Kidsacrobatics class

Team Adrenalin is a gymnasium with acrobatic, boxing and (acrobatic and display) gymnastics classes for kids to adults in Maribyrnong/Footscray.

Thanks to Mamma Knows West we discovered that on Friday mornings they run two acrobatics classes especially for kids under 5s.

The Crawling Monkey 45 minute sessions are for 10 months to 2.5 year olds – basically kids who can’t follow instructions! The class started with a few gentle songs and then everyone was let loose to explore, clamber, climb and jump on all the equipment, with parental and instructor supervision.

kids acrobatics class melbourne

There is a vague circuit set out but frankly all the kids just gravitated towards the trampolines. Baby 2.0 could have just run along the tumble track over and over again – perfect for exhausting our little bolter.

kids acrobatic class melbourne

He also enjoyed the big trampoline but struggled in the foam pit – too deep and too hard to get out of! At the end of the class (and to lure the kids away from the trampolines), the teachers blew bubbles to everyone’s delight.

kids acrobatic class melbourne

After the Crawling Monkeys come the 1 hour Junior Jumpers. These are instructor-led sessions for 2.5 years to 5 years where the kids are taught acrobatic skills. The classes are more suitable for kids who are able to follow instructions and sit still, though I noticed Lady AB wandered off (literally and figuratively) a few times. I reckon a bit more exposure to disciplined learning wouldn’t hurt at her age and she loved her class.

While she attended the class Baby 2.0 was still allowed to roam around the equipment (if it wasn’t being used) though next time I’d prefer to restrain him in a pram or even take him to Dizzy’s Castle play centre next door.

The best thing about Team Adrenalin’s acrobatics classes for under 5s is that bookings or term commitments are not required. The first trial class is FREE and if you decide to return there’s a compulsory yearly insurance fee of $90 per child and then you pay $15 per class or buy a 10 class pass for $120, valid for 1 year.

I also thought that the teachers were really good at interacting with the young kids – encouraging, assisting and focusing their attention. I think it’s a great way to build physical confidence, learn to work in groups and to follow instructions – and most of all, it’s fun!

Team Adrenalin, 88 Gordon St, Maribyrnong 9318 8606

Crawling Monkeys acrobatics class for 10 months – 2.5 years Fridays 930am-1015am

Junior Jumpers acrobatics class for 2.5 years – 5 years Mondays 11am-1145am and Fridays 1030-1115am

Casual class $15 or 10 class pass $120 (valid 1 year)

{ 0 comments }

emily floyd ngv

Emily Floyd: The Dawn is an exhibition of the work of Melbourne artist Emily Floyd and it’s the newest children’s installation in NGV Australia at Federation Square.

emily floyd ngv

The enormous circular sculpture bookcases of ‘The Dawn’ and the colourful stylised blocks comprising ‘Workshop’ sit on the ground floor entrance of the gallery and they are a striking introduction to Emily Floyd’s colourful and playful work.

emily floyd ngv

The main display is on the third floor and features Floyd’s installations, sculpture, print and video work dating from 2001 to 2014. As you walk in Floyd’s flock of parrots in ‘An open space’ and the exaggerated size of the classic stacking toy ‘Steiner Rainbow’ will bring a smile to your face.

emily floyd ngv

The innate playfulness of many of Floyd’s works make a visit to Emily Floyd: The Dawn  an appealing experience for children, but I also found that many of the works helped encouraging literacy and numeracy learning through interaction with the art.

emily floyd ngv

For instance, we counted the number of rabbits, named the colours of the rainbow and recited the letters on the floor. Note that you’re not actually supposed to climb in or around the Steiner Rainbow – sorry!

emily floyd ngv

My favourite works were ‘It’s because I talk too much that I do nothing’ with text from Crime and Punishment circulating around the ‘Emerald City’ as Lady AB called it – actually a representation of the onion domes of St Petersburg. Similarly, ‘The Outsider’ was a glistening material interpretation of Albert Camus’ novel.

