The best things in life are (often) free

AS the school summer holidays approach, many parents will be preparing for their children’s inevitable “I’m bored” moans.

But for cash-strapped families, beating the boredom with expensive day trips may be out of the question, and cheaper home-made fun could be the best option.

Research by the Nationwide Building Society suggests more than half of parents are worried about how they’ll finance entertainment for the kids and childcare during the holidays.

It’s not just less well-off families feeling the pinch. One in 10 higher-income parents (earning £60,000+ a year) admitted expensive days out weren’t possible this year.

Figures compiled by the national charity 4Children show just how much prices have risen in recent years – for instance, the charity says the cost of buying tickets on the day for a family of five to Alton Towers has increased by 57% over the last four years, from £126.50 in 2009 to £198 in 2013.

Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children, says: “Days out can strengthen bonds and build shared family experiences and memories that we know are so important.

“But the financial pressures facing families are already deeply concerning and, when combined with the escalating costs of attractions and transport, the traditional family day out is increasingly under threat.”

However, parents worried about how they’ll afford summer entertainment should remember that kids are very good at entertaining themselves, and can have plenty of cheap and cheerful fun at home.

Read more:

Recycle Week – 17-23 June

Recycle Week is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year. This year’s theme is: “Recycling – at home and away” and will focus on metals, plastics, packaging, textiles and food waste.

Primary schools generate 45kg of waste per pupil per academic year and secondary schools 22kg per pupil per academic year.

Schools can take the week as a chance to look at how their school can reduce its waste and also up their recycling. It’s also a great way to raise funds using one of the various recycling companies that will collect clothes, DVDs, and printer cartridges.

Pupils ‘name-dropping their mothers in short stories’

It’s a generation with unprecedented access to pop stars, actors, sportsmen and TV presenters. But it appears that today’s children still look much closer to home when it comes to finding inspiration.

An analysis of more than 90,000 short stories written by under-13s from across Britain has found that their mothers feature more heavily in their work than any other character.

Research by Oxford University Press found that mums were “far and away” the most popular object of children’s stories this year.

According to figures, the word – in its various forms and regional variations such as “mom” and “mam” – was featured more than 115,000 times.

Mothers comfortably outscored fathers, with figures showing that dads barely crept into the top 15 most featured terms.

However, the study showed that fathers were often portrayed in the “action man” role in several of the best-written stories – fighting aliens, blowing things up and even building a time machine.


Three Primary Colours


Three Primary Colors is a collaboration between OK Go and Sesame Street explaining the basics of color theory in stop-motion. Made me smile.

MF, studio, dbda

Bondi holder – animation

Lovely little animation that does a very good job at promoting a gadget that would probably go very unnoticed in a market of other holder silicone things. Personifying Bondi and making him into a series of characters was a very clever idea.

MF, studio, dbda

“Little Boat” by Nelson Boles

“Little Boat”, an animation by Nelson Boles. A beautiful piece of illustration, animation and filmmaking, with a touching story.

Watch the animation below!

MF, studio, dbda

Nest – the Learning Thermostat

Visionary Tony Fadell who, back in the day, was in charge of the iPod at Apple *just* launched a brand new product called Nest, the world’s first Learning Thermostat.

Nest learns from your temperature adjustments, programs itself to keep you comfortable, and guides you to energy savings. You can control the thermostat from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or laptop, and Nest never stops learning, even as your life and the seasons change.


Learn more at

Mf, studio, dbda

The Worldwide Campaign To Knit Sweaters For Penguins

Many blue penguins were caught in a recent oil spill off the coast of New Zealand and a yarn store called Skeinz has come to their rescue. They came up with the idea to knit sweaters for the affected penguins who are waiting to be scrubbed clean, this way they won’t injest the oil when they preen themselves. Sweaters have been pouring in from all over! What a wonderfully creative way to help!

As it stands right now they may have more than enough sweaters but you can keep tabs on the situation via the link below!

Skeinz blog:


MF, studio, dbda






Reve – stationary and food packaging

“Reve is an upscale hot air balloon company that ends each tour with a picnic and champagne. Most ballooning companies out there are very childish and unrefined, so the goal was to create a ballooning brand that was more than that- something classy and sophisticated, yet still with an easy-going and friendly vibe, to keep it approachable. ”

This line of stationary and food packaging they use on the flights includes a champagne bottle, designed upside down to reference the shape of the hot air balloon – super clever. I love the little balloon tags and business cards.

(via the Behance Network)

MF, studio, dbda


A Free, Open, Curriculum for Web Education



WaSP InterACT is a community driven project that offers a free, open, curriculum for web education.

Schools that teach web design struggle to keep pace with our industry, and those just starting their curricula often set off in the wrong direction because the breadth and depth of our medium can be daunting. The WaSP InterACT curriculum project seeks to ease the challenges schools around the world face as they prepare their students for careers on the Web.

WaSP InterACT is a living curriculum designed to change and keep pace with the fast moving industry. Its courses are divided into several tracks that provide students with a well rounded foundation in the many facets of the web design craft.

Anyone can get involved and contribute!

(via swissmiss)

MF, studio, dbda

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