Slide toggle

Contact Us

Cre8kits (Cre8tors Ltd), PO Box 5432 High Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16 9DB customerservice@cre8kits.co.uk

Category: Healthy Living

Making Leaf Sail Boats!

Although it has been a bit of a washout of a late summer the arrival of September means I can finally talk about the second of my favourite seasons, Autumn!

Opportunities for crafting in Autumn are amazing and varied so I am going to have a lot of fun sharing the autumnal crafting love. This first Autumn post is all about making those “evergreen” seasonal favourites…Leaf sail boats!

Making Leaf Sail Boats

This is perfect for those still beautiful days that you get in September and you find yourself by a pond or lake with children or even a group of friends (it’s surprising how competitive people can get over a tiny leaf boat!) Make your boats as complex or as simple as you can find materials for. You will always have an abundance of natural materials to choose the right mast or sail for the job.

Although this is all about the fun of building and sailing your boats; there are also a massive amount of positive learning opportunities for children in this activity such as:

  • Experimentation with materials to see what floats and what doesn’t.
  • Design – obviously important if you don’t want a sinking boat.
  • The experience of actually getting your hands right in there and getting muddy or wet. Although this sounds a strange one some of my fondest childhood memories involve me getting muddy, covered in leaves or on one or two memorable occasions totally soaked from head to foot. However when close to water children should always be under supervision from a suitable adult as edges can be slippery and children overly absorbed in the fun.
  • The social benefits of both working together and also individually. Some children thrive on working by themselves and others in a group situation so it’s always good to swap round. This gives a chance to learn that they can work either way and it’s not scary.
  • It is also a good opportunity to teach children some of the names of insects, birds or plants they come across and get a bit of early nature love starting. Who knows, you may inspire a future career!
Boat Design

The boats themselves are really just up to your imagination and experimentation. The boats that sink are just as important in the process as the ones that float.

You basically need a “boat” base bit – either a leaf, nut shell, raft or piece of bark. Leaves with defined edges work best for this as they don’t easily let water over the edges. We found a couple of walnut shell husks enjoyed by a squirrel and these worked brilliantly. You do however have to balance your mast and leaf quite carefully so that it doesn’t tip over. We found wedging a small twig from top to bottom of the shell worked well but just experiment. Then you need a mast – twig, hollow grass stem or leaf stem. And finally a sail – leaf or flower petal.

 

If you are attempting a raft then you may need a piece of twine to hold it all together. However please take it back away with you and leave nothing but your footprints behind.

Hope you have an amazingly productive boat building session full of mud, pond skaters and most importantly fun!

I’d love to see your creations so please send them in with your first name and county to customerservice@cre8kits.co.uk and I will post them all up on here.

To read more of our blog posts click here

Green – Reasons to love and hate the marmite colour

For 2017 a green shade is Pantone colour of the year, appropriately called Greenery; fresh and vibrant it truly makes you think of freshly uncurled leaves.

“There’s an understanding now, that you can use green as a neutral colour, just as Mother Nature does. With any flower that pops out of the Earth, you never say, ‘oh, that can’t go against green’.” Leatrice EisemanExecutive Director of the Pantone Color Institute

The colour green is everywhere, we see it everyday whether we work or live rurally or in urban settings. From sumptuously filled gardens to the weeds in between the paving slabs on our way to work, it is ever present. Despite this the colour green is often portrayed as an afterthought, much less popular than its “shade cousin” blue and also associated with unluckiness in some countries and jobs.

As it is green’s year, I thought it was the perfect moment to look at this colour in more detail and find out why and where we should and conversely shouldn’t, be including green in our lives.

What is Green?Hand drawn leaf Becky Woolley

Green is perched between blue and yellow on the visible light section of the electromagnetic spectrum and has a wavelength of around 510nm. Things, such as for example vegetation, appear green because all the other colours in the visible part of the spectrum are absorbed into the leaves but green is reflected.

Green Associations around the World

In many languages, including English, green is irrevocably intertwined with growth in nature but culturally green has a myriad of different meanings across the world. In Europe and the USA green denotes Spring, a sign of rebirth and environmental knowledge. However in China green means exorcism and in hats, that someone’s wife is cheating. Green in Japan means life and in Islam green shows hope and virtue. In Feng Shui green means Yin and a refreshing, nurturing, calming and healing energy.

green scooterUnlucky?

Widely thought of as an unlucky colour for a vehicle, many people would rather have any other colour paintwork rather than go for green. Interestingly dark green was a very popular colour for early automobiles but now only 6% of cars (from a 2013 survey) are this colour and this figure is still dropping.

But can the colour of your car really be linked to higher crash rates?

A Monash University Accident Research Centre study in Australia found a clear statistical link between car colour and risk of crash. This showed that cars that might be more difficult to see clearly, such as darker cars like black, brown and green, were more likely to have more severe crashes than lighter or white cars. However green, although high up, was not at the top of the list of most crashes so why do we have such a specific view that green cars are unlucky when it comes to crashes?