emily floyd ngv

emily floyd ngv

emily floyd ngv

The exhibition also includes a specially commissioned kid’s project called Emily Floyd: The Dawn for Kids with two interactive spaces that encourage creativity using letters and words and inspired by Feminist activism from the 1970s and 80s.

emily floyd ngv

emily floyd ngv

In one room is a floor full of acrylic letters, which according to Lady AB looked like a massive snowfall. Younger children like Baby 2.0 will enjoy the tactile experience of walking along, holding, throwing and probably chewing the letters while older children like Lady AB will delight in finding the right letters to spell their names or creating sculptures using the letter blocks.

emily floyd ngv

Around the perimeter of ‘Word Farm’ is some colourful bench seating by  designer and educator Mary Featherstone which incidentally also makes for great climbing fun and running fun for toddlers. I saw a poor museum attendant trying to rub off marks on the benches and I suspect that will be a lost cause…

emily floyd ngv

The second room of was ‘Small Press’, a location for children to write their own manifesto while learning about design and typography. It is stated that the area is more suited to kids 3+ years as there are scissors and small parts involved. My kids were way too small to understand what was required but they still had fun tapping on the typewriters and playing with the stamps!

Emily Floyd: The Dawn is a fun, engaging and educational art experience for babies right up to school-aged children. Best of all, it’s free!

Emily Floyd: The Dawn, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square

Fri 21 Nov – Sun 1 Mar 2015

Free entry

10am-5pm closed Mondays

{ 0 comments }

paris to provence

Melbourne’s French Festival Paris to Provence is back at the National Trust’s Como House Friday 21 November to Sunday 23 November 2014.

The French artisan market is a great outing for the family, with stalls, music, food and roving entertainment. Every year there are some familiar faces like La Parisienne Pates and new businesses to discover, which keeps things interesting for annual visitors like us.

paris to provence

This year’s was the best set up for kids that I’ve experienced so far, so here are my highlights for families.

Young and old alike love crepes and there were several crepe stalls to try. There were generally waits of up to 15 minutes for your crepe so I suggest ordering, wandering around neighbouring stalls, then coming back. Or divert kids’ attention by enjoying a macaron, petits choux or cruffin.

paris to provence

paris to provence

We were really excited to discover the petits choux by South Yarra patisserie A La Folie. Macarons are almost a bit passe now but not everyone is doing eclairs and custard-filled petits choux. These small, light delicacies were each filled with a different flavoured crème patissière and because we couldn’t choose we bought one in each flavour (eight). They were beautifully packaged in a slipbox and disappeared in under 2 minutes! My favourite being the subtly flavoured pistachio.

Agathe Patisserie is a blog favourite, a bakery business run by a French mother of three. She’s famous for her caneles and croissants but I think her outstanding menu item is the cruffin ($6).

paris to provence

Mon Dieu! The cruffin is a croissant-muffin hybrid with a custard centre and we tried one pumped full of Nutella and another with crème patissière and a salted caramel topping. It’s the flaky, multi-layered pastry and crispy outer shell that makes this an amazing treat a standout. Don’t miss it if you like French pastries.

paris to provence

The Children’s Garden was near the bottom of the area this time, a perfect secluded space away from the bustle and noise of the main precincts. The only thing to watch was the pond which fascinated Baby 2.0 but meant that he had to keep a close eye on him.

In the Children’s Garden Petit Atelier are running free craft classes but they are generally for older kids as it seemed to involve sewing and threading. Throughout the day there is also French story time and face painting.

paris to provence

Under 5s can colour in Le Tour Eiffel (which kept Lady AB amused for 20 minutes) or make shapes with lavender scented playdough.

paris to provence

In the Children’s Garden was a stall for Le Club Enfants, a preschooler French, dance and art/craft class in Camberwell and Canterbury. As well as promoting their classes for 3-5 year olds they were selling cute little wooden Janod cars ($3 each or 2 for $5), tricolore headbands ($5) and hairclips ($3) and even a tricolore tutu which I loved but couldn’t think of a reason to buy!

paris to provence

paris to provence

There’s also a large playground in Como Park right outside the gate if you want to really tire the kids out.

