Family Oktoberfest 2018

A marvelous time was had by children and adults alike, at the Spielwelt family Oktoberfest on Saturday 3 November.

Along with children currently involved in our playgroups, playschool and scout group, we also enjoyed seeing so many of our alumni returning to catch up… including one family who have returned after having been away in Germany for 5 years.

There were some beautiful Dirndls and great Lederhosen to be seen (even on some of the darling babies), which made the event all the more enjoyable.

The Oktoberfest organising team did an amazing job with the catering and decorating touches.   There were plenty of folk available to help out on the day too, which gave the event a real community feeling.

It was touch and go there the night before, with a total fire ban being announced, but thankfully the ban was lifted in time for us and we were able to use our fire permit and the cooking of our Spanferkel could go ahead.

Christian’s specially brewed Oktoberfest Bier was enjoyed by those who wished, and there was plenty of food, music and games to keep everyone happy.

The Tug of War game was a hit with the dads and kids.  Some of our Pfadfinder set up a rope bridge swing between the trees and lots of children had a wonderful time playing on that.

Our teenaged scouts and friends held their own Oktoberfest picnic gathering in the park, playing soccer and other games, and enjoying each other’s company at what they called “a dignified distance” from the parents.

By using reusable picnic plates, cups, mugs and cutlery, serving fresh home-made foods and creating our own decorations from recycled materials, we were able to reduce our waste-to-landfill from this event by 70% this year.

Our hard-working organising team would like to thank all those who brought such delicious salads, Bretzeln and desserts to share…. and thank the many folk who helped setting up tables, washing dishes and packing up afterwards.

 

 

Our award winning teachers

This week, the GAP teachers were presented with award certificates from the 2018 Children’s Week Awards.  The teaching team had been nominated for a Child Development Award, for significantly improving young people’s opportunities to learn and grow.

The inscription accompanying the award reads:

The teachers at the German Australian Playschool are very deserving of an award, judging by the rave reviews and outstanding feedback they receive regularly from the community.  They are highly dedicated, energetic, loving and caring individuals who prepare, plan and deliver a high quality exciting and educational play-based program for 3-5 year olds.

It is obvious from the moment you walk through the playschool gate in the morning that the teachers strive to let each child and family know just how special and wonderful they are. 

As a team, the teachers work together seamlessly to support the children in all their stages of development; and after work the teachers are often found going the extra mile, discussing children’s individual and group needs, and incorporating these into the program. 

The teachers seem content to be paid in smiles, but now and then an award seems another nice way to acknowledge the energy, dedication, love and passion they bring to their work.

The ACT Children’s Week Committee extends its congratulations and sincere thanks to the GAP Teaching Team for their outstanding example and commitment.  

Congratulations to the GAP Teaching Team!

Outdoor Classroom Day 2018

The children at GAP enjoyed participating in a global initiative called Outdoor Classroom Day on November 1st.

We enjoyed some time to explore the trees, sticks, grasses, leaves, pine needles, bits of bark, insects, fresh air and sunshine in our surrounding heritage-listed park land.

We also enjoyed a picnic in the beautiful dappled shade under a tree, in the company of our teachers.

Pfadfinder visits Cotter Dam

A selection of Pfadfinder joeys, cubs and scouts enjoyed a very informative evening tour of the  Cotter Dam, with tour guide Kate of ICON Water.

Kate, with the help of a blue rope to represent the waterway, an enormous map (and a few dads to hold it up), and her infectious smile and enthusiasm, taught us many interesting facts about the construction and purpose of the Cotter Dam.

We heard about what we can and can’t put into our household water, saw where that water comes from and learned about what happens to it after we have used it.

Being observant scouts, we managed to spot a great many water dragons, skinks, lizards, fish and ducks.  It was interesting to see how the ecologists had helped make sure the river was really healthy, and the flora and fauna that depend on the river were thriving.

The beautiful warm evening wrapped up with time on the playground and lots of laughter and fun before everyone headed home.

