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!
Our teachers are masters when it comes to helping children build their self-esteem and public speaking skills. Mystery box, show & tell, our birthday traditions, concerts, in-house mini concerts, and presentations are much looked forward to by the children, but they are much more than they seem. They are carefully and lovingly crafted moments in a child’s life, in which our teachers help set the scene for each child’s success in the future.
It is delightful to see children blossoming as teachers celebrate each child’s achievements and strengths in these critical foundation years.
The GAP children were very excited to meet Angus the puppy, who visited us with the RSPCA’s Education Officer today. We learned about what the RSPCA does, how we can care for our pets, how to approach dogs who don’t know us, and some of us got to pat Angus on his shoulder where he was most comfortable.
The children helped to come up with a list of things that we can make and collect in order to help Angus and his animal friends at the RSPCA. Over the coming weeks, we will collect old towels for the shelter, bake homemade dog biscuits, and craft enrichment toys out of egg cartons, cardboard rolls and little dog treats. These will be delivered to the RSPCA in September.
Thanks to the committee for organising this as one of our Community Giving events this year.
The GAP children have been learning all about occupations in our community. Some of our parents offered to come in and tell us about the interesting jobs they have.
During a visit from an Australian Army dad, we got to see how soldiers make little tents (called hootchies) to camp in, check out all the things they have to carry in their backpacks, and see how they cook and eat when they are in the field. We tried on some heavy webbing, tried to lift the heavy backpack, checked out some cool equipment, peered through a little telescope and tested some electronically enhanced ear protectors. Afterwards, we made our own hootchie in the playground and tried some of the food from the army ration packs. We even drew little maps of our surroundings before we went to sleep in our sleeping bags, just as the real army people do.
We are looking forward to a visit from a builder next week!
The Children’s Hootchie
The children and teachers at the GAP thoroughly enjoyed a visit from Michelle the very talented music teacher today.
We learned new songs, sang a few old favourites; we danced to different styles of music; we played instruments; we heard some of Michelle’s cool instruments; and we learned about rhythm, volume, pitch. A great time was had by all!
Michelle commented that the GAP children had particularly good aural skills (which she surmised was from being bilingual) and they paid good attention (an important life skill that will put the children in good stead for the rest of their lives).
The children at the GAP are enjoying our science weeks. They have been experimenting with liquids and solids, and mixing them together. What happens when you drop a pebble into water? What about salt in water? What about water into flour? How about oil? Coloured marker pens? Sand? Sugar?
Which led us to our next question: Do scientists always end up covered in powder and standing in a sticky puddle? Our teachers have a scientific hypothesis about this!
Looking forward to our visit to Questacon next week.