When Shepparton artist Dylan McIntosh was creating an Australian flora and fauna mural at the Arthur Dickmann Children’s Centre, he did it with a view to educate children.
With the bright figures of wombats, koalas and kangaroos now lining a wall in the centre’s garden, the children have a colourful corner to learn and grow.
On Friday, the centre held an open day to celebrate the launch of the mural, provided through the fundraising efforts of the centre’s parents.
To further build the children’s understanding and connection to the animals depicted in the mural, a representative from the Wild Action Zoo was there with a number of native animals to show to the children.
Centre educator Julie Goodwin said the wall had been bland before the addition of the mural.
‘‘They have a strong interest in animals and now we’re able to use that in their educational programs, so it promotes a lot of discussion,’’ Ms Goodwin said.
‘‘The children have learnt the names of the animals and we’ll further extend that into our learning rooms with experiences and opportunities with the educators.’’
Mr McIntosh worked on the mural for several months after an extensive brainstorming session with the educators.
He went away and did some sketches and drew an outline on the wall so the children could be involved in the process of how a mural is created.
‘‘It is educational but it’s all about making the learning fun and real to them, so when they experience those real animals, as well as the ones in the mural, it embeds that knowledge rather than just learning about them in books,’’ Ms Goodwin said.
‘‘We’re always looking for ways to extend on their learning to build that knowledge base.’’