Play2Learn programs continue to offer playgroup online
The Play2Learn program, run by children’s charity Save the Children, has been adapted to work around restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Play2Learn runs free playgroups which help young children learn to play, socialise, establish routine and prepare for school, and has been operating in Australia for more than 30 years. Run by trained early childhood educators, the program is popular in many communities.
In Far North Queensland, the playgroups are now taking place online, meaning children can continue learning during lockdown, while also providing routine and structure for the children, with the same teachers continuing to sing their favourite songs and read stories.
Offering various activities each day, such as song time, stories such as ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ and ‘The Wonky Donkey’, and crafts using items most families have at home, such as old jars, rubber bands, bottle lids and paint, the program has offered a way of continuing learning and connection from home.
Children are also encouraged to participate in active play with outdoor scavenger hunts, yoga classes, dancing, and obstacles courses. For families who do not have access to a computer, Save the Children has arranged activity packs to be delivered each week that include the same material as the online sessions.
“It’s really amazing to see the way our staff have been able to rally in these unprecedented times and move these playgroups online” Save the Children Queensland State Director Jason Ware said.
Family support services continue to be offered, with Save the Children workers regularly checking in with families and providing additional assistance where needed, as well as working with local emergency relief providers to help families needing food parcels.
Save the Children Early Childhood Educator Beth Hook said she was so glad that the technology to deliver playgroup remotely was working.
“Parents have told me how connected they feel and the children are really loving it, particularly the active play. It’s a great way for children to develop their balance and work on their gross motor skills, but also to release energy and just feel good – very important aspects in these times when everyone is stuck at home.”
Sinthiya Kirubeswaran, a parent who attends Townsville Play2Learn, said she was very encouraged by the efforts of the educators.
“Still being able to participate in activities and get support really means a lot to us. I feel very stimulated meaning I can pass on my positive vibe to my kids.”
To learn more about Play2Learn, please see here.