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How to Build a Kids Teepee at Home

Posted on 23 August 2018
How to Build a Kids Teepee at Home

The school holidays are the perfect time to get busy on a project or activity with your kids. Not only does it keep them entertained, it strengthens your parent-child bond and gives you a finished product that you can be proud of.  At Pialba Place, getting prepared for a good project activity session is easy thanks to stores like Truckloads, Open House and Big W. These stores can help get you started on a range of different projects, including your very own teepee. And what child doesn't want their very own teepee?

Why a teepee?

Every child deserves their own little sanctuary away from nosy parents. Whether used for imaginative make believe, reading a book or hiding out with friends, a teepee is their own little piece of magic, a place that's truly their own. 

A teepee is light and foldable too, making it easy to move around your home. On a beautiful day it can even offer some welcome shade to encourage kids out into the garden. 

In other words, every child should have a teepee!

Making a teepee

Tools and equipment

To start building your teepee gather together everything you need. You should be able to get things like pencils, sticky tape, twine, markers, ribbons and fabric at the stores mentioned above and the rest you should be able to pick up at Bunnings or a similar store.

  • Power drill
  • 5mm drill bit
  • Sewing machine and general sewing supplies
  • 5 x 1.8m dowels (around 20mm diameter)
  • 1 metre (minimum) 5mm thick cotton rope
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Long ruler
  • Sticky tape
  • Sandpaper
  • 3m x 150cm-wide piece of fabric (or old queen-size bed sheet)
  • 3m bias tape for trims and ties
  • Soluble fabric marker or tailor's chalk
  • Cute button (optional)

 

Method

Step 1. Choose a suitable work area

You want to work in an area where you'll have plenty of space. Remember, you'll be using a power drill so you want to make sure your child can help but not be at risk of getting hurt.

Step 2. Mark your holes

Measure 26cm down from the top of your five dowels and position where the holes should be by making an X. Using your drill, carefully drill one hole in each dowel. Thread the rope through the holes you have created.

Step 3. Knot your rope

Pull a good length of rope through to leave a couple of good ends. Tie a knot firmly, then wrap the rope around a few times over and under dowels to get rid of the excess. Knot again to secure.

Step 4. Prepare your fabric

Lay your fabric out and mark out a triangle using a ruler and fabric marker. You can do this once and then use the template you cut out all five panels. Each triangular panel should be 9cm at the top,140cm on the sides, 135cm down the middle and 82cm along the base. Add seam allowances of between 1cm and 1.5cm. 

In your door panel cut a 96cm slit from the ground up. Add bias tape around the door opening and a button at the top of the door if you would like.

Step 5. Make bias cords

Make 15cm x 30cm bias tape tie cords by sewing your bias in half. Pin and sew 4 ties to the door panel around 30 cm apart so they are equally spaced from the top and bottom. Reserve the remaining tow ties for later.

Step 6. Sew your fabric

With your five panels cut sew the WRONG sides of the fabric together along the long edges. The seams should be on the outside of the cover at this stage. Don't worry, you haven't made a mistake. Hem the top opening edge by rolling a small edge over twice so there are no raw edges exposed towards what will be the inside of the tent.

Step 7. Make the tubes

To make the tubes that the poles will feed through to keep everything together, sew a seam down the long sides of each long panel. The fabric should have the CORRECT sides facing each other. The seam width should be about 2-3 cm depending on the width of your dowel. Do a test to ensure the dowel fits snugly. You can then finish the bottom seam to ensure the tubes don't poke out the bottom.

Step 8. Feed in the frame

Feed your frame through the cover via the top opening. Two people will likely need to carry out this step. Arrange the teepee frame on the floor, spacing dowels evenly apart. Slip the teepee cover over the frame, moving the poles so they are positioned along the seams.

Step 9. Secure your door

Take the remaining two bias cords (or ribbons if you're using) and tie one piece halfway up the pole on each side of the opening. Use to tie the flaps back.

