I have a boy home sick today. He’s on the verge of being well enough to go to school but with a cough that makes him sound like an Edwardian consumptive, I thought it best he spend the day coughing and spluttering all over me, rather than his school buddies. Trouble is, he’s bored. Not well enough to head outside and sick to death of being inside. Frankly, it’s doing my head in. So, I’ve brought the outdoors to him. We’re going to play with a plant.
It’s early spring here in Australia and the Casuarinas (She-Oaks) are looking grubby. Their rust coloured male cones, whilst insignificant, mass the plant at the end of the leaves (they are actually cladodes, the true leaves are tiny) covering it in a browny haze. The female cones are bright scarlet and sit boastfully further up the branches. I love, love, love She-Oaks. They are tough as old boots, grow all over the place in Sydney and I always feel like there’s magic about when I hear the wind whispering through them. They are a wise tree. If you wish to know more about this amazing plant, click on the link above.
Best of all, they are fun to play with. The fallen leaves dry to look like Akta-vite and can be used to make a bird’s nest into which you can arrange blown easter eggs or make your own baby leaf birds.
Current growth on the other hand is flexible and your kids can make all sorts of things such as wearable jewellery simply by twisting the leaves this way and that. So, whether you have a sick child at home or not, I encourage you to have a go at this fun craft activity. It’s quite addictive and will keep your kids occupied for hours.
Until next time.