All About Play is a free community program for Under 4’s that offers a fun and informal environment where mums can play and interact with their toddlers and meet other local families at the same time. Sessions are held every Friday at Wanneroo Library, in the Children’s section.
The friendly and stress-free atmosphere allows for parents to come and go as suits them between 9:00 and 11:00am. Sessions are free and no booking is required – you can attend every week or as a once-off if you prefer.
Two friendly facilitators circulate and chat to mums to make them feel comfortable, encouraging play and explaining the various activities. But nothing is forced and there is no pressure for the toddlers to do anything they don’t want to do. Toddlers can wander around or sit down and do a focused craft, it really doesn’t matter as long as they enjoy themselves. And the mess is not a fuss, neither is noise.
A different range of activities is set up every week to provide variety, but there are also some familiar toys to reassure the toddlers who come regularly. The educational toys are all of very good quality, and robust for little hands to explore.
The sessions loosely focus on five key areas of child development in the early years. These areas are physical health and wellbeing; social competence; emotional maturity; language and cognitive skills; communication skills and general knowledge.
Stories and rhymes are led as a group activity at one point during the session, but again there is no pressure to take part and it is very informal.
On the day we visited, the inviting play area was set up with the following …
A music table full of robust musical instruments for the kids to explore:
A sand table with kinetic sand to dig and pour or simply explore by hand:
Baby dolls of all races, with baby bottles and clothes for role-play.
Dress ups – from hats and tutus to other inspiring props:
Large plastic wild animals:
Two teepees filled with soft toys:
Soft foam wooden blocks and shapes to build with – these can fool the eye. But perfectly safe if kids decide to knock them over or throw them:
A lightbox with enticing squishy colour shapes to build pictures:
A clever craft of sticky contact and paper bits to add to a growing picture:
A baby sensory area – with mirrors, shakers, textures and sticky contact to walk on:
Craft activity – paper bag puppets (stick, cut, draw):
Craft activity – make your own paper book. Become a published author and leave your book in the special book cubby:
We had a great morning exploring All About Play and thoroughly recommend it as a good way to get out of the house for a few hours!
To find out more visit wanneroo.spydus.com
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