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!
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?)
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.
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.
Inspired by a visit from the RSPCA, the Thursday/Friday GAP children crafted enrichment toys and treats for the animals. These adorable and delicious treats were delivered along with donations of towels and pet food last week.
It was heart-warming to see the animals sniffing them appreciatively and opening their colourful hand-crafted presents from the children to find a food treat inside.
The GAP children recently enjoyed a walk to the local park, where our future civil engineers found out how many children could get on the teeter-totter at once, and some of our budding fashion enthusiasts invented new ways to wear their hats! Our future park rangers gathered sticks and built up a campfire, while our future politicians (?) got busy playing hide and seek. In any case, it was lovely to be out in the sunshine and amongst the gum trees, surrounded by children’s joy.
Thanks to the families who donated their old gum boots, we were able to get busy and create a boot garden by planting an interesting variety of plants inside the boots. The boots were then hung on the wall in a nice arrangement, by one of our GAP graduates (who is pretty handy with tools these days) and his awesome dad. It is great to have such a caring community of families supporting our programs. You all rock!
At the GAP, we love heading out to the park to explore and find natural objects to incorporate into our play and our environment. Recently, we decided to decorate our playground with colourful pine cones hanging everywhere, and we had a marvelous time doing that! The pine cones, dangling from tempting heights, have become a challenge to see how high we can reach in order to tap them gently to make them swing. Of course, you have to make the right hilarious noises when you finally tap one: “BING!” (Giggle, giggle, giggle…)
The children were squawking laughing as their favourite (very German) puppets Otto and Hans Hase tried to out-do each other, in relating all the wonderful things their fathers could do.
Hans Hase told us how his father could jump really high, run really fast, give great hugs, fix broken toys, play games, cook yummy dinners, and read awesome bed-time stories. Otto declared that his father could do those things too, as well as sing funny songs, make jokes, and occasionally, Otto admitted, fart or snore rather loudly. This had the children in stitches laughing… and suddenly they were all too eager to share similar stories from home!
At circle time, the children shared which “special super powers” their own fathers had, and told us what they called their fathers. We heard about fathers being called Papa, Papi, Daddy, Dadda, Tata, Dad… and even one (and I have confirmed this is actually true) Banana Head.
Happy Fathers’ Day to all our dads. Hope you enjoy the presents the children made for you at GAP.
We were delighted to have one of our dads visit us with his apprentice today, to talk to the children about what it is like to be a carpenter and builder.
The builders talked to us about safety and we checked out all their safety equipment. Then we looked at the tools on their tool belts, and learned what they were for. Some of us even had a go hammering a nail into a block of wood, and then levering it back out again. (The builders were very brave holding the blocks of wood steady while we hammered the nails in!)
Of course, we had to sing “Wer will fleissige Handwerker sehen” for our guests, with all the verses about carpenters, glaziers, painters, brick-layers and other construction workers. The builders looked as impressed with our song, as we did with their presentation. It was another fun afternoon at the GAP!