WHERE DID TOGETHIMALS COME FROM?
At a time when colouring in books for adults were becoming very popular, Natasha started drawing pictures of "two different animals together" and giving them to Adrian to colour in and name. The colouring in was relaxing and exploratory for Adrian and the conversations about what these "together animals" were called became more and more interesting - a real chance for a very meaningful cross-generational discussion.
....... help to create more fascinating interactions between daddies and daughters, grandpas and grandsons, step-mums and step-children, out-of-home carers and those in their care?
Then came a realisation that Adrian expresses in this adult way: "What if we could offer these moments of intergenerational connection, conversation and learning to others? What if Togethimals could help to create more fascinating interactions between daddies and daughters, grandpas and grandsons, step-mums and step-children, out-of-home carers and those in their care? That list, we thought, could go on within the many forms that families now take and the myriad ways that the art of care-giving and receiving is now practised amongst adults and children."
"It might also help adults and children experience the mutual sense of authentic play - genuine, joyful, imaginative - and promote the idea that the terms 'teacher' and 'learner' are never age specific."
....... - not too overproduced, fairly homely....
So we put a book together - "Togethimals" - not too overproduced, fairly homely....
Our aim was to help improve interaction and conversation. It was not to make money. So what if people bought the book and a surplus was generated? If that happened, maybe that surplus could help address societal issues and create a way to involve all generations in it? Maybe this little book could be a daughter and daddy social enterprise of sorts?
Firstly, maybe we could support and encourage people who are undetaking interesting intergenerational projects to generate new opportunities for creative interaction amongst children and adults. Secondly like many families, ours is concerned about living in a way that is as ecologically sustainable as possible. So maybe a "Togethimals Fund" could help us come together across the generations to do more for that cause. Perhaps it could get places where children and adults interact - children's community services, kindergartens, schools - started on the journey to use renewable energy. Small solar installations (which were set up to grow over time) could improve sustainability, generate cross-generational conversations about ecology and allow the recipient organisations to save money on energy and put it towards their core purpose.
....... a fun, little, exploratory journey for us
This looks set to be a fun, little, exploratory journey for us. We hope you, the reader, might like to journey along with us whether it be by buying the book, contributing otherwise to the Fund or participating in who-knows-what-other-activities might eventuate.
In a world that sometimes seems obsessed with “getting to grown-up” Togethimals is here to honour childhood imagination and the things that adults and children can learn together through it. This book, brought about through a daughter and daddy collaboration is unique not only because of its cross-age creators but also because its readers - adults and children alike - are invited to keep reinventing the story for themselves, because the surplus from its sales doesn’t go to the creators but to making the world a little better for children and adults alike and because children and adults are involved in the process of deciding where the surplus funds go and learning how philanthropy works – together.
"As parents, one of our key jobs is to foster our children's capacity and creativity. Togethimals offers a way for parents and children to connect creatively through the telling of stories and finding joy in the whimsy of words. Amidst the demands of modern life, Togethimals can support parents to sit down and take some time making something with their daughter or son - a simple concept, but so needed."
- Daniel Donahoo, Author, Idolising Children & Adproofing Your Kids