Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hello, and welcome to the place of butterflies…

Have you ever wondered about the meaning behind the big sign in the fairy garden? 

In 2012, What-A-Mulla-Balumbeer, which means Hello and Welcome to the Place of Butterflies, was the final significant piece of the beautiful fairy garden project undertaken by the 2012 Willmore kids. It was a task that was embraced wholeheartedly by our kindergarten community – and was dreamed and envisioned by the children, facilitated by Judi, Linda, and Linda, and brought to life by Willmore committee and the many hands of willing parents. The effect was a collaborative project that connected our Willmore kids with the greater community, and that celebrated the beauty of the environment that we are fortunate enough to share. 

Have a wander around; the fairy garden is an amazing space! It has bridges and platforms and fruit trees, elevated garden beds brimming with new growth, and an embankment filled with beautiful native flowers, stepping stones, magic toadstools, fairy houses, and other small, special things. It’s a fantastic place to play and explore in, supplies endless extensions in terms of the children’s learning, and provides a wonderful first impression for our beloved kindy. 

On completion of the project, the educators and children decided that this special place needed an equally special name; which is how What-A-Mulla-Balumbeer originated, so named and dedicated in a beautiful ceremony by Joe Kirk, Aboriginal elder of the Turrbal and Wakka Wakka people. What-A-Mulla-Balumbeer is from the local Turrbal language, and connects us with the traditional owners of the land that we are fortunate enough to play and grow upon. 

What-A-Mulla-Balumbeer is an evolving space - there are always opportunities for children and parents to plant new flowers or seasonal vegetable seedlings; the platform has been used in morning play as a musical space, an art space, and a performing space; and the rocks have been piled into pretend campfires, paths, and runways for planes. Little feet run over the coloured stepping stones, birds (and fairies) find homes in the branches of the trees, and warm sunlight filters through the leaves, bathing the space in a warm glow. It’s a place that changes to suit the play needs of the children. 

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