A stimulating experience.

Seeing young people along with their families- parents, brothers, sisters, aunties , grans and grandads and all friends enjoying the 170 entertaining, energising and educational activities at Kidzone is inspirational.

Clare  helping a friend construct a bee model

Not to be outdone, Invercargill Environment Centre, Te Whenua Awhi, provided a variety of activities for young and old alike in their Environment room with the emphasis on bees. The highlights were the chance to make beehive mobiles, bees from egg cartons or explore a real beehive. An explanation of how bees go about the task of making honey and how apiarists use bees’ energy for the benefit of humans by making honey wound up with people able to taste some comb honey -a sweet new experience for many.

People learned about the importance of bees for pollination of so many plants and their vulnerability because of pesticide use. Long tongued bumble bees and their special habits were also featured. Bee friendly plants which can be planted in back gardens to encourage bees were another feature.

Centre tutor Mayhla helping young people make puti puti- ( flax flowers)
at Kidzone in the Environment Centre room.

Alongside this feature, people were able to make putiputi from harakeke ( flax flowers) to take home as a gift for someone else. Volunteer Mayhla gave generously of her time and expertise to teach others.

A wee bee talking to a big bee on a penny farthing
at Kidzone's Environment room- theme of bees this year

The Environment room drew people in with its bee on a penny farthing bike which was fun. Each day an apiarist came to educate interested people and we thank David Henderson and Jasmine Hayes for their expertise. Author Raymond Hubber from Dunedin was a special drawcard as he read from his books about bees.

Children's author Raymond Hubber
 reads his books about bees to young people
 at Kidzone's Environment Centre room- with its theme of bees.   

The recycled activity centre was not only an attraction in the Environment room but it also enthused younger children in the ‘Talking Pictures’ room where a photo exhibition about Human Rights provided some stimulating conversations and awareness raising about rights and responsibilities.

These rooms could not have been such challenging and educational places if it had not been for the generosity of volunteer helpers and staff giving their time and energy to ensure visitors both enjoyed the time interacting as well as learned some new information.

Now how does this work might be the question
Invercargill's Oliver van Uden-Smith aged 3
 is asking his big brother Blake

Kidzone is a WOW experience thanks to the sponsors, organisers and volunteers.