Baby Chickens

The Thursday/Friday GAP class enjoyed a visit from some 9-week old chickens.

It was fun seeing how the chickens were transforming from fluffy chicks to feathered chickens.   We’ve been collecting compost from our lunches to feed the chickens, too.

Thanks to the family who brought them in for a visit – that was fun!

Arboretum Excursion 2017

The Monday/Tuesday GAP children enjoyed a wonderful excursion to the National Arboretum today.

We had an absolute ball exploring the acorn playground… and we soon found out that the arboretum has so much more to offer.

We enjoyed morning tea on a large deck overlooking sweeping views of Canberra.  We could see Telstra Tower and all the way to Parliament House, where some of the children reckoned they might work one day.

Our absolutely wonderful guide, Heather, met us outside to tell us about the arboretum.  Heather was so engaging and enthusiastic about our visit, we all immediately fell in love with her trees, seeds and  animals, and it seemed the children had decided they would be prepared to follow her anywhere.

Off we went, faithfully following our wonderful Heather like the Piped Piper of Hamelin (very German).  She showed us all sorts of interesting trees: some with needles instead of leaves, some with enormous pine cones, some with baby pine cones, some with “bird poo spiders” in them,   some with secret “butter bum bird” nests in them.  Heather’s explanations and nice big photos made it all really fascinating.

After our walk among the trees, we climbed the funny zigzag path back up the hill, encouraged again by our enthusiastic guide.  Heather read us her story about a bonsai tree, and we sat all around her, listening and entranced.  Imagining we were fairies, Lego people, birds, bees or tiny elves, we fluttered around all the bonsai plants in the garden and decided which one we would like to live in.

We then enjoyed another delicious hour exploring the acorn playground, had a big drink of water, and went to sit on some really big logs to sing songs while we waited for the bus to take us back to Turner.

The bus dropped us off on Barry Drive, and a short walk later, we arrived back at the GAP full of joy, in time for lunch and a well earned rest.  It was a most enjoyable excursion!

Many thanks to mums and dads who dropped children off at the arboretum this morning, and to our adult helpers who accompanied us today.

Kittens in Kinder

As part of Spielwelt’s community giving program, the Monday / Tuesday GAP class are collecting donations and crafting toys for Canberra Pet Rescue.

On Tuesday, we had a totally engaging visit from three Canberra Pet Rescue volunteers who talked with us about caring for kittens and shared some interesting facts about kittens.

Best of all, they brought along four sweet and charming kittens, who entertained us all enormously with their antics, playing with the pompoms we had been busy making for them.

The children were thrilled to be able to play with the curious kittens. Thanks to the volunteers from Canberra Pet Rescue for bringing them in and educating us!

 

 

 

Oktoberfest 2017

A huge thanks to our Oktoberfest organising team: Gerda, Gerald, Christian and Uli!  Many thanks also go to those who brought food to share, helped set up, prepared foods, washed dishes, and helped tidy up afterwards.

The crowds enjoyed good company, enjoyable music, and great German foods (the Wurst, pretzels and salads were terrific, the cakes and strudel were superb, and many folk reported that the Spanferkel was delicious).

Children played some fun German games, the entertained themselves playing on the scouts’ rope bridge and riding plenty of bikes and scooters.  It was lovely to see children of all ages running about in the park having a grand time while their parents socialised.

 

A plethora of colourful Dirndls, traditional Lederhosen, felt hats from various regions of Germany, and of course Biersteine, added to the festive atmosphere.

 

The after-party carried on until 10pm, for those whose children were old enough for such a late night.  There was plenty of laughter coming from around the Lagerfeuer – a good night was had by all.

 

 

Community Service

Oh, those wonderfully helpful Pfadfinder!  As a favour to their young friends at GAP and Spiel und Spass, the Pfadfinder scouts got busy putting their carpentry skills to good use, doing some repairs in our playground.

Wobbly benches  were made secure; the slide ladder was fortified; the wall-mounted tubular music instrument was fixed so the pipes don’t slip down; and more dirt was moved in to shore up areas of erosion.

The Pfadfinder also started work on making some wooden stilt blocks for the children, which they hope to finish in time for Christmas.

Once the work was done for the evening, the Pfadfinder had fun “testing” some of the little bikes, because, you know, that’s totally necessary!

Messy Play

The children decided last week that it was time to cook up a witch’s  magical frothy brew and fly about the playground on broomsticks.  So, armed with ingredients they found and no end of imaginative ideas, the children set about their tasks with glee.