One possible link is that in 1910 a car being driven in a race in Syracuse lost control and killed several watching members of the public – it was green. Then again in 1920 Gaston Chevrolet was killed in his green car during a race. These two events seem to have had a big impact on the racing car scene with this superstition being at its highest between the 20’s and the 50’s. This feeling is only now starting to ebb because corporate sponsors want their logos on cars and if the sponsor’s logo happens to be green, drivers on that sponsors team have to put aside the superstition in order to drive.

And Now the Positives

There is mounting research both being undertaken and already completed that colour can affect your mood and enhance your memory and creativity.

A study from the University of Essex assessed mood and tiredness in a group of 14 men. The group rode an exercise bike for 5 minutes while watching a simulated cycle through natural surroundings with either a green, red or monochrome filter applied. The participants reported feeling less tired and had steadier mood fluctuations when the green filter was applied than when the other two filters were used.

The same research team also undertook a previous study which found that even a tiny amount of exercise outside provided very positive improvements in mood and self-esteem.

Green surroundingThey theorised that these positive effects traced back to when lush greenery to our early ancestors indicated plentiful food and water and would presumably provide calmer and happier feelings as a result.

Another study, on the relationship between colour and emotion completed by Naz Kaya PH.D. and Helen Epps PH.D. from the University of Georgia used 98 college students as the participants. They used a computer screen to separately show each participant a series of ten colours – red, yellow, green, blue, purple, yellow-red, green-yellow, blue-green, purple-blue and red-purple. They were then asked to report their emotional response to the colour on the screen and how it made them feel. Out of all the colours, green was mentioned most positively with 95% of responses being positive. The words and emotions people associated with green were relaxation, calmness, happiness, comfort, peace, hope and excitement. The participants said that they associated green with nature and plants which made them feel more soothed.

Increased Concentration and Creativity?

A slightly different slant on green’s positive impact is that research by Dr. Kate Lee found that it can also boost concentration and help you make less errors in your work. A group of students were given a boring computer based task to do but which involved concentration not to press the wrong button at certain times. When the students had a mini break half of them viewed a green roof and the other half a concrete roof. Those who had viewed the green roof made less mistakes and concentrated more than those who didn’t in the second half of the boring task completed after the break. She put forward the theory that the green view had given the students a mental boost and also a mind relax.

Links between green and enhanced creativity was made in a study by Lichtenfeld, Elliot, Maier and Pekrun where a very quick glimpse of green before doing a creative task boosted participant’s creative performance as opposed to when other colours were viewed.

So where or how is the best way to welcome green into your life?

Given that green seems to be beneficial for mood, concentration and creativity; it sounds like offices and educational establishments would benefit from a bit of greening here and there. In the home, green could be beneficial in home offices and also in rooms where you want to relax and recuperate. As with everything, use with moderation as too much green could also be overwhelming. Elle Décor suggests using some paler greens as neutrals and adding feature colours to imitate flower colours.

When it comes to transport it appears it is darker cars in general that are more likely to have crashes than lighter cars due to heightened visibility and not than green is particularly unlucky. However if safety is your primary concern when buying a car you may want to consider the colour and go for lighter rather than darker colour car shades.

 So Love it or hate it, green does have some very good points, just perhaps not when it comes to cars! How will you be using green this year?

For more of our blog posts please have a browse here

Information sources and links to further information:

https://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/EDDOCS/Wavelengths_for_Colors.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC300804/

http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=532

http://www.deborahswallow.com/2010/02/20/meaning-of-colours-across-cultures/

http://www.sensationalcolor.com/color-meaning/color-meaning-symbolism-psychology/all-about-the-color-green-4309#.WOwWEhEizIU

http://www.theaa.com/newsroom/news-2013/aacars-most-popular-car-colours.html

http://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/216475/muarc263.pdf

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-racing/nascar/history/green-cars-unlucky-in-nascar.htm

https://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/Choosing/colour-personality.htm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/10767459/Seeing-red-The-mind-bending-power-of-colour.html

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es301685g

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es305019p

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027249440290232X

http://www.apa.org/monitor/apr01/greengood.aspx

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9450.2004.00419.x/full

https://adobe99u.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/2012_lichtenfeldetal_pspb.pdf

http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/how-do-colors-influence-learning

http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC3743993

http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/color/news/a9392/pantone-color-of-the-year/

http://www.livescience.com/36735-does-the-color-green-boost-exercise-s-effects.html

http://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/38646306/colorassociation-students.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1492521099&Signature=WSQk7oGC%2Bx3EXuh10Kq9silRNig%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DRELATIONSHIP_BETWEEN_COLOR_AND_EMOTION_A.pdf

http://freshome.com/2010/09/08/20-ways-to-use-color-psychology-in-your-home/

show