This blog is a place to share research, experiences and inspirations around teaching and the world of Early Childhood Education —which I believe includes just about anything and everything creative.

Archive for Inspiration

The warmth of Eireann Lorsung

“I bring you candles in the early dark hours. I bring a photograph of the moon half-full, walking through a bright blue sky. I bring the yellow leaves lit up by low sun. I bring the smell of burn.

I bring the peat fire, wet blacktop, bodies of spiders curing in corners, rosemary, the grass wet in the morning.

I bring a wool cloth, a linen cloth.

In the dark part of the year we find a scratch of light where we can get it. The stars are brilliant. The snow when we have it shines. We are walking together in the darkness, in silence or talking, the sounds of birds and animals, the hanging boughs of yew with their bright red, translucent berries.”

* * *

“For the dark part of the year, I bring you a calendar full of drawings from my travels this year. I bring you warm words, bunnies flying kites, robins & rosehips, the Belgian winter. I bring you my child-self, and early mornings in a kitchen an hour outside Ghent. I bring the young women working in warm, bright cafés at winter’s early nightfall. I bring you something to read with your tea or coffee, on the bus or walking to work (careful, there!).”

* * *
WORDS & ILLUSTRATIONS by the warm & oh so creative EIREANN LORSUNG


Kedublock “is a project by Sérgio Dias in a collaboration with Nature focused on creating original handmade wooden toys.”

Feel, Imagine, Do and Share

Just one of the many STORIES OF CHANGE taking place around the world!

DESIGN FOR CHANGE “is the largest global movement designed to give children an opportunity to express their own ideas for a better world and put them into action.

Children and adults learn through the Design for Change Challenge that “I Can” are the two most powerful words a person can believe. Children who have discovered this are changing their world.

This year, Design for Change reaches 33 countries and over 300,000 schools inspiring hundreds of thousands of children, their teachers and parents, to celebrate the fact change is possible and that they can lead that change!

The challenge asks students to do four very simple things : Feel, Imagine, Do and Share. Children are dreaming up and leading brilliant ideas all over the world, from challenging age-old superstitions in rural communities, to earning their own money to finance school computers to solving the problem of heavy school bags – children are proving that they have what it takes to be able to ‘design’ a future that is desired.”

Kiran Bir Sethi. Founder. Design For Change School Challenge


Karyn’s House. Machine Paper Foundation Piecing : Houses. the workroom.Toronto, ON.May 2011

Working for a school which is owned by an apparel company means that we have an ample supply of fabrics, buttons and ribbons, hence my weekly check in’s with the workroom’s blog make something. Houses inspires me!

Agne’s Houses. Machine Paper Foundation Piecing : Houses. the workroom.Toronto, ON.May 2011

Turning Trash Into Toys For Learning

Overwhelmed by the amount of inspiration here… have a pencil and paper ready when you hit play!

“At the INK Conference, Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves — while learning basic principles of science and design.”

Oh my… just discovered these TUTORIALS!

The Power of Real Life

Working in an environment where 80% of the children speak French, I often rely on images to help me teach and communicate – real life images, not the cute animation kind. These clips, from, enforce the power of real life images and have me thinking about ways to add a third layer to what I do.

WORDS from Everynone on Vimeo.

Symmetry from Everynone on Vimeo.

Why Teach Design Thinking?

Every now and then I have some time to browse through the numerous links that I have saved in my “play+design” folder. I don’t know how long this resource has been sitting there but I am happy to have become reacquainted with it, today.

“The information on this website is provided free to anyone interested in teaching children and young adults the creative and critical thinking skills they need to cope with any subject or situation.

Written by Dr. Charles Burnette, translated into Korean and edited by Yi Ji Hyun, the information on this website may not be revised or reproduced for sale without the written approval of the author, but may be freely copied and distributed if there is no cost to the recipient.”

In other words, SHARE!

Design thinking is multidisciplinary and applicable to any subject.
Design thinking may be applied by anyone to problems of any scope or scale, in any context, using any mode of thought, expression or action and any medium or discipline appropriate to the task at hand. Many different points of view are active during design thinking and any subject may be taught through a design project.

