A Day at the Beach – Inspired by Sandpipers and Seagulls

Building sandcastles, surfing on waves, and licking the world's yummiest ice-cream! A day at the beach can be truly magical. Children can tank their bodies with warm sun rays and parents' endless love. But it can also be a day filled with wonderous and mind-boggling ideas and questions. Dream, build and invent. Invent playground shaped …

CroakMet Messaging Service – Biomimicry for Young Children

In the summertime, bike riding is, even more, fun! Yet there are several problems with bike riding. Frogs amazing bulging eyes and their low horse croaking sound provided inspiration to solve two of the most annoying problems. How to talk to your best friend without shouting? How to see everything that goes on behind you? …

Looking for “Talking” Trees an Exciting Way to Walk Through the Woods

“These trees are friends,” he said, craning his neck to look at the leafless crowns, black against a gray sky. “You see how the thick branches point away from each other? That’s so they don’t block their buddy’s light.” Peter Wohlleben   Imagine meeting someone who has written a best seller about the way trees …

Daffodils Dancing in the Wind – Biomimicry for Young Children

The poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" or Daffodils was composed in 1804, two years after Wordsworth saw the flowers while walking by Ullswater. It was a stormy day and the inspiration for the poem came from a description of the event written by his sister Dorothy. Through our curious biomimicry lens we were …

Animal Architects: Amazing Animals Who Build Their Homes

Animal Architects: Amazing Animals Who Build Their Homes is written and illustrated by Daniel Nassar and Julio Antonio Blasco. Each spread is filled with inspiration as well as information about each animal and its home. Structures built by animals often have complicated features such as special-purpose chambers built by bees and ventilation in a termite …

Book to Spark the Invention Bug in Young Children – My Crazy Inventions Sketchbook

A dog umbrella. A car wash for people. Or a device where you can charge your phone using a hamster. If given a chance, children can come up if the most fantastic ideas. Many of these ideas may seem to crazy to work but inventors need to come up new ideas that challenge the way …

Class Alien

Writing activities should be exciting and what could be more exciting than writing a journal about things that you have done together with an alien. Imagine how fun it would be to write about the day when you took an alien with you to after school activities, showed the alien what we eat for dinner …

Should You Eat . . . Opinion and Persuasive Writing

Opinion and persuasive writing can be fun! But you may need some inspiring prompts to capture your imagination and to help you find a purpose. If the writing prompts help a child find a purpose, it is easier for her to explore counter-ideas and suggestions. Understanding other people's or animals beliefs, expectations and experiences help …

Ice-Cream Roots – Mixing Ideas with a Touch of Magic and Imagination

Thinking, whether it is planning what information you need to solve a problem, exploring where in your body you feel certain, or searching for new ideas, is something that should be exciting and fun. For too long the image of a serious person sitting still and thinking about serious stuff have ruled. A creative approach …

Impressive LEGO Sculptures that Explores the Magic of the Natural World

Be inspired by Lego and nature! Beautiful LEGO: Wild! by Mike Doyle is a book brimming with inspiration! While many of the projects collected from artists around the world may require hundreds or even thousands of Legos, this book is a treasure trove that explores natural wonders from undersea landscapes to a family of sea …

Books that Encourage Children to Interact and Ask Questions – Is There a Dog in This Book? (Cats) and Kingfisher and the Wren

I adore the interactive approach in Vivian Swartz's books. She is taking the lift and flap action to a new level. In the book, Is There a Dog in This Book? (Cats) a bunch of cats are trying to break out of the book's pages. Tiny, Moonpie and Andre smell something funny. . . something …

New words, New Possibilites – Shakespeare's Creative Grammatical Oddities

Shakespeare was a great inventor of words. Nearly 10 percent, or 1,700 out of the 17,677 words he used to write his famous plays, sonnets and poems were his own creations. He added prefixes and suffixes, borrowed words from other languages, connected words together or simple created his own. And recent brain research suggests that …

Books that Allow Children to Ask Questions

Picture books that allow children to ask questions and explore a variety of answers are a great tool to encourage thinking. Recent research suggests that babies have logical reasoning before the age of one. Babies are capable of making capable of deductive problem solving. Considering the importance of continuing to developing thinking skills and using different …

Jelly Bean Frog Story Writing and Robos- Biomimicry for Young Children

Tiny, tiny, tiny frogs! Some frogs are the size of a jellybean. Jelly bean frogs - wonderful inspiration! Of course we could not resist cutting out the tiniest frogs and to put them beside jelly beans. Brachycephalus frogs are less than a 1 cm long (0.39 inches) or approximately the size of a jelly bean. …

