How membership can bring out your family’s creative side this spring

Family den building

Spring is the time when places really come to life. There are new shoots to seek out, newborn animals to meet and new discoveries to be made. As a member, it’s also a brilliant time of year for you and your family to get inspired. Here are just a few suggestions to unleash your creative side.

Try your hand at seed balls

As a member, you can enjoy beautiful wildflower meadows throughout the country, many of which have free parking. If you feel inspired to create your own wildflower patch, then here’s a great little idea: homemade flower seed balls are such fun to make with little ones and you can grow wildflowers with no planting required. You’ll need two parts soil, five parts clay mix (from an art shop), one-to-two parts water and your wildflower seeds. Mix the soil, clay and water then add seeds. Roll into balls, dry for a day or two then scatter in your garden.

Enjoying the flowers at Powis Castle
A mother and child at Powis Castle and Garden, Powys, Wales
Enjoying the flowers at Powis Castle

Start your own storybook                          

Many of the places we look after were home to, or inspiration for, some famous literary greats such as Beatrix Potter, Agatha Christie and Thomas Hardy. With so many classic books inspired by National Trust places, why not encourage the kids to start their own stories? If your appetite for tales takes you further, treat yourself to an hour with a favourite book at a relaxing spot like Claremont Gardens or the walled garden at Gibside.

Discover a new story at one of our places
Discover a new story this World Book Day at Knole.
Discover a new story at one of our places

Get crafty   

Before you head to the shop for a birthday present or card this season, see what springtime has to offer. Membership means you can pop in as often as you like to get a little inspiration, so how about heading to a kitchen garden for natural vegetable dye ideas? Beetroot, blueberries and spinach can make fantastic colours for a T-shirt or an apron. Make sure you keep hold of that creative spirit when you head to a café for a break too; many have colouring pens and paper, so the kids can get busy making works of art while you enjoy a cuppa and a cake.

Easter crafts at Brockhampton Estate
Easter crafts at Brockhampton Estate
Easter crafts at Brockhampton Estate

Create the recipe for success

If you want to try some of our recipes from home, you can find lots of delicious springtime ideas on our website. Try our new gingerbread butterflies, created especially by Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain to celebrate this year’s World Book Day, or old favourites like hot cross bun bread and butter pudding or chicken and leek pie. Keen cooks can take part in one of our many spring events, including trying out traditional 1930s recipes in Ickworth's beautiful finishing kitchen.

Our exclusive recipe for Nadiya's gingerbread butterfly biscuits
Our exclusive recipe for Nadiya's gingerbread butterfly biscuits
Our exclusive recipe for Nadiya's gingerbread butterfly biscuits

Design your own garden

The National Trust Handbook is packed full of places with inspirational gardens – some with a working kitchen garden like Attingham Park and others full of unusual plants like Mount Stewart. You can make the most of the longer, lighter spring days at over 200 gardens and impressive landscaped parks. So whether you have an empty window box or a little wilderness waiting to be rescued, you’re sure to find lots of ideas to get started on designing your very own green space.

Discovering how to make a bird box at Dapdune Wharf
Children and lengthsman making a bird box at Dapdune Wharf
Discovering how to make a bird box at Dapdune Wharf

Put a spring into your old things

‘Upcycling’ may be a new word, but the idea of reworking useful things is as old some of the places we look after. At Minnowburn, old timber footpaths are taken up and re-worked into new benches and at Killerton you can see how dresses were altered to keep up with the changing fashions. As a member, your support helps us to look after these extraordinary places, and sometimes put things to new uses too. Why not have a think about what you and the kids can upcycle at home this springtime? Old colanders can become beautiful hanging baskets with a little imagination.

Getting crafty in the cottage garden of Tintagel Old Post Office
Children rag rugging at Tintagel Old Post Office
Getting crafty in the cottage garden of Tintagel Old Post Office

Whether you and your family are inspired to try crafting, making or creating this spring, as a National Trust member you’ll enjoy free access to lots of nearby places brimming with ideas and inspiration.