Today at Crayons

DIY Kid's Gifts To Send Overseas!

01 November, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we start a month of DIY Craft for Kids with Colour Me Art A is for Australia Tear and Shares!    This is a sweet little hand coloured gift to send through the post to relatives overseas.    With perforated pages the pictures, once coloured in, are easily separated from the book and are ready for framing when they arrive at their destination.  

Featuring fun and famous Australian scenes the coloured in pages can easily be posted without fuss and at minimal cost - because they are light and flat!



The pretty colours of Jumbo Natural Pencils In A Tube or the Mini Natural Pencils in a Tube will be shown to great effect on any of the Tear and Share scenery or native animal pages.    With care the whole book could be coloured in and sent :-)

Hallowe'en Spider!

31 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

This is the biggest spider on Earth, and thanks to the CSIRO's cool Science by Email service we have discovered the Spider just in time for Hallowe'en!

From the CSIRO email : "The spider was a Goliath birdeater tarantula, and the lucky entomologist to make the rare sighting was Piotr Naskrecki. He spotted the spider in the deep rainforests of Guyana, South America.
The Goliath birdeater is the largest spider in the world: about the size of a dinner plate. It sports some rather imposing two-inch fangs, but its venom isn’t deadly to humans"

Want to know more? Read about it here and sign up for more cool science emails here!

Happy Hallowe'en!

31 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we're having fun preparing for Hallowe'en!    At some point we'll check out our favourite early Disney Silly Symphony Dancing Skeletons, bake some fun cookie treats, play with some Spooky Fun and glow in the dark toys and no doubt eat far too many sweets :-)


If you're into Hallowe'en - enjoy your night - and if you're not - enjoy your night!

Happy Hallowe'en!


Couldn't resist one last, fabulous, Space photograph from NASA - the Sun captured at a spooky Hallowe'en moment!

April Fools At Hallowe'en

30 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we note it is 76 years since the infamous War Of The Worlds broadcast at Hallowe’en by the actor Orson Welles.    This fictional radio drama was so convincing in its presentation as a series of news broadcasts that millions of listeners who tuned in after the program had commenced actually believed a Martian invasion had begun that night.

Based on the novel  by H.G.Wells, the narrative had been rewritten as a contemporary storyline and the European locations described in the book were renamed for American cities.     After the broadcast confusion reigned supreme at first as crowds gathered in the streets throughout America.   In the following weeks the subsequent outrage was expressed in the 12,500 plus newspaper articles that appeared.

Whilst it may seem preposterous now, back then radio was the only media access for many, there was less common knowledge of science and, combined with the emotion of what was being dramatically performed, the radio play was accepted by many as actual events - including the fall of New York to the Martian Invaders. 

The intention of the performance was as a timely, scary tale for the Mercury Radio Theatre’s listeners and the subsequent unintended public panic unforeseen.    Orson Welles apologised and H.G.Wells, the author of the novel, noted that it was clearly intended as a Hallowe’en trick akin to putting on a sheet and saying “boo!”

The play and the live broadcast are both available and are occasionally re-performed or replayed to mark the anniversary with some cities in the U.S hosting planetarium nights and science fairs.   There is even a monument to where the Martians "landed" in North Jersey that night.



Crayons has a cool, if somewhat small, collection of Monster activities for kids.    We're still looking for some Martians :-)

The Courage Is In The Trying

29 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today a Crayons we are saddened to learn of the explosion of the Antares rocket soon after takeoff.   The 14 stories tall rocket and the Cygnus spacecraft it was carrying were unmanned and were to carry supplies and equipment to the ISS.   Fortunately there were no casualties on the ground as the rocket fell back towards the launch pad.   At this early stage it is unknown what caused the explosion.

This was the third of eight flights contacted by NASA with a commercial enterprise - Space Exploration Technologies.   A few days ago we watched one of the pre launch briefings on NASA TV with the anticipation of a blog about the successful launch and some of the important experiments on board.

