Posts in the art materials category

A puzzle for Christmas

Puzzles are perhaps one of the defining toys - and joys - of childhood. We've all seen our kids absorbed in a puzzle of some kind, and it's gratifying to know that puzzles not only engage your children, but that they also learn through playing with them. Puzzles really go to town with brain development! They provide an opportunity for your child to engage with the world around them, improve their hand-eye coordination, and develop their fine motor skills. And for smaller children and toddlers, puzzles can help them develop their gross motor skills. Puzzles help them set goals, help...

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Art is not just for kids

One of the joys of having kids is getting enjoyable and beautiful things for them to play with. And there is always the vicarious pleasure you get from seeing them engage with their world and having a ball with their toys and craft activities. And often, it's not at all vicarious ... Who hasn't felt the urge to explore their own creativity as their kids get drawing or creating? Or joined in with them? I know at least two adults/parents who have embarked on art courses after encouraging the creativity in their kids sparked their own creativity into action. Maybe...

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Journeying through Advent to Christmas

By Andrew McKenna Ring in the valiant man and free, The larger heart, the kindlier hand; Ring out the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ that is to be. Alfred, Lord Tennyson Advent, where we now find ourselves in the Christian calendar, in part honours the hard journeys we experience in our lives. They may be a metaphysical journey to God, or a more physical journey we make on the surface of the earth. All journeys can be made easier by cultivating reverence, forgiveness, joy and gratitude - qualities we could no doubt work on year-round. I always...

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Unearthing the past for inspiration

There is something special about prising treasures from the earth. Miners, of course, know it, and so do archaeologists and palaeontologists. The earth continues to yield treasures from the past, whether they be early settlers' pitchforks or ancient fossils from the bottom of the sea. And without archaeologists and palaeontologists we would be limited to knowing about only the cultures that had a written language or were written about. There would be a body of oral history, but no way to check its validity. We would be limited to around the last 3000 years of the human past. Many of the...

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The gold at the end of the rainbow

The Irish, of course, are no strangers to storytelling. Their leprechaun stories often involve mischievous little people not leading the human protagonist to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In one story, a leprechaun grants a wish to a poor couple, who demand riches. The leprechaun is angered that they are so greedy, and tells them he has put their riches in a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Central Australian Aboriginal culture, of course, offers countless stories about the Rainbow Snake or Serpent, the all-giving Creator of the world. Most of them...

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