Category Archives: Mental Health and Well-being

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.

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

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.