Space Game

I am armchair astronomer! I love watching photos of galxies and exoplanets online. The images are fantastic, and I can pour over a book like The Planets for hours. It would be wonderful to watch the sky if there is no light pollution but where I live it is tricky so I stick to my …

Alphabreaths

Open your arms wide like Alligator jaws.   Let your arms flap gently like a Butterfly.   Imagine blowing out the candles on a birthday Cake.   Make mindful breathing fun— it’s as easy as A-B-C!  I instantly fell in love with this book. A charming mixture of mindfulness and learning the alphabet. Alphabreaths: The …

Do things together

Mo Williems is the brillant and much-loved children's author, who created the Pigeon series, Knuffle Bunny, and Elephant & Piggie. Mo says that if you want your kid to be artistic you have to be a role model. You have to spend time sitting there drawing, playing the piano, or building weird and marvellous inventions. …

Earth Day 2019

"Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”  The White Rabbit, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll In a thought provoking but also thought inspiring booklet that I made for Earth Day or any Day, Alice, the Dodo and some of her other friends are used to challenge children to explore extinction …

Aha!

This post contains ad links. A lightbulb hovering over a child's head. Or something else? Aha-moments can hit a child without warning. These aha-moments are often described as a sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension. Aha-moments make a child's eye widen, the awareness shapen and the heart might beat faster. Something new, excting that …

Unicorns, Mammoths & Siberian Unicorns

Unicorns! Unicorn cakes! Unicorn jumpers and notebook filled with pretty looking white horses! The unicorn is mythological creature. A beast  with a single large, pointed, spiralling horn projecting from its forehead. A white horse with a golden horn. The unicorn is Scotland’s national animal. In Scotland, the unicorn was used on the Scottish royal coat …

Invent your own words

The first snow is always such a great joy. And yesterday evening the thin layer of snow sparkled with moonlight. There are hundreds of different words for snow. For Northern Scandinavian Sami, it is vital to know whether ice is fit to walk on or whether you will sink through it. The different words for …

Staring into Space

Lauren Child says: 'It is now widely recognised that creativity is as important as literacy or numeracy, and that allowing ourselves the time, space and freedom to be creative is essential for good mental health... Sometimes we need to stare into space." Lauren's new website, Staring into Space, invites visitors to post details of odd things …

Ice Age Art

During the Ice Age, cave artists used their fingers or materials from nature such as twigs, moss and brushes made from animal hairs to put paint onto cave walls.The paintings were made deep within caves. The curves and shapes of the cave walls were used to paint animals. Flickering lights created an illusion so that …

My child is different by Elaine Halligan

Elaine Halligan's My Child's Different: The lessons learned from one family's struggle to unlock their son's potential celebrates the unique qualities that children who are different bring to the world. Reading about  development when the development does not follow the expected pattern enhances your understanding not only of children who are different but also of …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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.  …

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 …

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’ …

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 …

The Twelve Months of Endangered Animals Song – Whales

On the Twelfth Day of December We saved Twelve Giant Whales Whales are awe-inspiring and often elusive creatures. Their sheer size amazes us but as climate change and krill fishing increase, our time to learn more about these magnificent mammals is running out. Of the 13 “Great Whale” species, 7 of them are currently classified …

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 …

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.  

Asking Questions that Open the Possibility Door

Explore the learning potential and creative thinking benefits of shifting the way you ask your child questions. Good questions help children to think outside the square, they challenge assumptions and help to spark a desire to explore possibilities. A think dive into the unknown. Children love to ponder over ideas that are a bit silly …

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 …

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. …

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 …

Elephants, where are they? Draw a Map of Endangered Animals

Every elephant counts! On the Fifth of May, we saved Five Trumpeting Elephants But where are they? The magnificent elephants migrate and cross borders. Elephants have no passports like humans and it vital to count the numbers and see where they are to help protect them. To help protect elephants in Africa "The Great Elephant …

