WOMADelaide’s Around The Park Program and KidZone

WOMADelaide’s Around The Park Program and KidZone

Cathedral of Lights WOMADELAIDE

WOMADelaide’s Around The Park Program and KidZone

­WOMADelaide, to be held in Adelaide’s Botanic Park from 11-14 March, has revealed final program elements with its Around the Park program featuring dramatic installations, exhibitions, children’s activities and site performances.

Leading the announcement is the breathtaking Cathedral of Light from outstanding visual experience company Mandylights. The 60m long archway composed of tens of thousands of LED light globes, is inspired by the arched windows of historic churches and has been exhibited extensively internationally. Walking through Cathedral of Light is a euphoric experience as audiences are drawn out of the darkness towards the metaphoric light ‘at the end of the tunnel’.

the bush mechanics

Bush Mechanics: The Exhibition is an award-winning realisation of the acclaimed ABC TV miniseries first aired in 2001, that followed five young Warlpiri men as they travelled through remote outback Australia using ‘nyurulypa’ (good tricks) to fix and keep their vehicles running.  The exhibition, developed by the National Motor Museum, embraces the light-heartedness of the original TV program that won over millions of viewers with a delightful mix of immersive technology, gaming and interactive screens, as well as one of the original cars, a Ford Fairlane painted with traditional Walpiri designs, explores the unique storytelling style of Warlpiri music, art and culture.

kardla paltendi

Kardla Paltendi (Dancing Fire)   The world-premiere commission is a collaboration between Kaurna man Jamie Goldsmith, his Taikurtinna dance group and installation artist Simon Hutchinson of Adelaide’s Nature Play event company Climbing Tree. Celebrating the re-emergence of traditional Kaurna fire practice, it taps into humanity’s fascination with fire and shines a light on Karrawirraparri (the River Torrens) and its reflection mirrored in the Milky Way.  Beginning nightly with ceremony and live performance, large carved flaming pillars will burn from within throughout the night symbolising the eternal connections of land, sky, the material and spiritual.

hexadeca morgan sette

Other installations include HEXADECA, a new high-tech work from Adelaide creative studio Pulsing Heart.  This architecturally designed music-making playground, draws upon sensor activated music technology and with collaborations from leading Australian musicians it invites the audience to become the conductor. As people spin in custom constructed seats, portions of a musical score is activated with the whole track only revealed when each seat is occupied.

TAKSU – an organic sculptural installation from NSW company Barefoot Design, is a giant portal made of 160 natural bamboo combs shaped into a spiralling tunnel, reminding us that we are surrounded by, and inseparable from, the natural environment.

gravity and other myths womadelaide

Adelaide’s world-renowned Gravity and Other Myths will present Process, a world-premiere night-time promenade piece of acrobatic, physical theatre tailor-made for the festival.


Often described as Alice in Wonderland meets The Shining, UK performance duo Cocoloco will bring their trademark hilarious and ever-so-slightly bent street theatre to WOMADelaide, presenting three quirky pieces, Mafia Wedding, Madame Bonbon & Nobby and Alice & Alice.

aussie womadelaide

The work of acclaimed artist and activist Peter Drew, best known nationally for his Real Australians Say Welcome and Together Soon Enough street posters, will be shown in AUSSIE, an exhibition of six stunning, large-scale images which celebrate individuals who applied for exemptions from the White Australia Policy in the 1900s.

The Memoryologist – an interactive experience from Adelaide’s Slingsby Theatre Company, where the audience share their treasured memories from 30 years of WOMADelaide, to be instantly transformed into a work of shadow play, music, poetry or imagery.

SA musician Tim Koch has created Halcyon a 15-minute soundscape of original music to loop across all stages at the end of each night of the festival.  And, as part of the festival’s music training and development program, the WOMADelaide x Northern Sound System Academy, the NSS Studio will host mini gigs by emerging artists and record live onsite.

Kid Zone Womadelaide

KidZone, the festival’s dream destination for children will be brimming with adventure-filled learning and fun, featuring AFL superstar Eddie Betts reading My Kind and My People from his popular Lil Homies series of children’s books and Patch Theatre’s new Mirror Mirror, an adventure to draw kids into the heart of a gleaming mirrored dome where they flip the switch to lose themselves in a kaleidoscopic dream.  The SA Museum will deliver a program of discoveries, Evelyn Roth’s beloved Nylon Zoo returns, while Sonya Rankine, an award-winning Ngarrindjeri, Narungga, Ngadjuri and Wirangu artist, will develop a collaborative woven sculpture across the four days of the festival.