Teepee construction hacks

Sewing not your strong suit? For a no-sew version, purchase a couple of sheer curtains, thread some ribbon through the casing, draw up tight and finish with a bow. Then drape them around the frame.  Prefer a wooden teepee? With just a few lengths of pine, a piece of canvas and a sample pot of paint you can make one.  Or is outdoor your thing? You can also make this super cute outdoor teepee that grows as your child grows.

Sewing not your strong suit? For a no-sew version, purchase a couple of sheer curtains, thread some ribbon through the casing, draw up tight and finish with a bow. Then drape them around the frame.  Prefer a wooden teepee? With just a few lengths of pine, a piece of canvas and a sample pot of paint you can make one.  Or is outdoor your thing? You can also make this super cute outdoor teepee that grows as your child grows.

Styling your teepee

Now your teepee is built the fun can really start. Your kids will love styling their very own space. Some styling tips you might like to try include:

  • Tie in the colour scheme of your child's room by hanging some tassels or a garland from the dowels
  • Drape a few strings of fairy lights for night time story book magic
  • Lay a soft rug, mat or sheepskin in the base for extra comfort
  • Add soft furnishings like cushions, a comfy throw and some soft teddies
  • Add some greenery and pockets of colourful flowers
  • Add a camping lantern for a cosy glow
  • Tie a disco ball to the centre of your teepee
  • Create a path leading up to your teepee

Don't forget to keep certain items in close proximity of your teepee too. A small bookcase or basket of books outside the teepee door gives your child great incentive to use their teepee as a reading nook.  Ready to style your teepee or start another project you know your child will love? Visit Pialba Place and see what inspiration you can come up with.

Posted in: How to Build a Kids’ Teepee at Home!  

Plan your Spring Holidays

Posted on 23 August 2018
Plan your Spring Holidays

The spring school holidays are fast approaching and if you're not yet sure how to spend it, then check out what's on in Hervey Bay. There's something for every age range and better yet, lots of it is free!

If you haven't spent much time in and around Hervey Bay you'll quickly see it's the perfect place for a spring school holiday. The Queensland town's mild, subtropical climate makes it a popular playground for both locals and holidaymakers, the temperature a mild 22-26 degrees, the skies clear, and very little rainfall. 

You can't go wrong with spending the spring school holidays in Hervey Bay!

Free activities in Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay has a plethora of activities for kids that won't cost you a thing. Imagine a holiday where you're not constantly reaching into your pocket!

Esplanade

The Esplanade is the ultimate Hervey Bay playground, offering a 17 km coastal path from beyond the Urangan Boat Harbour in the south-east to Gatakers Bay in the north-west. Along the way, you'll explore the regions of Hervey Bay - Urangan, Shelly Beach, Torquay, Scarness, Pialba and Point Vernon. 

The Esplanade is popular with walkers, joggers and bike riders of all ages. In places, the pathway is flat, while in others there's a little undulation. All in all, though, it's an easy route whichever way you choose to take it. 

Optional paid extra: If you haven't got your bikes, consider hiring some and completing as much of the path as you can. There are several bike hire companies located around Hervey Bay, but for something different, try hiring a four-wheeled cruiser. Work up a sweat pedalling past parks, piers, great views and playgrounds and then grab an ice cream from one of Hervey Bay's many ice creameries. 

Want more? Check out these bike paths around Hervey Bay.

Beach

There are numerous spots along the Esplanade that will give you access to Hervey Bay's very long beach. Where you choose to perch on the sand doesn't really matter, as Hervey Bay Beach is one of the safest swimming beaches in Australia. Hervey Bay is protected from the surf by Fraser Island so there are no big breakers and rips are rare. Great news for families with small children, though not so good for surfers. 

Want to keep the little ones occupied on the beach while you soak up some sun? Why not check out these fun-filled beach games.

