Category Archives: GAP

GAP Lantern Walk

The GAP children enjoyed creating their own lanterns this year, out of recycled materials and sticks from the park. We added a tea light candle and some ribbon, and took them out in the park to test them out.

We walked with our lanterns and sang the traditional German lantern walk songs we learned at GAP.

It was a shame we couldn’t have our big walk this year with all of Spielwelt (due to covid), but it was really lovely having our own little lantern walk.

We took our lanterns to the nature playground and had warm Kinderpunsch there to celebrate our Laternenlauf.

We look forward to seeing you all at next year’s Lantern Walk!

Wirudji Echoes Delight Us Again

Duncan and Jacita of Wirudji Echoes aboriginal education group always give us such an energetic and powerful presentation. We learn about artefacts, we laugh at Duncan’s funny jokes, we sing Wirudji songs with Jacita to Duncan’s traditional music, we get to practice saying Wirudji words, we hear the rainbow snake creation story while Duncan draws us our own Aboriginal artwork to colour in, and once we have our warrior or berry princess face paint on we dance like kangaroos and rainbow snakes. It is a fabulous event!

What’s that boomerang for? Throw it at a bird…knock him out of the sky… put him on the fire… and nom nom nom!!! What? You don’t like that idea? Who likes chicken? Well then!
Duncan and Jacita with a mob of GAP kangaroo joeys! Ears up listening, boing, boing, boing, and jump up over the fence!

Our Own Floriade

Organisations across Canberra were invited to host a little bit of Floriade in their own communities in 2020.

Our venturer scouts had recently designed, created and installed window boxes for us, so we had the perfect spot for some Spring flowers.

The GAP children got in on the action too, and planted a few water coloured paper flowers in our triangular garden in the playground.

We even had our own Floriade sign outside the Turner Scout Hall! Imagine that!

Whole Day at the Arboretum

At the GAP, we absolutely love the arboretum and our favourite guide, Heather.

This year we decided to stay a whole day there, so we had six glorious hours amongst the trees, in the sunshine and fresh air. We had perfect weather for our excursion too.

We got to play on the acorn playground, have a tour with Heather, hear a garden fairy story, have morning tea on the deck with sweeping views of green hills below, imagine ourselves as tiny folk in the bonsai garden, smell apple pie plants in the sensory garden, have lunch in the dappled shade amongst beautiful flowers and aromatic plants, see birds’ nests, go for long walks, relax on picnic blankets under trees in the STEP gardens watching fluffy clouds drift slowly by, see a frog pond, climb a hill, learn about cuckoos and magpies and butterbum birds.

In short, it was a wonderful day.

Would we go again? JAWOHL!! In a heart beat!

It’s Great to be Back at GAP

We are loving having the children back at GAP. We missed them during the COVID pause.

There is plenty to keep us busy: craft, picnics in the park, exploring the joys of a leaf blower (on its lowest setting, of course!), making sandbox lasagne, getting back on the slide and the trikes and scooters, chasing each other, playing hide and seek, singing together and much more.

We are Back

Thanks everyone, for your patience during the COVID-19 pause.

We are returning to operations, with increased hygiene protocols, as follows:

GAP: Monday 18 May 2020
Schlaumaeuse: Wed 3 June 2020
Spiel und Spass: Wed 24 June 2020
Pfadfinder: Monday 20 July 2020

The maximum occupancy in our hall, at 4 sqm per person, is as follows:

main hall: 21 people
large (east) foyer: 10 people
kitchen: 3 people
quiet room: 4 people
and if we spread into the smaller rooms and washrooms, the max is 51 people in the building (not including the storage sheds, of course)!

sniffles and coughs: When Is It Okay To Come Back?

This winter (2020) the advice is clear: stay home if you are sick. This applies equally to adults and children. It applies whether it is a simple cold, flu or the dreaded corona virus.

So, the rules at Spielwelt are:

Stay home if you are sick. Even if it is just a cold.

You can return when you are symptom-free.

The only exception is for a lingering dry unproductive cough IF it has been 14 days since your cold started AND all the other cold/flu symptoms have cleared up.

How long do you need to stay away from playgroup, playschool or scouts though?

