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!
Taking a break from the Olympic games to play a few board games at the GAP. Board games are greatly loved in Germany, so it is fun introducing the children to a few of the early classics.
The GAP children went on a little expedition around the hall, checking out all the renovations. Out the back of the hall, we found Saul from TotalSpan Canberra, up on the roof of our new shed, putting on the finishing touches. We waved to him and asked what he was doing up there. He replied that he was making mud pies! We didn’t believe him though, and so he came down to visit with us.
We were allowed to see what he was doing, and go into the new shed. We are sure that the Pfadfinder scouts will be very happy when they see their new shed. And GAP and Spiel und Spass are happy too because they have the old toy shed all to themselves now. No more overcrowding hazards!
Many thanks to the ACT government’s Community Support and Infrastructure Grant program, for allowing us to build the shed.
Our 2018 Thursday/Friday class enjoyed their first day at GAP today.
At the end of the day, the children all received Schultueten. It is a tradition in Germany that each child received a cone shaped Schultuete full of little presents, school supplies, and little items they will need for Kindergarten.
Normally the Schultueten are organised by the child’s family, but here at the German Australian Playschool we provide these for the children as our gift to families. It has been known to bring tears to the eyes of German parents who remember receiving these on their own first day at school.
Many German parents tell us they even have photographs or vivid memories of themselves or even their own parents with their Schultuete on their first day of school in Germany.
Children may keep all the items inside, but need to return the empty cones to us for future use, please.
As GAP opened for its 12th year of operation, an excited class of children received their traditional Schultueten.
We are pleased to announce that there were no tears from the children all day. (We won’t mention the tears of one lovely mum, whose eyes were a bit wet with gratitude and relief as her daughter ran off with her new friends to play, and settled in straight away!)
Our first day saw children busy singing, rolling around on the carpet giggling, creating self-portraits with craft materials, enjoying morning tea on the deck outside, (re-)orienting themselves in the classroom and playground, making new friends, and excitedly exploring their newly renovated surroundings.
The teachers all agree: It is great to be back at the GAP for another year of fun!
Our January working bees and summer renovation plans are well underway!
We are half way through and have accomplished a lot.
We have demolished some walls to enlarge the foyer, done a lot of painting, and reconfigured some of our storage. We’ve ripped everything out of the storage areas and are sorting through it all.
We have had a new shed built for all the Pfadfinder gear, and we’ve repaired the roof on the old shed which will soon be for toys for 0-5 year olds only.
We have installed a fourth toilet and two new children’s sinks, as well as upgrading some of our lighting in the toilets.
We have pruned our art supplies to keep only the environmentally-friendly ones, in line with our glitter/micro-plastics ban.
Next up will be:
Installing our new and improved children’s coat and bag storage facilities; preparing for the new GAP class; re-covering the bulletin boards; moving in Pfadfinder and special events equipment to the new shed; topping up sand in the sand box; cleaning…. and lots of it! And much, much more!!
You are guaranteed to be amazed when you come to the hall next! And wait until it is all finished (by start of school on 5 February)!! Wow!
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!
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.
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.
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.