Category Archives: GAP

Rainbow Pizza

The Monday-Tuesday GAP class thoroughly enjoyed learning about colours and vegetables, with Lisa-Marie’s innovative lesson about making a rainbow pizza. We did this in small groups so that everyone had an opportunity to participate.

First we made our own pizza dough and rolled it out
Next we put the tomato sauce on
Next comes a variety of toppings
We were so pleased with ourselves when we managed to make a rainbow on our pizza!

Making our own vegetarian pizza was fun and healthy, and it meant less packaging was wasted and it was more environmentally friendly.

Lantern Walk 2019

What a wonderful winter walk we all enjoyed. This year’s traditional German lantern walk was a magical evening.

Many volunteers helped to put the event on: providing food, drinks, shopping, cooking and serving on the BBQ, cleaning, providing the audio/visual magic, and much more.

Families started arriving from all sides of Haig Park, with big grins and lanterns in hand
Our busy event organiser surrounded by the hungry hoards collecting their soup, Thuringer sausages, sauerkraut, rolls, Gluehwein, Kinderpunsch and yummy baked goods.
Soon the crowds were enjoying themselves, eating, drinking and chatting with new and old friends.
We assembled to sing the songs, surrounded by several magical jellyfish lanterns held by volunteers ready at all times to reunite any lost parents with their children.

The walk took us along a path lit by lanterns, to a wide circle area in the forest. There we enjoyed more singing together while the children paraded inside the circle with their lanterns, and we heard a special choral performance by the joeys and cubs.

Returning to the hall, we were entertained by a play about Saint Martin who is associated with the lantern walks in Europe.

After the procession, some stayed on to enjoy the bonfires.

We are grateful to the ACT government for their ongoing support of this event, through the ACT Multicultural Grants program.

Wiradjuri Echoes visit

Aboriginal Australian Duncan and his team from Wiradjuri Echoes visited us at the GAP, and we loved having them!

Duncan spoke to us about Reconcilation Week and the Stolen Generation. We all agreed with him that children shouldn’t have been taken away from their parents. We talked about how we love our parents, and parents love their children.

Duncan then proceeded to delight, entertain and educate us with Aboriginal musical instruments and fascinating tools they used to use.

We got to hear amazing didgeridoo music, see a bush telephone in action (we “rang” Duncan’s mum on it!), dance, sing, learn a few new words in Duncan’s mob’s language, pretend we were various Australian animals, have our faces painted, hear a Dream-Time story and learn a fun snake dance. It was a great morning!

Warrior prince face painting, in preparation for the Snake Dance
Jacinta from Wiradjuri Echoes leads the Snake Dance
The Snake Dance winds itself up, to the great merriment of the children
Berry princess friends ready for dancing and singing
We loved hearing all the Australian animal sounds played on the didgeridoo, and trying to keep up with the rhythm using our clapping sticks!

Fire Fighter Visit

Our annual fire safety inspection turned out to include a whole lot of fun and education for the children at the GAP.

Putting out pretend fires in the park

We were invited to explore the fire truck and ask a lot of questions.

The teachers had burning questions too, as you can imagine…. 😉

The fire fighters were very pleased to hear that we had quarterly fire drills and that we are “blitz schnell” (lightning fast) at evacuating our premises.

We talked about what a good idea it is to store our shoes and boots in a tidy fashion at school and at home, in case we wanted to go outside to play as quickly as fire fighters do. The fire fighters said they always store their shoes, boots, jackets and hats tidily.

Discussing the protocols of rescuing cats from trees

Ostereier suchen

The GAP children enjoyed a traditional Easter egg (Osterei) hunt in the park. We reviewed the German words for each of the colours we found, and counted them all up. There were “ganz viel” (lots)!

We love to be good friends, and we like to share and be fair, so we gathered all our eggs together and then divided them up equally into our own baskets to take home and share with our families.

Gefunden!

Mental Health initiative

Spielwelt has recently established a relationship with BeYou, a national mental health initiative with an enormous number of resources for families and teachers, to promote and protect children’s mental health and well-being.

