Silly Summer Silliness

Lazy summer days! Relax from all the seriousness of school and homework. In the introduction to the book The Art of Silliness: A Creativity Book for Everyone Carla Sonheim says that she is not really a very silly person. She is actually a pretty serious person. She writes, "But "serious" does not equal "solemn", and I... Continue Reading →

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Nature Story Bag

A day at the beach collecting shells and building sand castles inspires children to make friends with animals like the crabs runing along the beach and to dream up a story about the inquisitive and inventive princes and princesses who live in the sand castle they have just built. Stories help children understand their outdoor... Continue Reading →

Do the Action – ABC See, Hear and Do

Affiliate links from Amazon are used in this blog post. A reading program that involves teaching children to crack the code by engaging all their senses is a great way to support your child on their journey towards literacy. Children learn through movement, touch and hands-on play. The book  ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to... Continue Reading →

A Bit Average

The Age of the Average prevents children from blossoming. The dream that every child is given chances and opportunities to become the best they can, is a dream that it is worth striving for. Yet, this idea rests on the assumption that this can be achieved on a child's own terms. One thing that stands... Continue Reading →

Cherry Blossom Madness

The Cherry Blossom season has arrived. A month later than last year! To watch the trees bloom, dressing our garden in magnificent shades of pink is wonderful. We filled some coloured papers with blossoms. Some art activities are better suited to the outdoors. And sometimes it is nice to display the work in the garden. ... Continue Reading →

The Art of Questioning – Is it Alive?

Young children are alive with questions. The world is a wonderful place filled with mysterious things. Things that surprise and amaze them. They often embark on a journey to investigate, explore and understand the world. At some point children tend to get the idea that questions are not particularly welcome. The learn that having a... Continue Reading →

Creative Dot-to-Dot

Keeping things fun does not necessarily mean that the underlying purpose with an activity is lost. Dot-to-dot is in itself and activity that is designed to capture children's attention while at the same time checking if they "correctly can join the dots together by counting". A figure emerges if the child can correctly connect the... Continue Reading →

Spring is here! Books about seeds and flowers

This post  contains affiliate links. Flower Alphabet Book Which flower flavours tea? Can you use a flower to make a doll? Flower Alphabet Book  by Jerry Pallotta is beutifully illustrated by Leslie Evans. A stunning alphabet book filled with flowers in bright colours and inspiring information.  A beutiful bouquet of words and picutres! Oh Say... Continue Reading →

Creativity can be taught!

“How many ways can you add 10+10?” Can creativity be taught? In today's world innovation and creative problem solving are important. If innovation is the key to success, then it is time to think about ways to put creativity into our education system. For many of us, however, creativity is a mystery. Whether we are... Continue Reading →

Mechanica

This post has ad links. Dip your toes into the future creatures of the land and skies. "Welcome to future Earth. Despite repeated warnings, the environment has become polluted to such an extent that many areas of the globe have become uninhabitable, and wildlife is now extinct. From the ashes, a new style of ‘wildlife’... Continue Reading →

Take Me Seriously! Philosophy & Children

Big questions is what most people think that philosphy is all about. Big and hard questions that only adults can have something important to contribute to. Philosophy for children is not about teaching children about philosophy but to engage with children about philosophical questions. Children are taught how to create their own philosophical questions. Questions... Continue Reading →

Wishlist for Christmas

The magical Christmas adventure the Nutcracker is a popular ballet with music written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. In The Nutcracker: Press the Note to Hear Tchaikovsky's Music (The Story Orchestra)  you can listen to 'The Dance of the Reed Flutes', 'The Waltz of Flowers' and 'The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy', while you read about... Continue Reading →

Maybe ( ) Together |What is Love?

A lovely stop-motion animation by Jackie Edwards using drawings made by children. "Love is a kind thing to do!" "Love is something very powerful!" "Love is something beautiful!" "I think love is important!" What is love? Maybe ( ) Together | What is love? from Performing Lines on Vimeo.  

