If you have been to WOMADelaide, you will most likely have experienced the magic of Kidzone, even if you don’t have kids! The procession of children dressed in incredible costumes after their workshop with artist and storyteller Evelyn Roth, with her Nylon Zoo Story Theatre, have always been a highlight, as they traverse the park.
My children have participated in making their own cardboard box costumes, danced through the park in dreamy dress-ups as part of the Nylon Zoo, hidden within nature-inspired cubby houses built by the fabulous Climbing Tree, watched puppet shows and listened to stories. Now that our two oldest are grown, and our youngest is 14 and more interested in the music and the Planet Talks sessions, I am still planning to check out Kidzone, because it’s fabulous and we all have a little bit of kid inside of us!
Kidzone has become bigger and bigger over the years, with a range of activities, events and interactive sessions for young people. These range from big and loud and exciting, to gentle, soothing spaces where children can escape the hustle and bustle of the WOMADelaide village, in a dedicated space.
WOMADelaide, to be held in Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla from Friday 10 March until 13 March, has just announced an incredible range of Kidzone activities, full of storytelling, song, dance and adventure-filled learning for under 12s. This is a celebration of artistic creativity and fun, and this year, it features a vibrant programme from a range of First Nations Peoples.
On Sunday, all-woman group from Maningrida in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, Ripple Effect Band, will present a culture workshop built around their 2021 song Nabárrdja (The Little Crab). Originally commissioned by the ABC for their indigenous language children’s lullaby program, the song featured on the ARIA nominated album The Moon, The Mouse & The Frog: Lullabies from Northern Australia.
Lovers of Australian Television series Play School, (and who doesn’t love Play School!), will be excited to hear that on both Saturday and Sunday, Play School presenter, mother and author, Rachael Coopes, will mix storytelling and movement, with children joining her in music-based yoga and meditation.
From Saturday until Monday, The South Australian Museum’s Insect Investigators will become a hub of creepy-crawlies, as kids explore the fascinating life of beetles, mammoth moths, caterpillars and more through shows, talks, songs, stories and play.
Adelaide’s renowned children’s circus company, Cirkidz and Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi, will keep families entertained with a series of acrobatic skill-based workshops from Saturday to Monday. Also, from Saturday to Monday, Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tours will get everyone dancing to their own beat, using headphones, taking participants into a magical world of music, movement and laughter.
Three sessions of Uncle Stevie’s Kaurna Classroom will be held at the festival on Monday. Named after one Adelaide’s great Kaurna Educators, the late Stevie Gadlabarti Goldsmith, Uncle Stevie’s Classroom is a place where kids can enjoy learning about Kaurna culture and language with Kaurna educators on Kaurna country.
Other activities over the four days of the festival include workshops with Aboriginal artists Juanella McKenzie and Naomi Hobson, for the Art Gallery of South Australia, theatre, storytelling and dress-ups at Evelyn Roth’s Nylon Zoo, the Book Nook (my most exciting part!!) featuring an enormous number of books to explore, alongside interactive activities from Adelaide City Library, a giant earthworm installation (can’t wait to see this!) and workshops by the University of Adelaide, plus a spectacular Nature Playground provided by Climbing Tree. Kidzone will definitely be the place to be!
Grab tickets and all of the information about artists, events and activities here.