Northam School Holiday Program
Monday 2nd July 2018 was the first day of school holidays and we ventured out in the cold and rain to participate in the Northam School Holiday Program’s Floorball held at the Recreation Centre.
The session was conducted by Harrison and Connor Sargeant who are a part of the state Floorball WA team and Molly Dickson who in May represented Australia in the Women’s U19’s World Floorball Championships held in Switzerland.
Floorball is an indoor sport similar to hockey played with plastic balls with holes and special hockey sticks. A floorball team consists of five players and a goal keeper.
Floorball was first played in Sweeden in the 1970’s and has since spread through Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.
Floorball began in Australia in 1996 and has since grown in popularity.
Floorball has become popular in Northam thanks to Leith Woods who has been the driving force behind the develoment of the game in the Wheatbelt area. Leith is also the Australian Women’s Floorball goal keeper.
The Northam Recreation Centre has also hosted the Northam Floorball Open the last five years which has seen many new players join teams.
The Floorball training session was a great success with 20+ kids of all ages participating.
Molly, Connor and Harry taught us skills through fun games and training, then we played an actual game of Floorball which the kids loved.
Maddison who is 5 loved it as she woke up this morning asking to go to sport again.
I would like to thank everyone involved in hosting this event, Molly, Connor and Harry and the parent helpers for volunteering your time. It is great to see sessions like these offered to kids of all ages in the Wheatbelt.
If you would like to know more about Floorball or be involved in the next Mixed Floorball at the Northam Rec Centre visit www.facebook.com/northamrecreationcentre or call 9622 5153
The Northam School Holiday Program offers lots of fun activities for all ages book your place by contacting the Rec Centre or PCYC.
Holiday Activites at Northam PharmaSave
Tuesday 17th April – Snakes Alive Story Time and Craft with Laura and Sarabi the Stimpson Python
Maddison and I have been loving the free activities at the Northam PharmaSave chemist this school holidays.
On Tuesday we went to the Snakes Alive Story Time and Craft with Laura and her Stimpson Python named Sarabi.
Maddison enjoyed listening to the Snakes Alive book and learning about what snakes eat and how they move.
After the story Laura introduced us to Sarabi the Stimpson Python who is named after Simba’s mother from The Lion King.
Laura told Maddison that it was ok to touch Sarabi in the shop, but not to touch snakes outside as we need to remember to stay away and tell and adult.
In the craft session Maddison made a paper folded snake to take home and completed a snake colouring-in page.
To join in the free sessions visit the Northam PharmaSave next to Aldi at the Village Square on Wellington Street from 10am – 11.30am daily.
To see more activities visit our Instagram page www.instagram.com/wheatbeltkids
WA Kids Have Gone Rock Crazy
It’s 2017 and we have seen the decline of colouring-in, Pokemon Go and Fidget Spinners, as of now WA kids are going crazy for rocks.
You may have seen it through Facebook, the news, your local newspaper or you may have stumbled over a beautiful rock at the park and wondered what it was all about.
Painting rocks is not a new concept, it has been around since the beginning of time and is an enjoyable past time for many indiviuals.
The hide and seek idea originally began in Washington in the USA.
It has since spread across the United States and New Zealand and finally landed in Australia with the first groups being Gungahin Rocks in the ACT and NOR Rocks in Western Australia created by Connie Sirmans.
The last few months have seen the rise in rock groups in Western Australia and nationally as more people become aware or stumble over beautifully decorated rocks.
A list of WA’s most popular rock groups are listed at the end of this article.
The rock craze is like a giant game of hide and seek with the purpose of giving everyone in the community a little bit of happiness.
The marvelous thing about rock painting is that everyone can enjoy it, there are members ranging from 0 – 100 years old in most groups, as daycares and nursing homes are participating in rock painting craft sessions.
The general idea is to paint your rocks with whatever designs you like, hide them in a park then post a message in your local rock group on Facebook so other members can then search for your rocks.
Sometimes people post a find or a rehide for members to see but is up to the individual.
I like to think that my rocks made whoever found them happy and are lovingly cherished.
Wheatbelt Kids loved the idea of finding and hiding our own rocks so I joined a few groups to see what the Perth groups were creating and I was blown away with the talent and excitement that these groups had.
I was more excited when local Northam girl Emma started the Wheatbelt Rocks group on Facebook.
It has taken awhile for locals to gain interest but with the school holidays, the group now has over 200 members and daily rock drops have started happening.
I love seeing the happy faces on those who have found little treasures in the Wheatbelt region.
Wheatbelt Kids Top 9 Tips For Rock Painting
- Gather unpolished rocks – we found rocks from Bunnings, Mitre 10 and Home hardware.
- Make sure your rocks are clean and dry.
- If your rocks are unpolished and white you don’t need to prime them, if they are darker or slightly polished you will need to prime your rocks to allow the paint to stick. We used White Knight Squirts Undercoat to cover our rocks before painting.
- Once dry, we painted with acrylic paint and sharpies onto our rocks. Most people use acrylic paint, permanent sharpies, paint pens, melted crayons, stickers with PVA glue or nail polish to decorate their rocks.
- On the back of your rock remember to write the Facebook logo and the group that you belong to. Some people also write their name, hashtag or postcode to make it easier to find their posts.