Did you know that the German word for a ‘whisk’ is a ‘snow broom’? Our whisk sure did turn our potion into snowy froth!

And, did you know that dirt, water, leaves, twigs and soap mixed together and served in a cup actually tastes really horrible?  Yes, well…. you can ask a few of our more adventurous children, who were not content to take our word for it, and prefer the motto “learn by doing”!  And I bet all our parents know exactly which category their own child falls into!

I must also applaud the teachers’ professionalism:  At no time did I see any of them laughing or pointing as the children pranced around the yard astride our little brooms and rakes … but with their flying garden implements facing the wrong way.  Perhaps modern day witches can ride brooms with the bristles facing forwards afterall?  (It begs the question though:   Which way will the brooms face next week on Melbourne Cup Day, when we all need horses to ride?)

Story Night Success

Once again, our story-tellers presented to a packed audience at our annual German Story Night.  We had all enjoyed supper outside, and then came into the hall to hear the stories.

First we heard a delightful German tale about a cow and her friends who somehow get up into a tree, read to us by one of our dads who works a librarian.

Next, was the ever popular puppet theatre put on by two of our mums, where our young hero went on a quest to find a house with red walls, no doors, no windows and five rooms.  After much searching, and help from the children, he found an apple which fit the first few criteria but didn’t seem to have five rooms.  All was revealed when his mother cut the apple to reveal the secret rooms inside.

And as a grand finale, two of our Pfadfinder scouts played out the story of Goldilocks and the three Bears for the children, using a big book, a rotating story box and many props which arrived on stage in amusing ways, with one of our teachers as a surprise guest star.

Goldilocks even enjoyed a repeat performance by popular demand on Tuesday night for the Joey and Cub scouts.

Many thanks to an ACT Children’s Week grant and to everyone who participated for the great food, music, stories and fun on the night.

Scouts Spider Web Escape

After a night of scooters, skateboards and rollerskates at John Knight Park, the scouts found themselves trapped in a giant spider web bowl at the Belconnen skate park.

It was great to see the scouts encouraging each other to firstly gain the courage to drop into the deep bowl, and then cheering each other on as they used their cunning and muscles to get back out again!

Reviewing Term 3 at the GAP

Feedback from parents and teachers on our very busy and exciting Term 3 at the GAP has been very positive, as usual!

We have enjoyed:

  • learning about music, and having a guest music teacher in
  • learning and rehearsing songs in order to put on a concert for our parents
  • parent teacher interviews with families who wanted them
  • crafting surprises for our dads for fathers day
  • the RSPCA visit and our charity drive
  • having parents visit us at playschool to tell us about their occupations
  • excursions into the local parks to explore and play
  • welcoming our new assistant teacher
  • going on the bus wash excursion
  • having our portraits done by a professional photographer
  • learning lots of new songs (especially about yummy mangoes)
  • taking part in German Story Night
  • playing traditional games (one of our favourites is Bello Bello)
  • … and much much more!

It was lovely hearing from so many families in the parent/teacher interviews, and feedback at pick up and drop off time, as well as emails to us.  As per families and children’s wishes, Term 4 will include preparing the older children for their transition to preschool, child-led curriculum (the Thursday/Friday class will have an “I wish, and I wonder” theme), more exploration into nature (we have ordered some seeds and will also take the Monday/Tuesday class to the arboretum).  Some of the children LOVE singing, so we will be sure to include more of that in the program. Some of our quieter children have blossomed recently and we think it helps having fewer bikes out at once as it has calmed our high speed traffic in the playground!

Further feedback is always welcome.  Here is how.

 

 

Pfadfinder Charity Fundraising Challenge

The leaders put the idea to the scouts, and they ran with it:  a charity fundraising challenge.  The scouts decided the rules of the competition and then the count-down started!  Each patrol had exactly one week plus one hour to nominate a charity, come up with ideas and raise as many funds as they could.

Leaders were impressed with the thoughtful discussion that the scouts put into choosing their charities – our Pfadfinder scouts really are global thinkers with strong ethical values.  It was inspiring to hear them set their goals and listen to the breadth of fundraising ideas they came up with.

The deadline arrived on Monday evening, and the patrols were still excitedly scrambling to the last minute to raise even more money for their chosen charities, before settling in to share a meal together and compare their strategies and results.   We all learned a lot!

We are really proud of our scouts who, within just one week (and a lot of baking, door knocking, bucket appeals, cake stalls and so on), raised $114 for the Red Cross International and $432 for Operation Christmas Child.

Challenge complete!  What will those amazing Pfadfinder do next?

Spielwelt