Category Archives: playgroup

Lantern Walk 2021 – Plan Your Visit

The Turner Scout Hall and surrounding Haig Park will come alive with bobbing lanterns, excited children, traditional lantern walk songs, families socialising and delicious food on Saturday 19 June 2021, from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

Bring cash for food and drinks: $4.00 per German Sausage; gold coin donations for each mug of Gluehwein, Kinderpunsch or soup, and each serving of other delicious foods. Water is free. (Participants are encouraged to bring a plate of finger-foods to contribute to the tables. Members: see the volunteer sign up list.)

Dress warmly and wear footwear suitable for walking on wet grass.

Covid safety rules apply: Stay home if you are unwell. Distancing of 1.5m between different families at the event. CBR check-in app is mandatory.

The order of events are:

4:30pm Arrive, CBR check-in, purchase food/drink tokens, socialise, browse the children’s clothing swap table. Food tables and BBQs begin to serve.

5:00pm MC gives official welcome while folk enjoy food, drink and each other’s company.

5:25pm All gather to sing lantern walk songs (covid-singing for 2021), as food tables and BBQs start packing up.

5:45pm The parade commences.

5:55pm Parade forms a circle amongst the trees; young children’s parade inside the protective circle of adults.

6:10pm When the children’s parade finishes, adults should STAY IN THEIR CIRCLE FORMATION until we have reunited all children with their parents.

6:15pm Parade arrives back at the scout hall and assembles at the stage (behind the scout hall) to watch the Scouts’ play about Sankt Martin.

6:30pm Pack up and head home. If everyone tidies up at least three items, the job will soon be done.

6:30-8:30pm Fire-side chat for those people with older children who want to stay on for the “after party” (and help with the clean up).

8:30pm Scouts aged 11-14 are staying at the hall overnight for a sleepover (2021 only)

Read more about the lantern walk event here!

What Makes Spielwelt Special

The committee has been discussing “who is Spielwelt and what makes it so special?”

These are some of our answers:

  • German language
  • We are welcoming
  • Teachers spending time with children rather than admin during the day
  • Teachers having the time to show care and love to each child and family
  • We look at the family as a whole
  • We consider each family part of our wider Spielwelt family
  • Families can progress from playgroup to GAP to Schlaumaeuse and Pfadfinder
  • We host great German cultural events each year
  • We enjoy small numbers, so families have a personal experience
  • A great sense of community (including at our events and working bees)
  • Great teacher:student ratio at GAP and Pfadfinder
  • Teacher retention is high: most of our teachers have been with us for quite a few years
  • Experienced staff
  • Committee involvement is high quality
  • We go on really cool excursions (at GAP and Pfadfinder)
  • Parents make friends too (as well as children making friends)
  • Our mental health program is strong
  • We are keen to be green in our operations and events

Sand Prints

The children and parents at our popular Spiel und Spass playgroup were very busy last week creating beautiful sand prints to keep forever.

They mixed up some sand clay, patted it flat, then decorated it with foot or hand prints and beautiful shells, glass beads and other treasures.

Here’s how to make Meike’s Marvelous Sand Clay at home.

Mix:
2 cups of sand
1.5 cups of plain all-purpose flour
1 cup of warm water
1.25 cups of salt

Pat it out flat onto a baking sheet. Decorate. Bake at 120 degrees Celcius for about 2 hours.

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)!

At 2 sqm/p, that would be:

main hall: 42 people
large (east) foyer: 20 people
kitchen: 6 people
quiet room: 8 people

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.

So, the rules at Spielwelt are:

Stay home if you are sick. Even if it is just a cold.

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.

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/

Why do I need to keep my child home when it is just a cold?

Whenever a simple cold spreads to other children and families or staff members, it means those people then have also to take time off unnecessarily to isolate and get tested for coronavirus.

Do I need a note from the doctor?

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!)

It’s just asthma!

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

Our apologies and thanks

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 – 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!