- Once your rock is completely dry you will need to seal your design with a sealer so it can survive in the elements. We used White Knight Squirts Gloss Clear.
- The trick we found was to do a very light spray over the top then once completely dry another layer from all angles.
- Some members have had good results sealing with a very light coat of PVA glue and once dry spraying the sealer.
- If using nail polish you don’t need to use a sealer but will need a few days drying, especially if your little one puts a lot of nail polish on their rocks.
Once your rocks are dry you are ready to get out into nature and hide them.
Don’t forget to post your hide to your chosen Facebook rock group.
Some things to remember are:
- Don’t hide rocks in National Parks or private property.
- Don’t hide rocks in the grass at the park as they fly when the mowers go over them.
- Appreciate other people’s artwork.
- Most importantly have fun and be positive, you will not always find a rock when hunting but when you do it becomes more special.
Wheatbelt Kids loves this new trend and Miss 4 has been painting and hiding lots of rocks this week while on school holidays.
While the statewide rock group is good we are loving the local Wheatbelt Rocks group as it has that small community feel much like a country town.
It has been great to find new parks and make new friends both within our own town and neighbouring towns.
Miss 4 with her rock find today in Northam, she is in love with the cat rock.
These rocks were created by local girl Jasmine.
Links to popular rock groups around Western Australia:
Wheatbelt Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1698138883821487/
NOR Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/NORRocks/
SOR Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/811997792286797/
Ellenbrook Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/EllenbrookRocks/
Pinjarra Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/pinjarrarocks/
South West Rocks (SW Rocks) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/southwestrockswa/
Geraldton Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/232163663968389/
KB Rocks (Kalgoorlie-Boulder Locations) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/350599715357519/
Broome Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1857939647860572/
Busselton Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/251003222047135/
Headland WA Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1771058603146014/
Karratha and Surrounds WA Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1887841861491521/
Welcome to Wheatbelt Kids
Wheatbelt Kids was started in July 2016 as I felt there was a need to have information in one place for residents and visitors to the region.
Wheatbelt Kids is my personal community project in between work and family life.
Currently Northam, York, Toodyay, Bakers Hill, and Wundowie are up and running on the website, but will be adding Narrogin, Dowerin, Merredin, Moora and Wongan Hills in the next few months.
If you are a business or are holding a family/children’s event please send through information and posters so I can add to my event and information pages.
Jodie Lowen x
Facebook page www.facebook.com/wheatbeltkids
Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory
Wheatbelt Kids visited the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory in Gingin recently as my daughter MJ has an ongoing interest in space and planets. Although this wasn’t our first time visiting there is always something new and interesting to learn and discover.
Now that MJ is 3 years old she was able to participate in most of the activities and have an understanding of how things work. We were able to experience sitting in a NASA replica space capsule and pretend we were travelling in space. We had lots of fun moving the 8 metre giant slinky to make wave motions, and watching the planets float and drop depending on the air in the Bernoulli display.
The discovery gallery is our favorite part of the centre with so many things to see, touch and discover. Our favourite this time was the Ferrofluid display, which is liquid that becomes hard and spiky when magnetised.
We also braved the leaning tower this time to observe the gravity of our water filled balloons. The leaning tower is 45 meters tall and is purpose built to replicate Galileo’s ancient experiements on gravity.
MJ loved the biodiversity gallery as she was able to look at spiders and insects through the microscopes and learn about the fauna and flora in the area.
Outside the discovery gallery we were able to throw tennis balls into the black hole and look through the Cosmology gallery.
The Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory has something for everyone in the family. The wonderful staff have a wealth of knowledge to answer all your questions. The gift shop is well stocked with lots of little treasures to be found. The Gravity Discovery Centre also has a wonderful Cafe to relax in and have a meal, coffee and cake or even breakfast on a Sunday morning.
Tuesday to Sunday – 10.00am – 4.00pm
Open Mondays for public holidays and school holidays
Observatory Opening Hours
Friday and Saturday from 7.00pm in winter and 7.30pm in summer
Subject to weather conditions and bookings
Special times can be arranged for group bookings with a minimum of 10 people
Our visit to Wongan Hills Community Nature Playground
Wheatbelt Kids first heard about the Wongan Hills Community Nature Playground through posts on Facebook last year, since then we have watched the community come together and build this wonderful playspace.
The Nature Playground was officially opened on Australia Day 2017, and has been such a huge hit that even Maggie Dent has visited.
The Nature Playground was first started in August 2015 and was made possible by donations by the Wongan Hills Community Association, Wongan Hills Development Group, Wongan/Ballidu Shire, Mazda Foundation, Royalties for Regions, CBH, Bendigo Bank Goomalling, Men’s Shed, EarthSounds, Wongan Concrete, and other local businesses and community members.
The Nature Playground is a great example of what community spirit and working together can achieve.
On our visit to Wongan Hills my daughter MJ loved the Nature Playground so much that we played all afternoon. The playground is suitable for all ages and different abilities. MJ loved making music, climbing the ropes, pumping the water and pretending to row the boat.
The park also has a skate park, basketball court, toilets, picnic tables and a wonderful big gazebo.
Well done to the Wongan Hills community for building this wonderful playground we will definitely be back again for another visit soon.