Bring back the Bilby! Creative craft ideas for your ELC
Author: Anna Munro Date Posted: 21 March 2019
Let's bring the Bilby back!
Remember the story of the Easter Bilby from your childhood? #bringbackthebilby is a campaign we are standing up for this Easter to help save our Bilbies from extinction.
Once a thriving native species in Australia, Bilby numbers fell rapidly in the early 20th century. Conservationists have estimated their numbers have dwindled down to less than 10,000!
Let's engage our children's curiosity, understanding and appreciation for these for little marsupials. Take some of our ideas below into your own early learning environment.
Some of you might be questioning whether you should (or shouldn't) be doing Easter craft with your children? Check out our latest Podcast. Our founder Lara Jennings addresses this question BEAUTIFULLY... Listen to this Podcast here.
That's why we're putting our focus on the endagered native Bilby this Easter.
There's no better way of getting tried and tested ideas than from our Offspring Tribe. We've sent them each a packet of cardboard Bilby cut-outs. Our 10 Tribe Inspirators will come up with the GOODS! They're creative and clever and all amazing Early Childhood Educators (except for two of them... they're amazing Prep Teachers!).
Keep an eye out on this page - we'll add their ideas here as they roll in.
Anna from our team at Offspring Education had a little Bilby crafting session with her children. Check out what they got up to below.
If you would love your own cardboard Bilby cut outs you can purchase them here.
We're going on a Bilby hunt... we're going to protect them
(Activity from Anna at Offspring Education. I'm a mum of 3 and former Family Day Carer)
I set up the activity with an assortment of randomly patterned paper scraps, a cardboard Bilby cut-out and some paste with brushes. I resisted the urge to complete my own Bilby. There was going to be NO predefined outcome (except that I had provided a Bilby shape and obviously wanted them to use the paper cut outs, but other than that it was a free flow activity).
I went and collected my children from school... you may notice that these children are not pre-schoolers. I do have a 22 month year old though... perfect I thought, he would provide some EXCELLENT pre-schooler input.
Turns out, he DID NOT WANT A BAR of this activity.
I had just listened to Lara's Podcast 'Easter Craft: Should we or shouldn't we?', so I was being EXTRA mindful about not having a predefined outcome of what I wanted the Bilbies to look like (or in the case of my little one, letting go any expectations that he would join in).
To help with this, I sang Elton John's 'Let it be' in my head OVER and OVER. I mean I didn't have this blog post to write or anything!
And they're off. They got stuck straight into it. And that little black shoe you can see bottom right of the group shot is my baby departing... Let it be, let it be, let it be, oh let it beee.
There were immediate requests for pens, sissors and feathers. Great I thought! Let's do it. I've got kids interested, engaged and adding their own ideas into this activity (just what Lara suggests in her Podcast). Winning.
They collected sticks on the way home from school so they could attach them on the back of their Bilby... this helped with to Part 2 of this activity, the Great Bilby Hunt.
After an hour of intense crafting, the older kids were done. Blizzard of a mess remained.
And among the mess and the quiet, my little one decides it's the perfect time to craft.
He grabbed a brush (did a bit of pasting on his leg to settle in) and then selected a decoration and pasted it down! Unpromted or encouraged!
We then set off on a Bilby hunt. EVERYONE wanted to join in this. The excitment was high. They all wanted to find their own Bilby creations. My 5 year old continues to hide the Bilbies a few days later... with her little brother re-arranging them in behind her.
I will be keeping their Bilbies for Easter, and hide them again in the garden... maybe with some chocolates because I love chocolate.
And, because we're from New Zealand we don't really know what Bilbies are. So I better learn a bit more about these native marsupials at the same time as my children.
More ideas to come! We will post them as our Offspring Tribe provide them...
What is the Offspring Tribe?
The Offspring Tribe is a group lead by 10 incredibly talented educators. We refer to them as our 'Tribe Inspirators'.
At Offspring Education we send our Tribe Inspirators the same resource. The Inspirators then work their creative magic and include these resources in the most amazing invitations to play. The play set ups are then posted in the Offspring Tribe Facebook group and/or Instagram
If you're an educator, this is a group you need to join! You will see 1 resource used in many different ways to create a learning environment. Take these ideas and be inspired! You can share you're ideas in the group too... you don't need to be a Tribe Inspirator to contribute ideas.
How do I get involved?
Simply join the Offspring Tribe Group on Facebook and you will see all the ideas as they're posted. Join by clicking the button below.