Spoonville Murrumbeena

A Spoonville in the Melbourne suburb of Murrumbeena. PICTURE: Paul Harrison (licensed under CC BY 2.0)

With coronavirus lockdowns around the world forcing people to stay at home, there have been various initiatives aimed at brightening up our days (remember the idea of placing teddy bears in windows for children to spot as they walked passed?). Now, in another trend, people have been "planting" wooden or plastic spoons decorated as people in their nature strips, creating small villages known as "Spoonvilles". It's led to little oases of colour appearing on the streets of cities across the world, with some becoming communal projects involving children and adults alike. The idea apparently originated in the UK (the first Spoonville was in the village of Winnersh in England) and has since spread to other nations, notably Australia (and in particular the city of Melbourne), and apparently soon to include Sri Lanka and Argentina (there's a webpage where you can log your Spoonville). While many Spoonville residents are anonymous, some of the decorated spoons depict public figures. Dr Caroline Moul, a child development expert at the University of Sydney, told The Guardian that such initiatives are "lovely things" for children to engage in, adding: “Any initiative that helps see a child happy, to see them engaged and joyful, makes everyone else happy as well.”