Botanic Gardens

The Hervey Bay Botanic Garden is situated in 26 hectares of land and it's an oasis of peace and tranquillity in an otherwise busy part of town. Open from 6:30am the gardens are the perfect place for breakfast, lunch or an early dinner on a picnic rug. There are tons of shady spots to enjoy and several gas BBQs for your use. Swing by Sommerfield's Quality Meats and grab some rolls and salad from Coles or pick up a ready-to-go lunch from Mum's Charcoal & Grill and enjoy good old fashioned homestyle cooking. For good old park fun, pick up a frisbee from Truckloads and you're good to go. You might even be able to catch a school holiday garden tour.

Hervey Bay Library

Hervey Bay Library is buzzing with activity during the school holidays with craft, puzzles, glitter tattoos and more. Activities change every school holidays but an example of what you can expect is mosaics, paper weaving and paper craft, pet rocks and glitter stones and of course, Story Time. Activities are catered towards the younger kids, but older brothers and sisters are more than welcome.

Wetside Water Park

If your kids love to get wet then they will love Wetside Water Park. Located on the foreshore at the junction of Main Street and the Esplanade in Pialba, it's easy to find and a great deal of fun. There's something for kids of all ages with a giant tipping bucket and a special under 5's area. Entry to the water play arena (including the under 5's area) is free, however you will need to pay for the waterslides and the Flipside Board Ride. Still, at $5 for ten slides and $6 for a board ride, it's pretty reasonable.

Hervey Bay Adventure Playground

Located just a short walk from Wetside Water Park is the Hervey Bay Adventure Playground, a huge structure comprising of three massive slippery slides. The only way up is to negotiate the net ladder or web netting, each with their own unique challenges. Very young children may struggle, but older kids will love bounding up and sliding back down. The park also features a swing set and net swing.

Pialba Place

Pialba Place offers a shaded playground where kids are free to run and be noisy and make new friends. It's a place of imagination, fun and squeals of delight. The playground covers over 200 m2 and features an array of fun activities that promote learning and creativity. There's a pirate fort, climbing wall, several slides, ocean see-saw, two bay swings and more and the rubber surface supports kids to explore free of misadventure. For mum and dad, the park makes stopping for a coffee or cold drink enjoyable. 

Also at Pialba Place is a range of fun activities from pirate shows and crafts to Under the Sea workshops. Check out our What's On to learn more or sign up to our Kids Club. Available for kids 12-years and under we'll keep you up-to-date with everything that's happening when you sign up today.

Anzac Park and Ululah Lagoon

Grab the family and head 25 minutes south and you'll find Anzac Park and Ululah Lagoon. Once a favourite spot for Aboriginal corroborees the lagoon is now surrounded by a walk and cycle path which is frequented by the wildlife that lives there. There's also a skate bowl, children's fort, flying fox, other play equipment and BBQ facilities. In spring, the wallum heath natural wildflower show happens, making the spring school holidays a perfect time for a visit.

Fish

Take your little anglers and head for one of the small jetties along the Esplanade or walk out to the end of Urangan Pier. Catch garfish, whiting, bream, flathead and if you're lucky you might reel in a trevally or bluefin tuna! Even if you don't want to fish yourselves, the kids will get a kick out of seeing what others catch along the pier. The pier can be be heaving in the school holidays with locals trying their luck with a line.

Affordable activities in Hervey Bay

If you don't mind having a splurge or two these holidays there are plenty of paid activities too. Some of our favourites include:

Whale watching

Whale watching is an absolute must in spring, and Hervey Bay is the ultimate whale playground. Humpback whales love the calm, protected waters of Hervey Bay, so much so that they migrate here every year to have their young. They then stick around for a while, teaching their young to have fun with some of their famous moves. 

Humpback whales display some of their most incredible behaviours when in Hervey Bay. They flip effortlessly into the air and sing loudly. Their songs can be heard for several miles! They are also curious, so head out on the water and be wowed as they come up and say hi. An experience your kids will never forget. 

