Our Blog

Stories of Santa

So this is Christmas and what do we know…
Who was Saint Nick and why Santa in snow?

So many stories, songs, images. Even if you’ve heard these stories before, I like to revisit them at this time of the year and perhaps pick up a new little insight.

From the secret gift-giver in...

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Where did the Christmas Tree come from?

Why do we bring a tree inside our house at Christmas time and hang things on it…? Do you use a real fir or spruce tree or a fake one?! Some Christmas trees used in stores, and in homes, are huge! Then there are all the choices for decorations - merchandising gone mad. I start to think...

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‘Fauna’, ‘Animal’ or ‘Mammal’ Emblems of Australia?

Floral, fauna, bird, mammal, fish, fossil… The states and territories of Australia have each selected emblems in these various categories. Why did they do this? Why were the symbols they selected, chosen? And what’s the difference between the terms fauna, animal, and mammal?

...

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The Art and Science of Seasons

Capturing ‘on canvas’ the changes around us as our world warms and cools can help us understand and appreciate the science behind the seasons. Looking around, what elements can we add to an artwork that represent what’s happening in nature because of the changes in weather...

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5 Things for Fathers’ Day

Taking time to remember our dad, spend time with our pop or create something a bit special for the father-figure in our lives can help show we love and appreciate them. Maybe you’re a mum looking for ideas for your kids to do something to celebrate this day, a teacher planning creative...

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Picturing classic children’s books from the UK

The fantasy world of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and Wendy in Neverland; the adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and Paddington Bear; the escapades of Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor’s garden and Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad in The Wind...

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Aboriginal Artists

Image source from ABC

"I'd like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet today. I would also like to pay my respects to Elders past and present." These are the words often used now when people in Australia hold official meetings. The land I live on is Kaurna...

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Mothers’ Day

Being a mum

How amazing are mothers!
This has been, and continues to be, one of the most intense times in our lives with the impact of COVID-19. If you’re reading this, then you may well have young children, or grandchildren, and have most likely suddenly become a homeschooler! This is on...

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Easter Art

Easter eggs, Easter bunny, Easter hunt, Easter buns, Easter pyjamas, Easter stories, Easter Sunday...! It’s nearly upon us. A time that means different things in different cultures, religions, and families. In a time where so much is now different with Coronavirus effecting the world, how...

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Need to keep kids home from school?

Having to keep kids at home can happen for many reasons. Homeschooling is not new or extraordinary. For many around the world, educating and engaging children at home has been a choice. Parents choose not to send their children to the local school, for many reasons. Others live in remote areas...

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Silo Art

What is a silo?

Travelling through the wheat fields in the countryside of Australia, particularly in South Australia and Victoria, you may well pass some amazing artworks on the fronts of giant silos. These silos can be found in country towns near crop farms. Silos are large, tall towers for...

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Fire… and Art?

Fire seemed to be everywhere. Our country was burning. Australia in the summer is hot and bushfires are common, but not to the extent we have just experienced. Obviously not everyone was directly affected but everyone was impacted in some way. Fire continues to be uppermost in our minds as the...

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Making art with sand!

Slip. Slop. Slap. It’s hot. Let’s take the kids to the beach! Slip on bathers and a top. Slop on the sunscreen, and slap on a hat! Grab the boogie boards, buckets and spades. Pack the cricket bat and a tennis ball. Slip on the thongs (Aussie version of flip flops!) and throw in the...

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The Christmas Elf

Have you been caught up in the elf craze? Classrooms and bedrooms have cute little elves popping up all over the place. Or maybe he’s sitting in the fridge hoeing into the cheese. The delight on a kid’s face when they discover their elf has moved and is now spread-eagled on the floor...

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What’s it like being a professional illustrator?

How awesome is the artwork above! This was created by David Follett who is an illustrator, a cartoonist… His job is to draw! He is paid to follow his passion. Dave is also part of our extended family. I love being a part of an arty, creative family! Artists get so much pleasure from...

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Illustrators of children’s books

Purpose of pictures

As a mum, I have loved rereading picture books with my children - some from when I was a kid, many newly published. Obviously the purpose was to help them learn to read and broaden their understandings of the world around them. The purpose of the pictures is to help provide...

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Wordless stories – more than just picture books

Often, our first experiences of artwork are drawings or paintings in children’s story books. Babies and toddlers listen as the story is read to them and look at the pictures. Gradually the pictures start to make sense and children connect the visuals, the words and reality. But do we always...

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Visual Arts vital in today's education

Art had a backseat

Decades ago in education, art had a backseat. In secondary education, it was expected that Maths, Sciences and humanities be studied over the performing arts. Art was not valued as a subject. How many jobs are there that would need art?!

Now it’s a visual world

There is...

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Should kids learn to draw with a digital device?

How much time young people spend looking at a screen is controversial, to say the least. So the consideration of whether to allow, even encourage, children to use digital technologies for drawing will be based on our perceptions of the importance of these skills, an understanding of the...

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How can learning to draw help with learning to write?

We learn by observing, experimenting, exploring, making mistakes, and through explicit teaching.

Making the first marks

What a joy to watch the delight on a toddler’s face when they see the marks they make with a crayon on paper. Can I do that again?! How we react as viewers has an impact...

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Why do we think something is beautiful?

How do we reflect on our own artwork and respond to art created by others? What is it that results in us experiencing beauty? This questioning and wondering is often referred to as aesthetics: the theory of art and beauty. If something is referred to as aesthetic, it is seen as pleasing to...

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Creating a Primary Visual Arts Curriculum for Home or Classroom

The full curriculum in The Arts can cover Media Arts, Drama, Dance and Music, as well as Visual Arts. The focus here is to consider how Visual Arts can be taught across other curriculum areas as well as a standalone subject. Whether you are a classroom teacher or home educator, trying to fit in...

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Art Supplies on a Shoestring

Art draws on tools and materials. The tools might be our hands and the materials, sand. The artwork might be a hobby, a lesson or a career. Providing our children at home, or our students at school, with diverse opportunities to develop their artistic skills can be expensive, but does not need to...

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Camping with kids, 5 things to do!

Camping is an awesome experience to give to all kids. Here are 5 things we did over the weekend with our kids while camping to keep them busy:

1. Collect fire wood

(Check your local fire ban rules/restrictions.) Throw on some shoes to protect from scratches and watch out for snakes (if you're...

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