Category Archives: playgroup

ACTSmart Sustainability Expo

At Spielwelt and Pfadfinder, we are keen to be green!  So far, we have made over 50 changes to our hall and operations, to be more sustainable and do the right thing for the environment.

As with everything we do, we do this for the children.  We also hope to educate, support and inspire our families.

The children at the GAP were keen to be involved in making this little video clip, to be screened at the ACTSmart Sustainability Expo on Thursday 13 September 2018 at the Southern Cross Club in Woden.

Spielwelt German Parents Association and Pfadfinder Scout Group

The Spielwelt German Parents Association and Pfadfinder Scout group are keen on being green! Learn what they have done to become an Actsmart Business Champion

Posted by Actsmart – Canberra on Thursday, 6 September 2018

 

Come along to the Sustainability Expo, and get further inspired about what you can do (or promote) at your school, embassy, childcare centre or workplace.

 

 

Children’s Clothing Swap

Pfadfinder have been learning about the clothing industry and how it affects the environment.   The textiles industry is a huge polluter, so we thought up some ways we could reduce our impact.  Watch this space!

One easy way to reduce the number of clothes that end up in the landfill:   Pfadfinder had a clothes swap night – trading clothes with each other and refreshing their wardrobes without buying anything new.   Some clothes donated on the night got upcycled into new and different styles of clothes.

From 13 – 24 August 2018, we are hosting a second hand stall for quality children’s clothing for GAP and Spiel und Spass, too.

Parents can donate quality children’s clothing their child has outgrown, AND / OR  browse through the many donations and take whatever they like.  If you don’t find anything suitable one day, check back the next day or week, as fresh items will have arrived.
We are keeping it to children’s clothing this time.  If people like the concept, we can try other kinds of stalls.
Photo of just a few of the clothes available on Monday night, after lots of clothes had already changed hands.
This is an initiative of Pfadfinder scouts who are hoping to help keep clothing out of landfill and circulating in our lovely community. We are, afterall, keen to be green!
Anything left on 24 Aug will be donated to Salvos or Vinnies.
Enjoy!

Chocolates and straws are next to go

As delicious as chocolate is, the committee has recently decided to knock it from our fundraising campaign despite its reasonably good return on investment.

Aside from the obvious questions about modelling healthy habits for children, chocolate is a luxury the environment can’t really afford on the scale it is being produced in the world.  Add to this the unethical treatment of farmers (including children), and this is simply not an issue we choose to ignore any more.  So chocolates are off the list.  Luckily, there are still bake sales and mangoes to look forward to!

Encouraged by the ACT government’s “Straws Suck!” campaign, we have ditched straws from our craft supplies and kitchen, too.

 

More recycling at Spielwelt

You may have noticed a few extra bins around at the Turner Scout Hall, in the kitchen and the new foyer.  We are making it easier for families to be greener… which is very German, so embrace the programs and enjoy feeling cultural and forward thinking with us!

The GAP children and scouts enjoyed their rubbish sorting lesson too, and most are now experts on it.

In the kitchen we have, starting from the top left on the shelf:

  • we are collecting unwanted oral care products (all brands of toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, dental floss containers) under a Terracycle program (we will get a small amount of money for each 2kg we collect).
  • we continue to collect organic kitchen scraps for chickens

Along the bottom row in the kitchen, we have:

  • the usual mixed recycling (unlike you at home, we don’t get  our recycling bins collected for free at the hall…but we believe it is important, so we pay for a collection service).
  • waste to landfill (getting less each week, which is good, because we pay for that to be collected too!)
  • our new soft plastics recycling through RedCycle, where plastic bags, wrappers, peel-off lids, cling wrap, yogurt squeeze pouches all can be recycled.  We also encourage families to think of ways to reduce their use of soft plastics by wrapping lunches in reusable containers or bees-wax-wraps or similar; and taking their own household’s soft plastic waste to their local Redcycle bin.

Next to the yellow sign-in desk in the foyer, we have:

  • our can and bottle refund scheme collection, through the ACT government’s container deposit scheme.   As you play or walk in your local park, all families (and particularly our scouts) are encouraged to collect any containers they see as litter and bring them in to the hall for our collection.  Eligible containers for the refund are ones that are commonly found in the litter stream, including most cans and bottles; ie glass, PET, HDPE, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard (cartons) between 150mL and 3L in size.
  • [soon to appear] our e-waste collection box, through ecoActiv / Storage King, taking broken electronic toys, old laptops,  hard drives, keyboards, mice,  cameras, iPods, mobile phones, batteries, chargers and accessories.  You may also take them to Office Works yourself, or bring them to the scout hall if that is easier for you.  Computers and TVs can be collected from your home or office for free by TechCollect.

 

Lantern Walk 2018

Sankt Martin was seen galloping about on his trusty horse on Sunday night in Haig Park, amidst the many children and families with their beautiful lanterns, at this year’s German Lantern Walk.

Many Spielwelt families and their guests rugged up and braved the authentic-German-winter night air, to join the festivities.

