2012 – Term 3


We made a lighter version of Sun Bread. Lighter on the budget and lighter in ingredients. The parents and children agreed that I got it “just right”. We have a Junior Masterchef at playgroup and she thought these were the best buns ever. Mum says Junior Masterchef makes the best parsley and mud pies.

Here is the recipe for Orana Sun Bread…

10 cups plain flour
2 eggs
500 ml warm milk
4 sachets of dried yeast
3 big spoons of golden syrup
100g butter
some extra milk to make it the right consistency

Did you know that “Orana” is “welcome” in an Aboriginal language (I’m not sure which one). In Maori “Orana” means “place of refuge”.

We sang Incy Wincy Spider because Lucy made a spider at craft time. It has wicked dreadlocks.

This the picture that Monisha drew.

We included the song Alice The Camel in Circle Time.

We have been talking a lot about camels at my place lately. My eldest son watched a documentary about camels a few weeks ago, and he is enjoying telling us about what he learnt. Camels are fascinating creatures. Their hump is fat and it doesn’t store water, their blood cells are an elongated shape so they can carry more water. Camels are so great, we think there should be camel races in the Olympics!

We had a few special requests at Circle Time, one of them being Five Grey Elephants. I wanted to sing the Hokey Pokey but I was outvoted. We sung the Hokey Pokey in fast forward and slow motion the week before and I thought it was fun.

While we were having Circle Time a wattle bird flew in and out of the Orana Room several times. We think it was coming for the sun bread, because near the end of the story “Sun Bread” by Elisa Kleven, the creatures all came to gobble it up.


This is Tayla’s artwork.

I’m sorry, I can’t remember who did this artwork, but it’s fabulous!.

One of my work colleagues, Ann-Marie gave me some emu feathers for our craft. Ann-Marie showed me which feathers go to the girls and which ones go to the boys (sorry fellas you get the scratchy ones).

Napier showed us how creative he is by adding beads to the feathers. Napier said that his parents were creative and his Mum used to make jewellery. I’ll keep the feathers at playgroup so you can make a necklace with them at any time. According to Aboriginal culture, the boys have to have the scratchy feathers and the girls have the downy ones – sorry fellas.

I brought in a book called Press Here by Herve Tullet. This was a loan from the teacher-librarian at my children’s school. She said that I must read it to the children at playgroup. Such a clever book. We all enjoyed it.

Not all kids can stay in Circle Time the whole time. Some need to go off and play and come back when they are ready, and that’s all normal and OK. If the parent stays in the circle it’s easier for the kids to come back in.

Shiny and glittery was a strong theme in the artwork.


One of our young ones thought that it might be nice to have a rest in the home corner oven. Her mum was wondering where her baby was and we said she was hiding. We could tell where she was because she took her shoes off first and left them outside the door. It would be nice to be that flexible.


Monisha put many layers on her artwork. She was careful with the placement. She was so focused she couldn’t speak with me.

Tayla has been drawing houses for the past month.

Lucy has been exploring a spider theme too. Note the sparkly eyes.

This is why I advocate for free-range art and craft. Children can work on themes of their own choosing and explore the materials according to their own timeframe. When Napier asked me what we were doing today, I said whatever the children want to do. Kids are smart – they know what they want and need to do, and they know how to do it. They value their own processes.


At circle time, Kyra asked us to sing the Open, Shut Them song in fast forward. She also really enjoyed Alice The Camel. Emmerson brought her book of nursery rhymes and made me read Peter Piper.

I asked one little fella what he gave his Dad for Fathers Day, and I thought he said a “puffle”. Napier thought he said a “puzzle”. We confirmed it with Mum, and she said a pair of cufflinks.

Just in case you are wondering what a puffle is, heres a picture…

They are characters on a computer game called Club Penguin.

Sometimes the children go berserk for art and craft and sometimes they don’t go near it, preferring to play outside.


One Mum did something very special with the emu feathers…


We sung the nursery rhyme Mary Mary Quite Contrary. One website claims that this nursery rhyme has a very gruesome tale behind it relating to Mary Tudor, King Henry VIII’s daughter. There is an interesting site on Youtube which provides history of some of the nursery rhymes http://www.youtube.com/user/NurseryRhymeHistory/videos. It’s definitely not one for the kiddies.

I got a lesson from a Mum about how to form the buns to make them smooth and fluffy. I suspect she’s a bit of a whizz at baking. What a difference a little bit of knowledge and technique makes. The buns are such an integral part of our playgroup. One little fella told his Mum “I like Mondays the best because we make buns”. So grateful for the facilities in the Orana Room.

I missed taking a photo of the mum who wore high heels to playgroup. She said she didn’t have any clean clothes to suit her joggers and had to come to playgroup looking a wee bit fancy. A first for our playgroup!

We had a visit from a young woman aged 18 years who came to playgroup in the Orana Room 14 years ago. Here is Rachel with her niece Maddison, who now comes to playgroup…

We sang Miss Polly Had a Dolly because Lucy’s baby sister stayed at home to look after her Ma who was feeling funny in the tummy. Lucy said that she can look  after people because she has a doctor’s kit, and Mum said that she gives a thorough check-up.

One cheeky monkey asked to sing “one finger one thumb keep moving”. We added a nod of the head, one jump, and one turn-around. There was one more move we added, do you remember what it was?

Have a great school holidays – no early morning rushing around for 2 weeks. We’ll be back on the 8th of October for more playgroup fun.

We have had a special request for the next story “It’s The Bear” by Jez Alborough. So, after the school holidays, we’ll start reading it.

See you then.

Narelle xox


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