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  • Activities and Competitions

    Organizing activities and competitions can be fun but there are times you need some fresh input. In the activity drop-down menu below, you can find heaps of ideas. What about a Paper Plane Competition?
  • Activities

  • TIP: Think inside the hat!

    Party hats, store-bought or made from pages of an old book or scrap paper are very useful for a display. You can staple the hat to the board as a container for whatever you want to showcase. Or hang them in front of the board filled with little notes, poems, toy animals or whatever takes your fancy
  • TIP: Staple at an angle

    Removing old display items will be much easier when you hold the stapler at an angle when you tack items to the board. The staples will stick out at one side - perfect to get hold of and pull them out when you change displays.
  • TIP: Use a glue gun

    Glue guns are the most fantastic tools for creating displays. You can attach all sorts of materials like hard plastic, metal, fabric and everything else you can think off. Be careful with your fingers (blow - blow) the glue is very hot and you easily get blisters
  • TIP: Create a 3D effect!

    Create a 3D effect by hanging objects in front of the display board, like fish in a Sea Life display or lanterns in a Spring or Garden display.
  • TIP: Don’t overdue it!

    Too much text, images or books on display too close together distract the eye. It all becomes a blur. Each object needs its own space. Think of a shop window that is more than full with appliances, you can’t distinguish one object from the other, while carefully placed objects attract the attention.

Tree of knowledge

Here is the famous tree again. And this is only the bottom part but gorgeous on its own. The one I’ve used several times before in different displays. This tree is so easy to make and so incredibly versatile. I’ve used it to promote:

art in: CreativiTREE

spring in: Floral art and Flying Beauties

the UN’s: Year of the Forest

and I’ve used parts of the tree, branches and/or trunk to fill up empty spaces in other displays.

This would be a great display for International Teacher’s Day. You can hang whatever you want from the branches; photos of all the teachers of your school, beloved objects you asked them to bring in or their favourite quotes. See the sidebar for how to use little party hats to create a 3D  display and attract attention and a feeling of secrecy in storing little notes or objects in those hats so students and staff have the have a close look in seeing them.

To make my life easier I used the same background as I did for another display we had earlier.  Two for the price of one and the bright yellow colour gives a nice backdrop for the dark branches of the tree.

This display is about Wisdom, Truth, Ethics, Knowledge, Mystery, THE UNIVERSE……with books featuring those topics on the shelves below. It feels like a completely new display while the branches and trunk are as old as Methuselah.

To emphasize wisdom and to connect knowledge with ancient belief systems, I cut a couple of apples and lots of snakes making their way to the fruits of the earth.

You can make your own display to pay tribute to ancient wisdom, the great teachers who taught us and the masters of philosophy and universal spiritual laws who left us their legacy.

This display is funny, bright and full of symbols

What you need:

  • Wrapping paper for the background
  • Image of a tree trunk – Google creative commons – large size – enlarged to A3 and preferably laminated to bring the texture out and to make them more durable
  • Coloured card for three different colour snakes
  • Apples – Google creative commons – enlarged
  • Title
  • Cardboard boxes if you want to create extra display space
  • Christmas lights
  • Images of a half-round earth. (optional) Quite large in size to fill up the empty space where the tree trunk ends
  • Little eyes for the snakes or cut them from paper

Don’t forget that you can make beautiful book stands from sturdy boxes. Wrap them in nice paper and glue tight. Put a plastic or plexiglass book stand on it and voila, extra display space.

By lack of box (free at the supermarket), you can use an old large book and put it on its side and half-open on the floor. Put an old book on top, like a ceiling and on top of that another half-open book on its side. I’ve stacked them 3 or 4 high this way, the smallest volume on top creating a Tower of Pisa in paper form (:-)

What to do:

  • Staple the wrapping paper to the board
  • Cut the images of the tree in trunks and branches, make them smaller towards the end of the branches. This is quite elaborate but you can do it way in advance. Give students scissors and a copy of the sheet and let them help you
  • Cut snakes from the coloured card. I used smaller bits of card and pasted them together. I cut them as I went, using a glue pistol to attach the eyes. Because they’re store-bought and half-round they needed to be attached firmly to prevent sticky fingers peeling them off
  • Cut small pieces of colourful paper for the spots on the snakeskin
  • Cut the apples
  • Cut the letters of the title and paste them to the black card
  • Staple the tree to the board – make sure the branches reach out to the sides. Don’t be afraid to work over bars or between window sills if you make the display on the wall. Don’t staple the top part yet, if you’re going to use it. First attach the half-round earth to the top part. If the earth is in place you can staple the branches over or around them to create a natural feel of looking through the branches.


  • You need to connect the branches to the main trunk but the smaller ends of the branches can ‘float’ in the air….. that makes the tree airier and increases the size of the tree on the board. As long as you keep within the natural space of the tree it will look fine.
  • Drape the Christmas lights around the tree and trunks. Start with attaching the beginning and the end of the wire close to the plug and pin down the middle of the string somewhere in the middle of the display. Work from there. This way you know you’ll have the lights evenly distributed. Connect the power and step back to see if the string hangs correctly and make changes if needed. Never pin or staple the wire directly to the board! Cut little straps of paper used in the display and staple the strap to the board feeding the string through it.
  • Staple snakes to the board. Make them curl and let the bodies wave for a great 3D effect. I staple one part, push the paper towards the staple so it bulges and staple the next part.
  • Hang some of the apples in front of the snakes head.
  • Staple the title over the trunk – measure to make sure it’s in the middle
  • Cover the boxes with left-over paper and images (or do it in advance) and tape the book stand to it
  • Place the boxes in front of the display area for extra display space or place a couple of boxes on the shelves to create different heights
  • Connect the Christmas lights and admire your creation

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