From Awanui Playcentre North of Kaitaia to Toi Tois Playcentre East of Bluff, and all the bigger towns and cities in between, Playcentres are a familiar sight. Every day Playcentres open their doors to children and their families, fostering a love of learning through a love of play. Here are five reasons Playcentre is good for both your child and you.
1. Playcentre nurtures your child’s learning, imagination, and growth.
Where an adult sees play dough, a child may see a sculpture. Where an adult sees a seedling, a child may see the wonder of growing things. Where an adult sees disused tools, a child may see a chance to create and construct. Children who attend Playcentre have the opportunity to explore what they’re interested in through hands-on, supported, fun activities like building, baking, creating, dressing up, climbing, painting, singing, storytelling… Every visit to Playcentre will captivate and excite your child. So whether you’re raising a future sculptor, horticulturist, or civil engineer, Playcentre will give your child the chance to develop their interests.
2. You’ll be involved in your child’s early learning
Playcentre not only gives your child a chance to grow, it also gives you a chance to grow with your child. You’ll be involved with your child’s learning and play alongside and with them. You’ll meet other parents and educators as you encourage your child to interact with others and get involved in their surroundings. Parents are the first educators of children, and Playcentres foster the involvement of whānau through early childhood education. Playcentre not only gives your child a chance to grow, but you a chance to grow with your child.
Check out what our Facebook community have to say about their Playcentre experience here.
3. You’ll have a wonderful, supportive group of like-minded friends… And so will your child!
Many new mums report feeling isolated and lonely, and have a hard time making friends – particularly if you are a first-time mum staying at home with your child for their early years (and beyond!). The benefit of Playcentre is that you have an excellent reason to get out of the house each week, and you’ll meet other parents and their children who are in similar situations. Community and a sense of belonging are at the heart of all we do. Playcentre parents become close friends as their children grow and learn together, and you’ll soon feel like you belong to a new and supportive group of friends who live in your neighbourhood.
4. It’s a great way to involve extended family
All whānau, including grandparents, aunties, and uncles, are welcome to come to Playcentre with their children – so if your child is being looked after by another relative or caregiver, they can attend Playcentre right along with your child and become part of the local community. It’s a wonderful way for family to regularly interact with your child and be involved in their learning. This gives children the opportunity to develop supportive relationships with a range of trusted adults, and adds to the diversity of experiences available, as each new adult brings new contributions to the Playcentre environment.
5. Playcentre families often start the school journey together too
By the time your child is old enough to start primary school, many of the same children and parents whom they see at Playcentre each week will be the same peer group they start school with – so they have a built-in friendship group, making the transition from early childhood to primary smoother and less stressful. Plus you’ll already know other parents to chat to at school pickup or swap carpool duties with.
Playcentre awareness week 4 – 10 March. Save the date!
Playcentre Awareness Week is on from 4 to 10 March – why not come along to your local Playcentre and find out more? There are more than 420 Playcentres around New Zealand, so find the one near you and come visit! Your child can explore and play while you talk to the friendly parents who cooperatively manage your local Playcentre: Visit playcentre.org.nz to find one near you.