By Nathan Beerkens,
Field Ecologist and Community Coordinator

How do you get little kids interested in conservation? Or anything?

Make it fun!

Nathan Beerkens singing songs with ‘Toddler Story Time’.

In the build-up to Easter, Arid Recovery and Roxby Traders hosted a week-long series of children’s activities in the heart of Roxby Downs. Around 250 children joined us to learn about the Easter Bilby through arts, crafts, stories and play.

Intern Ben Stepkovitch reading stories about how good bilbies are for Australia.

The arts and crafts activities were bilby-based and included colouring-ins, making bilby homes, making bilby hats and playing with bilby poo (not real).

The ‘poo’ was a hit, and was actually play-dough and glitter. Bilbies eat a lot of bugs and you can see shiny bug pieces in their poo. So, glittery play-dough was a good substitute. On one hand, we’re sorry to all of the parents whose youngsters talked about poo for the rest of the day. On the other hand, we don’t regret it!

A glittery bilby emerging from its play-dough burrow.

Other highlights included a scavenger hunt at the Roxby Downs Nippy Gym, where toddlers searched for hidden plush bilbies, an Easter raffle for people who shopped locally, visits from the Easter Bilby and ‘The Bilby Burrow’ – a sprawling network of cardboard box tunnels which the kids could not stop exploring.

The week was a great success and we’d like to thank all of the organisations and businesses which took part, including Roxby Traders, Nippy Gym, Roxby Downs Community Hub, the Community Library and all of the children’s groups and parents.

Some kids told us that bilbies were their new favourite animals, which we couldn’t be happier about.

As they say: you have to be aware before you can care.

It was great seeing bilbies lining the busiest part of town.