It is always fun to hear the banter among parents, chatting together at the end.  Overheard this week: “I know it was a bit of a rush to get out here for 5:30pm, but now that we are here, I’m thinking we should have brought a picnic – it is so lovely here.  But we really must get the children home and feed them dinner.”   To which one of our dads replied, “Well, I fed my kids before we left home, because you know, ich bin Super Papi!”  The assembled parents were all suitably impressed and spent a moment commenting favourably and admiring his superior parenting skills, until one of his children arrived to hang on his arm and complain, “Papa! Can we go now? I’m hungry!”   Kids!  🙂 

Story Night 2018

What better way to spend a warm spring evening than at the annual German story night?  The evening kicked off with outdoor play and a light dinner before we all ventured inside for the story telling.  Children and adults alike were treated to three stories: one story with actions, one short and sweet, and the third a puppet play.

One of our GAP dads, Torsten, and his daughter told the story ‘Die kleine Spinne spinnt und schweigt’ (The Very Busy Spider).  The little spider (played by the daughter) kept busy weaving her spider web as one by one, various farm animals (all played by her dad) tried to entice her to do something else. The children in the audience enthusiastically helped imitate the noises of the various animals as the story unfolded.  Our young spider, not quite happy with her dad’s performance, took hold of the microphone in an impromptu moment of up-staging her dad, to show him exactly how loud a duck should quack.  This quickly devolved into a barnyard coup as the children in the audience then took over, bleating, mooing and quacking into the microphone resulting in a raucous scene! It was a rather unforgettable performance!

Keeping with the barnyard coup theme, our librarian dad, Florian, treated us to a beautiful rendition of Farmer Duck.  Again, animal noises were required from the audience, who did not disappoint.  The children felt for the duck who had to do all the work while the farmer lay around and ate chocolate, so there was great cheering when the duck managed to rally his barnyard friends and stage their own raucous uprising to put things right on the farm.

Next was the puppet play by GAP mum Joey (the prince) and GAP dad Rainer (the princess). Children and their parents giggled along as the royal plans to make soup went strangely wrong.  The poor princess muddled up common German words, and ended up trying to use someone’s head (‘Kopf’) and then someone else’s ponytail (‘Zopf’) instead of using the required saucepan (‘Topf’).   Superbly narrated by our amateur puppeteers who had the audience in stitches.

The night ended as it had started with more playing, eating and mingling before parents had the unenviable task of convincing the children that it was time to go home.

See you all at Oktoberfest on Saturday 3rd November!

Pfadfinder Pfashion Show

The scout hall was alive tonight with music, dancing, food and fashion.

The joeys, cubs and parents were treated to a fashion show and disco tonight, put on by the older scouts and venturers.

Guests were treated to some healthy nibbles and delicious cake in our foyer area  to begin the evening (thanks to our volunteers who helped prepare the food).

Scouts had been learning this term about how the fashion industry is the world’s second-largest polluter and how the world consumes 80 billion pieces of clothing EACH YEAR.  Australians are the world’s second largest consumers of fashion, consuming 27kg of new clothing per person, on average, EACH YEAR.

In response to learning this, Pfadfinder took action.  We collected donations of unwanted clothing, and got busy up-cycling it into inventive new garments or re-purposing it into decorative useful furniture and cushions.  To showcase our knowledge and efforts, we put on a fashion show to educate the younger scouts and their families.

On the night of the fashion show, guests were seated around our runway, and were educated by two of our scouts who gave an informative presentation about some of the appalling facts we had learned about the clothing industry’s environmental impact, the terrible working conditions for labourers, and the dreadful pollution caused by dyeing fabrics.  Our scout hosts urged guests to only buy what is really necessary, think about where garments come from, and purchase second hand.

Guests were then treated to an upbeat presentation of the three “looks” the scouts had created for the Pfadfinder Pfashion show:  Haus, hats and jeans.   Our Venturer scouts kindly became our sound & light crew, using a light-show board they had created in their electronics workshops last term.

Our models each did a wonderful job of presenting the garments and household objects they had designed and created.  Below are a few sample photos.