Fraser Island

Be it for a day trip, a weekend or longer, Fraser Island is one of Queensland's most incredible natural landscapes. The best way to explore it is via 4WD, either self-drive or by organised tour. You can arrange a tour from Cruiseabout or Flight Centre or take your own vehicle over on the ferry from River Heads. There are three return services daily. 

Must see sites on Fraser include beautiful Lake McKenzie (one of the seven natural wonders of the world), Lake Birrabeen, Eli Creek, Champagne Rock Pools and Lake Wabby.

Reefworld Aquarium

Reefworld Aquarium is home to many different marine life, including colourful tropical fish, sharks, large reef fish, tubeworms and crabs. An all-natural aquarium that uses only sand filtered sea water and natural sunlight it's one of the most unique aquariums in the world. Children of all ages can participate in feeding the marine life, with green sea turtles, sharks and large reef fish all fed daily.

Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary

Pat a kangaroo, howl with the dingoes, laugh with the kookaburras and be greeted by Charlie, Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary's 30-year-old long billed corella. Enjoy the colour of a free flight aviary, hold a diamond python and give Kadar the camel a kiss if you dare. You can do it all at this gorgeous little sanctuary. Visit on the third Sunday of the month and not only can you enjoy on-site markets, entry to the sanctuary is free until 1pm.

The Game Lab

The Game Lab Cyber Cafe is Hervey Bay's only internet and gaming cafe and it can be found next to Big W in Pialba Place. It provides up-to-date PC's, hardware and home consoles, all with current patches, accessories and headsets. Games are catered for every kind of gamer and are broken into three categories: bring your account, free to play and Game Lab account. New membership includes three hours of game time and a free drink for $15.

Something for everyone

Whether the kids are 2,5 and 8 or 10, 13 and 15, there's something for every child in Hervey Bay. This makes parenting kids over the school holidays easy, with little or no chance of hearing the words "I'm bored". From swimming and snorkelling to riding a bike, from walking and hiking to hanging with the animals, from marvelling at marine life and driving on the beach to gaming in an overnight 'lockin' there is something for everyone! 

Keep up-to-date with it all and subscribe to The Place Blog.

Posted in: Plan your Spring Holidays!  

Ocean Festival Craft Activity

Posted on 13 August 2018
Ocean Festival Craft Activity

In celebration Ocean Festival 2018, we are excited to invite all Pialba Place Kids Club members to join in FREE Jellyfish Umbrella making workshops!

Date: Saturday 18 August
Time: 12pm to 3pm
Place: Near the Playground

Bookings not required, just show up :)

Your kids also have the option of marching along the esplanade in the Whale Parade with their umbrella at 6pm that night. Find out more about how to join in the parade at the craft activity.

If you're not a Kids Club member, find out more and join here for free!

Display in main picture was created by the Graffiti Grannies.

 

Penny the Pirate Eye Tests for Kids

Posted on 23 July 2018
Penny the Pirate Eye Tests for Kids

Come along dressed as a pirate and join in the fun at our Pirate themed Pop-up library thanks to the Fraser Coast Regional Library team. OPSM will provide Penny the Pirate story book packs at the event on 8 August! 

This event will be held from 9am to 12 noon with story time at 10am. Your kids will enjoy puzzles, games, craft, books and more!

Written into the story are three eye-screening tests for distance vision, depth perception and colour vision.

The pack contains 3D glasses, a pirate eye patch, symbol key, a spyglass with curve-face lens and detailed instructions.

If your kids are aged 12 and under and haven't joined The Place Kids' Club, you can sign up for free here!

Posted in: Penny the Pirate Eye Tests for Kids!  

Simple Swaps: 9 Eco Products to Reduce Waste

Posted on 23 July 2018
Simple Swaps: 9 Eco Products to Reduce Waste

It's no secret that the environment needs all the help it can get. The truth is, if you love yourself, then you should love and care about the environment, too. It's that simple. Cutting down on disposable product consumption is key for a brighter future especially when it comes to plastic. Plastic doesn't disintegrate naturally, which means it ends up in our oceans and hurts marine wildlife. According to UNESCO, plastic debris kills more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals.

