Category Archives: playgroup

We Are Back Again

Thanks everyone, for your patience during the COVID-19 pause.

We are returning to operations, with increased hygiene protocols, on the following dates:

Spiel und Spass: Wed 27 Oct 2021
GAP: Monday 25 Oct 2021
Pfadfinder: Monday 1 Nov 2021
Schlaumaeuse: Tues 9 Nov 2021
Spiel und SPORT: TBA

We will be outdoors as much as possible.

Parents are asked to remain outside unless:
– they are leaders, teachers or rostered on to help
– their playgroup child needs to be accompanied to the toilet
– they are attending a Schnupper session

Remember to use the CBR Check-In app (mandatory) on arrival.

If you do need to enter the building then:
wash or sanitise your hands (please)
wear a mask (mandatory for people 12 years and up)

We are in accord with the sign outside Aranda Primary School!

The maximum occupancy in our hall, at 4 sqm per person, is as follows:

main hall: 21 people
large (east) foyer: 10 people
kitchen: 3 people
quiet room: 4 people

Birgit’s Nature Mandalas

Wenn ihr spazieren geht und in der Natur seid koennt ihr doch mal versuchen Mandalas zu machen. Es gibt viele Dinge mit denen man kreativ sein kann. Zum Beispiel: Blumen, Baumrinde, Blaetter, kleine Aeste.

When you go for a walk out in nature (or as our indigenous friends say, when you are “on country”), it is fun to be creative by making natural mandalas. You can try using flowers, bark, leaves, grasses, small sticks or anything you find.

To be even more keen-to-be-green, try to use objects that have already fallen to the ground rather than picking fresh flowers and living leaves .

It can also be fun to use these natural objects to make ladybird playgrounds with slides and mazes, or tiny decorated fairy tents.

Here are some of Birgit’s beautiful nature mandalas

Survival Tips From Families

In our phone calls to GAP families, we asked them to share some of their lockdown survival tips. Here are some of the tips.

  • Alter your expectations and reframe what “a successful day” looks like.
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  • Yes, you know you want to avoid children having screen time, but this is a pandemic. Give yourself a break.
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  • German podcast Betthupferl (4-5 minute audio stories) and other BR.de German podcasts for children of all ages.
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  • When you make dinner, cut up a plate of crudite to put out on the table with dip the next day so the family can graze on healthy stuff during the day when you are too busy to stop.
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  • We ordered a pile of craft supplies from Office Works through click-and-collect, and have been very busy.
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  • I organised with my boss that I do an hour of work, then spend an hour with the kids, an hour of work, an hour of kids….
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  • We are renovating / moving house, and do not recommend this as a tip for families during lockdown!!! ūüôā
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  • Netflix has German kids films and programs like Octonauts, Zauberschulbus and Sesam Strasse. Or you can turn on German language on some of the English programs on Netflix.
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  • My child is regressing a bit in lockdown. This happened to some kids in the last lockdown and they all bounced back, so I’m not too worried.
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  • My partner and I tag-team: one parent is with our child while the other works, and then we swap.
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  • My child really felt connected and lit up hearing the German songs on the Spiel und Spass Spotify list.
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  • If you join the GAP Morgenkreis a few minutes early, you can get individual attention from the teachers (but maybe not now that the secret is out!)
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  • We joined the GAP Morgenkreis and I was delighted to see how happy my child was to see her teachers again.
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  • A number of families were really enjoying using the Reading Eggs app (different stages for ages 2 to 10).
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  • Our child is quite keen on Tag the Picture (a card / bead matching game with 5 languages, including German, suitable for 3-7 year olds).
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  • Involving our child in all the aspects of the housework is a good way to make it all work. It takes longer but our child learns and the job at least gets done. We change bedsheets, hang laundry, fold clothes, cook food, make sandwiches, set the table, stack/unload the dishwasher and vacuum together.
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  • Get used to the clutter at home. It is how you know you’re having fun. HOWEVER, if it starts to feel overwhelming, dedicate some time to tidying up – for the sake of your mental health – even if it is just one room that is tidy.
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  • Restrictions permitting: See if any of your neighbours have a friendly dog that would be willing to get patted, played with or walked. What a mood lifter. We call it Vitamin D (as in Dog) or Vitamin T (for Truffle the GAP therapy dog, pictured above, running near the GAP).
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  • With Lisa3’s craft videos, you can still watch the videos even if you don’t do the craft.
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  • Stay connected with others by writing cards and delivering them into people’s letter boxes. (You can augment your education with our mail lesson #1 and mailbox lesson #2.)
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  • If work and homeschooling older kids clash too much, let kids play while you work weekdays, and leave homeschool stuff until the weekend.

Support Material for Young Children About Covid

We hope you are all doing well, and are still having fun.

The Australian Childhood Foundation website has plenty of covid-19 related resources for families, including social stories to help explain covid-19, mask-wearing, and beating lockdown-boredom for children and to help them manage any worries they might have. There are activities and posters you can download too.

