A calendar of free creative workshops developed by Wheelie Good Fun and friends
Life in Colour was a children's festival featuring a series of free creative workshops developed by Wheelie Good Fun and our regular collaborators Footscray Community Arts Centre, SciencePlay Kids and Little Art Big Art.
SCIENCEPLAY KIDS PRESENTS SPIN, COLOUR & BUBBLE | 11AM-12PM
Perform large-scale, interactive chemistry and physics experiments that explore colour, reactions and bubbles with Dr Lorien Parker.
FOOTSCRAY COMMUNITY ARTS CENTRE PRESENTS NEON GLOW | 12PM-2PM
Take lantern-making to a new level, with a glow-in-the-dark UV blacklight twist.
WHEELIE GOOD FUN PRESENTS CARDBOARD CRAFTS | 2-4PM
Join Wheelie Good Fun and Big Art Little Art as families transform a cardboard box into a colourful vehicle, robot, machine or imaginary structure using simple tools and recycled craft materials.
BOOK SWAP BIKE | 11AM-4PM
Book Swap Bike is a community book-swapping activity run out of a Danish Christiania cargo bike, where kids can chill out and share a story together.
The workshops were all drop-in, with no bookings required. All activities were aimed at children aged 2-12 years. Over the two days we estimate we hosted over 500 families!
Produced for Highpoint Shopping Centre
Bringing the community together for an afternoon of Christmas fun, games and entertainment
Together with Wynter Projects we co-produced a family-friendly picnic in Footscray Park to celebrate Christmas for the City of Maribyrnong.
We handmade 500 Christmas crackers using recycled materials, each containing a special message from Santa inside. The crackers were then spread throughout the gardens for a mega Christmas cracker hunt for children.
We also managed and coordinated all the artists and suppliers, including an acoustic musician, hula hooping workshops, face painters, Santa appearance, Christmas-themed craft, yard games, Rolling Scoops ice cream bike and Cobb Lane cargo bike of sweet treats.
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
- Peter Golkin
Book Swap Bike is a mobile library and book swapping event run out of the Danish Christiana cargo bike.
The cargo bike is filled and presented with secondhand children's books for ages 0-10 years.
Families are invited to bring a book to swap or to borrow a book to read together in the pop-up reading lawn. They can also participate in a drop-in book-related craft activity.
BSB is predominantly aimed at children under 5 and their parents and carers. It creates a 'chill out' area during busy events as well as promote a love of learning, literacy and creative free play at an early age.
Book Swap Bike is a regular participant at Highpoint's Mastermind weekly free activities for kids. It has also popped up at Footscray Community Arts Centre, Barkly Square’s Bike & Life Festival and City of Melbourne’s Wheelie Good Day (2015-2017)
Making a playful road for families
Sunday Streets is a City of Melbourne initiative to bring local neighbourhoods together and to create opportunities for neighbours to meet.
After a successful trial in Docklands the first official Sunday Streets event was held at Boyd Community Hub.
The street between Balson St and 100 Kavanagh St was closed to traffic, with various activations occuring on the day.
We facilitated a free construction play event where families were invited to transform a cardboard box into a city vehicle (for instance, a fire truck, postal van, ambulance etc) and then to take it out on the street to race their neighbours. It was their chance to reclaim busy traffic thoroughfare City Road into OUR City Road!
Produced for City of Melbourne
Fly up high into the sky
The Kite Bike was a free, facilitated, craft making event suitable for children aged 2+ years as part of a school holiday activation at Commonwealth Reserve, Williamstown.
Kids were shown how to fold a simple easy-to-fly paper kite using paper. They were also invited to decorate their kite with drawings and to add a colourful tail and streamers.
Then it was time to RUN so that they could watch their kite travel across the sky!
Produced for Hobsons Bay City Council
All aboard for the boat race!
The Great Willy Boat Race was a free, facilitated, drop-in style construction play event suitable for children aged 2+ years as part of a school holiday activation at Commonwealth Reserve, Williamstown.
Inspired by the shipbuilding heritage of Melbourne's west and the Williamstown marina, The Great Willy Boat Race invited children (and adults!) to build to make their own version of a bottomless boat using only cardboard boxes and recycled craft materials.
Children then 'launched' their boat in a foot race - The Great Willy Boat Race - and were able to take their boat home for more play.
Produced for Hobsons Bay City Council
Dance + craft + projections
West Projections is an annual projection and video art festival that lights up sites in Melbourne's inner west.
For the first time the festival held a large dance event for families. We encouraged kids and adults to experience projection art in a whole new way by immersing themselves in a colourful moving dance floor projection created by Mosster Studio.
Born to Boogie led a fun dance warm up and we made wearable reflective neon headbands and wristbands with Small Scapes to enhance the projection experience. Over 250 adults and children got on the dance floor grooving to their favourite tunes!
City-making Creative Play with Recycled Materials
The Inspire9 Dream City was a semi-facilitated, drop-in construction play and city-making activation for families.
Families were invited to consider the places and spaces that make up their 'dream city', as inspired by the Maribyrnong River and the landscape and cityscape surrounding the Dream Factory.
We assisted families in creating buildings, bridges, boats and fantastical structures using cardboard and recycled craft materials.