Design thinking integrates imagination and analytical thinking.
Design thinking fosters the exploration, and analysis of relevant information and its effective organization to establish ideas of value regarding a particular context. In contrast, rote learning is hard to remember and use because it has no motivating context of application. Design thinking also teaches how to cope with inadequate information, and uncertainty in order to achieve a goal.

Design thinking emphasizes constructive thinking over factual retention.
Because a design problem may have many different solutions, Design thinking requires ongoing definition, representation, and assessment. It is a continuous learning experience arising out of a need to obtain and correctly apply knowledge to achieve goals that may change as knowledge of the problem and its context is acquired.

Design thinking links information to experience and responsible action.
Design thinking organizes thought to empower effective action, and builds self-esteem and competence by requiring responsible performance in actual circumstances. Knowledge arises naturally from experience making it easier to understand, remember and apply.

Design thinking encourages objective assessment and values.
Design achievements are demonstrable and provide an objective basis for acquiring values. Success is understood through continuous evaluation of progress toward recognized goals and self-assessment is structured by the designer’s own efforts to achieve their goals.

Design thinking promotes cooperation, socialization and humanistic understanding.
Design thinking in groups encourages the development of different perspectives and social skills, including the ability to negotiate, communicate, follow, and lead. Children learn ethical and moral values by directly addressing human needs and desires and sharing their thoughts about what is appropriate and effective.

Design thinking promotes the development of knowledge through creative learning experiences that integrate all modes of intelligence and link learning to effective thought and action in the context experienced by the thinker. It involves consideration of people, resources, relationships, contexts, methods, values and knowledge. It calls on the humanities and the arts to express, communicate and situate ideas and to interpret potentials, on technology to implement them and on science to assess their outcomes. Education emphasizing Design thinking can produce an understanding of art, science, technology and the humanities that is integrated, interdisciplinary and humanistically focused. It can bring art education into contact with mainstream subjects, free technology from its obsolete framework in vocational and industrial arts, and put science to work in concert with the humanities.”

Discarded Toys

Interviews: Robert Bradford

“When and why did the idea first occur to you to take toys as your inspiration?

I began using toys as my central material about five years ago, it started in my studio in Cornwall and began simply from a few moments that I spent staring into into my childrens cast off toy boxes which happened to be stored there. I responded to the variety of colours and forms they presented, the random juxtapositions, and the non rational ‘meanings’ that those combinations started to take on My work over several years had usually incorporated elements from my immediate environment, everything from whole books magazines and twigs collaged into paintings t, scrap building timber furniture and tree waste into sculptures. There are many reasons for choosing scrap, the obvious first one being financial. I have always enjoyed working on a physically large scale, paintings that you could feel that you could enter, sculptures larger than life. For some time I was making pyrotechnical fire sculptures in parallel to the more permanent pieces so it would have been wasteful to use new flammables. I have always disliked the blandness of many traditional sculptural materials clay bronze stone plaster etc. I like materials that are more obviously malleable, that have already had a life, have been part of other peoples lives. To me the fact that these things have been used ,touched by humans for other reasons than making art automatically adds depth to the work by giving it a history both separate to the work and integrated within it. The toys are mini sculptures designed by uncredited people. It is both theft and accreditation.”

via The Cool Hunter

Film & Sound. Old School.

Norman McLaren was a poet, for whom images, color, sounds and music had special resonances which he was capable of exploring in their entire range and magnitude. Today, more than fifty films remain as evidence of his gifts.”

Watch both films and allow yourself to be equally amazed.


Making of…

*Norman McLaren film archive courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada

Anna Emilia

It has been 9 months since I returned to Paris – I have come to appreciate, more than ever, art + photography by those who live and are inspired by places in this world that are less inhabited by city folk – more natural, spacious and quiet.

A painting by me, a painting by the nature.

P.S. Anna has prints for sale in her shop

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