There was music throughout the event:  Mike and his wonderful hand-crafted traditional German Drehorgel, an ambient guitar, a peppy brass and wind quintent including one of our talented scouts,  the sweet tones of the Pfadfinder Joey & Cub choir, and of course the many voices of families participating in the walk  who had no doubt been practicing the lantern walk songs at home.

The food was, of course, delicious and warmed our hands, stomachs and souls.  There were scrumptious home-made soups, German Bratwurst (from the Brathaus) served on buns with onions and steaming sauerkraut (and thanks to our cracker-jack team of efficient BBQ volunteers we had very short queues this year),  fresh breads,  traditional Weckmaenner (who held their own lantern parade before coming to ours, judging by the photo below), a mouth-watering array of Nachtisch (desserts) all baked and donated by  our wonderful families, and of course, the ever popular Kinderpunsch and Gluehwein served up by our all-time-favourite Gluehwein team.  (Craving more? Recipes here!)

We are keen to be green, so proper mugs, cups and bowls were all provided instead of disposable ones (thanks to an ACT government multicultural grant) in our continued efforts to reduce waste.

Thus nourished, the crowds gathered to sing some of the songs, guided by the lyrics (projected onto the side of our new shed), before setting off on the walk.

The procession headed out into the park, lanterns bobbing along and brightening our paths, as the sounds of singing voices and accompanying instruments floated out through the darkness.

We stopped part way, to form a large circle so the Spiel und Spass children and friends were able to parade their lanterns inside the safety of the circle, while the sweet voices of the Pfadfinder Joeys & Cubs delivered a fine performance of a beautiful lantern song for us, accompanied by the talented guitarist.
Arriving back at the hall, the procession was greeted with baskets of Weckmaenner to eat and share.  The children gathered with their lanterns on a large tarp to sit and watch a short play about Sankt Martin stopping in his travels to share his cloak with a poor beggar dressed only in rags at the gates of Amiens.  The narration of the interactive play was partly provided by the crowds singing the various verses of a Sankt Martin’s Leid.  Inspired by the kindness of Sankt Martin, our families kindly donated just under $100 to our collection tin for Barnados in Canberra.

Following the play, our “after party” enjoyed a bonfire to warm up, before helping to  tidy up, wash the dishes and head home.

A huge THANK YOU to all those who helped in all ways great and small, to make this year’s walk an indisputable success.  Special kudos goes to Alice who orchestrated the whole event from the planning to the delivery.  Danke!

Bake Sale: the Sweet Taste of Success

A big thank you to all those who volunteered their time and cooked, baked and donated lovely baked treats; and to those who volunteered their time to manage the cake stall last Sunday.

We had a lovely sunny start to the day, and the event was a great success.

All those lovely treats, beautifully packaged, enticed the locals to buy and support our fundraising efforts.

The most-talked-about cake of the day was the beautiful berry cake with vanilla custard centre which looked too good to cut up! But cut it up we did, and it drew a crowd!

We made $594 on the day.  Money raised during fundraising events is spent on improvements to the hall which benefit all our groups, such as the recent renovations to the foyer and upgraded lighting. This year’s funds raised will be spent on shelving and lighting in the new shed, and storage for our art supplies in the main hall.

Once again, thank you for your support.  It is greatly appreciated by all our members and the Spielwelt fundraising group.

Loving our Library

Our library was one of the lucky recipients of Lilli’s love and attention over the summer.

The library underwent a massive re-vamp, starting from a huge jumble of over a thousand books, some on shelves, some stacked in piles, some stored in boxes under tables….  Our library now hosts what is undoubtedly the nicest (and most beautifully organised) German children’s book, video and music collection in Canberra.

Just a few of the myriad books that got sorted this summer.

Many books were given to grateful families, many others were donated to LifeLine to carry on their good work circulating in the wider German community.  Only the best made it through to the finals, to our sleek new library, so we are sure you will enjoy browsing our shelves.

New books and donations are being received all the time by our librarians Florian and Lilli, so keep checking the shelves for fresh material and old favourites.

The library caters for 0-16 year olds, and sections include learning German, ABCs and vocabulary builders, children’s classics, the popular Wieso Warum Weshalb series, music, videos, mystery, adventure, and much more.

Pfadfinderinnen!  Lilli has even created you a “starke Maedchen” section! Come and check it out!

Foyer Renovation

After many hours of hard work over the summer, our foyer has been completely renovated.

No more horrible cramped, dark, cluttered storage area.  We have welcomed in a bright, open, cheerful, greatly enlarged space to work and play in.

Each GAP child now has their own personalised area to store their personal items; Pfadfinder have more room to do woodwork and other projects; Spiel und Spass parents have more room for prams.

Many thanks to the parents and scouts who put so much time into the renovation, designing, demolishing, sorting, purchasing, cleaning, painting, tiling, fixing, woodworking, and much more.   We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated and amazing community who can pull together to create something terrific for us all to use.

After the first stage of the demolition

 

Nearly ready for action (view of the north end)

First day of school in 2018 (view of the south end). Note the cute washing line on the far wall, for lost and found items!

 

January working bees are underway

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!

 

Banning Glitter

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.