“The Around the Park program has surprise and delight for audiences and we are particularly excited to be featuring three world premieres with the very special collaborative work Kardla Paltendi,  PROCESS, a new work from one of Australia’s finest acrobatic troupes Gravity and Other Myths (GOM) and the beguiling installation  HEXADECA” said Director Ian Scobie.

WOMADELAIDE, 11-14 March, Botanic Park, Adelaide, South Australia

For tickets:



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Why introduce music to babies and toddlers?

Why introduce music to babies and toddlers?

importance of music to babies and toddlers

Why introduce music to babies and toddlers?

WORDS: Julia Rennick, Early Childhood Music & Movement Teacher, NMTMP Mentor

The first 3 years of life are a time of tremendous growth, development and change. These changes aren’t just cognitive and physical, but social and emotional as well.

Very young children are fascinated by music and sounds. Musical activities contribute to children’s total development and they grow musically when they’re allowed to take risks and not feel pressured to perform.

importance music to babies

Birth – 9 months

From birth to 9 months, babies listen attentively to musical sounds; they’re calmed by familiar human voices. Vocalisation begins as he or she imitates what they hear. Reading to your baby before bed and/or singing them a lullaby enhances the connection between parents and child. Rocking your baby whilst singing to them deepens the bond and connection and helps them relax, gives a sense of security, comfort, all of which researchers believe leads to better sleeping and feeding.

Lullabies exist in most cultures and have been sung for hundreds of years. Any song or piece of music that is repetitive, simple and soothing can be sung. Some parents have told me that they’ve chosen an upbeat piece of music that they liked and slowed right down to use instead of a traditional lullaby. I liked to sing the Skye Boat Song when our children were little; whatever works for you is fine – just give it a try if you haven’t already. Maybe you can recall a song that was sung to you when you were very young? Remember: babies and toddlers will not judge your singing voices!

toddlers and music

From 9 months – 2 years

From 9 months to 2 years toddlers respond to music with clear repetitive movements. They are interested in every kind of sound and may begin to approximate pitches. They are mostly attracted to music that is strongly rhythmic.

Babies and toddlers need to experience many opportunities to play with music and sounds freely and also in more structured ways. Don’t expect polished or accurate musical responses as outcomes. Understanding this means that we can make music play and activities an important and enjoyable part of toddlers’ learning and discovery.


Children can be introduced to simple music experiences through songs, finger plays, knee bouncing, games, movement, folk dances and sound exploration, for example simple percussion instruments. Young children love and need lots of repetition, so sing songs they know then add something new.

Lay out some instruments for them to explore – if you don’t have any, perhaps borrow from a local toy library – or use pots and pans from the kitchen with wooden spoons. Make shakers (maracas) by filling small sealable boxes with pasta, rice, rocks, bells, the only limit is your imagination!

importance of music for babies


Babies are sensitive to loud/soft sounds – (dynamics.) They can be startled by loud noises and comforted by soft rhythmic sounds as I mentioned earlier in regards to lullabies. Their whole body responds when music is played, for example a sitting baby will bounce to music and when they can stand they may sway and rock from side to side or bend their knees and bounce up and down.

toddlers and music


Toddlers are sensory-motor learners. They carry, cart, fill, tip, make a mess, climb, and wander around observing objects and people. They use large muscle activities extensively, dislike waiting for turns, and enjoy individual rather than group play activities. Toddlers learn with their whole bodies –that is, by doing rather than listening. They’ll move in response to how fast or slow (tempo) the music or instrument is playing. They can dance (if they choose to!) and have more control over their physical responses. Repetition, rhyme, finger plays and simple action songs are best for this age group.

At this stage of development toddlers may begin to distinguish between sounds and will respond enthusiastically, or not, to certain songs. Never forget that big feelings and tantrums are prevalent at this stage -it’s all about them!

Forget what anyone has ever told you about your musical ability … your child won’t be judging your rhythm or whether you’re in tune. It’s your voice and play-based activities that will capture their interest.

For further reading in this age group and beyond– the theorists Vygotsky and Piaget will give more insight into child development across all areas.

