Friday, 30 September 2016

Educational Posters for NZ kids

Growing up with prints of famous paintings on the walls at home should be considered part of our parental responsibility of bringing up kiwi kids who are culturally well-rounded. There is something about living alongside famous artworks everyday that makes them not just familiar but understood. Seeing a print everyday is a different and more resonant level of engagement than swiping through images from the internet, where initial impact is all important rather than a lingering contemplation.

However art education prints are not the only wall art available for kids rooms, kiwiana is big too as it features icons of kiwi childhood like buzzy bees, jet planes and playground rocket ships, often now remixed into something more than just nostalgic Pakeha recycling, what we are calling post or neo kiwiana where the artistic conversation with NZ's past moves beyond just nostalgia and the appropriation of commercial motifs.

NZ Map in the Maori language
Educational poster for 4-12 year olds
The kiwiana ABC poster released a few years ago has made us realise that our range of educational posters should not just be limited to art education as we all like to put some basic learning resources on the walls when the kids are young, maps in the bathroom, a counting poster by the potty in our family's case. When we researched the publishers selling educational posters designed for NZ children we realised that with about twenty titles specifically made for kiwi parents to buy we could add a purely educational strand to our collection of kid orientated wall art pretty easily. Thanks to publishers like Huia we now have the first of these posters arriving in our kids collection, starting with two cool new NZ and world maps in Te Reo by Wellington artist, designer and illustrator Josh Morgan.

I will be adding pictures and links to this article shortly, writing this away from the office in the midst of the drizzliest school holidays in living memory and my kids only have so much tolerance for Dad using the iPad for work (but expect me to leave them in total peace if it is their turn on devices!).

And here we have the illustration that was supposed to accompany this post "Toko Whenua: Aotearoa", a large (A1 size) poster of NZ with all place names and places of interest in te reo Maori.  It's a fun learning resource for families, schools and pre-schools with eye catching illustrations designed to inspire kiwi children to learn more about the country they live in and increase their Maori language skills as the name and talk about the features of different places.