Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Institute for the Future and Lego

I live in Denmark..... I know the power of Lego.

Lego approached the Institute for the Future to conduct a report on technology and the future of kids at play. They created this video from the infographic (found here) illustrating the reports findings. Very interesting (aside from the blatant Mindstorm plug).

The City 2.0

This is very exciting. The people behind TED have created a website called The City 2.0 and rather than paraphrase, I will just directly quote their blurb from their about page.

"The City 2.0 website is a platform created to surface the myriad stories and collective actions being taken by citizens around the world. We draw on the best of what is already being discovered by urban advocates and add grassroots movers and shakers into the mix. What's emerging is a complex picture of the future city--a place more playful, more safe, more beautiful, and more healthy for everyone."

Looks like I might be joining this as well..... 


I love anything crafty and try and encourage my kids to join in as much as possible. This website is just great. DIY  is a online learning website specifically for kids and about making things.

"DIY is a community where young people become Makers. They discover new skills, make projects in the real world, and share their work online to inspire and learn from each other."

I'm going to join! Might lie about my age so I can be the maker and not the skilled person.....

Google Birdhouse Project

What a nice idea, google birdhouses....

By Shuchun Hsiao.

Via Design Milk.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A colourful Winter

Lovely photos by Florent Tanet.

Who knew fruit and veg could look so good?

Via Colossal.

Kid President

Two words.....

Awesome and Dance!

The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development

"What are the sources in children’s environments that promote early and frequent imaginative play? Research has demonstrated that parents who talk to their children regularly explaining features about nature and social issues, or who read or tell stories at bedtime seem to be most likely to foster pretend play." 
From an article on Psychology Today on how imaginative play is a vital component to normal child development.

We Don't Need No Education

Very interesting blog post by Sam McNerny over at Big Think.

"Consider Switzerland. It’s one of the richest countries and has one of the lowest college enrollment rates in the developed world. How is this possible? The low productivity content of education, according to Chang. Believe it or not, Swiss workers produce, innovate and build with fewer college degrees just fine. Likewise, the United States grew its economy during the 19th century not from education reforms but through smart economic policies that encouraged growth and innovation. It did not become one of the wealthiest countries by 1900 because Americans were smarter than everyone else."


Here's a stunning kindergarten from France, designed by Dominique Coulon et AssociƩs.

This comes from a blog post over at Timbuktu, showing the 10 most beautiful kindergartens in the world.

There are rather a lot from France..... not sure why.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Bunkie

I want one..... seriously.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Today's Hero and a Hero for Life

Not that I have a hero every day but today I read this article over at the New York Times about Sir David Attenborough and just wanted to quote what he said, from his PBS program called Attenborough’s Life Stories.

“The natural world is the greatest of all treasures. And yet in my lifetime we have damaged it more severely than in the whole of the rest of human history.” 

Not something we as a generation, should be proud of......

Marc Johns

I'd love to see this actually on a T-shirt, sometimes we all need a reminder to be kind. Lovely work by Marc Johns, as always.

Via Swissmiss.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Academy for Global Citizenship

This Charter school in Chicago has a fab website and will soon have a net positive energy building that produces more energy through on-site renewable energy than it consumes.

"We are striving to produce a replicable model for learning in the 21st century, through the construction of a net-positive energy school building. This model, built upon the integration of sustainable practices into the learning environment, acts as a "third teacher" for the students. It also serves as a prototype that will shift global communities towards a system of learning that educates our next generation to excel in a socio-economic environment that depends on the state of our planet.

We are the leaders of today and our children will be the environmental, social, and political stewards of tomorrow.

It is our responsibility to equip them with the advantages and opportunities afforded by unsurpassed education and the dream of unlimited potential."

Powerful words.......

The Amazings

A wonderful idea. The Amazings is a website similar to Skillshare but with people over 50 offering classes to the general public, using their life experiences to pass on wisdom and advice.

They say it takes a village to raise a child and here's a great opportunity to reconnect with elders. Very impressed. Only in London for now...... but not for long, I reckon.

Via Swissmiss.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The School Of Life

I have blogged about the people over at The School Of Life a while ago, mainly Alain de Botton. However they have a lovely new website, have published some very interesting books and also expanded their calender with loads of interesting courses and talks.

While checking around, I came across this blog post about parenting, called What Kind of Parent do you want to be?

"When we get towards the end of our lives, and our children are remembering the childhood we gave them, what do we hope they might say? 
That we were kind and understanding? Home was a sanctuary, a place of acceptance, not judgement?  Mum and Dad listened to me? We had fun. That we trusted them? That we received a wider education than just our schooling, and curiosity was encouraged?"

How your T-shirt can make a difference

 For someone who hates ironing (and gave it up a few years ago, but now doesn't need to feel guilty any more)..... this video is right up my street.

Via The Kid Should See This.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Restoring Peace

Richard Louv's words of wisdom resonated with me, in looking to nature to heal after the tragedy of the Sandy Hook shootings. Check out his blog post here.

And here is a lovely quote from the article.

“Simply getting people together, outside, working in a caring capacity with nature, perhaps even intergenerationally, may be as important as the healing of nature itself,” suggests Rick Kool, a professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia. “Perhaps, in trying to ‘heal the world’ through restoration, we end up healing ourselves.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tree houses Galore

Taschen have just published this book called Tree Houses. Fairy Tale Castles in the Air by Philip Jodidio, which contains 50 tree houses from around the world. It's tough to pick my favourite, but of the images I've seen so far, it's a toss up between these two.

The nest or the egg, which came first?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sherwood Anderson

Sherwood Anderson was an American writer and while I haven't had the pleasure to read any of his books, I am impressed by his advice to his son. Over at Brainpickings I found this wonderful quote (one of many by him).

"If I had my own life to lead over I presume I would still be a writer but I am sure I would give my first attention to learning how to do things directly with my hands. Nothing gives quite the satisfaction that doing things brings."

Something I'd like to impart to my kids..... but I feel like I'm constantly fighting against the technological wave and the idea of making something just isn't cool.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 and the future

I have been posting on this blog for 3 and a half years now and it started out as a way to catalogue articles, videos, projects and people I found interesting and would like to remember for future projects/research of my own.

That people actually read it and follow it is a huge bonus and I'm delighted that what I post others find interesting.

I've come to realise that my blog has become something else, unintentionally, more of a platform for furthering the "nature deficit disorder" cause. Not that I'm unhappy with that turn of events but after having watched Tony Juniper's video below (and being heavily influenced by every post I've ever posted), I'm not sure if a blog is enough......... can it make a difference.......... get kids reconnected to nature............. affect change?

So, Crossroads time.

Where do I go from here?

I feel passionately about improving childrens lives through a connection with the natural world. I know that good design can do all that and much more but waving my flag from the sidelines has become frustrating. Encouraging one school at a time to redo their outdoor spaces is a very slow process and I'm impatient.

So, this is a call out to anyone who would like to start something collaborative and focused on children, nature and play, which in and of itself is a very broad field. I'm open to suggestions.

I will continue to blog here as I think we will see many new and positive changes for children and I also hope to add more personal content as this year moves forward.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Walking and parks.....

"Walking increases for individuals about 20 percent for each park that is within a 1-kilometer distance of a residential area."

Mark Holland – a former director of Vancouver’s sustainability office and a founder of the Healing Cities Institute

Via making cities for people.

What has nature ever done for us?

Tony Juniper at TEDxExeter with this brilliant talk.

Let's all welcome 2013 in with a focus on nature. The book of the same title is out on the 10th Jan.  It's on my wishlist.....