|Sometimes at we just want to get together and kick up our heels - here's a few examples of kindergarten community fun at it’s finest...|
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There's always something fun happening at a Kidsfirst kindergarten or centre near you.
Our goal is to remain at the heart of the local neighbourhood. Not only an inspirational place of learning for children, but also a place our communities feel welcomed.
A place to meet other parents and whānau with children the same age, build a network of friendships and enjoy a shared, meaningful experience.
Community events play a big part in this kindergarten experience - sometimes you just want to all get together to have some fun!
Whether it’s a morning tea or lunch, a wheelathon, sports event, art evening, Matariki (Māori new year) celebration or a fish’n’chip, disco or quiz night - we welcome the many opportunities to invite whānau and friends along to share in the wonder of these very special kindergarten years.
Getting together for concerts, to sing new waiata (songs), make healthy, hearty vegetable soup to share, to learn new crafts, dance the night away or toast marshmellows on a bonfire - are just some of the many ways we gather for warm-hearted whānau fun to celebrate Matariki.
“We celebrated Matariki this year with a mini concert and a really wonderful multicultural shared lunch,” says Kidsfirst Avonhead, Teacher, Jane Hopkins-Dorgan. “We also took the opportunity to get together for our annual trikeathon, cake auction and kindy disco too.”
Throughout the year there’s other great chances to gather at Kidsfirst Avonhead to support fundraising – with pies, raffles, beautifully painted children’s canvases, or colourful tea towels for sale at different events.
Other times it's just nice to all get together for a bit of a chat.
Kidsfirst McKenzie Head Teacher, Jane Hynes, and the teaching team were blown away by a recent fantastic community event held at their kindergarten, in the Christchurch suburb of Riccarton.
“We have a very diverse community, with some who have moved here from their homeland often for the benefit of their children.” says Jane. “So we decided to hold an evening for different families to have the opportunity to each share their own stories.”
We asked, “what’s special about the place you’re from and what do you miss? What do you love here in New Zealand? And how do you re-establish connections or make yourself feel more at home?”
“One mother from China said she used to love walking and climbing in the mountains where she grew up and so she enjoys a stroll in the Port Hills to remind her of home.”
“We were amazed and felt honoured by what parents were willing to share, some really heartfelt and personnel things about the joys but also some of the challenges of life here with young families.”
Other kindergarten community events celebrated at Kidsfirst McKenzie this past year were a Trikeathon, a Matariki shared breakfast, a disco and a quiz. As well, a combined Easter and Healthy Heart fun day with different cultural foods like dumplings, rice dishes and sushi to try.
“Every term we get together for a shared dinner and disco so extended family can come along,” says Head Teacher, Tracy Jennings, at Kidsfirst Greymouth kindergarten on the West Coast.
“The disco was orge, fairy and pyjama themed so some children were ready to go straight to bed after an evening of fun!”
“These community events are lovely for the parent or caregiver who may not get to do the daily drop-offs and also for grandparents and extended whānau to see our environment and catch up on what’s been happening at kindergarten with their little ones.”
“It’s the quality interactions of parents and the time spent together at community events like this that is the taonga (treasure) for us.”
Kidsfirst Kaiapoi North have plans for their next kindergarten community event.
“Our elderly friends from the local Kaiapoi Lodge (retirement village) made kites for Matariki,” says Head Teacher, Ally Exton.
“We’ve invited them to kindergarten. Children can each choose a kite to fly in the reserve next door and our elderly visitors can comfortably sit and watch the action from our verandah.”
KIDSFIRST KINDERGARTENS ARE A NOT FOR PROFIT ASSOCIATION THAT HAS DEVELOPED AND MAINTAINED KINDERGARTENS IN CHRISTCHURCH, CANTERBURY AND ON THE WEST COAST FOR OVER 100 YEARS - AS THE PLACE LOCAL KIDS COME TO LEARN, PLAY AND HAVE FUN.