Friday, 29 October 2010

Shining Stars Baby and children's market

This is a great initiative for both parents struggling financially to buy all the things needed for a new baby and young children, or for people wanting to sell baby and children things in good condition but no longer needed.

The Shining Stars Baby and Children's Market is being held this Sunday 31st October (Halloween!) at Campbelltown Civic Centre (91 Queen Street, just down from the police station) from 9:30am to 12:30pm. Entry is $3 per adult.

The markets are held indoors so will go ahead whatever the weather and there's plenty of parking just across the road in Broughton Street.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Man Vs Wild parody - Campbelltown

Last week, a friend sent me a link to this YouTube video via Facebook. It's a take-off of the popular Man Vs Wild show featuring Bear Grylls and features 'Bear' taking on the 'wilds' of Campbelltown. I thought Part 1 was very funny. Part 2 is a bit slapstick and juvenile. I was going to post it on here but it's definitely not rated PG.

This week, the video has made the front page of the Macarthur Chronicle. Apparently it's upset some local big knobs although I think there have been worse portrayals of the area, including episode two of the Secret Millionaire which describes Campbelltown as: "...has a long history of public housing, low-income families, substance abuse and crime..." The show was widely criticised for only focusing on the very worst areas. At least the YouTube parody features the beautiful grounds of the University of Western Sydney.

I guess when it comes to Campbelltown Council, Uni students are an easier target than Channel Nine. At least we can thank Eric Grothe Jnr for his video, Campbelltown My Home Town by Eric Grothe Jnr as featured on the Matty Johns Show (Channel 7).

Have you seen the Man Vs Campbelltown video? What do you think?

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Want to know more about Panjo?

If you've driven into Campbelltown from the North, you no doubt would have noticed the imposing building on the corner of Rose Payten Drive and Campbelltown Road that is destined to become the Panjo Destination Centre 4 Children.

The development of this centre stalled a few years ago due to financial difficulties but is now back on track and set to become a landmark for the area. The multi-story building is designed to be a one-stop-shop for parents and will include a child-care centre, swimming pool, themed restaurants and cafes, a medical centre, skating ring, shops and more.

For a look inside, check out this video or join the Facebook fan page. The website is still under construction.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

What's On in Macarthur

Every month, Visit Macarthur produce a guide to what's on in the area. This can be picked up at various spots around Campbelltown including the Campbelltown Visitor Information Centre in Old Menangle Road (just down the road from Rydges Hotel), libraries and swimming centres. You can visit their website or download the October guide here. (PDF)

There's a few things happening in October that have caught my eye including an open day at the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living which is also holding some free workshops this month, and the OPA! Greek Festival at the Wizard of Oz Funland in Leumeah.

There's always something happening in Camden and Campbelltown so be sure to check out what's on.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Recipe for a rainy day

If your little ones are starting to get cabin fever from all this wet weather Macarthur's been having, here's a recipe for home-made playdough:

1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour
2 tbs cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
Few drops of food colouring.

Mix the dry ingredients in a saucepan then add the wet ingredients. Stir over a low heat for a few minutes until the mixture starts to congeal. (I know when this happens because my hand and arm start to ache!) Once it's a solid lump, allow to cool before turning out onto a floured board and knead lightly to ensure all heat from the middle is released before giving to children.

This recipe is based on the one in the ABA's NMAA Cooks - Recipes for Busy Mothers, which is a fantastic cookbook full of old-fashioned cheap and easy to make recipes. You can buy it from Mother's Direct or get more info from the Facebook page.

You can also find the recipe in double the quantities on the back of packets of McKenzie's Cream of Tartar. I sometimes also add glitter and / or a few drops of lavender essential oil. For older kids, if you don't mind messy hands, add the food colouring drops into the middle after it's been cooked and cooled and then let the kids knead the dough which changes colour as if by magic.

Home-made playdough will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Sunflowers in the garden

If you're lucky enough to have a patch of dirt, growing plants is a great way to keep the kids occupied in the long summer evenings now that daylight saving is here. Even if you don't have a garden, a large pot, some dirt and a packet of seeds is a great way to teach children where some of our food comes from.

Sunflowers are a great first plant for children because they're easy to grow and their rapid growth means kids can see changes daily. Junior Landcare in conjuction with Yates are encouraging kids to get gardening this spring by supplying free sunflower seeds and running a competition to see who can grow the biggest sunflower. The Sunflower Challenge website has everything you need to know about growing sunflowers.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Free activities these school hols

We all seem to be feeling the pinch these days so if you're looking for some free activities to keep the kids occupied these spring holidays, read on.

The bike education centre is open 10-3 every day during the school holidays except for Monday 4th which is a public holiday. This is a great location for kids aged 2-10. Scooters or bikes are allowed but helmets must be worn. Entry is free.

For older kids, the skate park on Hollylea Road at Leumeah is a great place to hang out. For skaters, skateboarders, scooters and BMX bikers, it has rips, a wave wall, a mini-pipe and a square rail. I have no idea what any of that is but the word on the street is that Leumeah skate park is "da beast". I suspect the fact that it's just across the road from Woodbine Maccas, Hungry Jacks & Krispy Kreme Donuts adds to the appeal. It does get very crowded though.

I've mentioned Mount Annan Botanic Gardens a few times in this blog as one of our favourite places to visit because of the great playground and picnic areas. But the $9.00 entry fee for cars puts us off visiting more often. However, on Tuesday 5th October, the gardens are having a free entry day and according to their Facebook page, there's going to be some craft activities happening too.

The blue tree: one of the many attractions in Mount Annan Botanic Gardens