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The Regeneration Project, Wendy Goldstein & Sue Lennox

Turn on, tune in and drop out. The average American child spends 44 hours a week watching TV, whilst Australian kids spend twice as much time watching TV than they do reading a book. It’s a way of life now, it’s on in the background, it’s on during bath time and as you’re juggling the kids and making dinner. Children are spending less time outdoors and more time looking at a screen. In 1995, Richard Louv coined the term ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ to describe this disengagement of children from nature.

kids tv

If children spend less time in nature early in life, they’re less likely to care for nature as adults. In this increasingly digital age, how looks the future for nature?

Wendy Goldstein and Sue Lennox (from Macquarie University & Oz Green) have partnered to launch a project called The Re Generation Project, that is asking what can be done to reconnect young people with nature. They’re calling for young people to share their ideas on https://www.facebook.com/theregeneration.inspirenature

Nature’s not a destination, it’s as close as your own backyard!

1the kids picking flowers

So out we went, into the backyard to play and pick our small stash of plants for our pressed plant terrariums.


pressed leaf terrarium with dinos

Draw out your terrarium onto thick sheets of white paper, painting in a little dirt. Glue plants onto your terrarium and layer over with clear contact. Press down over the contact with your hands then cut out.

1 making pressed leaf terrarium

The kids making their pressed plant terrariums



 Other nature craft ideas… with leaves

2 craft with leavesSticks & Twigs

3 craft with twigsRocks

1 craft with rocks



Marshmallows & Edible Markers

Edible. Markers. Sounds as compatible as Chalk. Cheese.

8 fruity marshmallow sticks

Instructions on the back read “Ideal para Queso”…. ideal for cheese. Yes, remarkable, doodling on cheese, so why not on marshmallows, which is what we did and will do often over the school holidays. Daughter has this thing for fruit sticks: skewers pierced through 1 part fruit: 10 part marshmallow. A bit light on the fruit, nonetheless, after a long day when a little persuasion is required…

watercolour feathers glued to skewers

9 watercolour feathersAdd edible markers, fruit, kids and marshmallows…

10 girls colouring marshmallows

1 finished mm

The girls and the fruits and mallows of their efforts

13 mm girls

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Flying Monkeys

Unleash the monkeys!

unleash the monkeysWith face of blue and silver fur, the flying monkeys of the 1939 The Wizard of Oz film copped a bad wrap. With no back story we assume these miscreant feathered mammals are bad to the bone. Alas they are enslaved to do three times the bidding of the owner of the golden cap. Whilst in the hands of the Wicked Witch of the West, she bids them do her dirty work.


Flying monkeys on foam, stencilled and cut out


Flying monkeys mobile…

1 foam flying monkeys

Sweet dreams!


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Schrödinger’s cat

Curiosity killed the cat… some of the time.

Back in 1935, there was a widely accepted theory amongst physicists when it came to teeny, tiny things not visible to the eye. They agreed that since you can’t see them, it’s possible they could be in state x or state y, so let’s say they’re both, in two states at the one time (the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum mechanics).

An Austrian physicist called Erwin Schrodinger thought this to be reductio ad absurdum (absolutely whack). He put the theory to life size terms to illustrate his point, this became known as Schrodinger’s cat. The thought experiment goes; What happens when you put a cat in a box with a vial of poison and a trigger. How does kitty fare?

According to the accepted thought at the time, since you can’t see the cat, either possibility is valid, cat is both dead AND alive. When you open the lid reality collapses to one possibility or the other. Until that moment, it’s undead kitty.


This led to all sorts of other theories about parallel possible realities… but that’s another story altogether!


drawing schrodings cat


Zombie Cat Straw Toppers


For more of my Halloween crafts –


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Raining Cats and Dogs

Back in the day when ‘forsooth’ and ‘uncouth’ were in common use, cats and dogs sought warmth and shelter in the thatched roofs of village folk. When the heavens opened, the downpour would flush out the four legged from their comfy hidey holes, and thus was borne the saying ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’. This is one of the many theories of the origins of this phrase.