About the Author

Julia taught early childhood music at Gunnedah Regional Conservatorium for over 25 years and was a peripatetic music teacher in local and outlying schools and preschools. She has been a Mentor with Richard Gill’s NMTMP since 2016 and has worked with babies to 80-year olds. Julia is passionate about music education, and believes it can begin at any age. For young children particularly, this ensures developmental benefits for them not only in the arts but in other areas of their learning too. She was honoured to reach the final 4 in the 2019 ARIA Music Teacher Award. 

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Your complete guide to back-to-school essential shopping

Your complete guide to back-to-school essential shopping

kids hat

Your complete guide to back-to-school essential shopping

The new school year is just around the corner and with it comes back to school shopping.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of supplies. So, before you head on down to your closest shops to stock up on those classroom essentials make sure you read our hand 10-point checklist!

essential back to school shopping list

1. Backpack

The first cab off the rank is a good-quality, comfortable backpack for your child to take their belongings to and from school each day. Be sure to get one that’s big enough to house all the essentials, while still being comfortable for your little or big one to carry around with them.

Before you hit the bag aisle, it’s worth checking your school’s policy. Some institutions have a school backpack or certain requirements. Regardless of whether your school has its own bag, you can’t go past a functional backpack for all those extracurricular activities, or when visiting friends.


2. Lunchbox

With so many different styles of lunchboxes on the market, choosing the right one can be tricky. From bento boxes to single compartment lunch boxes, choose the one that’s going to suit you and your kiddo’s needs. Whether that is a lunch box with plenty of compartments or a more simple, easy to use design.

Make sure you choose a lunchbox that’s big enough to fit the essentials, sturdy enough to withstand daily use over the next 12 months or longer, and leakproof to contain spillages.

lunch bag

3. Insulated lunch bag

Keep food cool and fresh all day long with an insulated lunch bag. Make sure it’s big enough to fit their lunchbox and an ice brick. Some even come with compartments to store their drink bottle, making it a true all-in-one.

drink bottle

4. Water Bottle

Encourage your kids to stay hydrated throughout the day with a good quality water bottle. Available in a range of different shapes, sizes and colours, you’ll find bottles to suit even the fussiest of drinkers.

We recommend leakproof bottles to avoid wet messes throughout their school bag. If possible, choose non-toxic materials and a design that’s easy for little hands to open.

school socks

5. School shoes

Kid’s feet are constantly growing, so chances are you’ll need to pick up a new pair of school shoes each year to keep up with them. Shoes should fit correctly, be comfortable and fulfill their purpose – after all, they’re going to be running and playing in them!

Whether you choose more expensive shoes or lean towards a cheaper option, there’s no right or wrong approach, as long as they do the job properly. Don’t forget to pick up a pair of runners for sports classes too!

kids hat

6. School hat

A lot of schools have a “no hat, no play policy”, which means your kiddo might just miss out on precious playtime if they don’t have one.

If your school doesn’t already have a hat included in the school uniform, then be sure to grab one while picking up the rest of the school supplies to protect your child on the playground. We recommend choosing a hat that’s made of fabric that offers UV protection with a broad brim to keep the sun off their faces.

school shoes

7. School accessories

Once you’ve got your kid’s school uniform, shoes and hat sorted, you can’t forget about those other hair and clothing accessories that must meet the school uniform requirements.

Things like socks, hair ties, rain jackets and more often have to match the school colours, so be sure to check the uniform policy before jumping the gun and buying any old accessories.

kids laptop

8. School laptop

As technology-assisted learning becomes more and more prevalent, so too does the need for students to have access to a laptop or PC. Depending on the school your child attends, they may be provided with a laptop, whereas others may require you to bring your own device.

With so many options available, it’s important to weigh up the cost with the features available, such as battery life, performance and portability.

school supplies

9. School supplies

Along with the big-ticket items, you’ll also need to stock up on the smaller essential school supplies before your kids head back to the classroom. While some schools may supply everything for a fee, others partner with local stationery supply stores or just provide a list and leave the hard work up to you. If you’ve got to track down the goods yourself, your kid’s school should provide a list of what’s required for the year. Here are a few essentials you can count on being listed:

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Highlighters
  • Crayons, coloured pencils, pens or markers
  • Calculator
  • Ruler
  • Notebooks
  • Binders
  • Folders

name labels

10. Personalised labels

After you’ve just spent big stocking up on school supplies, the last thing you want is for these items to be misplaced on the first day back in the classroom. To reduce the risk of your kids losing their belongings, we recommend picking up a pack of personalised labels so you can keep track of their bits and pieces. You can opt for waterproof labels for items like lunchboxes, water bottles and even school jumpers and hats that may find themselves in the wash from time to time.

