PLAYGROUP

Playgroup is continuing to connect online during the Covid-19 pandemic – please contact Nel Fulloon on 0403 779 953 or playgroup@thegapuca.org.au to find out more.

Playgroup runs Tuesday-Friday during school terms, in the Lower John Knox Hall:

  • Tuesdays 9.30 – 11.00 am, regular playgroup, all welcome
  • Wednesdays 9.30 – 11.30 am, Russian language & culture playgroup, all welcome
  • Thursdays 9.30 – 10.45 am, Mums and bubs circuit, bookings required
  • Fridays from 9.30 – 11.00 am, regular playgroup, all welcome

Play is the work of childhood! So the activities at playgroup focus on having fun, exploring social interactions, and encouraging natural development through play – have a look at a few of the activities we do regularly at playgroup. We also share morning tea together (please bring a small plate to share), and do some musical activities to finish each morning.

 

Playdough

Playdough is wonderful for strengthening little hands in preparation for pencil and scissor control later on. Squishing, rolling, flattening – each aid fine motor development in a different way, not to mention the ongoing practice of hand-eye coordination and general concentration. They have to take turns with the favourite play dough tools, and while  investigating and exploring through tactile play, children also have the opportunity to release stress through manipulating the dough.

Sand Play

Sand play is a great way to develop both gross and fine motor skills. Digging, lifting buckets filled with sand, pouring and sifting activities all practise large muscle skills. Eye-hand coordination and small muscle control improve as children learn to manipulate sand accessories. Experimenting with stories and pretend games stimulate creativity and imagination. Social skills are used in problem solving and playing side by side.

 

Craft

Arts and crafts encourage bilateral coordination and provide opportunities to practise fine motor skills. However, they can also give children opportunities to process their world and deal with big and overwhelming emotions in a safe way. Encouraging creativity in toddlers teaches flexibility (there’s no “right” or “wrong”) and allows them to feel in control of their project. Self-expression through art encourages identity and builds self-esteem.

 

Water Play

Water play is a wonderful sensory exploration activity. Even though children may have already investigated other substances such as dirt, rocks, sand, etc, these things take on a whole new life when mixed, dropped or sifted into water. Standing around a water tray helps with balance, standing and walking activities for little people. Because the space around the table is usually somewhat limited, children need to practise sharing space and toys, encouraging communication and working together through play. Children also get the opportunity to think about concepts like water displacement and volume as they explore in a body of water.

Music

Music is an integrated part of our culture and research has proven that musical experiences in childhood can actually accelerate brain development, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills. Music helps children learn the sounds and meanings of words, dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression, and even helps strengthen memory skills. Children experience a wide range of benefits from early childhood music.

 

Dressing Up

Dressing up and role playing gives children wonderful opportunities to experiment and use their imaginations. When role playing, children are encouraged to take turns, practise speech and language, and develop social skills. They have the opportunity to investigate different aspects of their personality and process big emotions in a safe way.

 

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