Posts in the craft kits category

Volcano fun at Advent

"Awesome." While that word had become cringe-worthily overused, we can still, nevertheless, fairly apply it to the power of volcanoes. Volcanoes hold a place of reverence in the human psyche. Most of us have grown up reading about Pompeii or Krakatoa, or remember Mt Pinatubo or that unpronounceable Icelandic Eyjafjallajokull, which threw European airways into chaos a few years ago. Our kids are soon aware of the awesome power of volcanoes.  In the Hawaiian tradition Pele is the Goddess of volcanoes, who could cause volcanic eruptions by digging with her Pa'oa, or magic stick. Many of the stories associated with...

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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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Weaving a magic tapestry

In a wonderful traditional Chinese folktale, an old woman weaves the most exquisite tapestry, encompassing streams, fish, animals and flowers. It is a gorgeous piece of work, which takes her three years to complete. One day, as her three sons are arguing about who should inherit it, a gust of wind carries it out the window and off into the eastern sky. Creating something beautiful from balls of coloured wool is an almost magical experience for kids. I remember the first time I tried weaving - many years ago - and the experience has stayed with me ever since. While...

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Creativity on the journey

Every child is born an artist. It is remaining an artist that is difficult. — Pablo Picasso. Every child seems to be born with a creative impulse. It's instinctive, as much a part of being human as is higher thought or longing to go home. Of course not all your little guys will turn out to be Picassos, but by nurturing and encouraging the art maker in your child, they will undoubtedly become more of a rounded human being. They will be better at seeing other points of view, be better at thinking for themselves and working out new ways...

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