Murrindindi Shire Council held it’s first Bush Playgroup in Buxton last Thursday, July 19.
It might look like an ordinary block of bushland, but the paddock adjacent to the Buxton Primary School was the site of Murrindindi Shire’s first Bush Playgroup.
This Playgroup aims to show children how to explore and learn from the natural environment. It also aims to help parents and carers learn how to use everyday opportunities as fun teaching moments to share with their children.
Community Services Councillor Sandice McAulay said Council was really excited about delivering these special playgroups.
“Thanks to funding from the Victorian Department of Education and Training’s Smalltalk Program, we are able to offer these two teacher-led playgroups– one in Kinglake and this one in Buxton,” Cr McAulay said.
“Happily, we have secured ongoing funding from the Smalltalk Program, so we’re hoping to roll out similar playgroups in other areas of the Shire where the need is identified.
“Playgroups are a wonderful chance for children to interact with each other and build their communication, cooperation and self-sufficiency skills. They’re also a great opportunity for parents to meet, share ideas and support each other.
“Like the Kinglake Playgroup, the Buxton Bush Playgroup is organised and run by one of Council’s Early Childhood Educators, Liz Klein, who has a passion for connecting parents and children through fun learning activities. Both of these playgroups are free and open to all children up to five years old in Murrindindi Shire.
“Council would like to say a big thank you to Buxton Primary School Principal Andrew Bagnall. Without his extraordinary efforts, the Buxton Bush Playgroup wouldn’t exist,” Cr McAulay said.
Murrindindi Shire Council Playgroup Facilitator, Liz Klein said the Buxton Bush Playgroup will use exploration of the natural environment as a source of education and fun.
“I have all sorts of activities planned for the children, from climbing on logs and investigating what’s underneath leaves, to catching insects, collecting sticks, and inspecting animal scratchings,” Ms Klein said.
“While the Buxton Bush Playgroup is an all-weather outdoor group, I do have a box of tricks for when the weather is extreme and we have to go inside. Favourites include puppets, musical instruments, animal toys, and story books.
“At the heart of these Playgroups is the goal of helping parents and carers learn how to use everyday opportunities – like exploring their surrounding environment – as fun learning activities they can share with their children,” Ms Klein said.
To find out more about the Buxton Bush Playgroup or to enrol, phone Murrindindi Shire Council on (03) 5772 0333.