During the school holidays families continued to drop-in to contribute their landscapes and structures to the growing Dream City. We provided craft materials, instructions and creative prompts so that the activity could be completed without constant facilitation.
Activating Docklands and engaging with local families with play
Free [Play] Tram Zone was a semi-facilitated, drop-in construction play activation for families in Docklands as part of the first 'Sunday Streets' program.
Families were invited to re-imagine Melbourne's tram network by building their own trams, signals and signage using cardboard and recycled craft materials. Children could then race their vehicles against others in a footrace along Harbour Esplanade.
Free [Play] Tram Zone was one of the various free activities provided for Docklands families to activate Harbour Esplanade and to encourage social and community interactions between residents.
Produced for CoDesign Studio and City of Melbourne.
Celebrating women creators, makers and doers in Footscray
The Pushy Women Bike Rides were a series of bike tours with a focus on the diverse businesses run by Western suburbs women creators, makers and doers.
Pushy Women Bike Ride 1 visited three kid-friendly locations with special activity stops for children under 5. Pushy Women Bike Ride 2 was for riders older than 12 years.
Construction play for an Indian-themed community festival
Horn OK Please was a free, facilitated drop-in construction play event centred around the West Footscray Festival of Colours.
Families were invited to transform a cardboard box into a colourful Indian-style truck, bus or taxi - and to finish it off with a quirky sign you'll see everywhere on Indian roads 'Horn OK Please'!
Children then raced their vehicles on the street using only their running feet.
Developed for West Footscray Neighbourhood House.
Book Swap Bike with a philosophical angle
Book Swap Bike Little Big Ideas was an extension of the community book-swapping experience by giving children an opportunity to have a voice in their community and to express their ‘Big Ideas’ for their lives, their neighborhoods, their society and their world.
Families and young children were be invited to decorate colourful reading nooks with their own vision of ‘something small’ or their own ‘big idea’. They could choose to draw something, write something or pose a question for adults.
This activity enabled very young children to contribute their own ideas of wisdom, resilience and social change to the Think West festival in a creative and accessible way.
Little Big Ideas was developed for Think West Children's Day, a day of free family-friendly programming as part of the inaugural Think West Festival of Ideas 2016 developed by the School of Life in partnership with Highpoint.
Storytelling and place-making with shadow and light
Lost In the Shadows was a free shadow puppet making workshop for children aged 5-12 years at Footscray Library while we are artists-in-residents in the Artsbox.
We were inspired by Footscray's rich history to create simple shadow puppets and backdrops based on the people and places that have now disappeared from modern Footscray. From the tram lines to the factories, to the shops and theatres.
Children were invited to assemble their puppets and then to play with their puppets in a darkened projector room while they reimagined Footscray's history.
Their play was filmed and turned into a short clip screened at a special story time session at Footscray Library and as part of West Projections 2016. We also developed a short shadow puppet play activation as part of the family-friendly art walk during West Projections.
Lost in the Shadows was developed with the support of City of Maribyrnong Community Grant.
Revealing a garden through sensory play
We were engaged to transform the Boyd Community Hub playgroup room into a gentle garden playscape for babies and toddlers to explore without facilitators.
Each day families were invited to create and ‘reveal’ their secret garden, bit by bit, using huge felt walls and felt pieces. Children could also go on a treasure hunt, read a book about plants, forests or gardening, scribble on the chalkboard or just lie back and listen to the relaxing soundscape.
Taking construction play to the streets
Play Streets is an international program encouraging kids to play on the streets in a safe environment and to inspire local community conversations and social interaction.
To launch the first Play Streets in Australia we created a free construction play event overturning what streets are usually by - vehicles!
Families were invited to transform a cardboard box into a whizzbang racing car and then to take it out on the street race track to race their neighbours.
Celebrating Father's Day with a immersive sculpture
For Father's Day we built a spectacular milk bottle igloo out of over 1000 empty milk bottles reclaimed from Cafe Vue at Heide.
The milk bottle igloo was transformed into the 'The Dad Cave' with kids decorating a milk bottle cap with a picture of or words describing their Dad, Grandad or special person in their life.
The Dad Cave was developed for Heide Museum of Modern Art.
How does your garden grow?
Sunshine Children's Garden was a free hands-on construction play event inside Sunshine Plaza Shopping Centre.
Sunshine Children’s Garden was inspired by the industrial gardens built for workers of the Sunshine Harvester Works factory in the 1900s. Children aged 3-12 years were invited to help rebuild this piece of local history by transforming a vacant shop into a garden playscape using recycled cardboard and other materials.
The final installation included the cardboard creations against a background slideshow of archive images of the original Sunshine Harvester Works gardens. The project created a unique shopfront display for the community to enjoy for one week, before being disassembled and recycled.
Month-long Artsbox Residency with free activities
During our 4 week Artsbox residency and with the assistance of Footscray
Library staff, we developed:
- 3 x free workshops within the library;
- drop-in creative play activities in and around the ArtsBox for the
duration of the residency; and
- associated library events;
for children aged 2-12 years.
Through creative projects, construction play and storytime and craft
activities, we aimed to teach local children about art, design,
architecture, building, sustainability and their role in the urban and