Garden Expo to nip school holiday boredom in the bud

Plenty of kid's activities and the Queensland Garden Expo to banish school holiday boredom
Plenty of kid’s activities and the Queensland Garden Expo to banish school holiday boredom

“I’m bored.”
They’re the two words every parents dreads hearing during the school holiday break, but this time around there will be no cause for complaint, with the 2013 Queensland Garden Expo set to inspire the latest generation of green thumbs at the Nambour Show Grounds between 5 and 7 July.
Event Manager Marion Beazley said the free kids’ activities were always a major drawcard at the Expo and this year’s program was sure to capture their imaginations.
“Kids can join in the fun at The Rainbow Eco Entertainment stage, get their hands dirty at the Living Backyard area on Saturday and learn about productive gardening at the Kitchen Garden on Sunday,” Ms Beazley said.
Marc Bright, who has coordinated The Rainbow Eco Shows at the Expo for the past three years, said this year’s shows would start at around 11am and 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday and run for an hour, but in between the kids would be run off their feet with “Joyshops.”
“We teach them how to juggle using native seeds, we use local essential oils paint for body art, we do a rainbow serpent parade and we sing and dance together,” Mr Bright said.
“We’re a bit like an environmentally-friendly version of the Wiggles!”
Meanwhile, over at the Giant Kitchen Garden, there will be a number of raised, colourful garden beds “4 Kids” as well as hands-on planting activities.
“Gardening expert Cath Manuel will be running a workshop at 10.30am on Sunday that teaches kids about planting their own vegetable garden and allows them to get their hands dirty and give it a try,” Ms Beazley said.
“We find kids also love wandering around the Giant Kitchen Garden as there are chickens, composting displays, organic food gardens and flowers on display. It’s a really colourful and inspiring space.”
Ms Beazley said children had always been an important part of the Queensland Garden Expo and finding ways to engage them was a key priority.
“The skills they learn outside in the garden are ones they’ll have for life,” Ms Beazley said.
“Even the fussiest eaters will often be willing to try new foods if it’s something they’ve nurtured and grown themselves.”
Ms Beazley said the Expo would also offer a free playground with a giant slide, a cup-and-saucer ride, a jumping castle, stilt walkers, musicians and street performers which would all add to the festival atmosphere.
“It’s a great way to keep the kids entertained while school’s out.”
The Queensland Garden Expo will be held at the Nambour Showgrounds in Coronation Avenue, Nambour between 5 and 7 July. Entry is free to kids aged 15 and under, and all children must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.qldgardenexpo.com.au.
EXPO EXTRA:  How to get children involved in the garden
Gardening is a wonderful way to get children out from in front of the TV or computer and get some fresh air, exercise and learn some new skills. Learning all about important aspects of our natural world can start even in the smallest of backyards. Horticulturalist Claire Bickle shares some tips on how to get children involved in the garden…

  1. Give them their own patch to grow, care for, harvest and eat. You may also like to include flowers for colour and insect activity.
  2. Have tools that are made for children — size appropriate is important.
  3. Start from scratch: practise seed sowing and growing plants from cuttings or bulbs.
  4. Create areas where nature may be observed such as ponds, birdbaths, insect attracting plants and possum boxes.
  5. Get arty! Gardening it doesn’t always have to be about growing. Try making scarecrows or sculptures together.
  6. Recycle! Teach your kids about household waste and where it goes. Start a worm farm or create a compost heap.
  7. Introduce outdoor pets where possible. Can you fit a chook or two in the backyard or maybe even a native bee hive?