Lane Cove Local Identity – Danya Banya Inspiring Kids with Creative Fun

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On the blog today we are featuring Lane Cove Local Danya who is a local blogger.  Danya has  two daughters JJ (5 years old) and Bee (almost 3 years old), a cat Charli,  a puppy Snowflake, Goldie the goldfish, a plague of pet phasmids, an ant farm and  possums that live in the roof. Danya has two blogs:

www.danyabanya.com  – a blog about fun and creative things to do with kids; and
www.gosciencegirls.com – a fun and creative way to have fun with science

We wanted to feature Danya as her blogs are all about using your imagination.  If you, like ITC, struggle to get your kids off the ipad or Wi, this is a great blog for you.

Danya Banya family

We asked Danya a few questions about her blog.

Why did you start the blog?

I first started my blog Danya Banya when I was 8 months pregnant with my second child. You could call it nesting, I suppose! I was feeling a little isolated as a creative stay at home mum, and I yearned for a connection with like-minded people. Blogging certainly opened up a whole new world for me – some of the online friends I’ve made live on the other side of Australia, or indeed, on the other side of the world!

About a year ago, my eldest daughter proclaimed that she wanted to be a science girl when she grew up. I explained that a science girl is someone who is fascinated about the world and interested in how things work, and so I thought she already was one. That conversation prompted our second website, Go Science Girls, as a place to nurture our science girl aspirations, and hopefully inspire other science girls as well.

go science girl

Where do you get your inspiration for the projects?

So many places! Many of our projects are inspired by our daughters’ questions and interests, whether that be a favourite nursery rhyme, or a question they’ve asked. One day my daughter asked how glass is made and why it’s transparent, that question led us to making edible glass in our kitchen. It’s was really yummy!  Here is the link to the blog if you want to make edible glass.

How-to-make-Edible-Glass-that-reallly-shatters

What is your favourite project?

Oh, that’s a tricky one. I do love toilet paper roll crafts (there’s something so satisfying about how they can stand up on their own!) We’ve also done the dissolving eggshell project, at least, a dozen times – it’s so easy to do, and it’s always fun.

http://gosciencegirls.com/dissolving-eggshell-experiment/

What is your advice on how to get kids interested in science?

I don’t have background in science, so I’m certainly not an expert. We’re learning together. I do think most kids are born with an intense curiosity about how the world works, so it’s about keeping that curiosity alive. If there is an invested adult who is intensely curious too, then that validates that the world is a fascinating place worth learning all about.

You seem to make learning fun, what are the secrets?

Thank you! I think the key is finding activities that tap into your child’s interests and learning styles. Their interests change over time as well, which means I’m always playing catch up! My kids love hands-on activities that use several (or all) of their senses, so we’ve done a lot of sensory play. We also try to limit toys that have batteries or set instructions, so that we’re encouraged (or forced) to come up with our own ideas.

What are some good craft tips for a rainy day?

Hmm, it depends on the age group. When my kids were young toddlers, they loved sticking cupcake patty pans to paper with a glue-stick over and over again. Sometimes simple things are the best! Nowadays my girls like ‘crayon resist’ art, where they draw an ‘invisible’ picture with white crayon, and then paint over the top with watercolours to reveal the picture beneath. Rainy days are also great opportunities to cook together. We love making Anzac biscuits, and watching that awesome bicarb soda reaction. They taste great for afternoon tea too.

Crayon resist

One of ITC favourite Danya Banya projects is her Australia Day projects from paper plates and cups (inspired)
If you would like to make this craft for Australia Day here is the link.

Thank you to Danya for sharing information on her blog.  We highly recommend you like her Facebook page.

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