Inspired by Endangered Penguins

On the Tenth Day of October, we saved Ten Adorable Penguins If you are very lucky, according to Irish folklore, you might find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But what is a pot of gold compared to some Gentoo penguins with flamboyant red-orange beaks, white-feather caps, and peach-colored feet. Or... Continue Reading →

Creativity

What happens when we let external influences dim our inner light? Madrid based animators, Daniel Martinez Lara and Rafa Cano Mendez created this touching 8 minute short film that shows what happens when we let external influences dim our inner light. Copi is trying to teach his son, Paste, how to live and what is correct... Continue Reading →

Picture books that will empower

Traditionally, children's books used to reinforce messages that children are powerless and unimportant. Books for children were written with the aim of teaching children to adopt to adult's values. The underlying messages in the books were that children must change to fit into the world - the adult world. Today, more and more children's books... Continue Reading →

The Twelve Months of Endangered Animals – Hedgehogs

"What is the purpose of a Hedgehog?" This question popped up in a discussion about endangered animals and particularly endangered hedgehogs. Images of cute little hoglets flashed through my mind as well as beautiful illustrations from the book The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle  by Beatrix Potter. After cats, hedgehogs might be the internet's favourite animal.... Continue Reading →

Imagine a city! A Smart City!

  People flying with their umbrellas as the wind blows. Paintings that escape from their frames. Buses are fish and fish fly in the sky! Imagine a City by Elise Hurst is an invitation to imagine all sort of fantastic things. She encourages us to not only imainge fantastical cities but also takes the game a... Continue Reading →

Wonder Question Jigsaw

  “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” Winnie the Pooh Question Asking Let the students start the new school term by asking questions about things that take up the most room in their heart. They can ask BIG and important questions about serious things or small fuzzy questions that... Continue Reading →

Endangered Frogs and Lily Pads

What would you think if there were no frogs to kiss? In stories, frogs are often portrayed as ugly and slimy. When frogs are not hopping off lily pads, or croaking"ribbit" in the pond, they are often said to turn into a beautiful prince or princess if you dare to kiss them. And it is... Continue Reading →

Biomimicry for Young Children – Magic DinoPills

What if you were a dentist? Can you invent something inspired by dinosaurs? Magnificent plant-eating dinosaurs provided inspiration for the idea of Magic DinoPills. The long-necked, plant-eating giants such as Diplodocus and Camarasaurus grew new teeth every couple of months. Their diet consisting of plants such a trees, bushes, cycads, ginkgoes and ferns worn down... Continue Reading →

Vulnerable Giant Pandas

  Any ideas to celebrate the news that the status of giant pandas has been changed? We made a collage using photos of endangered animals. We used gelli print to make the background and then we simply cut out some distinctive panda features - black ears and eyes (go here to read more about gelli... Continue Reading →

Inspired by Vulnerable Giant Pandas

  On the Fourth Day of April We saved Four Munching Pandas 'Great news, the giant panda has moved one step away from extinction. The giant panda has been downgraded from endangered to vulnerable. The charming bear with the large black patches around its eyes and over the ears and across its almost round body... Continue Reading →

Playing a Red Pepper

  What can you do with a ripe pepper apart from eating it? Well, you can always make a wonderful harmonica. Player's Pflute is a creative musician kit.  A colourful modular system of wind instruments with different mouthpieces, hole punchers and silicone connectors. Jia Wu has created the most adorable kit that encourages children to... Continue Reading →

Be a Mindset Detective

What was the biggest challenge you faced today? How can you think about these challenges in a new way? What can we do differently tomorrow if we face similar challenges? Research conducted by Carol Dweck has found that children who believe that their brain could grow did better in school, and in life. Behind mindset... Continue Reading →

The Polar Bear By Jenni Desmond

  A wonderful exploration of polar bears and their habitat. The Polar Bear by Jenni Desmond is a rare treat, a book that is both magical and factually accurate. You are taken on a journey of polar bear bodies, habits, as well as habitats. Yet, the reading the book is a bit bittersweet. Polar bears... Continue Reading →

Slugs are Cool

Would it not be great if you could smell with your body just like a slug? Slugs are everywhere! And gooey slime is a wonderful substance that can solve many problems. Britain has ideal conditions for slugs to thrive - cool damp summers and warmish mild wet winters. Climate changes also contribute into turning our... Continue Reading →

Hunt for Straight Lines

What prevents a tree from growing in straight lines? Are there straight lines in nature? And are there right angles? The trees have lost most of their leaves and the structure of the trees are visible. So the other day we hunted for the tree with the straightest trunk and branches. When we look at... Continue Reading →

