Category Archives: playgroup

We are Back

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

We are returning to operations, with increased hygiene protocols, as follows:

GAP: Monday 18 May 2020
Schlaumaeuse: Wed 3 June 2020
Spiel und Spass: Wed 24 June 2020
Pfadfinder: Monday 20 July 2020

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
and if we spread into the smaller rooms and washrooms, the max is 51 people in the building (not including the storage sheds, of course)!

sniffles and coughs: When Is It Okay To Come Back?

This winter (2020) the advice is clear: stay home if you are sick. This applies equally to adults and children. It applies whether it is a simple cold, flu or the dreaded corona virus.

How long do you need to stay away from playgroup, playschool or scouts though?

We have sought advice from our resident doctor and infectious diseases expert to help us all clarify when children with sniffles or coughs can return to their groups.  His advice is paraphrased here:

The short answer is that people can be infectious while they have symptoms. … In most cases, children will be infectious for around 5-7 days (but perhaps up to 2 weeks). Even after people have recovered, some may have a persistent cough for quite a while. This is usually not because they are still in any way infectious, more a reflex to the damage done to the airways that causes them to be extremely susceptible to any kind of irritation. More information about catching and caring for colds can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/common-cold/

So, the rule at Spielwelt is this:

Stay home if you are sick. You can return when you are symptom-free. The only exception is for a lingering dry unproductive cough IF it has been 14 days since your cold started AND all the other cold/flu symptoms have cleared up.

There is no requirement from Spielwelt to present evidence that you have been tested for corona virus and returned a negative results in order to start attending sessions again. (Obviously, you should stay home and get tested if you suspect you might have the virus, though!)

Children who have an asthmatic cough can attend, and are likely to have their puffer with them. Asthma is not contagious.

Sorry to make you stay home when you are busting to join us, folks. We know it is hard, especially for our GAP families needing to get back to work after so long – but you are doing your bit to help protect everyone else and we all appreciate that.  

Choc Chip Cookies / Schoko Kekse

Looking for a nice treat? A baking session with your child is always fun.

Here is Gerda’s super easy recipe for chocolate chip banana oatmeal cookies.

They are vegan and gluten-free. The photo above is one Gerda took when she baked these delicious chewy bikkies.

Download the recipe in German (with pictures for children).

If you need to cheat and look at the English version, you can.

While you wait for them to come out of the oven, you could sing along to this traditional German children’s song about baking cakes, which we sing at GAP, called Backe backe Kuchen.

Here’s some handy German vocabulary for any baking session.

Vorbereiten – to prepare

die Schale – bowl
messen – to measure
die Tasse – cup
der Löffel – spoon
der Essöffel (EL) – tablespoon
der Teelöffel (TL) – teaspoon
der Spatel – spatula
der Ofen – oven
backen – bake

Combining ingredients

entrahmen – to cream
mischen – to mix
rühren – to stir
kneten – to knead

Common baking ingredients

die Butter – no prizes for guessing what this is
das Mehl – flour
der Zucker – sugar
das Ei – egg (Eier – eggs)
die Milch – yes that’s right, milk
das Backpulver – baking powder

After baking

putzen – to clean
schmecken – to taste
lecker – yummy, tasty
süβ – sweet

and hopefully you don’t need this word:

gebrannt – burnt!


Get Ready for Mothers Day

Hallo Papa! It’s time to help your child prepare for Mothers’ Day…. and the GAP teachers are hereby offering their loving support for mums and dads to guide you through with craft and breakfast ideas.

Hopefully all GAP children will have received their second envelope in time, as this contains some of the things that Papa and children will find useful in making the following Mothers Day gifts. (If you aren’t enrolled at GAP or your envelope is late arriving, we hope you can find or substitute craft items from home.)

Make a wool-wrapped heart ornament

Here is Gerda’s video to show you how to make a wool-wrapped heart ornament for Mum. You will need a bit of cardboard from home, and there is 4 meters of multi-coloured wool in your GAP envelope for you.

Make a paper flower garden

Lisa3 has provided the complete instructions and materials in your child’s envelope so you can help your child to create a paper flower garden. For non-GAP families, you will need a variety of coloured paper and here are the instructions for you.

Make a beautiful rainbow heart ornament

Here is Gerda’s video to show you how to make a rainbow heart ornament. You will need cardboard, paper and a few colours of paint for this. If you don’t have paint, coloured markers or pencil crayons could do the trick. Or there might be enough coloured paper left over from your paper flower garden.

You can guess at the sizes of hearts or use our handy heart sizes template.