Instead we note that, as with so much of life in Space and on the Earth, the courage is in the trying.    We can only imagine the disappointment for all involved.    No doubt a cause will be found, lessons will be learnt and the preparations for future flights altered to ensure safety and success as another step is taken towards the stars.

 An earlier, successful Antares rocket lift off.

Chocolate In Space!

28 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we are happily contemplating chocolate and the recent announcement that cocoa may be linked to a better memory.    That’s cocoa, not chocolate, but hey warm cocoa sounds good!    The research was financed by a confectionary company - but we still like talking about chocolate.

Cocoa has long been a staple ingredient for Astronauts and a great improvement from the first food in space - thickish apple sauce in an aluminium tube.   As time has passed the improved facilities on board spacecraft have allowed for cuisine and dining innovations that have progressed from Astronauts eating food strapped to their legs to the space equivalent of fine dining - a fold down table.

NASA cannot use brand names, but it is not hard to recognise the gravity free candy coated chocolate this Astronaut favours!


The NASA Space Food Hall of Fame site lists the Top Ten favourites and while the freeze dried neapolitan ice cream looks a little too solid - we’d still try the chocolate part!

Crayons has a Fun Cooking Collection that has Spaceship Cookie Cutters in 3D - and a Shopping Games for Kids Collection to help young children learn about healthy foods and role play one of the best childhood games  "playing shops".


Cool Stellar Fireball!

27 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons it is rather fun to know that astronomers and scientists around the world are seeing a Nova explosion for the first time since the development of optical telescopes that can be used in coordination to view events in deep space in high resolution.

Six telescopes have been used in a process called Interferometery and, combined with the happy coincidence of clear weather here on earth, has provided an unprecedented view of the explosion and revealed a new mystery - the appearance of transparent "shells" expanding from the Nova explosion.

The more mysteries there are, the more we learn and understand about our natural environment and amazing universe!

Check out our Heebie Jeebies Liquifly Rockets for safe home based rocket power experiments young astronauts will love !


Eau de Comet*

25 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we are awfully glad we cannot smell any Comets as they pass by because the smell would be appalling.   As the European Space Agency has revealed, courtesy of Rosina DFMS, a mass spectrometer on board the Rosetta Spacecraft, comets stink!

Well, it appears that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) stinks.     The eau de Comet odour is primarily a combination of horse urine (ammonia), rotten eggs (hydrogen sulphide), formaldehyde mixed with a dash of vinegar and bitter almonds (hydrogen cyanide) leading Rosina’s Chief Scientist, Kathrin Altweg, to comment that the “perfume of 67P/C-G is quite strong”.   

In just over a fortnight a robot lander will be sent down to the surface of Comet 67P/C-G for on the spot analysis.     Robots do have noses!


Rosina, the Double Focussing Mass Spectrometer, DFMS.   Can't help noticing a passing resemblance to K-9 :-)

Crayons has a variety of fun collections for young Scientists of any age to experience including Robots to build, Experiments to conduct and Scientific Toys to construct.

Science is cool!

* Technically it maybe Comet Parfum, as all the Eau evidently has evaporated.



Happy Birthday, United Nations!

24 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we are celebrating United Nations Day 2014.    The Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has released his message for today and, whilst there is still much to be achieved, much has been achieved by the Nations of the world, and as he says '... we can take heart from our achievements".


Happy Birthday, U.N.!

Giant Chicken From The Past!

23 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we are in awe of a recently identified Dinosaur that had a duck like beak over a metre long.     The Dinosaur had a platypus like beak, without teeth, and some feathers on its head and tail.   Consequently, Dr Philip Currie, from the University of Alberta, has described Deinocheirus mirificus as a "Gigantic Chicken" that was slow moving due to its weight and 11 metres of length.    That's a big chook!

Previously, palaeontologists had only found two gigantic 2.4 metre forearms, with huge claws, and it was the recent discovery of the skeleton of a juvenile that has helped to complete the picture of this unusual creature.   So, the nickname of 'horrible hand' had been given to the Dinsosaur, and that is what it's latin name means.



We figure collecting eggs from this hen would have been a serious adventure :-)

P.s HABA has Dancing Eggs that are serious family fun!


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