Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Building an eco-cubby

We set a challenge today for kids at the Woodford Children's Festival to design and construct an eco-cubby that was big enough for three people, was structurally sound, provided protection from the sun and wind, and was beautifully decorated.  

Evan and I led this workshop as part of Nature Kids - an Ethos Foundation program we have developed. On Thursday I am offering another session at Woodford Festival - Arty Seeds, then back at Crystal Waters in February we'll be running a Nature Kids session called Design and Build an Ecovillage which we are really looking forward to.

Over 30 children attended the session today. Evan explained the challenge and explained the materials at their disposal. They had an equal set of large bamboos and could also access thin bamboos, banana leaves and fabric and other offcuts to help them create their designs.

Four teams of children worked cooperatively to create some wonderful cubbies - each unique.  They really did spend time discussing and testing the design of the structure to make it strong, and the bags of fabric, string and wood offcuts, and seed pods were completely scavenged.
The lean-to model against a large fallen log.
They were sure they could fit five kids in there.
The double-tripod method with decorative panels
Weaving walls for shelter using fabric offcuts and lightweight bamboo.
The tipee model with banana leaf walls.
Our kids helped with the cubby workshop, but also enjoyed the other wonderful opportunities within and beyond the Children's Festival today.
The annual Woodford Chess tournament took place this afternoon.
Dozens of children played with such focus playing 6 games over two hours
Meanwhile Monty finally was able to fulfil his painting craving.
...and once he started, there was no stopping!


  1. What an amazing experience for all those kids. And not one gadget in sight! It's creative and they have to work in a team, great life skills for all involved. Good on you Morag and Co. Have a great week.

    1. It was great that the parents put down their devices too and got involved.

  2. Hi Morag, What a pleasure to find your lovely blog. I haven't been to Woodford for a few years, we used to go regularly and perform with the morris dancers, until my partner changed jobs and can no longer take holidays at Christmas. This year my youngest daughter,who has just turned 18, is up there with friends, her to see list includes childhood favourites Women in Docs and Martin Pearson. Woodford is great for kids - it really opens up their horizon to such a great range of music, culture and experience. All my three girls look back on their childhood Woodford experiences with great fondness - the circus activities in the kids festival and participating in the Fire Choir were always highlights for them. Also camping for the week and of course MUD - glorious mud, after the inevitable summer storm. The cubbies look great - something city kids miss out on is scavenging and building from found stuff, it's great you could provide the experience.
    Best Wishes

    1. Thanks Saskia, I agree - Woodford is an amazing place for kids and families. I'm sure my children also grow up and look back at their experiences at places like Woodford with great fondness. Now with the Planting Festival - the June event at Woodfordia, we get another smaller dose of the magic.

  3. Wonderful cubby houses, and I love Monty's painting.
    A good time was had by all. Even the opportunity to play a game of chess.
    I had no idea so much went on at the Woodford Festival.

  4. Hello, visiting via Rhonda's( Down to Earth) site. Loved this idea, looks like so much fun was had by all. Will be sure to visit here again. Happy New Year!