Get planting, playing and cooking in your garden with Mrs Crunch’s top tips – The Sun

CHALLENGING weeks lie ahead, but the glimpse of sun we’re having is also a chance to rediscover family fun.

From planting seeds in the garden, or playing outdoor games, to cooking together or crafting a masterpiece, kids and parents can teach each other a lot in the coming days.

Get started with these cheap and easy ideas, and then get stuck into the simple family recipes I’ve chosen from

Garden games

PACK the garden with some new games to get kids outside in the spring sunshine. George Home Kid Connection Giant Bowling Set, £10 at Asda, will knock them for six.

Make some bubble magic with Gazillion 2 litre Bubble Solution from Morrisons, £6.15.

Make a stay-at-home beach with Carousel Let’s Play Outdoor Sand from Tesco, £2.50 or two for £4.

Big and little kids can snap pictures of birds from the garden for the chance to see their photos in Wilko’s 2021 Wild Bird Calendar and win one of 12 £100 gift cards. Email entries to by end of Sunday.

Store home-made bread in a cotton bag to keep it fresh – or freeze it on the day you make it

Stir up some fun

EVERYONE loves to get messy in the kitchen and now’s a great chance to take kids’ cooking skills to a new level.

Get the whole family learning some bread-making skills from the recipe below. To keep things even more simple try Morrisons’ just-add-water white bread mix, 500g, 90p.

Kids love choosing their own pizza toppings, so get them to prep the base, too.

Make it easy with Jus-Rol sourdough pizza base, £2 at Asda or two for £3.

For a sweet treat, Morrisons’ chocolate pinata cupcake kit, down from £1.65 to £1.50, will raise a smile.

Insider jobs

THERE’S a whole variety of activities you can try out to keep boredom at bay between your home-schooling duties.

Animal charity Blue Cross is asking pupils in KS2 (aged seven-11) to draw their favourite pet on the front of an A4-sized, superhero-themed poster – alongside up to two paragraphs of wording, explaining why their pet is their superhero.

The closing date for entries is 3pm on Friday, May 15.

To enter the competition, visit

While the schools are closed, audio book site Audible is giving kids instant access to a big collection of stories from timeless classics to new reads.

Just go to, with no need to sign up.

Stuck for craft ideas? Red Ted Art has got your back. Go to to tap into the site’s amazing ideas.

Need the kids to burn off some energy? Then head over to YouTube for brilliant indoor workouts. Mums might also appreciate PE with Joe, a new children’s lesson each weekday on Joe Wicks’ YouTube channel, The Body Coach TV.

And now is a good time to give the kids some responsibility in the kitchen by letting them help you try out the tasty recipes below from

Bean burgers

(Serves four)


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 350g canned borlotti beans
  • 300g canned blackeye beans
  • 70g natural breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 4 burger buns
  • 1 large bunch little gem lettuce
  • 60g Red Leicester, grated

METHOD: Heat half the oil in a pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat for five minutes, until softened.

In a food processor, blitz the cooked onion with the grated carrot, beans, breadcrumbs and ketchup until evenly mixed. Shape the mix into four burgers.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the burgers for five minutes each side, until golden brown and piping hot. Serve in a bun with lettuce and grated cheese.

Simple white loaf

(Makes one)


  • 500g strong white flour, have a little bit extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 30g butter, softened
  • 7g easy-bake yeast

METHOD: Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.Rub in the butter with your fingertips until well incorporated. Stir in the yeast.

Make a well in the middle of the flour and gradually pour in the water. Mix with your fingers until the dough comes together then transfer to a lightly floured worktop and knead for 10 to 15 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy.

Form into a ball and place on a lined baking tray.

Cover with lightly oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size – this will take about an hour.

Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. Using a serrated knife, make four slashes to form a square on the top (don’t stab the dough).

Dust with flour then bake for 35-40 minutes until risen and golden – the loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Apple flapjack bites

(Makes 24)


  • 180g butter
  • 125g light, soft brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp clear honey
  • 300g oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 red-skinned apples

METHOD: Heat the oven to 180C/160 fan/Gas 4. Lightly oil an 18cm x 22cm rectangular cake tin. Place the butter, sugar and 4 tbsp of the honey in a pan and heat gently until melted.

Tip the oats into a mixing bowl and stir in the cinnamon then add the melted ingredients and mix well.

Core and dice one of the apples and mix in. Press the mix into the prepared tin, then core and slice the remaining two apples and arrange on top of the mixture, pressing in gently.

Drizzle with the remaining honey and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then mark out and divide into 24 squares.

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