Monday, 5 October 2015


These images are from Haida Gwaii 

The first photograph is of a window in the now derelict building which once housed the Nursery in which (and I need to say this again) I believe the Custtad approach to working with children originated

The second photograph was prompted by the unexpected discovery that the walls which could be seen when looking into the window had been painted pink. And not only were they pink but they closely resembled the shade of pink we always aim to use in Custtad rooms

Surely this was an amazing and unlikely co-incidence  Someone along the way (and the building has had many uses since it had ceased to be a nursery school) had chosen pink for the walls 
And as far as I know no one who had used the building over the intervening decades knew anything about Custtad 

More about the Custtad approach and about the pink we use can be found at at and at 

Also, mainly for cost considerations, we are continuing to use the previously established site at as the host for some (in our opinion) interesting supplementary information about THE MAKING OF CUSTTAD

Saturday, 3 October 2015



The accumulation of the necessary toys and materials to resource a facility is best achieved through the cooperation and assistance of as large a group of helpers as possible.

As anyone who has resourced a facility will affirm, there really is no substitute for the support and enthusiasm of friends and colleagues. And their involvement contributes not only to the task but it also adds credibility to our declaration to a child that the facility is a ‘room that has been specially set up for children’.

The most effective route to understanding what materials and toys are required is probably through a visit to a facility. But again there is much useful information in Balancing and on the two main Custtad web sites.
We have two cautions – both based on experience.

One relates to some teachers and head teachers who love catalogues and enjoy spending the funds provided by their education authority - and perhaps in ways that they would never spend their own. This can lead to the purchase of items that are not suitable for Custtad and to a situation we would prefer to avoid. This occurs when a Custtad worker, who is visiting a facility to authorize its readiness for use, needs to request that the unsuitable items be removed.

As we advocate that Custtad costs be kept as low as possible it is frustrating to find that money has been spent on unnecessary items when it could have been used for the toys and objects which are considered to be essential.

The other caution is when children offer to contribute items from their own collection of toys. It is safer not to agree to this. Children can have complex attachments to their toys and this could influence their response to the materials in the facility. It also avoids any possibility of a child, deciding that they have changed their mind, and asking for their toys to be returned to them.

The links will follow soon