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Playing is learning too

Wednesday, 23rd March, 2011

MYTIME: Saskia Kreitner (4) has a sibling with additional needs and she enjoys her time at the MyTime Playgroup. MYTIME: Saskia Kreitner (4) has a sibling with additional needs and she enjoys her time at the MyTime Playgroup.

The importance of play for children's learning will be the focus of an event being held in the town square tomorrow morning.

The role of parents as their child's first educator will also be highlighted at the National Playgroup Week event which will run from 10am to noon.

This year's theme is "Learning Together Through Play" and a number of activities and learning aids will be there for children to use.

Mission Australia, Good Beginnings Australia, Centacare, Outreach Toy Library, Child and Family Health Centre and Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation will be on hand to offer advice and information to parents.

Also present will be MyTime Playgroup, a local support group for parents of children with a disability or chronic medical condition.

The facilitator, Tenille Hawes, said parents and carers could meet others in similar circumstances for "fun, to hear from others and share experiences". 

"They can make time for themselves while children play, supported by a play helper."

Six families attend the play group which meets every Friday from 10am to noon at 78 Chloride Street. Siblings are also welcome.

Mrs Hawes said the play group activities involved art and craft, music and movement and children can play with the helper Pat Burgess while parents could talk to her.

"Everyone enjoys the experience, children can come together, siblings can come if (their brother or sister) is at school and parents can just come for a chat and coffee," Mrs Hawes said.

Maari Ma's Early Years Project Leader, Narelle Pascoe, said resources from the Healthy Start Play Group would also be available along with soft play areas.

In 2009 Maari Ma developed a parenting and play session in partnership with Broken Hill TAFE.

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