Category Archives: playgroup

Fathers Day Card: Alles Gute Zum Vatertag

We are looking forward to Fathers Day on Sunday 5 September.

Here is Gerda’s video showing how to make a lovely Fathers Day sun card. Hopefully you can play it straight from the link, but for best results, download it and then view it.

You can download the pattern – either in colour or black and white* – to print and cut out, or just look at it and draw your own. You’ll need scissors, glue and something to write with.

Older children might like to make a cloud version of the card, writing the words in themselves.

You can choose from lots of adjectives to describe your Papa, or make up your own.

Going down the left column, starting from nett, we have: nice, sweet, strong, cool, clever, the best, courageous, brave, intelligent, big.
Down the right column we have: fun, funny, adventurous, nice, intelligent, sporty, gentle, ___, ___, ___.

*Your German lesson bonus: Note the file name of the black-and-white picture ends with “SW”. What do you suppose that means? Schwarz-weiss, natuerlich!

Happy Fathers’ Day, everyone!

Nature Arm Bands

Here’s a fun activity to do on your one-hour walk or in your backyard, brought to you by our lovely GAP teacher, Birgit. It is another opportunity to appreciate nature. (Try to limit your collection to items that have already fallen to the ground though, rather than taking leaves from trees or plucking flowers that nature is still using.)

Natur Armband

Einfach ein breites Stueck Abdeckband (masking tape) um deine Hand oder den Fuss geben. Die klebrige Seite sollte aussen sein. Wenn ihr dann spazieren geht koennt ihr es mit Blumen, Blaettern, Baumrinde, usw. verzieren.

Nature Arm Band

Take a piece of masking tape (as wide as you can) and wrap it around your wrist or ankle, with the sticky side out. When you go on your walk, you can decorate your arm band with little flowers, leaves, bark, etc., that you find on the way.

Knetseife – Soap Playdough

Here’s a fun project for you, from GAP’s very own Lisa3. It’s an easy recipe with three ingredients you are likely to have at home.

Follow along in German (and English).

Mixe deine eigene Knetseife.
(Mix your own Playdough Soap.)

Mehr Spaß beim Händewaschen!
(Make hand washing more fun!)

Das Rezept (The recipe)

Die Zutaten (The ingredients):

1 Esslöffel flüssige Seife (1 tbsp liquid soap)

1 Esslöffel Speiseöl (1 tbsp cooking oil)

2 Esslöffel Speisestärke (2 tbsp corn flour or corn starch)

und wahlweise: Lebensmittelfarben (and optional: food coloring)

  1. Nehmt eine Schüssel und mischt die Seife mit ein paar Tropfen Lebensmittelfarbe eurer Wahl; alternativ könnt ihr auch bereits farbige Seife benutzen.

Mix the soap with a few drops of food coloring in a bowl; alternatively, you can also use a soap that is already colored, if you like.

  1. Gebt das Öl hinzu und verrührt es gut.

Add the oil and mix well.

  1. Nun könnt ihr die Speisestärke hinzufügen und alles mit einem Löffel vermischen bis ein Teig entsteht. Den Teig könnt ihr dann mit den Händen weiter kneten.

Now you can add the corn flour. Use a spoon to mix it all until it becomes a dough. Then you can use your hands to knead it.

  1. Der Teig sollte sich anfühlen wie Knete. 

Tipp: Ist der Teig bröselig und trocken, dann fügt noch etwas Seife hinzu. Ist der Teig klebrig und feucht, dann fügt noch etwas Speisestärke hinzu.

The mixture should feel like playdough.

Tip: If the dough is crumbly and dry, add some more soap. If the dough is sticky and moist, add some more corn flour.

  1. Jetzt könnt ihr mit euren Händen kleine Seifen-Kugeln formen.

Now you can start to form small soap-balls (or fun shapes) with your hands.

Okay, I admit I photoshopped Teddy’s smile in. The original photo showed his true feelings about having to sit in flour and balance our Director’s creations on his lap.
  1. Fertig ist deine Knetseife! 

Your Playdough Soap is ready to go!

Little side note: The little green dish she is holding is one she made at a wonderful Clay Studio Workshop that the all GAP teachers did last year (thanks to the committee).

Once you’ve got your soap playdough, you might like to sing the handwashing song:  Haende waschen, Haende waschen (even if your towel is gone, like in the song!) The lyrics are below.

“Händewaschen, Händewaschen, sollte jedes Kind.
 Händewaschen, Händewaschen geht nicht so geschwind.
Jetzt sind die Hände sauber zwaaar – doch leider ist kein Handtuch daaa.. 
Da müssen wir sie schütteln, schütteln schütteln schütteln,
da müssen wir sie schütteln bis sie wieder trocken sind!”