Their Activity Alphabet has good stay-at-home acitivity ideas too.

You can also download the story of Edna-May. It is a true story about an Australian lady, now over 100 years old, who was four years old at the time of the Spanish flu. (Story suitable for 3-6 year olds.)

Igelchen and Echidna Lesson

The little echidna pictured at the top of this blog lives in Canberra. I took a little video for the children, showing the echidna walking along. She has short bent legs, and it reminded me of a German children’s song about a hedgehog (ein Igel). Hedgehogs and echidnas look quite similar.

Here is my very silly Igelchen action song video (5 min) which includes a little chat, an action song, a silly story and a very simple craft.  

There’s also an Igelchen colouring sheet for you to download and print.

 If you want to sing along to the song, here are the lyrics:

Igelchen, Igelchen, schau in dein Spiegelchen,
Deine Beine sind krumm!
Igelchen, Igelchen, schau in dein Spiegelchen,
Deine Beine sind kurz!

Sind meine Beine auch krumm,
Dreh’ ich mich trotzdem herum!
Sind meine Beine auch kurz,
ist mir das piepe und schnurz!

Make a Crown

Paper crowns are super easy to make, and who doesn’t want to be a Queen, King, Prince or Princess for a day? Sch√∂n w√§re es, K√∂nigin, K√∂nig, Prinz oder Prinzessin zu sein!

One of our Pfadfinder venturers models the crown she made (… for her Queen Mother, no doubt…ahem!)

Lisa3 has kindly created a fancy crown template for you to download, print and colour in.

Once you have coloured it in, all you need to do is cut it apart along the zig-zag lines, as seen in the photo at the very top of the blog.

Turn one piece 180 degrees and line up the points all in a row, and stick the two pieces of paper together with some sticky tape!

Wrap the length of paper around your head to see how big your crown needs to be, then tape it together at the size you want.

All done, and you’re ready to wear your crown, start issuing orders to your servants, blessing your royal subjects with gracious acts, and generally ruling the world!

Bohnenblumen: Bean Flowers

Spring is in the air and flowers are starting to appear! Maybe you can make flowers appear inside your house too…

Join GAP Teacher Gerda in making some beautiful flowers and hearts using beans and lentils! Click on the link to download / watch the video.

As you know, we love art and craft using natural and recycled items!

The educational value here is developing fine motor skills, art and creativity, counting, colours, and the concept of symmetry, if you like.

You can download Gerda’s Bohnenblumen instructions (in German and English) to augment your educational experience by reading aloud and following instructions in German, and be inspired by some of her example pieces.

Please supervise and/or discuss safety with children, as we have heard stories of children putting beans up their noses… and nobody wants that to happen!

Natural objects like beans and lentils make great things to glue to your art work!
Glue on your stem and leaf, and then clutter (ähm! I mean decorate) your house with your beautiful creation!

Once you have made your flower, try some of the variations below.

Variation 1: You could also decorate other shapes (see our activity about learning geometric shapes).

Variation 2: Hunt around the house and garden for other little objects to glue on: grass, pine needles, tiny flowers, wool, cereal, pasta shapes…

Try different shapes!

Potato Prints

Here is a great craft you can do indoors or outdoors: Kartoffeldrucken (potato prints)!

Parent supervision / help will be needed with the knife and cutting part, but the rest children can likely do themselves.

You can download and watch Lisa3’s lesson about Kartoffeldrucken in German.

Tip 1: If you plan to do letters, make sure to cut out the mirror image so when you print it, it will be the right way around.

Tip 2: If you are ready to make a new print shape, just slice off your old shape and start again on the same potato.

Tip 3: After a good wash, your potato scraps are ready to make delicious German Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes)!

Dancing Stick Figures

Lisa3 has another great activity for you to try at home: These dancing stick figures she made are so cool!

You will need:

  • Eine Auflaufform mit eine ganz glatte Oberfl√§che — Glas oder Keramik. (A flat bottomed casserole dish — preferably glass, but ceramic will do.)
  • Whiteboard-Markers (keine Permanentmarker) (Whiteboard markers (not permanent markers))
  • Ein Becher oder K√§nnchen Wasser. (A little cup or jug of water.)

Tip: Whiteboard markers are available at supermarkets, in case you want to add one to your ‘essential groceries’ list.

Download Lisa3’s Tanzende Strichm√§nnchen Video and Lisa3 will explain what you need to do (in German). For non-German speakers it is easy to follow along by watching.

You can make dancing flowers, animals, birds, whatever you like. Send us your photos!

Viel Spass!

Verstecken: Hide and Seek

Good old fashioned Verstecken (hide and seek) is always a popular game with children of all ages. The best part is calling out, “Gefunden!” (found!) at the end.

You can refresh your child’s memory of the rules and counting (and what it looks like at the GAP/Scout Hall) by watching our hilarious video of Truffle and Lisa playing Verstecken from last year.

Here is a handy German translation sheet for Verstecken (which I clearly did not have when making the video… ahem!). You will be able to keep your child’s (correct) German going at home!