Today at Crayons

Washing Your Hair In Space!

02 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we thought we would feature one of the practicalities in living in Space.    This morning's shower, with some water that is older than the sun, prompted thoughts about how astronauts wash their hair.

Thank you Karen Nyberg, an astronaut with Expedition 36 on board the International Space Station, who made a cool video  to demonstrate how easy it is to wash your hair in Space.   And how quick!   Only 3 minutes!     The secret to washing hair in minimum gravity is the surface tension of the scalp and hair - without that the water and no rinse shampoo would float away.

 

Throughout our Space month of October we look forward to discovering how astronauts cope with other day to day tasks  :-)

Crayons is delighted to now stock the wonderful Goldie Blox Engineering for Girls Construction Kits.    Each kit involves a story and purpose built structure that can also be remade in a variety of ways and always allows for creativity.   In Goldie Blox and the Dunk Tank Goldie's dog Nacho is in much need of a bath and Goldie builds a Dunk Tank bath for him - and also learns about hinges, levers and gravity! 

 

 

To Infinity And Beyond! It's Space Month!

01 October, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we're heading into Buzz Lightyear territory and "Infinity and Beyond" because October is Space Month at Crayons!    At Crayons we have long loved all things astronomical and astronautical, as well as the timey-wimey cool science fiction fun of Space, the Universe and everything up there beyond the big blue sky above us.

 

 

World Space Week, on from the 4th - 10th October, is the inspiration for our blasting off into the realms of outer space and we look forward to exploring the latest discoveries, checking out what the ISS astronauts are up to and maybe popping back in time for some amazing space history.   Can't help wondering what this century holds for space travel, space exploration and scientific discoveries!

To help young astronauts contemplate the starry skies we can recommend Great Explorations Planets And Stars  glow in the dark stickers for ceilings, walls or bedheads.

Quite frankly we are amazed at the recent discovery that it appears that the oldest thing on earth, water, may actually be older than the sun!    All the water on earth has arrived here as ice hitchhiking on asteroids and comets and it is estimated that 50% of the water on earth has been around for billions of years.    So, next time you pour a glass of water, make a jelly or maybe some ice cubes - imagine how far through the universe the water has travelled :-)

International Translation Day!

30 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we are celebrating International Translation Day!     Without language translators, interpreters and terminologists we could, quite literally, be lost in a foreign land :-)   The International Federation Of Translators is the professional body that pulls all these professional people together and, officially, there are over 80,000 translators located in 55 countries.    The Federation has several objectives, perhaps most importantly to constantly  "improve conditions for the profession in all countries and to uphold translators' rights and freedom of expression".

 

 

Beyond our every day language, or what is spoken at home, in little ways, in small gestures, we are all translators of one foreign language or another because through friends, film and media we often understand the most basic greeting.    For the curious, the excellent language encyclopaedia, Omniglot has lots of ways to say Hello in the languages of the world.

To all the hard working and no doubt very patient translators everywhere - happy International Translation Day!

Ask A Silly Question Day!

28 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we have discovered that it is Ask A Silly Question Day!    This day originated in the U.S.A to coincide with the end of their Summer school year and encourages shyer students to speak up instead of staying quiet for fear of being thought foolish by their peers.    Asking questions shouldn't require courage.

At Crayons we have long known that their is no such thing as a dumb question or a stupid question, and irrespective of age, all questions are valid.   Wherever you are or whoever you are with, feeling confident in asking any question is what encourages curiosity, promotes activity and develops understanding.   Perceptions can shift and sometimes minds put at ease.    Had one of the Crayons team, when they were very young, simply asked what happens if you swallow an apple seed they would not have spent an agonising few days wondering about the apple tree they thought was growing inside them!

Encourage your child to ask questions.   So what if it is out of left field and you're not sure or the answer has to be looked up?   You may find that even the greatest minds don't know the answer - as Stephen Fry's Q.I happily highlights, there are some answers that "Nobody Knows".

 

 

This fun card is here, and our thanks to Wikimedia Commons and the wise author.  

Our Sunday Fun today is to print this off, make your own or have children make their own.   And of course to ask some silly questions that may be lurking in the backs of minds.    Perhaps ask your own to get things started, keep a notebook if you're out and about to record those that may need to be looked up when you get home.

This could also be a fun travelling game as well as a standard car game, but the absolutely positively most important thing is that each question is respected and not mocked by older siblings or by peers.

Every question is valid.    

Every question is, quite simply, wonderful :-)

Bob The Builder ... Hello George The Farmer!

27 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we are happy to spread the word on George the Farmer, the latest app for pre-schoolers to help them learn about life on the land!    The designer of George the Farmer is Simone Kain who, having discovered the lack of Australian based content on children's apps, set about bringing George to digital life.    George is named for Simone's eldest son whose love of tractors was one of the inspirations for the app.   

Whilst some parents may be concerned at the number of apps available to children, the link also includes details of research, provided by Sara de Freitas, Pro Vice Chancellor and Professor of learning and teaching at Murdoch University, that digital technology is changing the way we learn and that educational initiatives such as Dirtgirl are valuable in helping children to learn about sustainability.

