Have you been sitting on the edge of your chair waiting for the next Ekka installment? Wait no longer.
Well after buying our show bags and stashing them in the cloak room…for a fee of course…we headed to the educational pavilions. You see the Ekka isn’t just about rides and carnival games. The Brisbane Exhibition is exactly what it says it is…an exhibition for all sorts of things.
When people think of the Ekka they think of the expense, and yes it CAN be costly if you overindulge in rides, games, show bags and food but in truth you’ll find that most of the Ekka is actually free. There are demonstrations to watch, activities to participate in, shows to marvel over and if your feet get tired from walking you can sit in the grandstands and watch the events in the main arena. Sadly we didn’t get to see anything in the main arena this year as it was just too wet but we made up for it by soaking up every bit of fun from the indoor activities.
Look at my little men on that great big police motorbike in the Government Pavilon. That thing was huge!! Either that or my little boys are pint sized. Or maybe a combination.
I told my boys this is the ONLY time I want to see them in (or “on”) a police vehicle!!
After checking out a touch screen presentation on what it’s like to live in jail (prison) I’m pretty confident that they’ll want to avoid that lifestyle.
Mind you I was a bit surprised at the little luxuries they get in prison. They have TVs in each cell and their own shower area!! What ever happened to the bread and water standards?!
The great thing about the educational displays in the Government Pavilion is that they have people there that you can talk to about their displays. While Ethan interacted with the prison presentation, a man who presumably works in the prisons, took the time to talk to us about prison life. This truly made the presentation come to life for us.
A lot of effort has gone into the displays to make them as interactive as possible. At the State Emergency Services display they had these gorgeous photo props.
It was interesting to see what occupation each boy chose to be photographed as.
They made full use of technology at many of the displays and they were speaking Ethan’s love language!! And the great thing about going to the Ekka on the wettest day was that we rarely had to wait to have a turn and we could stay for as long as we wanted.
The boys spent ages colouring with this tool while being taught about various societal concerns such as being water-wise and sun-wise.
Brayden’s keen “Wii” eye spotted this physical fitness display and made a beeline straight for it. His full body bopping around version of playing Wii drew quite a crowd. People were grinning and talking about the little boy who was really getting into it. At the end of the game he was offered the choice of an apple or orange from the “prize” basket. Hmmm??
Literacy seemed to be a major focus in this pavilion. We entered an “I love reading” contest (which ironically we had to “count” the blue spots on an egg picture), we wrote postcards and were given stamps to mail them and at the display below we were given a checklist of pictures from A-Z to find on the wall. We then put our names and contact details on the checklists and entered them in a competition to win a $50 book voucher. And guess what?? Ethan won it!!! He was over the moon. Brayden was a little forlorn but his brother eagerly agreed to split the money in half with him. (Ethan is the same kid who will cut an M&M in half to share with his brother!!!).
There were touch screens everywhere in the pavilions and I’m pretty sure we used them all! These were in the Travel Smart display.
This “Brake Reaction Test” simulator was also in the Travel Smart display. The boys thought it was very cool. They had to drive along the road watching for obstacles and then brake to avoid a collision with them. The boys stopped in time for the car and the pedestrian but the kangaroo was hit by both boys. Sadly it probably won’t be their last. Kangaroos are a major road hazard out on the highways.
The Agricultural Pavilion was my personal favourite. Various fruits, vegetables and grains were used to create stunning displays. There were so many educational opportunities there.
Just look at this display about potatoes. We got to show the boys a range of very different looking potatoes as well as explaining that they are grown underground.
(The red raincoated child is ours…a small reminder that it was very wet!)
Don’t you just love this pineapple arch? We had to walk through one at the beginning of the display and then out of another at the end. The sweet smell of pineapple was hard to miss. Mmmm….
It was fun standing at these displays identifying all of the different produce that was used to create them.
Doesn’t the “photographer” in this display look real?? Yes it’s part of the display. Had me confused too. At first I was waiting my turn to take a picture, not wanting my flash to disturb his photo. After quite a wait I realised I was waiting for a dummy. Yes I felt like the dummy myself!
Isn’t Mr Vegetable man cute?? Where do they come up with these creative ideas?! And to think they have to come up with new ideas every year. That would be the challenge!!
Check out this display! Everything here is grown!! Yes everything!! Pretty impressive, isn’t it? We spent ages looking over this display.
Below you can see the boys viewing the “Once Upon a Time” display. Within the display there are 10 fairytale characters portrayed. We had fun finding them all. And remember it’s all made out of produce!! Cool huh? Better in real life though.
There was even a touch of Egypt at the Ekka!!!
These Egyptian images were all made out of different seeds and grains. Yes, really!!
The next pavilion was the Science Pavilion. I was a little disappointed with this pavilion. It wasn’t up to the same high standards that the other pavilions set. But we still enjoyed the few things they had on offer.
In one display the boys were invited to put on lab coats, hair nets and safety goggles. Too cute!!! Especially Brayden’s serious work look. Hehehehe.
And Ethan….hehehehe…you can see his enthusiasm for Science beaming through those oversized safety goggles.
The “experiment” was a little tame for my boys who’ve enjoyed quite a bit of chemistry fun recently but they didn’t mind.
Mixing coloured water using a pipette is cool under most circumstances.
And the lab coats were a nice touch. Hmmm…might have to get Grandma to help us add two lab coats to our dress-up box.
In this same display the boys also got to look at cancer cells under a microscope.
Imagine having access to a microscope like this??? I was drooling all over it. Sorry to those who had to use it after us…hehehehe.
This “Attack the Bad Germ” ball game was ALSO in the same display. Sounds like a huge display doesn’t it but it wasn’t. It’s just that all the best stuff was in the one place!
In this activity, when the boys threw the velcro ball and hit a germ the assistant would name the germ. I only remember the top red one. That’s Mr Scabies. Ugly isn’t he??
This was yet another competition that we entered. Well only Ethan entered this one.
(Don’t you love Liam’s rain-gear?? That’s a back pack under his coat making him look like the Hunchback of Notredame.)
Brayden’s interest was starting to wane at this point and his legs were tired from walking.
But he got plenty of time to sit and rest his weary legs as the competition was a colouring one. What a ridiculous competition to hold at the Ekka! But patience is a virtue right? So we stood and waited for Ethan to colour his picture.
Liam talked to the display assistant and organised several water cycle posters to be mailed to us.
Then after standing and waiting for what seemed like an eternity Ethan decided that he liked his colouring so much that he didn’t want to leave it behind for the competition. Holding that patience thingie by a thread I carefully found a safe place from the rain and potential creases in our bag and we headed off.
What I’ve neglected to mention until now is that as you visit each display there are oodles and oodles of freebies for you to collect. Gosh who needs to buy show bags when you can haul home all of this stuff for free. Oh and what’s photographed below is only ONE CHILD’s collection of freebies. All of these came from the Government building – now you know where your tax dollars are going…hehehehe.
Surely I’m at the end of our Ekka day after all of this…nope!! The Ekka is “chock a block full” (a slang expression for “full to overflowing”) with things to do and I still have two more jam packed posts to go!!
Sorry to keep you waiting but…
…To be continued….