Summer Holiday Workshops (Event Announcement 2021-2022)

Summer Holiday Workshops

For school aged children.

Yes! You can claim your creative kids voucher for these workshops.

Join us for a session of connecting to nature through art and craft. Children will be guided to create and express their connection to the natural world through a series of wholesome experiences, and at the end of the day they will take home their creation.

We use covid safe practices and bookings are limited to maintain safe numbers. Dates subject to change in line with guidance from NSW health. We will postpone workshops if we are obliged to discriminate over medical status. Educators are exempt from wearing masks.

All materials provided. Children bring their own lunch, morning and afternoon tea. No food will be provided.

Dates and costs:

Thursday 8.30 to 3.30 ECO DYE and flower mandalas full day $150 per student

Friday 8.30 to 12 Felting 3 hours $75 per student

Friday 1 to 4.30 Succulent mini gardens 3 hours $75 per student

Full day Friday: $150. Claim your creative kids voucher with us. Enquire about 10% sibling discounts and special concession rates for low income families.

Thursday 13th January 2022 EXPLORING BOTANY THROUGH ART full day

Morning Eco Dye on Felt Workshop 8.30 am to 3.30

This workshop encourages children to connect to the natural world and express this connection through printing with leaves onto felt. Children will take a walk through the workshop grounds if weather permits and collect fallen leaves, learn the names of the plants and their role in the environment and develop their understanding of the importance of respectful interactions between humanity and the earth.

Children choose leaves and arrange on felt. They are guided through preparing these for chemical transformation using heat and pressure to bond the tannins from the leaves into the felt.

Through this experience students build knowledge, resilience and patience and develop and express their connection to the natural world.

Educators will heat the felt safely in the kitchen and children will unwrap their creations in the afternoon to take home.

Afternoon Mandala creation

Flower and leaf mandala arranging, in groups or individually. This meditative exercise in self expression supports design planning, mathematical concept exploration, fine motor skills and collaborative skills. Children work together or individually to explore the concept of transient art and further connect to the natural world. Children’s work will be photographed.

Friday 14th January 2022 Art with NATURAL FIBRES Morning session

Morning session Felting Workshop

This workshop introduces children to working creatively with wool products to create a wet felted item to take home. The activity begins with an introduction of where fleece comes from, with demonstration of raw fleece and dyed and carded fleece products.

Students will be making a wet felted placemat or picture to take home. Elements include selecting fleece colours for the project and instruction in how to lay out fleece ready for felting. Students will be guided through the wet felting process including knowing when their item is finished and the final washing stages.

Creative outcomes for this activity include learning about fleece and its history and processing, developing a creative sensibility, learning the artistic technique of wet felting, understanding the effects of hot and cold water on fleece fibres, developing fine motor skills through use of hands to make, developing of attention, focus and following step by step processes to complete a project, and creative thinking and critique through observation and discussion of everyone’s work.

Friday 14th January 2022 Create Mini Gardens! Afternoon session

Afternoon Session Succulent mini gardens!

Using a variety of awesome funky succulent cuttings children will learn basic horticulture skills and plant their own mini garden to take home and cherish.

Students will decorate their own terracotta pot or teacups to plant their creation in, and be shown the parts of the plants, their functions and how to care for succulents and other plants.

Throughout this workshop students will develop their literacy, language and self-sufficency skills as they learn the basics of horticulture. These skills provide students with the confidence and basic understanding needed to explore gardening further.

To register fill the form below:

If you don’t hear back from us within one business day, please email care@earthconnecteducation.com

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Note: Please fill a separate form for each child you are booking. Once complete we will email you an invoice. Booking will be confirmed by email once payment has cleared. If you're having trouble viewing the form you can fill it on this link too: https://forms.gle/7jxNUgyr3ZE5eRSX9

Climate anxiety and young children. We need to take climate justice action into our own hands.

This is a letter to all parents and educators of young children, from my heart to yours.

Climate justice.

Anxiety. Hopelessness.

Children.

