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 winners of our Mystery Masterchef evening were very pleased with their two-course meal, served up to an eager judging panel after 45 minutes of frantic activity in the scout hall kitchen.
Each scout patrol was given a limited number of cooking implements, an esky of mystery ingredients, and 45 minutes to put together their best edible effort. Contestants were interviewed on video, to tell us how their patrol was progressing throughout. Cooperation and communication were vital components of the competition, and part of the judging criteria.
We loved seeing the scouts pull together to create something delicious, and we all enjoyed sharing a feast and reviewing our achievements and challenges afterwards.
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 children and parents at Spiel und Spass thoroughly enjoyed a visit from the ACT Fire Brigade recently. Those fire-fighters sure are our heroes, and they really know how to please a crowd! There was even an opportunity for children to explore the fire truck, and turn the hose onto some of our beautiful trees in Haig Park.
Some lucky Pfadfinder Girls got to take part in a Greenlight 4 Girls Day on Saturday 12 August. Greenlight 4 girls is an international movement to encourage girls to consider Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) careers.
The girls heard from amazing female scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, mathematicians, students, technological designers and inventors. After decorating our lab coats, it was off to a series of workshops to experiment, learn, solve problems, accept challenges and have fun, before returning to share our knowledge in the closing ceremony. Along the way, we even got to meet a rare bettong up close.
The day was really well organised by the Girl Guides Association, and was a lot of fun.
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).