Here, a previously unwanted but now decorative and useful office chair makes its debut in our fashion Haus collection:

Hats, hats, hats…

An unwanted umbrella was transformed into a delightful be-ribboned parasol:

Shirts were redesigned as skirts and tops…  and other inventive ways to wear and upcycle unwanted garments were on display:

Even the Roman look is making a come-back to the houses of haut couture:

Our stunning jeans collection hit the cat-walk tonight to wow the crowd:

As a finale, some of the models came out wrapped in sheeting, which they cast off simultaneously to reveal their fabulous jeans collection, and kick off the evening’s disco party for all the guests.

Did you know:  polyester does not biodegrade but instead sheds micro-fibres which enter and damage our waterways; cotton dyeing is poisoning the world’s rivers;  clothing industry wages are as low as $1-$3/day; beading and sequins are an indication of child labour; a $5 tshirt has passed through many hands on its journey from field to store… and is designed not to last, so you must purchase another one;  one pair of jeans requires 7000 litres of water during production (which is how much a person would drink over 5 or 6 years); clothing production consumes an unsustainable 32 million Olympic swimming pools of water each year; and $2.6 billion is spent on Halloween costumes every year – worn for one night only.

A useful resource for finding out how ethical your garments really are can be found here.

Think twice before you buy – chances are you don’t even really need that garment or could get it second-hand and save the planet and its people!

 

Adaptive Sport at GAP

One of our dads, Ben, is the Chief Operating Officer of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018, which will be held in October.  The Invictus Games is an international sporting event for injured or ill veterans and active service personnel.

Ben visited us recently to talk about his work.  He told the children about adaptive sports like wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, swimming, sitting volleyball, rowing, archery, athletics and sailing.

We learned a little about the Invictus Games competitors, hearing that some may have lost an arm or leg.  Outside, we had the opportunity to run a few races while simulating not having an arm or leg.  It was difficult, of course, and we talked about how it was hard to balance or to run as fast as you could otherwise.

Our athletes gather for their briefing with the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Chief

Ben had brought in his laptop to share some pictures and video clips with us, so we crowded around to see the photos and got to see a video message from HRH The Duke of Sussex (Prince Harry*) and Barack and Michelle Obama.

*It turns out there is another charming Prince Harry… not just the young one enrolled at the GAP who we play with on the playground pirate ship every week!

We also had a chance to check out the fancy black “Invictus Games Sydney 2018” LandRover parked in front of the GAP.

It is always interesting to hear from our parents about what they do at work. Thanks, Ben, for coming in and sharing.  Who is going to be the next parent to visit us at GAP?  Book a time with us to come in and be our next hero!

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.

 

 

Up-cycled Pfadfinder Fashion is coming

The Pfadfinder Monday scouts are busy preparing for  “Pfadfinder Pfashion Pfest” where our star models and designers will debut a number of fashion pieces each, upcycled from everyday materials.  Here’s how that came about.

Our 11-14 year old scouts were fascinated and horrified when we had a presentation a few weeks ago by local German designer, Hanna of Hoonz Clothing, about the history and environmental impact of the fashion industry.

We learned that the fashion industry is one of the worst offenders when it comes to landfill; nylon and polyester clothes do not bio-degrade; cotton plants have typically taken 7 truck journeys before they are even to the stage of being cut out for clothing; fabric dyes are poisoning rivers; clothes can’t be made by machines – they must be sewn by hand, and those hands are often those of child slaves the same age as scouts, trapped in poverty.  We decided we must respect and make more use out of the clothes that already exist in the world.

The scouts have since been busy creating their own fashion items out of recycled garments and accessories donated and collected from the community.  Drawing, designing, cutting, sewing, styling, fitting and sharing a laugh have all been part of the hive of activity at the scout hall.

Even Truffle the visiting Schnauzer helped try on accessories and evening wear.

We plan to showcase our creations in a fashion show.  So this week, we visited a local fashion studio, co-owned by the Swiss German manager of Haus Models, Andrea, and FashFest CEO, Clint, where our scouts learned about putting on a fashion show.

Fashion, we learned, is less about brand names and more about the clothes you love, and choosing a look that says something about you.

We also learned that a fashion show is about much more than the garments… it’s a party!  Our show will be a party with an environmental message.

Pfadfinder Pfashion Pfest will be held Tuesday 25 September 2018.   Come along and enjoy a fun night at our scouts’ fashion show!

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!

Spielwelt