the look of.
When you have found some good bits and pieces bring them indoors and lay out all the things you have collected. Play around with them to make a bird that you like. It could be an illustration of a real bird, or one that you have made up – you can make up the name, too! He or she might be flying, or feeding, swimming or standing – perhaps you noticed interesting things that birds do if you joined Hermione for Idea Seven.
When you are happy with your bird, carefully pick the pieces up one by one, glue the back of them and stick down. You could make a tree out of twigs for the bird to sit in, or perhaps a nest for her to snuggle into.
You could make several birds with the same materials so they are a flock, or you could make several completely different birds. As ever, we would love to see your work, so do please send us a photo to [email protected], or on our Facebook page (Step Outside Guides) o0r tweet us @StepOutisde LDN, and we can put it in our gallery.
Here is Hermione searching for things for her collage
Here is Hermione's
Hello there – Octavius here! Have you been doing a lot of drawing and painting while you’ve been at home? I have! I love it, and I like dressing up like an artist, too! I’ve got all the right artist’s gear, as you can see.
So here’s a little project I thought we could do together – it can take as long or not long as you want. Let’s see how we get on. All you need is paper to draw on, and whatever drawing or painting equipment you want to use.
1) Choose an object that you like or find interesting. It can be absolutely anything from a book to a biscuit, from a flower to a fish, from a toy to a waste paper basket!
2 ) Sit in front of your object and really look at it. Look at the colours, how the light and shade falls. Are there soft curves or sharp edges? Are there any shiny bits? Is the white really white? Is the black really black? What shape is the outline?
3) When you’ve looked really closely, start to draw. You may want to draw with just a pencil, or with coloured pencils, crayons, felt tips, paints, pastels – there are no rules, so choose whatever you like. Don’t worry about your picture being perfect – this is an experiment, not an exam! Just enjoy working out how you can draw and colour your picture, and see what effects you can create. How do you make something look shiny without using shiny pens or paint? How could you draw a shadow so that you can still see what the shadow is falling on? There is so much to think about!
I would LOVE to see your drawings and paintings. If you’d like to send them to me at [email protected] I will put them in the gallery on the Step Outside website.
Happy drawing – see you again soon!