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

  "There is a hat. The turtles fund it together. But there is two of them and there is only one hat" A bear,  a fish and turtles! Jon Klassen's hat trilogy is  a lesson in minimalism. The conclusion to this trilogy, We Found a Hat, is both deliciously funny and heart-warming. And of course,... Continue Reading →

Make sure that you have a beetle spotters’ guide to hand when you start reading the exciting adventure of Beetle Boy (The Battle of the Beetles) by M.G. Leonard, charmingly illustrated by Júlia Sardà. Why has it taken so long for beetles to get a starring role in a children's book? They represent a quarter... Continue Reading →

Bring Books to Life

Be a book detective and learn to love new words and explore challenging ideas. Save the best books and read them aloud. Bring the lovely, exciting stories to life. Challenge your kids to listen to stories that boost their vocabulary. Listening to someone reading book with challenging ideas and vocabulary is not only a wonderful... Continue Reading →

Creative Approach to Reading

  How can you read creatively? And can reading creatively result in creative writing skills? I love reading. If I win the lottery I would stop doing everything else and just read marvellous books. I would be drawn into exciting stories and I would read about marvellous animals and plants. . . And I would... Continue Reading →

Build a Bridge!

In true Leonard da Vinci spirit build a bridge or structure that does not require any nails or ropes. Grimm’s Spiel und Holz Design, “Grimm’s”, has been making beautiful, natural and sustainable wooden toys since 1978. Over the years, I have bought several of their amazing toys, from rattles, to stacking towers to wonderful puzzles.... Continue Reading →

Pop-Up Paper Projects

Pop-up projects are such fun! Making a 3D birthday card is a quick and easy and will entertain children. A perfect rainy day project. But pop-up paper projects can also be taken to a completely new level. And the book, New Pop-Up Paper Projects: Step-by-step paper engineering for all ages, by Paul Johnson is a... Continue Reading →

A Summer Holiday in Books!

Ahh, summer holiday. I remember the thrill of cycling down to the little bookshop in Söderköping in Sweden to spend the money that my parents gave me on the last day of term. Eager eyes searching among the selves for something new and exciting. The bookshop, the oldest in Sweden opened in 1815, had a... Continue Reading →

Hunting for the Golden Ratio

Does the golden ratio exist in the world of art, architecture and design? Or is it a myth? Why not spend some time to check it out for yourself? The golden ratio is regarded as a way to define something beautiful. Great artists such as Salvador Dalí is said to have used the number sequence... Continue Reading →

Be Inspired by Frogs

Do you know why frogs have big eyes that bulge out? Or why frogs can walk upside down? Frog eyes are big and come in a stunning range of colors and patterns. Perhaps you have seen a frog resting in the water with only its eyes and nose above the surface. Frogs can protrude their... Continue Reading →

The Imagination Box by Martyn Ford

  What if you had the power to create whatever you imagine? What would you create? The Imagination Box by Martyn Ford is a wonderful book if you want to give the creative muscles a real workout. Instead of providing the illustrations of all the exciting things that the boy in the story creates, the... Continue Reading →

Dream up New Furnitures and Toys

Imagine a chair where you can insert your own drawings? Or a chair that just like a flower grows? Why not inspire your kids to dream up and design some cool furnitures and toys? Inventing new games, toys and furnitures are often tasks that are included in biomimicry material for young children. Milan design week... Continue Reading →

Hyacinth Macaw – Art and Science

Blue Hyacinth Macaw  is a stunningly beautiful parrot. We made a craft were we combined acrylic paint, with real hyacinths, muscari flowers, leaves, and twigs. Little notes about this brilliant-blue parrot with bright yellow rings around its eyes and on its beak were also added. Information about this bird: The tail is long and magnificent... Continue Reading →

Cool Chocolate Challenge

Chocolate Bunnies provided inspiration for this challenge. Easter is after all chocolate time. Chocolate Easter eggs are an old tradition and the first eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th century.  Some early eggs were solid, and the technique for mass-producing moulded chocolate had not been devised. France and Germany started this artistic... Continue Reading →

Inspire Creative Thinking

"Creativity is part of human nature, it can only be untaught." Ai Weiwei Creativity in schools is not only about teaching children subjects such as art and music. It is also important to teach children to be creative in subjects such as science, maths, and social science. The truth is that a creative approach to... Continue Reading →

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