Thursday, 6 December 2012

'Christmas Wonderland', Rawene Centre

Poppa Steve invited us to the "Christmas Wonderland".  It is New Zealand's most spectacular christmas tree trail that takes you through a vast amount of intricately decorated trees. The kids loved it, and recognised some of their favourite characters.  Unfortunately photographs weren't allowed, so the only thing I could find that gave you a glimpse of what it was about was their promotional video from the website.

Freya then got her face painted, and Blake his arm!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sustainable Coastlines - Plastic Mosaics

The Sustainable Coastlines team are often doing Workshops in Wynyard Quarter at their Sustainable Coastlines Education Station to get young ones to understand the implications of rubbish in the water. They have gone all over the world collecting rubbish from beaches to minimise the impact on the marine life.  They do an amazing job, and if you ever get to come to one of these workshops, you will be amazed at the amount of rubbish they have collected already!

So with the plastic rubbish the kids get to make whatever colourful artwork they want to from any of the plastic waste they have collected into bins.  Freya chose a template that was already drawn on the wood, but then went for a three dimensional look!

For information on their events click here.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Workshops on the Waterfront - Cork Boats

Another of the Workshops on the Waterfront workshops was the making of cork boats that could then be put into the pool under the Wind Tree to be raced.  They were made out of plain corks, skewers, ice block sticks and square pieces of paper to make the sails. Some very imaginative boats were being made!

Thursday, 21 June 2012


M.O.T.A.T = Museum of Transport and Technology

While in Auckland City we decided that a trip to Motat was a great idea, and we asked our friend Bob to come along as well as he is keen on all the inventions and development of technology.  There is SO much to take in once you are there, so plan for a whole day if you can!  We took a packed lunch, and the kids coped surprisingly well for the 4 hours we were there.  We will definately go again, and look at the things we just brushed through briefly.

The main areas the kids were interested in were Transport (ie. trams), Electricity (the bright lights and interactive display), Lights & Mirrors (prisms, reflections etc), and Kiwi Identity (brands they recognise, kiwi-styles they are aware of in their own everyday lives).

After looking through the plane museum we then took a tram ride to the other part of Motat.  It is very exciting for the kids, and having explained that this was the mode of public transport (not too many) years ago, they found it fascinating that our grandparents and parents used these.  There is a recently opened Wynyard Quarter tram ride, which we were able to go on before going to Motat, so it was nice to compare them both.

Click for the Transport resource PDF booklet.

Lights & Mirrors
Lights and mirrors have always fascinated me, and it was very exciting for me to see the kids enjoying them too!  Freya had a great time using the prisms, and Blake found it great seeing his legs disappear! 

Click for the Lights & Mirrors resource PDF booklet.

The kids were very interested in the Electricity and Science part of Motat, where they can experience a 'hands on' approach in making electricity, watching electricity going through a circuit, and recalling what they have in their own home (or boat in our instance) that uses electricity.  Bob was especially excited by the thought that his own hands could charge the batteries in his boat!

Click for the Electricity resource PDF booklet.

Kiwi Identity
Both Freya and Blake loved the little "BBQ table" which is very "Kiwiana".  They also saw things that they have seen in the street and at the supermarket, ie. white picket fence, Marmite, and Tip Top (most recently the Tip Top ice cream shipping container at the Viaduct).  They also loved the display of pavlova and the living room which had an old style TV and couch in, a typical "kiwi as" living room!

 Click for Kiwi Identity resource PDF booklet

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sustainable Coastlines - Upcycling

All my life I have been interested in what is now called Upcycling.  Meaning mainly that you are 're-using' something that would normally be rubbish, and giving it an extended life so to speak.

The Sustainable Coastlines team have collected thousands of plastic bottles, and thought a great use would be to make planters or bird feeders for the kids to take home.  Both Freya and Blake chose to make planters, as they wanted to grow parsley for more pesto!