Play­group help­ful for school

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

A PUSH to have more pri­mary schools in­volved with com­mu­nity play­groups could mean an eas­ier tran­si­tion for young chil­dren once they reach school age, says Play­group WA chief ex­ec­u­tive David Zarb.

With the new school year just days away from start­ing, Play­group WA an­nounced its new En­hanced Tran­si­tion to Schools Pro­ject, a statewide ini­tia­tive to have more play­groups on or near a school site.

Mr Zarb said the ini­tia­tive had al­ready been rolled out to a cou­ple of WA schools, in­clud­ing Brent­wood Pri­mary School, with the aim to nur­ture the chil­dren and their par­ents through the im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment years.

He said play­group was a great place to teach chil­dren how to so­cialise bet­ter with other chil­dren and other adults, and learn the ex­pe­ri­ences that come with school such as reg­u­lar rou­tines and habits.

“The pro­ject has a few dif­fer­ent el­e­ments, the first be­ing to get more play­groups to be hosted in school, which is a great op­por­tu­nity for fam­i­lies and the chil­dren to get used to the school en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

“The so­cial aspects of get­ting along with other kids and other adults are some of the most im­por­tant parts of get­ting a child ready for school.

“It is not nec­es­sar­ily all about learn­ing the ABCs but it’s also about hav­ing those emo­tional and so­cial skills.

“The other part of it is that we’re try­ing to pro­mote the im­por­tance of the home play among all our fam­i­lies.”

Mr Zarb said as part of the pro­mo­tion of home play, they had de­vel­oped a range of 50 age-group spe­cific ac­tiv­i­ties, giv­ing fam­i­lies sim­ple things they can do at home and at play­group in­clud­ing bub­bles, singing, read­ing and us­ing play­dough, as well as out­lin­ing in what way those ac­tiv­i­ties help the child.

He said play­group was a great ex­pe­ri­ence that many fam­i­lies should con­sider.

“There are lots of things you can pay for to take your chil­dren to th­ese days, but that doesn’t re­place what you can do at home,” he said.

Visit www.play groupwa.com.au for more in­for­ma­tion.

Pic­ture: Robin Kor­net www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d448892

Suzann and Poppy Schom­burg, Rose and Teresa Kirk, Lola Schom­burg and Elsa and Biara Jen­nings Hill.

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