Be a Rabbit Detective – Life Cycle, Biomimicry, Inspiration for Ideas

In a local park not far from our house there are lots of rabbits running around. Watching the bouncy rabbits is always an exciting time.Rabbits are also a common pet. And pets can provide the perfect inspiration for new ideas. What if you were trapped in a cage with no friends or toys to play …

Biomimicry for Young Children – Inspired by Endangered Orangutangs

On the third day of March We saved three Swinging Orangutans Our think dive this month is inspired by not only orangutans but also dreams about Easter bunnies and chocolate. After we have learnt that the production of palm oil is a major threat to orangutans we decided to make a chocolate bark using chocolate …

Biomimicry for Young Children Inspired by the Endagered Sloths

Bring slowness into the world! On the Second Day of February, We Saved Two Sleepy Sloths Would it not be great to stretch time? How can we celebrate slowfulness? William Beebe was a sloth researcher who was very impressed by the sloths' slowness. He wrote,  "Sloths have no right to be living on this earth, …

Valentine – In My Heart: A Book of Feelings By Jo Witek

Even brown bracts are beautiful! A nature Valentine heart made of twigs,  flowers and brown hydrangea bracts and flowers. Mopheads, as they are also called, are showy bushes that in the warmer months have colourful and big bracts around each flower. Now the bushes are filled with brown but still beautiful big mopheads. We also …

Biomimicry for Young Children – Inspired by Endangered Dugongs – Donald Dugong Seacleaner

Meet Donald Dugong Seacleaner! The graceful dugongs spend time eating seagrass from the bottom of the sea. Seagrass is important to save. We wrote a story about Doctor Delia Dugong who saved the seagrass. We also reversed the thinking and ended up with an idea where we take something away from the sea that does …

Biomimicry for Young Children – Inspired by Endangered Dugongs

Dugongs spark our curiosity and tug our heart-strings. These sea cows are beautiful and fascinating creatures. The first day of January we saved One swimming dugong Inspired by the carol "The Twelve days fo Christmas", we made up a song where we each month saved an animal - The Twelve Months of Endangered Animals Song. …

The Twelve Days of Endangered Animals Christmas Challenge – Day 12

On the twelfth day of Christmas  my true love sent to me 12 drummers drumming The last challenge inspired by the traditional as well as the Australian version of the Christmas Carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. Can you rewrite the song and use endangered animals as inspiration. Perhaps you can write a version that …

The Twelve Days of Endangered Animals Christmas Challenge – Day 11

Does nagging help? Does nagging make you stop doing something? In the Australian version  of Twelve Days of Christmas, we have On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love to me 11 numbats nagging Photo Helenabella So what can we do instead of nagging? Perhaps you can make a play and perform it during …

The Twelve Days of Endangered Animals Christmas Challenge – Day 8

Dairy cows! Are cows an endangered species? On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 8 Maids a Milking The loss of biodiversity is not only threatening wild animals but also farm animals. Farm animals have been domesticated for centuries but today many species are not regarded as suitable for contemporary …

The Twelve Days of Endangered Animals Christmas Challenge – Day 3

On the Third day of Christmas my true love sent to me Three French Hens Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.French Hens! The thoughts drift towards foxes and the story about the clever Fantastic Mr Fox.  Mr Fox lives with his wife and four children,who are always hungry. To feed his …

Kindness & Christmas – Spread Christmas Spirit Wherever You Go

  Everyone can make a difference. Everyone can be kind. And everyone can have creative ideas about acts of kindness during the Festive Season! There are many wonderful and creative lists where you can select acts of kindness that your students or child can carry out during December. If you are looking for ways to …

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 …

Spooky Spiderlicious Spycamera – Halloween Inspired Biomimicry for Young Children

Be inspired by Spiders to prevent a thief from stealing Halloween treats. Spiders! Oh no! Although I have never been afraid of spiders I must admit that finding a poisonous redback in my shoes in Queensland did make me jump back. The redback spider is a beautiful black spider with a big red strip on …

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. …