Toodyay Fairytale Farm
Wheatbelt Kids visited Toodyay Fairytale Farm last month before the COVID-19 temporary closed all parks and attractions.
We had a wonderful time exploring all the sculptures and small houses around the park. There are over 70 sections each with their own nursery rhyme or fairy tale to see and interact with, there are also daily guest appearances and lots of farm animals to cuddle and pet.
The Toodyay Fairytale Farm also includes a huge activity area including a playground with boat, maze, croquet, bocce, bowling, giant connect 4, jenga, bean bag tossing and a picnic area with shade and tables.
Maddison’s favorite parts of the farm were the elves making shoes, the three little pigs, the Mad Hatters Tea Party and feeding the hungry billy goats.
Watch our adventure below.
Lots to do
- Bring the family and wander the gardens, finding characters and enjoying the sculptures
- Discover who lives in the cottages
- Pat and feed the friendly farm animals
- Have a picnic
- Enjoy the outdoor activities
- Discover the vintage toys and farming memorabilia
- Book your next Birthday party, school excursion, playgroup outing, mothers group etc
*Currently closed due to COVID-19 please follow the Toodyay Fairytale Farm Facebook page for updates on reopening
Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays and every day in the school holidays.
Children (2yrs-16yrs): $9
Children under 2yrs FREE
Party/Group bookings welcome
Bilya Koort Boodja
Wheatbelt Kids visited the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre for Nyoongar Culture and Environmental Knowledge located in Northam.
Providing an interactive educational experience about the Nyoongar Ballardong region.
Maddison enjoyed her visit and loved the interactive displays and recordings. We were able to listen to elders and their stories and find out about the Nyoongar language and how to pronounce the animals names. Something for all ages and a great cultural museum for the Wheatbelt.
BKB is located along the Avon River on Minson Ave, Northam WA
BKB is open 7 days a week 9am – 4pm
*closed Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Children (5-15 years)- $5
Family (2 adults and 2 children)- $25
For more information visit the website
Follow us on FB and Instagram
Northam Show 2018
The Northam Show was on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th of September, Wheatbelt Kids visited the show on the Friday night to take a look at what was on offer. Maddison was very excited to go even though the weather was cold and windy.
Upon arrival we were greeted at the gates by the friendly volunteers, the smell of food vans and the excitement of the rides.
The animal pavilion was a big hit with Maddison, she loved being able to pat and cuddle all the animals her favourite was the rabbit.
The main pavilion was an array of entries and displays from local schools and community groups.
We spent the night walking around looking at the various stalls and community groups before heading down to the sideshow alley.
I still have memories from my childhood of saving all my pocket money to spend on the sideshow rides and games. To me, that excitement was always the best part of the show.
Like every child Maddison’s eyes widened as we walked through all the magical lights and sounds, this year she was able to try some of the rides and games. There were various rides for both little and big kids including the Tea Cups, Bungee Trampolines, Water Balls, the Super Sizzler and the Super Nova.
After the sideshow alley Maddison had her face painted by Alena from The Wheatbelt Face Painting Company.
We then listened to the Bedrock band play and watched the Freestyle bikes do amazing tricks before the fireworks started at 8.30pm.
It was a great family night out, we even spoiled ourselves at the showbag van before leaving with a Bertie Beetle bag.
Each year lots of volunteers band together and work long hours to bring the Northam Show to the public. We would like to acknowledge all the hard work from individuals and local businesses in bringing together such a huge event for the town.
If you would like to be involved in planning and organising future Northam Shows contact email@example.com
Our visit to West Coast Honey
Wheatbelt Kids visited West Coast Honey last year where the lovely Tina gave us a private tour of the premises. If you have ever driven through Gingin to Lancelin you have probably seen the signs for West Coast Honey ‘Heaven from a Hive’. Maddison and I decided that we would visit and find out more.
West Coast Honey opened to the public in September 2003 as a way to add value to the Fewster family honey business, while educating the general public on the environment and the honey bee.
West Coast Honey has free parking, free entry and free honey tasting. Visitors are able to view the live bee display in the cafe and the extraction process of honey from the bee hives to liquid (this is seasonal and only when working).
Visitors can enjoy homemade delights and beverages in the cafe, which includes a childrens area with toys and colouring.
The shop includes local produce and gifts involving honey products including candles, wax wraps, and honey ice cream.
Maddison and I loved our tour and learnt so much about the honey process from our discussions with Tina. Maddison’s favourite part was the live bee display and trying to find the queen bee. We also enjoyed the free honey tasting and honey ice cream.
West Coast Honey is a great learning and educational experience and welcomes group bookings and homeschoolers.
West Coast Honey are located at:
172 Gingin Brook Road, Granville, Gingin WA 6503
Thursday 10am – 4pm
Friday 10am – 4pm
Saturday 10am – 4pm
Sunday 10am – 4pm
Monday 10am – 4pm
*Public Holidays 10am – 4pm*
To find out more visit www.westcoasthoney.com.au
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.
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.
A Family Night Out At The Avon Descent
Growing up in Northam it was a family tradition to attend the Avon River Festival each year.
I remember the excitement of watching the float parade make it’s way along the main street of Northam, the festivities in the park, the rides and showbags from the sideshow alley and the fireworks that concluded the night.
The Avon Descent is Western Australia’s unique paddle and power dinghy river race.
The Avon Descent Festival begins the first weekend of August each year, the race is 124kms long and spans over 2 days.
The race begins in Northam on Saturday morning and finishes at the Riverside Gardens in Bayswater on the Sunday.
The Avon River Festival family night was held on Friday 5th August 2016.
While every year I stand and watch the parade, this year I was actively involved in decorating and walking in the parade.
I enjoyed being a part of the float parade this year, the thrill and atmosphere surrounding the event made this experience more exciting.
Joining me was my daughter MJ who was thrilled to be dressed up and proud to be handing out lollies to the children watching the parade.
Some of the awesome things to do and see at the 2016 festival were:
- Street Parade, it is always exciting to see how the community and businesses decorate their floats
- Sports Discovery Zone, Wheatbelt Science put on a fantastic hands on display
- Sideshow Alley
- BMX Display
- Display’s and Market Stalls
- Murphy’s Lore playing live
The Avon Descent Festival is a great family focused event, with plenty for the kids to do and see. The fireworks display can be best viewed from the banks of the Avon River.
More information can be found at www.avondescent.com.au
The next Avon Descent River Festival will be held on Friday 4th August 2017.