Breakfast in Bed

Here’s a super simple and really cute breakfast idea so children can make something pretty much all by themselves for Mama on Mothers’ Day (and if that goes well, then they can make it on all the other days afterwards!)

This is toast with peanut butter, banana and raisins. I guess the luxury version has almond butter, banana and choc chips. I have it on good authority that Germans love peanut butter though, so go nuts! Serve warm!

Adding a little paper heart (or a small flower from the garden) at the side of the plate will elevate your creation from “breakfast” to “present”.

The response you are looking for from Mum is “Oooh, lecker!” (Oooh, yummy!)

I made this toast teddy for you. By the time I finished uploading the photo, I’d eaten it! Hee hee!

And here’s what to say in German

You’d think “ich liebe dich” would be just perfect… but that’s only used between, well, lovers. You wouldn’t say it to a child, nor would a child say it to their parent. So what CAN you say? Here are some suggestions that won’t raise any German eyebrows:

“Ich hab dich lieb, Mama” or “Mama, Ich hab’ Dich so lieb”

“Alles Gute zum Muttertag” or “Alles Liebe zum Muttertag”

“Mama, Du bist die Tollste von allen!’

“Mama, Du bist wunderbar!” or “Danke Mama, Du bist die Beste!”

“Fuer die beste Mama auf der ganzen Welt!”

Here are some other fun sayings or poems you could make use of.

Happy Mothers Day to all our Spielwelt mums, from the teachers, leaders, committee and director.

Mail Lesson 2

One of our GAP families told us they went for a really long walk in their neighbourhood, looking at all the mailboxes they could find!

They loved finding different styles of mailbox, and naming the shapes (Formen) they could see in German. Some children might like to identify the numbers they see as well.

Truffle loved this idea, so she took her handy German shape cheat-sheet (below) and went searching for mailboxes too.

Here are some of the mailboxes that Truffle liked. Which shapes can you see? How many more will you see on your walk?

This was Truffle’s favourite! A mailbox planted in a pot!

Gerda Reads Heule Eule

The “Heule Eule” (howl owl) book by Paul Friester is an all time favourite in both GAP classes, Gerda has made a video of it for you!

Email gap.director@spielwelt.org.au for the link (available to Spielwelt parents only).

We are grateful to the publishers for their kind permission to share this with our members during the COVID pandemic.

Maus Tag – Mouse Day

By special request from one of our children, here are some mouse themed activities and a mouse story for you!

Mouse Story:
Here’s Opa Chris reading the German classic, Frederick die Maus

Mice Fingerprint Pictures:
If you have paint or an ink stamp pad at home, you can decorate a piece of paper with loads of fingerprints.  Once the fingerprints dry, use a black marker to add eyes, ears, tails and legs to make your fingerprints into mice.  

If you are feeling really creative, you can create an artistic scene with your mice.  Maybe start by drawing a venue of your choice (the local playground), or a bus or train,  or Telstra tower, or Oma’s house, or your bedroom….  then let your child fill in the fingerprints, and help them to add the ears and tails to turn their fingerprints into mice.

Lisa’s Fingerprint Mice Playground (yours will be better!)

Edible Marzipan Mice:
Make mice from delicious home-made German Marzipan. Here is a little lesson about the cultural significance of marzipan and the recipe in English but better yet, follow the exact same lesson and recipe auf Deutsch. Children can definitely be involved in putting this simple three ingredient egg-free recipe together.

Once you’ve made your marzipan, take a ball about the size of a teaspoon of marzipan, and roll it into a pear shape. Poke a tiny bit of string or thread into the fat end as a tail, and stand two half almond slivers near the pointy end as ears. Add tiny currants or mini choc chips for eyes.

The recipe will make more mice than you need, but it keeps well in the fridge, so hang on to it for another GAP-at-home lesson coming up soon.

Marzipan Maus

Mice Finger Puppets:
This craft will need parent involvement but creates a fun mouse finger puppet toy for your child to play with afterwards. Here is Wie man eine Papiermaus Fingerpuppe macht.

Stand-up Paper Mouse Craft:
Fold a piece of paper in half. Cut out half a heart shape. Using the excess paper, cut out two identical circles for the ears.

Glue or tape the circle ears onto the paper heart around about where the ears should go (see picture of completed mouse). 

Give your folded paper heart (with circle ears) to your child to colour in the eyes, ears and whatever else they want on their mouse.

When your child is finished colouring, open up your folded heart and glue or tape a piece of wool or string in for the tail, as in the diagram below.  (If you think the diagram is rubbish, blame Lisa, as she drew it for you!)