At Spielwelt, we promote healthy messages throughout each session, incorporate our favourite topics like friendship, kindness, resiliance, affirmation, inclusivity, adaptability, respect, compassion, being mindful, healthy eating, self-belief and more.  These help build children up, and gives them tools to cope with  the epidemic of anxiety and depression which has been emerging in Western societies in recent years.

Our mental health coordinator can be reached on mental.health@spielwelt.org.au

You can read about our mental health and well-being program here.

We also have a support library and help pages for families who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, family violence, separation, dying/death of a loved one, addiction, or other stressful situations.  Read on by clicking the square below, and talk to the teachers or director.

Supporting Children in Difficult Times

Another sustainability award from ACTSmart

We were suprised and delighted to be acknowledged once again at the ACTSmart Sustainability Award ceremony this year.

Last year, we won the Energy and Water Star award, and this year we received “highly commended” for the Small Business award, presented by ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability,  Shane Rattenbury.

Spielwelt has  made over 50 green changes to its operations, including installing LED lighting, triple-glazed windows, energy efficient reverse cycle heating with shut-off timers, solar space heating and instant hot water; we have draught sealed the doors and curtained off areas we don’t need to heat. This has reduced electricity consumption and continues to save us $1100 per year and 4 tonnes of CO2.  Our families’ use of single use soft-plastics has greatly reduced as our GAP and Pfadfinder children have their own bees wax food wraps.  Our Pfadfinder scouts have taken their green lessons to heart and now regularly include green practices in their activities.

You can read about our many other changes in our Keen to Be Green posts, and read about the awards on the ACTSmart awards page.

Further education for our children on environmentally responsible practices is planned for this year, and thanks to ACT Smart funding assistance and their expert guidance navigating the world of solar quotes….

SOLAR PV PANELS are coming to Turner Scout Hall!  Watch our roof!

 

 

ACTSmart Sustainability Award Winner

German Author Visit

The children in our Thursday/Friday GAP class thoroughly enjoyed a visit from Almut Weiler Andersen, her daughter Hannah and teddy-bear Rosa.

Almut is a native German-speaking preschool teacher working in Sydney, and she was the national winner of the Early Educator of the Year award in 2018.

Almut kindly agreed to visit us at GAP, meet us all, and share a children’s book she has recently published, called “Auf der Suche nach Rosa“.

In the story, Hannah (whom we all met in real life) follows a trail of clues left by her teddy bear Rosa (whom we also met).  Rosa has a lesson for Hannah, we hear.

The children listened attentively as Almut read the story and discussed how Hannah had to become brave in order to visit a few local places, like the local bakery and playground, and a seek help from a friendly neighbour in order to find her teddy bear, Rosa.

After overcoming some of her fears in order to follow Rosa’s trail, Hannah finds her teddy.   Rosa has a lesson for Hannah:  Be brave. Tell yourself, you can do it.  We all practised saying, “Ich schaffe das” (I can do it), and it felt positively good to say it.

The little illustrations in the book are Hannah’s own work, and the photographs are great, as we could see a glimpse of a normal child’s life and their normal local surroundings in Germany.

Danke, Almut, Hannah und Rosa for visiting us.

A copy of the book is available in the Spielwelt library, for families to read at home.

Handmade Teddies

One of our beautiful mums hand-crafted these adorable teddies for us.  They are the perfect size for each child to take one to snuggle at rest time.

As we are keen to be green, we noted with great delight that the teddies were lovingly created from re-purposed colourful woollen gloves.

The children and teddies joyfully showing a big “Danke” (thanks)

On The Cutting Edge

We love to be on the cutting edge at the GAP.  So when one of our new families, recently arrived from Germany, shared with us that children in some German kindergartens are learning to use sharp knives to cut their fruit, we decided it was time to start our own knife skills lessons.

What better way to learn to cut safely than to make a big fruit salad together to go with the very German Reisbrei we cooked?

Thanks to our recent mango fundraiser, and the delicious smell of mangoes in the hall, some of the children have been heard singing the Mango Mango Mango song.  (Here are some German school children singing the Mango song, so you can sing along at home.)