13/10/2008 1:00:00 AM
TIPTOEING through a mock landmine filled field was just one of the activities that captured the attention of thousands of youngsters at yesterday’s Wodonga Children’s Fair.
In an event which combined bucket loads of fun and excitement, there was also an education feel to many activities, perhaps none more so than the World Vision African hut.
Aimed at giving children an insight into the life of an African child, the hut saw Border youngsters learn how to get water from a well, carry rice on their head, grind millet into flour and sweep with a millet broom.
But perhaps the most confronting task was walking or being led blindfolded past toy blocks which were used to simulate landmines.
“Landmines are more Cambodian, but it teaches kids the serious situation some kids face,” Albury-Wodonga World Vision community group volunteer Lyndon Smith said.
“It sends a strong message in a fun and friendly environment.”
Thurgoona’s Jessica Pretty, 13, found the African hut a great learning experience.
“They don’t have much over there and have to use what they can get and work really hard all day,” she said.
Wodonga Council events team leader Kim Strang said the fair had grown from a small event staged in the forecourt of the city’s library to attracting between 13,000 and 14,000 people this year.
She said an addition to the 19th fair, parent information sessions, was something organisers would look at having again.
For the younger children jigging to The Jitterbugs was a fun way to pass the time, while those seeking more adventure enjoyed rock climbing.
Budding musicians tried out the keyboards at the Musikids stall, while would-be Picassos loved the oceania arts hall where they could create or paint a sea creature or make a pirate hat or outfit.
Melbourne’s Katy-Jane Atkins said her daughter Bella, 6, adored sculpting an octopus in the arts hall.
“It’s a great, hands-on experience for children,” she said.
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