You’ll be the most organised parent in the pick-up zone thanks to our guide to back-to-school essential shopping!


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Supermarket Swap: Back-to-school simple Lunch Box swaps

Supermarket Swap: Back-to-school simple Lunch Box swaps

Supermarket Swap: Back-to-school simple Lunch Box swaps

Supermarket Swap: Back-to-school simple Lunch Box swaps

WORDS: Nabula Brdar

It’s almost time to start packing the lunchbox. But do you know what is in your food? It’s important to check sugar and sodium content, but don’t forget to look out for the additives and preservatives added into many popular lunchbox staples.

It’s easy to avoid synthetic ingredients, simply swap the brand you buy!

Here are three simple lunch box swaps just in time for back-to-school from Supermarket Swap!

Swap one


Delites Rice Snacks

Rice Flour (53%), Starches, Sunflower Oil (Antioxidant (320)), Potato Flakes, Salt, Sugar, Acidity Regulators (262, Citric Acid), Flavour, Maltodextrin, Balsamic Vinegar Powder (0.5%), Whey Powder, Flavour Enhancers (621, 635), Anti-caking Agent (551).

A better option…



✅  CeresOrganics Brown Rice Crackers

Jasmine Brown Rice* 92%, Sunflower Oil*, Rice Wine Vinegar* 1.8%, Natural Sea Salt 1.2% (*Certified Organic)

Swap two


Pop Tops Apple Fruit Juice

Water Reconstituted Apple Juice (30%), Sugar, Food Acid, Preservatives (202 223).

A better option…


swap two tick

Nudie nothing but 2.5 apples:

100% Apples.

Swap 3


swap three

Woolworths soft white wraps

Wheat Flour (56%) (Wheat Flour, Thiamin, Folate), Water, Palm Shortening (Palm Oil, Antioxidant (Vitamin E Acetate)), Wheat Fibre, Wheat Gluten, Sugar, Iodised Salt, Vegetable Gum (412), Mineral Salt (450), Emulsifier (471), Acidity Regulator (297). Preservative (282, 200), Antioxidant (300).

A better option…



Mountain Bread Natural Wraps

Organic Wholemeal Flour (70%), Organic Wheat Flour, Filtered Water, Sea Salt

Happy lunchbox packing,
Nabs x

For more swaps or to download the Supermarket Swap app:



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V.Happy Co: Bringing to life every letter of the alphabet!

V.Happy Co: Bringing to life every letter of the alphabet!

v happy co

V.Happy Co: Bringing to life every letter of the alphabet!

The alphabet has never looked better than it does with V.Happy Co!

V.Happy Co launched in 2019 with the desire to create educationally inspired and playfully designed products for modern living, with a focus on encouraging language awareness with smart art. So basically what that means is super cool, colourful alphabet prints and products that look great in your home at the same time as encouraging early learning in your kiddos. We sure do like the sound of that.

The team at V.Happy Co create personalised art prints that bring to life every letter of the alphabet, alongside a range of lifestyle and paper goods products, created to add joy and fun and to captivate the hearts of kids and adults alike.

V happy co

More than just pretty pictures

The alphabet is the building block of literacy. Early exposure to letters can pique your child’s interest in these strange squiggles!

V.Happy Co designs are highly graphic and perfect for playful spaces. Collections are carefully designed, with a quality over quantity approach and proudly designed and manufactured in Australia with environmentally conscious materials and using sustainable practices. If that’s not ticking all the boxes, we don’t know what is!

v happy co

Smart Art

It’s playful, super-cute and so much fun! There’s an A for Apple, a B for Balloon, a C for Caterpillar and the list goes on…each print is made to order with the option of individual letters, the full alphabet or personalised prints with your kiddo’s name.

v happy co

Bag Buddies

But that’s not all! The popular alphapics range comes to life with V.Happy Co bag buddies. Personalise your little one’s backpack, keep track of swimming bags, library bags, travel bags or pencil cases – all bag tags are made by hand, making them extra special. Not just for kids, great gifts for teachers, friends, or (if you’re anything like me) yourself!

The team at V.Happy Co also create super fun cards for big and little folk and acrylic art for colourful, playful spaces!

For more information or to buy:


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