9 reasons to take the grandkids to Woodford Folk Festival
WOODFORD Folk Festival is packed full of wonders, workshops and transformative experience for adults, but guess what? There's a whole festival within the festival dedicated to children.
If you were thinking about heading to Woodfordia but were not sure about whether to leave the kids behind, think again.
Children's Festival programmer Becky Wandell said taking the kids would give families (yes, parents included) an experience beyond imagining.
"Parents who bring their kids into the Children's Festival sometimes spend the whole day there," she said.
"It's such a rewarding thing to see parents rediscover the child inside themselves.
"And that bonding time (is priceless) - it's just you and the family doing stuff together."
Here are some highlights from the Children's Festival, which caters for kids from babies to 12 years old.
1. Epic performances
Amazing acrobatic shows featuring a pirate, sailor and chef, a bubble master who can make bubbles within bubbles, outstanding indigenous performers, and the French cooking show that brings a whole new meaning to "salad toss". Check out Arrr We There Yet?!, Dr Hubble's Bubble Machine, Shellie Morris and Gaston Souffle's Funny French Cooking Show.
2. Hands on workshops
All craft workshops use recycled materials and discarded, "found" things, Ms Wandell said, infusing Woodfordia' sustainability message in young minds. "We try to never really use finite resources in what we present, and that's been like that right from the beginning." Try Mud Dyeing (the oldest form of dyeing in Japan and Africa), Print Your Wishes: The Tibetan Way, or make a robot from a pile of salvaged goods with My Robot Friend.
3. First time experiences
For the first time the Jinibara Tribal Games will be held at the festival. The Jinibara people are the indigenous tribe local to the Woodford area. Join the games in the Children's Festival on Wednesday at 10.45am and Thursday at 10am.
4. Something for the little ones
Mish Mash is a whole area devoted to the festival's youngest visitors. Pop in for music and movements, storytelling and try the Eat Your Face workshop. There are also facilities for feeding and changing little ones in the Children's Festival.
5. Quite time
Not all kids are on the go all the time, so there's options for quiet time. Learn or play chess, make a Mindful Mandala Bag, try Travelling Art Therapy or help weave a tee-pee-style structure (Create Your Own Space).
6. Be part of the show
Make your own musical instrument and learn to play it and join the annual festival parade through progressive music workshops. Linsey Pollak will be leading the way. Not into music? Try Kids Poetry Slam or circus skills in the Circus Lair.
7. Learn stuff
Check out Wahoo Business to learn about gravity, where energy comes from, and how it translates into making flying objects, or take a peek inside nest boxes around Woodfordia. "There are always animals in the boxes despite all the noise and the sound and the people around," Ms Wendell said.
8. Be inspired
During a day-long film project, visitors will document a day in the life of the Children's Festival. Magictorch Productions will edit pieces children bring in and play the film at the farewell concert on Sunday, January 1. The Kids Documentary Film Project is for children 8-12 years old, and can take a maximum of 15. Bookings are essential.
9. Join the adventures
Wander with a fairytale host through the magic UV installations of Tiddalik before having tea with the Mad Hatter. The evening theatre of singing and story telling will be held in a family play space.
There will be delicious, nutritious vegetarian food and coffee available within the Children's Festival. Fun, food and coffee; what more could you want?