Viel Spaß beim Händewaschen!


Zoom Wie Mama Und Papa

The children of Spiel und Spass playgroup enjoyed being just like Mama and Papa today… working from home during lockdown and having a meeting on Zoom!

The children and their families shared stories, said guten Morgen to each other, and sang songs together.

Our playgroup members can join us online each week. The meeting link will be emailed to you; or you can contact the playgroup coordinator on

There is even a Spiel und Spass Spotify Playlist of the songs we sing at playgroup, so you can sing and dance along at home at any time!

We will open this up to include the Spiel und SPORT playgroup soon, so members of that playgroup should keep an eye on their email inboxes.

Just let me adjust the volume here for you, my dear sister, so we can dance along to the songs!
I’m in a meeting, Mama!

Treasure Hunt Boxes

Looking for a fun activity to do while you are on your “allowed one hour of outdoor exercise” with your child?

Eager to learn/maintain your German? Keen to be green and ready to recycle household waste and then be attentive to the natural world around you? Want an activity involving both fine and gross motor skills?

GAP teacher Gerda has the perfect activity for you: a nature treasure hunt in German (with translations)!

You will need a box to keep your natural treasures in. In German, it’s called a Naturschatzkiste. Natur as in nature; Schatz as in treasure (Germans sometimes call each other Schatz); and all the children will know Kiste from our daily Raetselkiste.

You will need: an egg carton (der Eierkarton), scissors (die Schere), glue (der Kleber). Optional: crayons / pencil crayons (die Wachsmalstifte / die Buntstifte).

Step 1: Draw your own version of the pictures below, or download this sheet and change “Gerdas” to your child’s name (one letter at a time to keep the rainbow effect), then print it.

Quick German lesson:
In English, we write: Gerda’s (with an apostrophe then the letter s)
In German, we write: Gerdas (no apostrophe) except when the name ends in s, in which case we write: Lars’ or James’ (with an apostrophe after the s).

You can download this here and print it, or draw your own.

Step 2: If you drew your own, you can colour it in.

Step 3: Glue your name to the top of the box, like this:

Glue your name and box title to the top of the egg carton

Step 4: Glue your list of things to find into the top of the lid, like this:

Glue your Things-to-Find table into the top of the egg carton lid

Step 5: Dress for the weather and out you go on your Spaziergang (walk) or into your backyard for your nature treasure hunt. It might take you a few outings to complete your box, which is great!

Here is Gerda’s Naturschatzkiste so far, from this morning

Teacher’s Tip 1: Unless your child is ready for the extra lesson of getting their object into the corresponding slot in the egg carton, don’t worry about that… your child will still be getting good educational value from this activity no matter which slot they choose to put their treasure in. The hunt and the language are the goals here.

Teacher’s Tip 2: You can refresh and reuse this activity with different themes by changing the things to look for.

Note For Those In Quarantine: This activity can be adapted for those looking to enjoy their confinement … You can look for tiny toys, erasers, paper scraps in different shapes (circle, triangle, square, oval), objects of different colours (rot, blau, gelb, orange), fruit pips or bits of orange peel, something soft, something hard, something round, something spiky, and so on.

Spielwelt During Canberra Lockdown 2021

Spielwelt is putting its programs on pause during the ACT lockdown. We plan to reopen when ACT public schools reopen for all children.

Already counting the days in lockdown? Here are the many Spielwelt remote learning pages with lots of activity ideas suitable for young children learning or maintaining German at home.

For Spielwelt the situation is as follows:

1. Schlaumaeuse will put its sessions on hold from 5pm on Thursday 12 August 2021 and will resume when ACT public schools reopen for all children. Families will not be charged for sessions we cancel, and payments they have already made will be attributed to their next term’s fees. Any unused fees at the end of the year will be refunded.

2. Pfadfinder will cease meeting face to face from Thursday 12 August 2021. If the lockdown goes beyond 20 August, there will be occasional activity ideas by email for Joeys and Cubs; and weekly online meetings / activities for Scouts and Venturers. Re fees: Even if the lockdown is protracted, unfortunately your annual fees are not refundable as the majority of the fee amount has already been paid directly to the Branch office for insurance and membership to the Scout Association. We will surely make it up to you when we return to face-to-face meetings, with lots of our great Pfadfinder programs.

3. Spiel und Spass and Spiel und SPORT playgroups will put their sessions on hold from Thursday 12 August and will resume meeting when restrictions allow. If the restrictions allow outdoor gatherings, we will do that at our regular venue or local playgrounds.   If the restrictions don’t allow meeting even after 3 weeks (ie beyond 2 September 2021), the committee will advise families about a partial fee refund policy.