You might have been following the COP26 in Glasgow… and I don’t know about you but I am deeply disappointed.

For the families living on island countries who will bear the cost of a lack of commitment to phasing out coal and for all of us who hoped for better leadership and better stewardship of Country and land.

For our children.

For their future.

Because, our leaders’ lack of commitment to climate change makes solutions children’s responsibility. WE are making climate justice our children’s problem. And they are feeling it! * As a mother of teenagers let me tell you this isn’t a small concern! Not every child is going to be a Greta and demand justice. Many will internalise shame, depression, anxiety and hopelessness.

Now I know I know no one here is actively teaching children that they will inherit these problems! Early years services do a great job meeting and exceeding their sustainability obligations with passion and innovation, and all parents I know or have known are leading this learning at home. This letter is for you, written with hope and deep appreciation for all you do.

This is a political issue, not an education issue, however it is up to us to help remedy it, right now and take the stress off these developing future leaders.

When we educate on climate change or sustainability in the early years, we put power to act in children’s hands. However, I have a huge problem with the way this is usually presented to children and how media and materials support this education. Telling young children about landfills, carbon emissions or even just that the global temperature is warming and other ‘messes we made’ and making solutions their responsibility is a direct path to an anxiety-what child does not internalise adult’s problems and make them about them??

Instead, grow love for the planet in children’s hearts.

Get them outside, connect them to trees and earth. Empower them with positivity and stories of adults who do good for the planet. We need to build inner pictures for children of success and hope. Because there is hope. No more skinny polar bears or oceans of plastic-please send those to the federal government.

What can we do, today in our homes or early years services?

If you can, get children outside as much as you can and encourage them to love their environment! Talk about what you love in your service’s garden and encourage slow, imaginative play on the tiny world level. Leave the plastic toys for another day and let children explore and immerse their senses in (safe) sunlight, sand, leaves and flowers and dirt.

  • Find books on or recount positive true stories to children about successful adult climate helpers!
  • Avoid accidentally shaming or directing children to take sustainability actions like recycling or turning off water and lights. Direct children’s attention to sustainability with the awareness that YOU are the adult with the responsibility to the planet.
  • Explore your own anxiety, concern or bias in this area and get help as needed. Chat to colleagues or helpful professionals. What lives in us passes along to children in our care non verbally. This applies to other areas of justice and equality-racism, gender issues and other isms…we all have something to work on!
  • Be aware that children learn most from our actions. Are we encouraging sustainability actions for children that we ourselves do not do? Young children are sponges for all of our actions, and just wait until they are teenagers if you hope to hide discrepancy between word and action!!   

What’s next?

Chat to colleagues and do a review on your NQS area 3 programming and procedures (For those of you outside NSW or Australia, this is where services have an obligation to sustainability in practice). We strongly recommend:

  • Working with local indigenous elders and community to help children respect and connect to country
  • Grow and eat your own food
  • Look after your soil (watch for my upcoming blog on soil health in EC services)
  • Set up functional composting-get an expert in to teach your team about composting as needed.
  • Make future purchases mindfully and ethically. Plastic, with coal, needs to be phased out.
  • Make caring for your play materials part of the program. Children can sand and seal untreated wooden toys and furniture with beeswax, help you sew tears on dress ups and care for books etc, but remember to keep it light and know that sustainability is the adult’s role!

This is a climate justice issue as well as a way to work with children’s developmental stages and needs. In a covid world, we must lift the stress off children in every area we can. We must model action and hope and be aware of the lessons we teach without meaning to. Thank you so much for reading this and joining me in climate justice actions.

If you have any more ideas to help children miss out on climate anxiety or thoughts on this letter, please leave them below, email me or catch me on the socials. I would love to hear from everyone reading this <3

*https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-harming-childrens-mental-health-and-this-is-just-the-start-168070

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/10/overwhelming-and-terrifying-impact-of-climate-crisis-on-mental-health

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/10/overwhelming-and-terrifying-impact-of-climate-crisis-on-mental-health

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02582-8