Christmas is fast approaching and the wirra is drying rapidly. The native grasses have greened and are seeding and soon, we will notice the Christmas Bush (Spinosa bursaria) begin to bloom with its bunches of tiny white flowers. This year we have been challenged with wet weather on Tuesdays, but in the past Stay and Players have often looked for the shady pots in the wirra. In the mornings, the main path in front of the deck is in deep shade and children have enjoyed obstacle courses there. “The Nook” is also a shady haven, offering a space for quieter activities like drawing and painting. We have utilised a large umbrella in the Activity Space to provide shade over the popular water activities. The Native Pine (Callitris pressii) near the old farm gate entry has presented itself as a wonderful Christmas tree when decorated. This year, you will discover our new signage lettering “wakwakurnaku wirra” and you might even discover a hand-crafted angel spreading the good news. Joy Stewart 2nd December 2018
The warmer weather is fast approaching and this reminds us of the importance of water. If you are passing through the wirra and notice an empty ice cream container, please top it up for our local koala population. The dampness under rocks, logs and leaf litter also provides shelter for many smaller creatures in the wirra.
Not only do the local fauna enjoy a supply of water in the warmer weather, but so do our Stay and Players. Carers are encouraged to bring along spare clothes as it has been known for children to become enthusiastically drenched! Water play can not only provide sensory experiences for children, but also hand/eye coordination, fine and gross motor development and social interaction. If children are to care for their world, they first need to feel a connection to it. The wirra offers many possible opportunities and spaces for children to explore, experience and connect through water play. Joy Stewart 4th November, 2018
Sunshine and rain are encouraging the weed growth but they are also encouraging the native bulbs to flower and add colour to the wirra. Extra colour and changes in the wirra are also being explored with our yarn bombing themes. For three years now this has been correlated with the Spring Fair and the theme for the children’s activities. We started with fish, followed by birds, and on Linda’s request, 2018 is “Blue Skies and Butterflies”. Trees are only ever bombed for one year to ensure the tree is not stressed over more than one season of growth but there are plenty of other spaces that lend themselves to this craft. Children have enjoyed the tactile and sensory experiences that these themes have provided, not to mention the observation and counting skills that have been utilised. How many birds have you found in the wirra during the year? Now, watch out for the swarms of butterflies! Joy Stewart 7th October, 2018
Like fences, walls can be for keeping children safe, but they can also become creative usable spaces.
Vertical surfaces are beneficial for children in developing fine and gross motor skills. Shoulder/elbow stability, wrist extension, midline crossing and visual attention are all enhanced on a vertical surface and provide young children with important skills for future writing experiences.
At Stay and Play, the addition of a chalk board to the wall in the nook has provided a focal point for children to express themselves visually as well interacting with adults about the theme for the day.
The wall and the path, leading to the office, is another space for children to interact and try a range of sensory experiences using chalk, water, paper, plastic and contact. Joy Stewart 10 August, 2018