day 40 – stamp album

In this time of social isolation some old school things, it turns out, are still pretty cool. Once upon a time kids used to do things you may not have even heard of, things like catching tadpoles and making mud pies, playing marbles, building cubbies and collecting stamps. There was a time when most kidsContinue reading “day 40 – stamp album”

day 37 – shadow play

Shadows are great, and spontaneous shadow fun can erupt in lots of places almost anytime. With the help of a bed lamp, or a torch if you’re camping, your hands can make shadow animals on the wall. This was a popular activity before the advent of electric light so look for old illustrations to giveContinue reading “day 37 – shadow play”

day 36 – treasure box

When everyone’s patience has worn thin, or for a special treat, let the child pull out ‘the treasure box’. Part of the allure of the treasure box is that it doesn’t come out very often. Its other appeal is that it’s filled with mysterious, quirky things that belong nowhere else. These are small things, thingsContinue reading “day 36 – treasure box”

day 35 – a budding photographer

With mobile phones ever on hand, and phone cameras so good, it’s easy to teach young children the fundamentals of photography. The young photographer can learn about framing a shot and making sure heads and feet are not cropped. They can think about backgrounds and come to terms with the challenges and beauty of light.Continue reading “day 35 – a budding photographer”

day 34 – a cardboard box

A cardboard box is a happy thing, and the bigger the better. It’s not every day you buy a new fridge or washing machine but you can usually pick up a box from places that sell large white goods. A box can become a house or fortress with a little imagination and some rough cuttingContinue reading “day 34 – a cardboard box”

day 33 – a happy place

Kids love to make and play in cubby houses. Cubbies are small, kid-sized places where children feel a sense of ownership, which is what makes it so special when they invite you in. The easiest way to make a cubby is to throw a sheet, blanket, curtain or similarly large piece of fabric over theContinue reading “day 33 – a happy place”

day 32 – blow them away

When you’re little, the best thing about art is that it’s fun. Here’s an easy way to create interesting designs that older children can develop to produce trees and background effects for other drawings. You need paper, diluted paint or food colouring, and a straw. Tip a big drop of colour onto the paper andContinue reading “day 32 – blow them away”

day 31 – wax magic

Everything must seem magical to kids. It’s only because we’re used to them that sunsets and chickens and rainbows don’t blow us away on a daily basis. Here’s a little bit of magic you can orchestrate in the kitchen any time. You need white paper, a white candle, food colouring or diluted water-based paint andContinue reading “day 31 – wax magic”