With some simple changes in your behaviour, you can lead a more eco-friendly life. Keep reading to learn about nine essential eco products you should start using now.

1. Travel cups

Say goodbye to single-used coffee cups. Conscious caffeine lovers enjoy their favourite drink in reusable mugs nowadays, made with a silicone or chemical-free plastic lid. They're a fantastic way to help the planet, as single-use coffee cups have a plastic film in order to stop the coffee from leaking. This means they can't be recycled.

2. Reusable water bottles

C'mon, there are water fountains everywhere! Additionally, drinking out of reusable bottles is much healthier for you, as there is no contact with plastic whatsoever. No to mention, buying water isn't good for your wallet either think of all the money you could save if you just kept a reusable bottle in your bag.

3. Home cutlery

Takeaway meals is where much of the unnecessary use of plastic can be found. Plastic containers, plastic cutlery, tonnes of sevilletes, plastic straws break the habit, and next time you order takeaway, simply say you don't need plastic cutlery or a plastic bag. Buy reusable cutlery and carry it with you in your bag they are smaller and way more stylish than normal cutlery.

4. Reusable shopping bags

It's not like we have much of an option now that Coles and Woolworths stopped giving plastic bags away which is a great thing. However, the culture of the plastic bag remains. To make sure you aren't caught off guard, keep a bunch of reusable shopping bags in your car, so you're always ready to shop sustainably!

5. Glass jars for plastic-free shopping

While it is great that the big supermarkets have banned plastic bags, there's still a staggering amount of plastic everywhere you look. Pretty much every fresh product comes in plastic containers, from fruit and veggies to biscuits, bread, and nuts. Not to mention the clear plastic bags to chuck the fruit in. But you can help reduce this, by bringing your own glass or mason jars into the store, and placing your nuts and dried fruit in them instead of plastic.

6. Period cup

Period cups are probably one of the smartest inventions out there. They are super environmentally-friendly as they aren't disposable, unlike pads or tampons and they also feature a larger capacity. Cups are also healthier for you, as tampons and pads can have polyester, adhesives and propylene glycol chemicals that are not, in any way, beneficial for your body. Last but not least: Who has time (and money) for tampon tax? Not us, sister! While the cup may mean an initial investment, is one that will save your wallet lots of dollarydoos in the long run.

7. Bamboo toothbrush

Let's not clean our teeth with plastic, people! Swap your toothbrush for an eco-friendly bamboo one. Most plastic toothbrushes are made out of polypropylene plastic and nylon, which are non-renewable fossil fuels. Whenever we buy a plastic toothbrush, we are not only filling landfills, also but using up fossil fuels faster than necessary.

8. Eco-friendly shampoo

Have you ever looked at what Shampoo is made from? Probably not. The thing is, all those chemicals that go down your drain find their way back to the environment, and it's not pretty. Think about switching to and organic brand, such as Organic Care their products are both environmentally-friendly and grey-water friendly.

9. Chemical-free sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is crucial for healthy sun exposure, especially in Australia's unforgiving climate. However, lots of them are made with awful, damaging chemicals that aren't good at all for your skin and our oceans. In fact, just recently, Hawaii banned all sunscreens that harm coral reefs. While there's still no such legislation in Australia, you can do your part by purchasing an eco-friendly, natural product.

Make the change

While change can seem scary, especially when you've used plastic your whole life, facts can't be ignored, and we owe it to our future generations to take that leap into a more eco-friendly future. Practice makes perfect, and after a few adjustments, you'll get used to it very quickly. At Pialba Place you'll find a range of stores that stock eco-friendly products to help you reduce your waste.

Posted in: Simple Swaps: 9 Eco Products to Reduce Waste  

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