It’s raining cats & dogs in water colour pencils






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Can-Can Valentines

Spills and frills! The can-can wasn’t always so. It was once a ballroom dance for couples that evolved into the chorus line of high kicks and petticoats that the Moulin Rouge became known for.

1 jean gabriel can can

In French, Can-Can means ‘scandal.’ At the time it was considered scandalous for a woman to be seen dancing in public in a way that implied a lack of self control and left the participant hopelessly out of breath.

 How the definition of scandal continues to change!

scandalous collage

  In time for Valentines, a Can-Can craft activity.

3 can can girls ii

“La vie est belle, voila le quadrille!”

 ‘Life is beautiful, here comes the Cancan!’  Toulouse Lautrec.

1 can can girlii

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Rainy Day Crafts

School holidays are almost over!

We’ve been swimming a little…


Travelling a little…

st kilda

and eating lots…


With a forecast of rain ’till the end of the week, we’ll be wrapping up the holidays with a whole lotta this…



Rainy Day Crafts

1 teacup

 Craft based on favourite bedtime book at the moment: Amy & Louis

1 amy and louis

1 cooee louee

Coo-ee is a prolonged, shrill call originally used by indigenous Aboriginal Australians as a cry that carries out over long distances. In the 1840s, Australians could be heard coo-eeing through the foggy streets of London, desperate to find their fellow country men. It has become a national marker of Australian-ness.

Another Australian custom to partake in this Australia Day… Thong throwing competition. Throw far, throw wide and Coo-eee!

1 thong throwing

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Kids Art & Craft Magazines, Australia

There’s something in the water… and it’s not just the shark and box jelly fish! Some beautiful Australian published kids creative magazines are at hand.


There’s ‘Lotta,’ and it’s jam packed with a lotta stuff parents and kids can make together. With a crew of photogenic nieces, nephews and friends kids, Leonie, a  graphic designer from Queensland solo publishes Lotta to coincide with school holidays. Very convenient. Not too long ago we bought the ‘Space’ issue, and it inspired a school holiday long duration of space crafts, from home-made retro space wrapping paper to a new dress up outfit… robot girl!

robot girl and space wrap

Recently we discovered ‘Big Kids Magazine,’ which features the work of children and artists side by side. The senior editor Luca (age 10) oversees the hard work done by two professional artists; Perth based Jo Pollitt and Sydney based Lilly Blue.

big kids seed to sky

My daughter loved the recent ‘seed to sky’ issue. Here’s a look at page 15.

big kids dream weaver

RHS is the artists interpretation of seed to sky. As you probably guessed, this is indeed a dream making machine, complete with a pink elephant generator and a giant glazed pink donut maker.

LHS, my daughters interpretation. From the top down; purple lollypops, teeth, balloons, mountains, a fish and fire inside water! The teeth have crosses in them to ward off the fire burning inside the water (ofcourse).

Don’t you just love the chutzpah of these women who put together such beautiful arts & crafts magazines for the rest of us to enjoy, well done ladies!




Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Mary Mary quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells

And pretty maids all in a row.

A sweet nursery rhyme dating back to Olde England. A simple straightforward tale about a gardening green thumb?

mary quite contrary

Apparently not. Like many nursery rhymes that sound sweet enough, this one too has sinister roots. It tells of Mary Queen of Scots.


How does her garden grow? Fertilized by the bodies of many, many protestants. How pretty is her garden filled with silver bells and cockleshells. No again. These were slang terms for torture devices. As for the pretty maids….  guillotines.

Twin GuillotinesMary Quite Contrary Wrapping Paper for my mum Mary (who is fortunately nothing like the Queen of Scots) using Acrylic paints, thumb prints and black marker pen.

thumbprint flowers ii

Birthday card made by daughter

1 drawing flower faces

1 thumbprints flowers card

How to make Floral Wrapping Paper with Thumb prints

how to make thumbprint flowers

Gift wrapped with Mary Quite Contrary Wrapping Paper

gift wrapped

 logo_fun family crafts