4. The German Australian Playschool is on pause from 3:30pm on Thursday 12 August 2021. The GAP will reopen as soon as ACT public schools are open for all children or when the government directs us to open. If the lockdown is extended by more than a few weeks, and you’ve been through all the Spielwelt remote learning pages, teachers may prepare further online support material for families with activities, songs, videos, ideas and tips to help families offer GAP-at-home for their children. Families will not be charged for sessions we cancel, and payments they have already made will be attributed to their next term’s fees. Any unused fees at the end of the year will be refunded.

Everyone stay healthy and sing along:  Haende waschen, Haende waschen (even if your towel is gone, like in the song!)

Behind Every Great Organisation

Behind every great organisation, there is an even greater committee. And driving our great committee this year is a really great president.

The year 2021 is Tobias’ second year on the Spielwelt committee, and he’s guiding us all well through another year of covid, policy updates, capital improvements, special events like the lantern walk, considering our environmental impact (under keen-to-be-green banner) and wider community social obligations, marketing, keeping an eye on safety issues, internal communications, looking out for our employees, and overseeing a review of our finances.

Tobias is an active and engaged president, thinking up new initiatives, projects, representing Spielwelt in the wider community, and helping to spread the word about Spielwelt and the benefits of bilingualism for children.

If the studies are right about how fathers’ involvement in their child’s education is positively connected with the child’s success in life, then Tobias’ little munchkin is headed for big things.

Many of our members will know Tobias from Spiel und Spass; others with a keen eye may recognise him as the flying Sankt Nikolaus. We look forward to him visiting Pfadfinder too, so he can see if the reports he gets are true, about how the fun there is cranked up to ELEVEN!

We are grateful to volunteers like Tobias, and send a big shout out to the rest of the amazing committee too: our secretary Julia B, finance advisor Salim M, keen-to-be-green officer Emily K, public officer Lisa St, and committee members Christiane N, Minh-Tam N and Janne L. Without their contribution, ideas, guidance, expertise and thoughtfulness, we would not be where we are today.

Crafting at Playgroup

The children at the Spiel und Spass German playgroup have been very busy at the craft tables!

We are lucky to have so many Mums, Dads, Omas, Opas, Aupairs all ready to help with glue, paint and other craft supplies!

Children have a ball at playgroup. So do the adults!

Playgroup is not only wonderful for children; it is also wonderful for parents. And language- and culture-based playgroups are even better! Along with socialisation and fun activities, they also offer an opportunity to share information and connect with others from German-speaking backgrounds.

The feeling of having a “family while you are away from family” that we cultivate at Spielwelt is so important in early child-raising years, and particularly so now that Australia’s borders are closed to travellers.

It is great being able to make new friends, and catch up with them regularly.

A New Look for our Hall

The Turner Scout Hall in Haig Park is undergoing a transformation. As the home of the German Australian Pfadfinder Scout group and the German Australian Playschool and playgroups, it is only fitting that the building’s new paint job gives the hall a European look.

Our Fachwerkhaus (half-timbered house) with shutters and stone foundations is also home to a bunch of Australian and European birds and animals, hiding and waiting to be discovered. Visit our hall and see if you can find them all!

This amazing mural is the work of local muralists and artists, Byrd and Hanna Hoyne.

The reaction from the public has been very positive. We’ve even had emails from complete strangers saying they bike past the hall each morning and are loving the new look! We hope our Fachwerkhaus nestles nicely in amongst the “Black Forest-like” coniferous trees and is a nice addition to the renewal of Haig Park.

Here’s the “before” photo, below:

And the “after” photo:

Here are some of the little animals you might hope to find. There are lots more!

Here are some photos of the transformation happening, including Byrd in a “nest” up in the air:

Below is our rainbow rain worm and stone wishing well rain tank. The red text in old Germanic script on the wall is an old German tradition: carpenters would carve sayings into the wooden beams of the Fachwerkhaus (half-timbered house). These carved sayings are called Giebelsprüche.

Our text reads “Der Regenbogen Regenwurm spricht: Wir spielen auf Ngunnawal Land”. It is our Australian acknowledgement of country, and translates as “The rainbow rain worm speaks [and says] we are playing on Ngunnawal country.”

Der Regenbogen Regenwurm spricht: Wir spielen auf Ngunnawal Land.

Come back again at the end of the 2021, and see if you can find more, as there are wonderful plans for the east wall too! Here is the east wall “before”. It will be different to the west and south walls. Can you imagine what it will look like?

East wall: before the mural