Lisa’s fabulous attempt at a diagram for our paper folded mouse craft

Ignore the original fold line in the middle, and create two new fold lines, as in the diagram.  The space between the two new fold lines is going to become the base of your mouse, so that the mouse will stand up when propped up on the table.

Fold the two outer edges together and attach point A to point B with a tiny bit of tape or glue.

Stand your mouse up and admire!  Repeat to make a village of mice to play with. 

German vocabulary from today’s mouse lesson:
Mouse: die Maus
Mice: die Maeuse
Ears: die Ohren
Tail: der Schwanz
Circle: der / ein Kreis
Heart shape: das / ein Herz
Wool: die Wolle
String: die Schnur
Glue:  der Klebe
Scissors:  die Schere
Almonds:  die Mandeln
Icing sugar:   der Puderzucker
yummy: lecker!!!

For those looking to be super GAP-at-home educators: Make a mouse themed poster showcasing today’s vocabulary. You could use a few of today’s craft items and ideas. By using pictures, you won’t need the English text… just put the German words on and look awesome! Send us your pics for bonus points!

Easter Lesson Plan 3

Frohe Ostern!

Here are some lovely Easter ideas for you.

Make bunny pancakes!  Here’s the how-to video and recipe for you and your child to follow along.  Here is a similar one auf Deutsch.   

image.png

Make bunny-ear head bands.  Make a strip of paper to go around your child’s head, and staple some card/paper ears on it, like in our photo.  You can newspaper if you like. Here’s a slightly fancier version.  (Tip: if you are using staples, put a little piece of sticky tape over the staple ends so they don’t get caught on your child’s hair.)

Make a bunny hand-puppet using an old bill envelope

Play and sing Haeschen in der Grube (rabbit in the burrow).  When we sing and play this at GAP one child goes into the middle of the circle and curls up as the Haeschen while we sing. We all go into the middle of the circle and gently pat the Haeschen during the line “armes Haeschen bist du krank, das du nicht mehr huepfen kannst?” then quickly run back into our circle spots for the next line to allow space for the Haeschen to jump up and hop. Here is the song sung with the lyrics

Ready for a quiet story time?  Die Haeschenschule (Rabbit School): a very old classic story, read aloud.  (We usually skip the bit at 3:43 because we don’t have naughty children at GAP, and even if we did, they wouldn’t be treated in that old-fashioned way.) 

Frohe Ostern!

Gerda’s Bunny Craft

Hallo Kinder! Our gorgeous GAP teacher Gerda has made a fun bunny craft video for you all.

Click on the link here to enjoy Gerda’s bunny craft video.

Want more rabbit fun?

Jump and wiggle your ears to this fun action song/dance about Hoppelhase Hans

Imagine if the wrong Easter bunny had come along. Find out what happens in the video story of Der falsche Osterhase (7:29) – there are even English subtitles. 

For those who like to print out a story text and read it aloud to their child, here is Wie das Angsthäschen zum Muthasen wurde

Perhaps your child would like to draw a picture or write a letter to the Osterhase (Easter bunny) to say thank you for a nice Easter.  

Viel Spass!

Easter Lesson Plan 2

Today’s activity is creating a German Osterbaum (Easter tree). This is a very German way to celebrate Easter, so enjoy!   

You’ll need eggs (or card/paper) and a few branches (either indoors or outdoors). 


Eggs:  Decorate some eggs for Easter and hang them in your Osterbaum (Easter tree). 

Option 1: Real eggs.
Either blow them out or hard boil them first.  Hard boiling them makes them less fragile to handle, of course.  Decorate your eggs using either crayons, paint, glueing little bits of coloured paper on, pencils, stickers, or food colouring dye. Attach or thread a bit of wool or ribbon around the eggs to hang them once they are dry.   

Option 2: Card/paper eggs.
Draw some egg shapes on some stiff paper or card. Let your child colour them in and decorate them. Remember to decorate both sides.  Cut them out, make a little hole in the top and help your child to thread a piece of string or wool through a hole in the top.  See picture of our paper eggs here

Tree:
You can either hang your eggs on a real tree outside, or you can go for a long walk and collect a few small fallen branches to bring home with you. 

One of our teachers made this Osterbaum at home

Are you eggs-austed after your walk to collect branches and all that Osterbaum decorating?  You might like to get comfy and watch a 20 minute episode of the Weiss du eigentlich wie lieb ich dich habe rabbits (while mum or dad get some work done).

Viel Spass!