Happy Mothers Day!


Thank you,  my beautiful boys,  for helping me see the world through new eyes.


Land Art


We couldn’t have asked for better weather to create land art today – The Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens were sunny and clothed in beautiful autumn style!


A select group of adventurers thoroughly enjoyed getting their hands dirty looking for the perfect acorn to complete the project!


Let’s do it again soon!  🙂

Getting out and about

It is a glorious time of year here in the Hills, and its time to get out and about! With all the glorious colours around at the moment, I have been thinking about a lot of the artists who use natural materials to create beautiful, temporary works of art. It goes by various names, but the most common seems to be land art. There are so many ideas out there.  These are beautiful.

There’s a lot pretty pictures on this gallery of Richard Shilling’s work.

Or for more simple, kid friendly ideas try Land Art for Kids!

And some more interesting ideas for making Land Art Mandalas on Playful Learning.

If you are interested in joining us for a Land Art day, we would love to have you. We are going to visit the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens on Wednesday the 7th of May from 10:00 am. There will be no charge for this, just a chance to chat with some like-minded people and create some art. Bring a picnic and enjoy the beauty of the Adelaide Hills.

Easter Baskets


Making Easter baskets is a great activity for kids. Living Creekside means we have bullrushes, so this year we decided to try make our Easter baskets out of them. Well, it was pretty tricky, so DH and I ended up doing most of it! Ah well,  we enjoyed it! When we had finished them, it was such a beautiful day we enjoyed sitting in the sun, so D made some fish, and I made a wreath.



Have a wonderful Easter, everyone!

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds


Yesterday we started our exploration of Autumn seeds. This really suits us as great way to move on from our study of early agriculture, as well as being a great seasonal activity. As I have already said, we are planning to study Autumn seeds in a unit similar to the one described here. We started with a trek around the yard, including the isolated ‘wild lands’ of abandoned garden we call The Island. We were hunting seeds! We came prepared with tweezers, magnifying glasses and a collection bucket.


And, goodness we found a lot! There are all sorts of interesting seeds just sitting around ready to be examined. At first the children needed a bit of guidance to work out what were seeds, as they needed to get their eye in. Once they got into the swing of it, we were very busy.

After all our collecting we spread all the different types out on a plain background so we could clearly see them all. We had some preliminary investigations. Handling something is a much more meaningful way of learning about something, if that is at all possible. In a few of the seeds – such as the rose hips. it was not possible to see inside them, so some of these we cut in half to see what was in them.



Then it was drawing time. At this stage, my oldest child decided he really wanted to start a nature journal, so he chose some paper to work on with that. The rest of us just used our drawing books.


This afternoon’s job is to go through all our books looking for some related to seeds and to order some from the library, and to rearrange the work shelves to make room for them.

Happy Autumn hunting!


Autumn at the Atelier

Here at the Creekside Atelier, changes are afoot. The mornings are crisper, and there is a lovely misty rain falling over the distant hills. The creek is flowing again and the trees are just starting to turn.


In the garden we are still harvesting tomatoes, zucchini, basil and last last few summer crops. The pumpkins are getting bigger.


All of which signals the end of the heat, and the beginning of my favourite season: Autumn.


Autumn is a great time for crafting, so I am starting to arrange my materials ready to go. Here in the Adelaide Hills we are lucky enough to have an endless supply of Autumn leaves for crafting with, as well as acorns and other assorted Autumn-y materials. This makes Autumn crafting so much easier!

This season my oldest is nearly 8, so it is time for the two of us to start knitting with needles. We are going to try to knit some of these adorable apples. The younger children might be interested in dipping leaves in wax or hearing the story of the star in the apple and doing some apple print t-shirts or experimenting with the mixing colours on leaves.

If you are interested in your own Autumn crafts, I have some lovely links on my Autumn Pinterest board.


After we spent the last few weeks learning about the introduction of agriculture, and how and why people started sowing crops, it is natural for that to flow on to harvest festivals. Keep an eye out for an upcoming post about that.

Ever season we pick one aspect of nature we are going to focus on, and we keep an eye out for opportunities to look at that area. In Summer, we went creek dipping and discovered some of the fascinating creatures in our creek. Last Autumn we examined and collected leaves. This Autumn we are going to focus on seeds. My starting point for this will be this lovely post.

In the coming term we will be exploring different bases in maths, and exploring some chemistry for science, and later we will get lost in Ancient Egypt. Don’t worry, I will tell you more about that later.


The Creekside Atelier’s new courses start this Sunday – I am really looking forward to that! I am also developing courses for the school holidays and for term 2. Sign up by email to stay in touch for these new developments.

What are you doing this Autumn, at home or school? Please share your ideas in the comments below, and if you find these ideas useful, share them around using your social networking links.

Happy Autumn!