Cook­ing, learn­ing and crafts all in one

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS -

DID you know the flamingo is only pink be­cause of its diet?

Louise Fen­nell from Wok­ing­ham be­lieves cook­ing and crafts are what help us glow, and she’s shar­ing this mes­sage with her new ed­u­ca­tional web­site named after the ex­otic bird it­self.

Launched at the start of lock­down, The Cul­tured Flamingo is a free in­for­ma­tion hub for fam­i­lies who love ad­ding fun to their learn­ing.

The web­site and so­cial me­dia pages fea­ture recipes and creative ac­tiv­i­ties from a range of coun­tries and cul­tures.

Ms Fen­nell said: “I came up with the idea about a year ago, but it wasn’t un­til lock­down that I fi­nally had the time to launch it.

“My fam­ily and I have al­ways cel­e­brated dif­fer­ent hol­i­days and fes­ti­vals and love learn­ing about other cul­tures by­mak­ing their dishes and try­ing new crafts.

“I’ve done a lot of re­search over the years and crafts and trav­el­ling are big in­ter­ests of mine, so I thought why not share this in­for­ma­tion with oth­ers?”

Since in­tro­duc­ing the idea on Face­book, Louise has ex­panded her page to In­sta­gram as well as a blog and web­site.

The creative said: “My Face­book and In­sta­gram pages pro­vide snip­pets of the ac­tiv­i­ties that fam­i­lies can try, whereas the blog goes into much more de­tail about each coun­try.”

“So far the blog has cov­ered In­dia, China and Mex­ico, and next on the line-up is Ja­pan.”

Louise also hopes her ac­tiv­i­ties will give par­ents a hand with home school­ing as some chil­dren spend their 16th week away from the class­room.

She said: “The aim of my ac­tiv­i­ties is to teach chil­dren with­out them know­ing they are be­ing taught.

“For ex­am­ple, I re­cently posted a tra­di­tional honey cake recipe for Sum­mer Sol­stice on the Face­book page.

“Most chil­dren wouldn’t knowwhat Sum­mer Sol­stice is, but by­mak­ing th­ese cakes with their fam­ily they’re not only learn­ing a new recipe, but also an im­por­tant date on the cal­en­dar.”

“Other cel­e­bra­tions we’ve cov­ered in­clude Canada Day, when we made Cana­dian but­ter tarts, and Eid al Fitr when we made stuffed dates.”

And Ms Fen­nell’s work hasn’t just been praised lo­cally, she’s re­ceived feed­back from fam­i­lies across the world who have used her ideas in their ev­ery­day fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties.

She added: “One par­ent got in con­tact to say they love the ac­tiv­i­ties be­cause they’re fun, ed­u­ca­tional and af­ford­able.

“I don’t charge for the ac­tiv­i­ties be­cause

I want them to be ac­ces­si­ble to as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble, es­pe­cially at a time when it’s al­ready hard enough to find things to oc­cupy your kids with.

“Any­one can use my site, it doesn’t just have to be par­ents of younger chil­dren.

“One of my friends has a daugh­ter in year 10 who en­joyed the ex­plor­ing Mex­ico as­pect of my blog and shared it with her form tu­tor.

“The teacher has now in­cor­po­rated my ac­tiv­i­ties into their weekly news­let­ter.

“Al­though I launched the idea dur­ing lock­down, I plan to con­tinue it into the fu­ture as I re­ally en­joy do­ing it and it seems oth­ers do too.

“When things re­turn to nor­mal I hope to in­tro­duce some themed par­ties which I can take to fam­i­lies.”

While not cook­ing or ad­ding to her web­site, Ms Fen­nell works as a ju­nior school cook­ery teacher and Ate­lierista — stu­dio teacher — which she hopes to re­turn to in Septem­ber.

To view Louise’s ac­tiv­i­ties log on to thecul­tured­ or search The Cul­tured Flamingo on Face­book or In­sta­gram.

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