All posts by Lisa St

Story Night 2018

What better way to spend a warm spring evening than at the annual German story night?  The evening kicked off with outdoor play and a light dinner before we all ventured inside for the story telling.  Children and adults alike were treated to three stories: one story with actions, one short and sweet, and the third a puppet play.

One of our GAP dads, Torsten, and his daughter told the story ‘Die kleine Spinne spinnt und schweigt’ (The Very Busy Spider).  The little spider (played by the daughter) kept busy weaving her spider web as one by one, various farm animals (all played by her dad) tried to entice her to do something else. The children in the audience enthusiastically helped imitate the noises of the various animals as the story unfolded.  Our young spider, not quite happy with her dad’s performance, took hold of the microphone in an impromptu moment of up-staging her dad, to show him exactly how loud a duck should quack.  This quickly devolved into a barnyard coup as the children in the audience then took over, bleating, mooing and quacking into the microphone resulting in a raucous scene! It was a rather unforgettable performance!

Keeping with the barnyard coup theme, our librarian dad, Florian, treated us to a beautiful rendition of Farmer Duck.  Again, animal noises were required from the audience, who did not disappoint.  The children felt for the duck who had to do all the work while the farmer lay around and ate chocolate, so there was great cheering when the duck managed to rally his barnyard friends and stage their own raucous uprising to put things right on the farm.

Next was the puppet play by GAP mum Joey (the prince) and GAP dad Rainer (the princess). Children and their parents giggled along as the royal plans to make soup went strangely wrong.  The poor princess muddled up common German words, and ended up trying to use someone’s head (‘Kopf’) and then someone else’s ponytail (‘Zopf’) instead of using the required saucepan (‘Topf’).   Superbly narrated by our amateur puppeteers who had the audience in stitches.

The night ended as it had started with more playing, eating and mingling before parents had the unenviable task of convincing the children that it was time to go home.

See you all at Oktoberfest on Saturday 3rd November!

Thinking outside the box

The scouts and playschoolers all had a chance to ‘think outside the box’… and to think inside the box as well!  We had a big delivery of cardboard to play with, and simple instructions:  Build what you like!  Suddenly, there were forts, castles, draw-bridges, sleds, horses, swords, tunnels, mazes and all sorts being built inside and outside the hall.

Speaking of thinking outside the box, the teachers at the GAP were delighted to see the children thinking creatively about what possible alternate uses we could find for our toys.  Among other things, it turns out that play traffic cones can be used to turn yourself into a penguin!

 

 

Visit from Inner North Playschool

In Term 4, the Monday/Tuesday GAP class hosted the children and teachers from Inner North Playschool at GAP for a day.  We all enjoyed the experience, and learned a lot from each other.

We welcomed our new friends and showed them around. At morning circle, we all learned a new German song and dance, and shared our transition rhymes.  After washing our hands in all the various sinks (as there were so many of us!), we enjoyed a giant picnic morning tea together in our playground.  Everyone had a go playing in our sandbox, sliding down our slide, and exploring our pirate ship play equipment.  It was a fun day!

 

 

Preparing for Kindergarten

From Term 4 onwards, we start preparing our older children for their transition to Kindergarten at ‘big school’.   We offer more ‘reading, writing and arithmetic’ in their day, and predictably there are children who prefer to play outdoors, and other children who can’t get enough of pretend school!

We read stories about transitioning to ‘big school’ and in the last week of school, we encourage the children to wear their new school uniforms to GAP to show us all proudly!  It is an exciting time for everyone.

 

Forest Fridays

The children at the GAP are always delighted when we head out amongst the beautiful coniferous trees in Haig Park.  Sometimes we take a little picnic with us of foods the children have requested; other times we play hide and seek, or have races, or build pretend camp fires.

 

Banning Glitter

From 2018, Spielwelt will heed the call of scientists and environmentalists, and delete glitter from our art consumables.

After reading an article in the ABC news about how damaging these micro-plastics are to the environment, the committee decided there was only one way forward for an eco-conscious organisation like Spielwelt:  a ban on glitter.

We will move towards more natural products for our arts and crafts, which of course is something that has been happening for years in Germany already.

Racing Car Visit

The children of the Thursday/Friday class thoroughly enjoyed having a real racing car brought to the GAP for them to see, touch… and hear!

A big thanks to Steve for bringing in his ‘baby’ for us all to explore and learn about fast cars. We even got to see the motor, ask questions, and some of us got to sit in the driver’s seat too!

“It was loud and I think it goes really schnell [fast], but it’s okay if you cover your Ohren [ears]!”

 

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!