A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Playgroup provides a welcoming place and vital support for parents who suffer postnatal depression.

Attending a new Playgroup for the first time can be daunting: as with any new situation, there are nerves and a feeling of self-consciousness.  But for someone suffering postnatal depression, just getting out the door with a baby (and all the associated baby paraphernalia) can feel completely overwhelming, let alone getting to Playgroup.

This is one of the many reasons why being inclusive at your Playgroup is so important.

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Wind-Down Time

Wind-Down Time

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The end of the Playgroup year is a very special time for children, especially those that may be moving on to school the following year. Many of these children have been with their Playgroup family since they were small babies. It is a time to recognise and share how much they have accomplished, the friendships they have made and the next steps in their lives. Here are some ideas for your final weeks at Playgroup.

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Nothing Beats Nature For Baby Play

Nothing Beats Nature For Baby Play

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Nature play is making a comeback. There are so many developmental benefits of nature play for children and it’s exciting to see how playgroups are engaging in it. But how do we include babies in nature play? 

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More Than Mud

More Than Mud

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kids love mud. And if the rise in popularity of ‘Tough Mudder’ style events is anything to go by, many adults love mud too.

But mud for kids is about much more than just good dirty fun. Mud play encourages creativity. It can be soothing and relaxing, providing an outlet for children to express their feelings through their senses and exploration.

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Nature Play is Here to Stay

Nature Play is Here to Stay

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How to create a nature play environment your children will love to explore.

It’s no secret that children love playing and investigating outside. When you think back to your own play experiences as a child, if you’re anything like me, your most memorable play experiences usually involve being out in the front or backyard. I remember playing for hours on a ton of paving sand and making caves and roads out of it; or using the mattock in the garden to create roads and rivers for when I played with my soldiers. In recent years the ‘nature play’ movement, has seen resurgence in the idea that playing outside in nature is memorable and therapeutic - and for good reason. Nature play has a positive effect upon children’s physical, cognitive and emotional development; the basis for creativity, problem solving, reasoning, socialising and managing risk. 

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Dads at Play

Dads at Play

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

From birth to preschool, much of a child’s learning is achieved through play.

Play isn’t just about having fun, according to Ngala – Parenting with confidence, playing with your baby is one of the best ways you can get to know each other and for your baby to learn about themselves and the world in which they live.

Playing with children, helps to build their imagination, promotes social skills, assists physical development and helps them to understand emotions. And when it comes to play, the role of a father is crucial in providing a child with a safe, secure and stable environment to develop.

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What's on the Shelf?

What's on the Shelf?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Do the books you read with your children contain themes relevant to their environment?

There’s a lot to be said about the benefits of reading with children and research from the Center on the Developing Child – Harvard University shows that a vocabulary-rich environment in the early years makes a lifelong difference for educational opportunities. The research states that differences in the size of children’s vocabulary first appear at 18 months of age. By the time Children reach school, those who are engaged in a language-rich environment develop a vocabulary 2 to 3 times larger than those who are not.

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The Art of Storytelling

The Art of Storytelling

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world". - Philip Pullman

Storytelling is a fascinating, ancient art. The origins of storytelling are many thousands of years old, spanning many cultures and generations.

However and wherever stories are told, whether snuggled up with a book at bedtime, around a campfire or even across the table at Christmas lunch, there is one enduring reason for storytelling - connection and communication.

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Playgroups Positive Impact

Playgroups Positive Impact

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Research shows Playgroups play an important role in children’s development.

Much has been written about the importance of play for children’s development. In fact, play is considered so important for childhood development that it has been recognised by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a basic right of every child.  In today’s world however, we see children engaging in much less play with other children than previous generations. There are a number of reasons why we think this might be happening. Pressures on families are changing due to increased working hours, changes to neighbourhoods make it less inviting for children to meet and mingle, there is less available outdoor play space, there is an increased focus on early literacy and numeracy, and increases in passive entertainment through toys and entertainment devices for children are overwhelming. 

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Crafting Confidence in Children

Crafting Confidence in Children

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It’s the process not the end result of craft that aids children’s development and confidence in a range of key developmental milestones. Here’s why we think craft is important for children and why we encourage Playgroups to offer craft.

How many families out there have a fridge over flowing with ‘craft creations’?  How many of us at the end of Playgroup take home an extra bag of spaceships and glittery creations? So, is there a point to Playgroups offering varied craft activities each week?

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