Note that we went to Paris to Provence on Saturday around midday. This was probably peak period and thus quite challenging with young kids, as it was crowded in areas, there wasn’t much seating and thoroughfares often involved stairs or grassy hills, making pram moving a bit cumbersome. Given the number of people we didn’t get to see as much as we’d like to (especially the Carousel, I was really looking forward to it!). If you’re going tomorrow Sunday I recommend turning up first thing at 10am. I’m making a mental note to try and go on the Friday instead next year.

Note also that parking is problematic around the area and your best bets are the residential streets east of Williams Road (or public transport). Given that one of the entrances is on Williams Road I think they need the French equivalent of a Lollipop Lady to help people cross traffic, as the traffic lights are quite far away.

Paris to Provence, Como Houe & Garden, Cnr Williams Road & Lechlade Avenue, South Yarra

Friday 21 November 12pm to 8pm,  Saturday 22 November 10am to 6pm, Sunday 23 November 10am to 4pm

Adults       $17 pre booked online  & $22 at the gate (ages 17 and up)

Children    $5 pre booked online or at the gate (ages 6 to 16).  Ages 5 and under are free.

 

{ 0 comments }

playfest

PlayFest is Melbourne’s new music and arts festival just for kids and for a first-time event we thought it was fantastic!

Sidney Myer Music Bowl was the perfect location for the event, with a large stage for performances and spacious grounds for exploring and roaming. The playlist was huge and there were fun activities to keep everyone amused, from sporty to artistic.

playfest

Our favourite area to hang out was the IKEA Little Play Zone. There were toys to play with and furniture to climb over, as well as drawing activities.

Playfest

But the best bit were the comfortable couches and lounge chairs with a fantastic vantage point over the main stage up on the hill. If there was a VIP section at PlayFest then this would be it!

playfest

playfest

We also enjoyed pedalling our own smoothies with Bike n Blend ($5 each) and playing with Duplo and Lego in the subterranean BrickFest behind and underneath the main stage.  We would have loved to decorate a bun with Baker’s Delight but couldn’t find the Fun Bun Station.

playfest

To my surprise noise-sensitive Lady AB wanted to go ‘look at the music’ after a while playing and exploring so we listened to some acoustic acts in the ‘PlayFest Unplugged’ stage and the jazzy numbers in the Ali McGregor CabaRAY! Spectacular in the Cabaret tent.

playfest

As with any great kids festival there were free balloons, face painting, an appearance by Spot and Peter Rabbit plus smartie cookies and pizzas for lunch.

playfest

While every adult seemed to have a backpack with snacks with them it would have been better to have more food options to reduce the queues and waiting time. An ice cream van would have been a great hit!

There are plenty of toilets (not portaloos thank God), baby change facilities and even a ‘milk bar’ breastfeeding area. I recommend using the pram valet parking at the entrance, otherwise you’ll be hiking up and down grassy hills with a pram. For carparking I parked at Alexandra Parade just after Swan St which was only 80c per hour for an unlimited period.

Our morning session 10-1pm was perfect for 4yo Lady AB as we had enough time to see most things without rushing around and we weren’t completely exhausted at the end. PlayFest was a really fun outing for the under 5s and I hope that it will continue bigger and better next year!

You can buy tickets to PlayFest from Ticketmaster or at the door for tomorrow’s full day session.

PlayFest, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Fri 21 Nov and Sat 23 Nov 2014

{ 0 comments }

HOT: Common Galaxia, Shop 3/130 Victoria St, Seddon

November 21, 2014

Common Galaxia sounds like a solar system from outer space, but in fact this cafe’s name derives from something more prosaic – Common Galaxias are silvery little whitebait which are found in the nearby Maribyrnong river (and in many rivers around the world). I really like the poetic tale about them on the website ‘The Common […]

Read the full article →

HOT: GoldieBlox and the Parade Float + Giveaway!

November 21, 2014

GoldieBlox creates constructions sets for girls aged 4-9 years in order to teach and inspire future female engineers. We have previously reviewed GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine and GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank and the last kit in the first release of toys is GoldieBlox and the Parade Float. I admit I had some misgivings […]

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Read the full article →