An entrepreneurial Kiama woman has created the perfect antidote for school holiday boredom/continuous screen time with her Kiama Passport for Kids, a book that will take them on an excursion through the best parts of Kiama’s nature.
“When I was a kid, I used to take myself off to the national park, fossick in creeks, climb waterfalls. I was always in nature and I felt alive,” says Melissa Mylchreest, a graphic designer/illustrator/publisher.
Her passion is to help kids and their parents create a strong connection between each other and the nature that surrounds them.
“It’s wonderful for locals to explore their own backyards,” she says.
Kiama Passport for Kids unfolds seven itinerary adventures in the Kiama area, including the Boneyard, Kiama Harbour, Minnamurra Rainforest and Blackhead Reserve.
Over 80 pages, the book highlights the diversity of habitat in each area and includes a guide to local flora and fauna. plus coloured stickers of wildlife you might spot on your journey of discovery.
“Kids are getting so sophisticated now with what they see online. I wanted this to look different, to look more official, like a passport,” says Melissa.
While the book is filled with facts, comes with stickers and is very child friendly, it is also designed for the parent, carer or grandparent to read as they go on an adventure with their children.
“Simply putting one foot in front of the other helps shed cluttered thoughts and gives you an opportunity to feel freedom, tranquility and joy at witnessing awe-inspiring, magnificent nature,” says Melissa.
“It also connects you with an acknowledgment of our place in the ecosystem.
“I know that if I don’t venture out on the weekend into the world around me, I start to feel down.
“After the fires, the floods and now COVID, we all need something to raise our spirits.
“Nature will do that for you.”
Her project was given a boost by Destination Kiama and the local business community through sponsorship.
The book retails for $18.95 and a backpack bundle (book and bag) at $25.95.
They are available at the Kiama Visitors Information Centre, The Bookshop Kiama or online at www.rewildinglife.com.au.