More and More and More author Ian Mutch on how to be sustainable in playtime

Debut author Ian Mutch’s picture book, More and More and More, was published at the beginning of October on World Habitat Day.

More and More and More is a vibrant tale about keen collector Henry Harper, who loves catching things in his net. One day he meets Kate and together they gather more and more and more stuff. But when it all gets too much, they come to the realisation that the most valuable thing they’ve found is each other.

The book’s strongest messages are those of the value of friendship and of looking after our planet and the places we live. Check out Ian’s top activities below that promote sustainability in playtime and classroom activities.

‘Sustainability and consumption are themes that are very relevant in today’s society, which is why they’re so prevalent in More and More and More,’ said Ian.

‘We all consume, and especially when you have young children, you realise how many new items are purchased. When it comes to toys, the market is saturated with plastic and junk and I personally think we’re teaching children the wrong thing by buying more and more (and more) of it.

‘The teaching activities below are designed to try and shift focus away from wanting or needing things, and onto the value of friends, family and the world around us.’

1. Waste not, want not

Ask everyone to bring in an old toy or unused item from home and get them to put it in a box in the middle of the classroom. Once the box is full, talk about what they can do with their old, unwanted things. You could donate them to an op shop, give them to children who are less fortunate, or recycle them and make them into something else.

2. Needs and wants

Ask everyone to draw one thing that they want, and one thing that they need. Make a ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ section on a whiteboard, blackboard, pin board or wall and stick the drawings in the relevant category. Start a discussion on why some things are needs and some are wants, and what the difference between them is.

3. Waste-free food

Print a large picture of a lunchbox and some smaller pictures of things you would find in there. Give the students one item each. Ask them to stick it inside the lunchbox if they think it’s a waste-free product, or outside the lunchbox if the packaging or wrapping stops it from being waste free.

4. Friends and family

Get everyone to tell the rest of the class about their favourite person. Ask them why this person is their favourite, what is good about them and what sort of things they like to do with their person. You could also ask them to draw a picture of this person and write all of the good things about them around the picture in a word cloud. To develop the idea of valuing people, not things, ask students what one favourite thing they would give up for their favourite person.

More and More and More by Ian Mutch is available in all good bookshops and online at

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More and More and More

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