Learning about science in the school holidays
Award-winning scientist Dr Lorien Parker from SciencePlay Kids hosted two weeks of fun and informative workshops for curious minds at Woodgrove Shopping Centre over the July winter school holidays.
Wheelie Good Fun produced the event in collaboration with SciencePlay Kids.
The program included:
Week 1 - Our Amazing Bodies
Children learned how the human body’s immune system works, how our bodies turn food into energy and why healthy eating is important through three activity stations.
• VIRUS SPLAT Pom-pom virus splats are fun to make and an even better way to learn how the body defends against germs.
• EIGHT METRE INTESTINE Kids will be amazed by just how much their intestines can hold in this life-sized, dot-to-dot activity.
• COLOUR-IN ECO-BAGS Kids discover the digestive system by learning names and function all on colour in take-home printed bags.
Week 2 - Protecting the Planet
Children learned about nature’s incredible colour spectrum and how it can be found in things like plants and rocks. We also discussed how we can take better care of the oceans by using bubbles instead of balloons. The three activity stations were:
• WILD COLOURS Plants are rich in pigments which kids will learn how to extract from beetroot and spinach.
• IS IT FRUIT OR IS IT VEG? Did you know potato is a stem? Or that broccoli is a flower?
• BUBBLES OVER BALLOONS Dr Loz showed why bubbles are a more environmentally friendly choice than balloons.
Produced for Woodgrove Shopping Centre
“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)
Bike fun while raising awareness and funds for cycling safety
Barkly Square hosted RIDE: a cycling safety event, in its outdoor laneway precinct - an event aimed to raise awareness and funds for cycling safety, with donations going to The Amy Gillet Foundation.
We conducted a children's craft workshop making bicycle pinwheels out of recycled book covers.
Other events included Bodhi and Ride bringing their club style spin classes to the festival, with all day spin classes and a huge challenge set. Over the day, riders were challenged to reach 413km (collectively). Each kilometre representing the 413 serious bike accidents that take place per year (TAC 2012).
Also on offer were free smoothies by Bike n' Blend, giveaways from Transport Accident Commission (TAC), bike skills workshops with Bicycle Network, cool cycling gear from CycleStyle and stands from Amy Gillett Foundation, Ray's Bicycle Centre and Moreland BUG.
Produced for Barkly Square
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.
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
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.
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.