We have sought advice from our resident doctor and infectious diseases expert to help us all clarify when children with sniffles or coughs can return to their groups.  His advice is paraphrased here:

The short answer is that people can be infectious while they have symptoms. … In most cases, children will be infectious for around 5-7 days (but perhaps up to 2 weeks). Even after people have recovered, some may have a persistent cough for quite a while. This is usually not because they are still in any way infectious, more a reflex to the damage done to the airways that causes them to be extremely susceptible to any kind of irritation. More information about catching and caring for colds can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/common-cold/

Why do I need to keep my child home when it is just a cold?

Whenever a simple cold spreads to other children and families or staff members, it means those people then have also to take time off unnecessarily to isolate and get tested for coronavirus.

Do I need a note from the doctor?

There is no requirement from Spielwelt to present evidence that you have been tested for corona virus and returned a negative results in order to start attending sessions again. (Obviously, you should stay home and get tested if you suspect you might have the virus, though!)

It’s just asthma!

Children who have an asthmatic cough can attend, and are likely to have their puffer with them. Asthma is not contagious.

Our apologies and thanks

Sorry to make you stay home when you are busting to join us, folks. We know it is hard, especially for our GAP families needing to get back to work – but you are doing your bit to help protect everyone else and we all appreciate that.  

Choc Chip Cookies / Schoko Kekse

Looking for a nice treat? A baking session with your child is always fun.

Here is Gerda’s super easy recipe for chocolate chip banana oatmeal cookies.

They are vegan and gluten-free. The photo above is one Gerda took when she baked these delicious chewy bikkies.

Download the recipe in German (with pictures for children).

If you need to cheat and look at the English version, you can.

While you wait for them to come out of the oven, you could sing along to this traditional German children’s song about baking cakes, which we sing at GAP, called Backe backe Kuchen.

Here’s some handy German vocabulary for any baking session.

Vorbereiten – to prepare

die Schale – bowl
messen – to measure
die Tasse – cup
der Löffel – spoon
der Essöffel (EL) – tablespoon
der Teelöffel (TL) – teaspoon
der Spatel – spatula
der Ofen – oven
backen – bake

Combining ingredients

entrahmen – to cream
mischen – to mix
rühren – to stir
kneten – to knead

Common baking ingredients

die Butter – no prizes for guessing what this is
das Mehl – flour
der Zucker – sugar
das Ei – egg (Eier – eggs)
die Milch – yes that’s right, milk
das Backpulver – baking powder

After baking

putzen – to clean
schmecken – to taste
lecker – yummy, tasty
süβ – sweet

and hopefully you don’t need this word:

gebrannt – burnt!


The Good Jar or Nudelglas

At GAP, we have a Nudelglas (MonTues class) and a Good Jar (ThursFri class).

At the end of each day, we take time to reflect on some of the positive things that happened during the day. The aim is two-fold: to notice good behaviour and to think of things we are grateful for.

Children and teachers come up with all sorts of things, for example:

  • We enjoyed going to the park in the beautiful sunshine, so we are grateful to have such a nice park and great weather.
  • Alex was especially helpful at tidy up time and picked up all the blocks that got left behind.
  • I saw Leon being a good friend and waiting for a friend to put on their shoes before going outside to play together.
  • Christiane gave a big beautiful smile at roll call and it made me feel happy.
  • I felt lovely and peaceful when we were all sitting together for morning tea.
  • We felt thankful to the teacher who made us delicious warm Kinder-Tee to drink when we came inside from the cold weather.
  • Susanne held the door open for her friend, and that was kind.
  • Everyone did such lovely dances and were careful not to bump into others, which was respectful.
  • We are so grateful to have wonderful friends and families who show us that they love us.

For each positive thing, we put a piece of dry pasta in our Nudelglas or a note in the Good Jar.

Our Good Jar and Nudelglas

Want to try this at home?

Decorate your jar. Prepare a handy bowl or box of dried pasta or paper slips and a pen, ready nearby.

With help of das Nudelglas or Good Jar you can recognise the child’s and each others’ good deeds and things you are grateful for, each evening (e.g. at dinner time or any other time that suits you).

Once the jar is full, reward yourselves with a little party to celebrate, another fun activity or a delicious fruit salad you make together.

The gratitude/good jar is a way to highlight children’s positive behavior and goes beyond rewarding the child for completing age-appropriate chores and instead encourages the child to work at being kind, generous, grateful and helpful.  

You can read about the health benefits of practicing gratitude here.