Bali conjures up images of stellar surf and beautiful beaches, but what kids-friendly activities in Bali are there to do beyond splashing around and building epic sand castles? On my recent Trip of Wonders with the Ministry of Tourism, I got the chance to visit Rumah Desa, a beautiful village set among picturesque rice fields. Here, your little ones can learn traditional farming techniques, get muddy and have a go at Balinese dancing. Not only do these activities keep your little ones entertained, they are also fantastic ways for them to learn about the wonderful culture of Indonesia.
Plough a paddy field with some cows
I think it’s a universal fact that kids are fascinated by farm animals. I say this because as a mum of two I know every episode of Peppa Pig by heart and I must have sung Old MacDonald Had A Farm about a gazillion times. This visit to Rumah Desa will crank things up a notch, as the eager mini-farmers will get the chance to get up close to some working cows.
The cows are used to plough fields in preparation for rice seedlings. The farmer taught me a few simple commands to use with the cows then I was seated on a wooden plank that was a part of the plough to start working. No rest for the wicked – or mischievous. It was a lot of fun, as you can tell by my face in the picture below.
Your kids are going to have a wild time planting rice because it involves getting really muddy. Once the paddy field was ploughed I got right in, knee deep in mud, and planted rice seedlings. The farmer was on hand to dispense helpful tips, like to spread the seedlings out to prevent crowding when the rice grew. There’s something quite satisfying about the squish and squelch that mud makes when you move around in it. I can imagine kids loving the feeling of cool mud against their little toes. Don’t worry though, the farm provides shorts for this activity and there is running water to wash off all the mud afterwards.
Learn Balinese dance
At Rumah Desa, I watched a Balinese dance performance and then got a short lesson from the dancers. It was hard work on the arms and legs. A popular move in Balinese dancing involves having outward-pointing feet, knees bent and then either standing still while dancing with my arms or turning full circle. There were also a lot of finger-fluttering movements, and I learnt that it was important to be expressive with my eyes. Balinese women are known for their beautiful eyes and the makeup they wear in the dance performance accentuates this feature.
I think the little ones would love the music, the costumes and learning the new moves. It was a very informal and fun lesson, and the local children also got involved so there’s even an opportunity for the children to make new friends.
Rumah Desa (website)
Banjar Baru | Desa Baru
Marga | Tabanan |Bali