LEGO Sculpture that Captures the Spirit of a Poem – Where the Sidewalk Ends

"There is a place where the side walk ends And before the street begins, And there the grass grows soft and white, And there the sun burns crimson bright. . ." "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein' What an exciting idea - build an artwork to capture a poem. If Shel Silverstein's beloved and famous …

Conker Fans

"Oddly oddly onker my first conker!" A collage of different treasures found on a nature walk can easily be displayed using a paper filled with autumn colours as background. A conker is  the seed of the horse-chestnut tree and in contrast to the sweet chestnut tree the cooker is not edible. Roald Dahl was a …

Learning Requires New Skills – Critical Thinking, Lat Jumping and Biomimicry

What do you think of the idea that students should be allowed to use the Internet in exams? We may be at a turning point for exams. At least high school examinations but I am sure that the changes will eventually spread to primary school. The idea that an examination should gauge whether a child …

Picture books to help Parents that Struggle with Reading

Growing a love for reading starts early. And you can start even before your baby is born. Reading for our children is a good thing but sharing stories is not always easy. Books shops and libraries may be filled with colourful and exciting picture books, nevertheless, often these picture books are not suitable reading material …

Alice in Wonderland Illustrated by Andrea D’Aquino

Who In the World Am I? Ah,That is the Great Question. Love Love Love! Andrea D'Aquino's modern illustrated edition, Classics Reimagined, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, adds yet another dimension to Alice's fanciful adventure down the rabbit hole. The fusion of  watercolor and collage captures the familiar and loved yet they also  transforms the well-known characters …

Mystery of the Bubbling Pond – Autumn Storytelling Ideas

Autumn is an springing time to perfect the story-writing or storytelling skills. Cooler temperatures sweep in and the warm summer rain is transformed into cold icy drops. The wind pounding the windows can spark imagine. So can colourful falling leaves. Acorns, pumpkins, Halloween and Bonfire Night. Photos can provide inspiration for story-writing and story telling. …

Wonder Ponder – Brave and Bold Philosophical Questions

  Open, Look, Think Wonder Ponder brings you innovative visual philosophy cards for children. There is a picture on one side of the card, and when you turn the card there is a number of philosophical questions. The questions are different from any other philosophical material that I have seen for children. A fresh and …

Give Me Love

A sticker room! Sticker food! A field of giant pumpkins? How much would you pay for this? A dollar or two thousand billions dollars. . . Young art critics when they are at their very best - charming, provocative and spot-on! Yayoi Kusama's exhibition in New York Give Me Love through the eyes of some …

Cubist Glue Art, Doodling, and Sleepy Parrotfish – Biomimicry for Young Children

Imagine that you are a tired parrotfish.You are going to sleep but first you need to make a protective cocoon. A cocoon that will keep enemies away.What does it feel like inside the cocoon? One exercise in the booklet Biomimicry for Young Children - Sea Life is about the colourful and interesting parrotfish. What things …

Crittery Steps and Long Jumps – Critical and Lateral Thinking

There are many metaphors that describe thinking – but they are  constructed for adults. New and engaging terms are needed to explain different thinking styles for young children. The metaphor Think Dive is fun and it may help children to explore their own thinking process. It also explains in a clear way what is required …

Dandelion Magic – Fly Away With Your Ideas

  Pale little dandelion, in her white shroud, Heareth the angel-breeze call from the cloud. Tiny plumes fluttering, make no delay, Little winged dandelion, soareth away. From "The Little Dandelion" by Helen Barron Bostwick. Children's knowledge of nature is dwindling. Although this in itself is sad, it is even more alarming is that children are …

All The Wild Wonders, Poems of Our Earth, by Wendy Cooling

You can never have too many poetry books! Poems are perfect for sharing at bedtime. Falling asleep to the sound of a familiar poem is reassuring and calming. Poems are often musical. Playing with sounds of language - they are a perfect way to inspire children to practice reading. With poetry, children usually do not …

A Smarter Planet is a Happy Planet

Colourful eye candy to inspire you to test some paper crafting. The duo Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmermann of Zim & Zou create some of the most eye-catching paper illustrations around. The two French designers focus mostly on handcrafted objects made from materials like paper, thread, wood, and leather for one-of-a-kind window displays, editorial illustrations, …

Green Thinking For the Future – Critical Thinking Comes After

  Trying to inspire children and adults to believe that thinking is cool and fun is hard work. Even though many people believe that it is important to think, few people actively tries to improve the character of thinking. It is a tricky business to enhance awareness about different approaches to thinking and about ways …