 

 

Welcome, George the Farmer!

P.s There are tractors and other vehicles of all shapes and sizes in our toy car collection :-)

 

Congratulations To The Rural Woman Of The Year!

26 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we are sending congratulations to Pip Job, a grazier from Cumnock in NSW who has been chosen as the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Woman Of The Year.    Pip is a strong supporter of Landcare and commented that ultimately Landcare is a "holistic view of how you achieve landscape and community change."

At Crayons we regularly feature innovators in science, the arts, engineering and all manner of exciting professions so we are delighted to acknowledge the challenging work of Pip Job, the other RIRDC contestants and all the families who work on the land in this wonderful country.

Congratulations Pip Job!

 

This photo, by Seth Buchanan, is from the Weekly Times.

P.s Crayons has a Farm Collection featuring lots of fun farm activities and animals that young farmers may like to play with!

Happy Birthday Jim Henson And The Muppets!

24 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we are celebrating the birthday of the great Jim Henson, an inventor and performing artist best known as the puppeteer who created Kermit the Frog, The Muppets and dozens - if not hundreds - of wonderful puppets.

Through Sesame Street and The Muppets generations of children have learnt about understanding, tolerance and cooperation.    The Count has helped them to count, Bert & Ernie taught them friendship and Big Bird and Animal were so eye poppingly different that acceptance of someone, or something, different was never questioned.

In the world of puppets and puppetry even the shyest child can find their voice and express themselves and their emotions - and have delight in doing so.   Puppetry takes us all to another realm where anything can happen, frequently does (!) and there is always more laughter and happy surprises in store.

Crayons is pleased to carry an extensive selection of animal hand puppets, people hand puppets and finger puppets to help young minds explore this magical world of imagination and creativity!

Happy Birthday Jim Henson - and all the Muppets too!

 

 

 

Today is the Spring Equinox!

23 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we love that it is the Spring or Vernal Equinox, that the hours of daylight and night will be equal - and from this day on the days will be getting longer!    There are so many adventures for children to have in the outdoors and cool things for them to do whilst out and about; places to visit and things to see - so the extra hours of sunshine make that all so much easier and more pleasant.    Plus, there's the many beautiful sunsets to enjoy in the warmer evenings too!

If you would like to know more about the Equinox in child-friendly way, and from an Australian perspective, then the excellent Museum Victoria site explains the Sun and Seasons and also reveals that today the Equinox will be exact early this afternoon at 12.29pm.

 

 

For those who may be thinking about cooking something to celebrate the Equinox we can recommend some fun cupcakes or cookies that are iced one half side vanilla and one half side chocolate.    Of course those who love chocolate icing may like to make a few that are totally iced in chocolate in anticipation of the winter solstice next year ;-)

And, from the cool site, h2g2 The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy: Earth Edition comes a great page all about balancing eggs on their end plus a great image :-)

 

 

 

Happy Spring Equinox!

International Day Of Peace And Sunday Fun!

21 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we note it is the United Nations International Day Of Peace and this year's theme, "The Right Of Peoples To Peace" is also promoted by an especially beautiful logo.     This year is the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Peace and, perhaps more than any other Day, this is the one that promotes what the United Nations is all about " .... a unique opportunity to reaffirm the United Nations commitment to the purposes and principles upon which the Organization was founded.   The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace recognises that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights."

 

 

Our Sunday Fun today is Spring Flowers and Birds and there are lots of Spring colouring in images to choose from.   The good colouring in site, Honking Donkey has some fun images to choose from, as well as more generalised drawings just waiting for colour!

Crayons stocks Butterfly posters to colour in - and Flowers too from our Doodle Art Poster range.

Older children may like to explore the approaching Equinox, on the 23 September this year, and whether it really is possible to balance an egg on its end on that day :-)

Spring Cardboard Tube Art!

20 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Today at Crayons we are having fun with Spring themed stamps made from cardboard tubes, be it from loo paper, kitchen towel or super strong plastic wrap and al-foil cardboard rolls.     There is some great inspiration on Pinterest for making different shapes and different stamps and our favourite are Hearts and Spring Chicks!

Spring Chicks are easy - just pinch a pliable cardboard roll at "5 and 10" (just as on a clock face) and, using yellow paint, print the Chick's body.   Then just draw in legs, an eye and a little beak plus a wing and your Spring Chick will be the first of many!

Older children may like to make their own wrapping paper by printing plain white tissue, or white craft paper with a variety of shapes and colours and designs.    

Crayons stocks a fun range of craft Stamps that can serve many purposes, from reward and achievement stamps, animal footprints and dinosaur stamps through to stamps that encourage children to design cities.  

Apart from the creativity that stamps and stamp craft can inspire, stamps can also enable children to become more communicative by making up stories about the images they have created - and the adventures unfolding on the paper.

Imagine Creative Learning :-)

 

 

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