Don’t try this at home, without a camera

On a giant hay bale. This was only a photo opp – very rude behaviour and no farmer would appreciate it.[gallery order="DESC"]


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 This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. This post is about risk and art. For more info about my book
 Homemade Kids, with lots of ideas about parenting click here.

As the Olympics were just about to start Lola, 14, and her friends were asked to sing the opening song at an Islington event an hour or so after the Olympic flame came by. It was a great honour, only slightly marred for them by having to wear school uniform in the holidays. You can listen to the song here (recorded in a studio at the same time as Dexys Midnight Runners were creating new songs) as you read the rest of this post.

The rest of that sunny Thursday was devoted to trying out as many sports as possible – all for free. I met kids doing taster sessions of indoor rowing (under a gazebo!), boxing, wheelchair basket ball, badminton, gymnastics and fencing. But what really caught people’s attention was the bloke in the corner of the park wielding a chainsaw. In the name of art.

The gallery photo shows Shane Green from Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley at an early stage of his chainsaw art creating a footballer from a fat tree trunk especially placed in Highbury Fields by the all-weather footie pitches. He starts off with a small pen knife model and then upgrades to the chainsaw.

So the pic that shows Xander, 13, whittling a dagger in the woods, could be tracking the start of a chainsaw art career. Activities that seem risky at first – knives, hay bale balance, silly clothes, singing in public, chainsaw creativity – can be leading to a unique set of skills. Even if they’re not, they are all a lot of fun.

Over to you
What would the Health & Safety Police shudder about if they saw your kids’ at play?

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