Discover how Playcentre works

  • Earlier this month I was lucky enough to visit South Brighton Playcentre’s recently established Thursday bilingual session. I was curious to know how it differed from other Playcentre sessions, and hoped to be inspired by the truly bicultural partnership happening there.
    Posted: 19/6/2017
  • Last week St Albans Playcentre hosted an timely play workshop. Promoted as an ‘Inspiration for Matariki’, the session was themed around the celebration and facilitated by Jen Wells from the Canterbury Playcentre Association.
    Posted: 11/6/2017
  • Traditionally dads have made up a minority of parents on session. Oxford Playcentre dad and centre Co-president, Salvo, is one of many fathers actively changing this. His enthusiasm for Playcentre is boundless, and he’s keen to see more dads get involved.
    Posted: 1/6/2017
  • Christchurch’s Playcentre shop is tucked away in a quiet-ish corner of Sydenham. I popped in on a miserably cold Autumn afternoon thinking that I would peruse the shelves, chat to the staff, and leave ready to write a sweet little story about the experience. I’ve always been a fan, there’s no denying that. I could write a long list of reasons to go there without thinking twice. However this time I came away from my not-so-brief visit with a much deeper appreciation for the shop and its valuable role in the Canterbury Playcentre community.
    Posted: 23/5/2017
  • Communities are built and strengthened through the sharing of kai. Whether it’s something made at home, or something snatched from the shelves of the supermarket in a hurry, the gift of food is always appreciated. There’s no better time to share food than in a period of transition and need. At Playcentre, providing home cooked meals to families with newborns reduces the stress so that everyone can focus on making the new addition feel welcome.
    Posted: 8/5/2017
  • Those of you who participated in Canterbury Playcentre association’s recent event The Greatest Game of Tag may have noticed the korowai, the ceremonial Māori cloak, being passed from one centre representative's shoulders to the next as the game proceeded across Canterbury. Intrigued by the korowai’s splendour and significance I asked its creator, Jackie Wadsworth from Kaikoura Playcentre, about it.
    Posted: 30/4/2017
  • Talofa lava, kia orana, fakaalofa lahi atu, talofa ni, mālō e lelei, ni sa bula, greetings, tēnā koutou katoa!
    Posted: 10/4/2017
  • Tag: a childhood game of playfulness, speed and cunning. Pouncing out from behind door frames and fences, bounding across open spaces, grass stained knees, all accompanied by screeches of laughter and cries of ‘you’re it’. These are also things I associate with Playcentre.
    Posted: 3/4/2017
  • Inspired by a blog post shared on their facebook page, members of Rangiora Playcentre recently decided to make a sensory walkway for their centre. With the help of the Playcentre community and the generosity of Woodend Nursery, they’ve since created something truly special. Playcentre parent Esther Small filled me in on the details of the project.
    Posted: 28/3/2017
  • At Playcentre we celebrate the involvement of parents but what about the grandparents who also attend sessions? Whether supporting the occasional fundraiser or as important caregivers and regular attendees, many grandparents play a significant role in our organisation.
    Posted: 21/3/2017
  • On the first, thankfully warm, day of autumn six Playcentres from across the city opted to do a little offsite exploring together. Avonhead Playcentre had put out an invitation to join them at Cave Rock, Sumner for their regular ‘Wild Wednesday’ explorer session. Always keen for an outdoor adventure, Elliott and I tagged along.
    Posted: 4/3/2017
  • Nestled beside the picturesque Akaroa harbour, Akaroa Playcentre provides a place of connection for families originating in every corner of the globe. I recently touched base with Erin Neufeld about her experiences being part of this special Playcentre community.
    Posted: 23/2/2017
  • Over the last week or so, the Canterbury Playcentre Association has been delivering jars of baking ingredients to local centres. Contained in the jars is almost everything needed to create magic Playcentre bliss balls, a delicious and easily made raw snack. The idea is to inspire some delectable play and to promote The Greatest Game of Tag, which is part of upcoming Playcentre Awareness Week events. Leah from St Albans Playcentre filled me in on the magic that went down at their centre earlier in the week.
    Posted: 17/2/2017
  • At the end of 2016 I finally completed Course 1, Playcentre’s introductory course for recently enrolled parents. Ambitiously, I had signed up to cram Course 2 into the last week or so of the summer holidays. Now it had arrived I wondered what on earth I was thinking, giving up precious child free time to learn. Why didn’t I just go to the movies and eat two chocolate covered ice creams? Actually, I love learning and I love Playcentre. Who am I kidding?
    Posted: 7/2/2017
  • As we wrap up the year with Christmas festivities, and I wonder if my almost two year old will be as afraid of the Santa at the Playcentre Christmas party as I apparently was at his age, it seems like the ideal time to reflect on our Playcentre journey so far.
    Posted: 20/12/2016
  • When most of the country was rudely awakened shortly after midnight on November the 14th, Christchurch residents were immediately aware that the quake was huge but that it was centred elsewhere. We are all amateur seismologists these days.
    Posted: 12/12/2016
  • In the wake of the devastating 7.8 quake, one family launched into action, and have raised over $6000 for Kaikoura – inspired and driven by the principle, ‘it’s not hard to be kind aye’. St Albans Playcentre mum, Leiani Reardon-Hepi talks about the resonance of her father’s one-liner, as numerous others have embraced, indeed worn, the message.
    Posted: 29/11/2016
  • Across Canterbury, indeed the country, people have banded together to support those worst affected by the recent quakes. This is not a story about the devastation caused or about the many efforts and initiatives unfolding to support those in need. It is, however, a story about two Playcentres connecting and supporting one another – when, as a result of the earlier onslaught of quakes, one Playcentre lost its home.
    Posted: 20/11/2016
  • Following the example of their peers from Avonhead, the families at Prebbleton Playcentre are committed to getting out and about every Wednesday, regardless of the weather. Inspired by the interests and abilities of Jimmy (4), the outdoor sessions have opened up new possibilities for all the children. Jimmy is 'in his element' - and he is not alone!
    Posted: 5/11/2016
  • Looking ahead to Guy Fawkes and summer barbecues, parents with young children are alert to the dangers that fire presents. The idea of preschoolers 'playing with fire' is alarming, indeed disturbing. However, two sessions held recently at Redwood Playcentre have been about kindling kids’ natural curiosity about fire, igniting their imaginations – and teaching them about being safe.
    Posted: 27/10/2016
  • The arrival of spring has brought new life to the free-range learning opportunities on offer at Leeston Playcentre. Since the doors opened for Term 4, the children have been captivated by a trio of spring chicks who have made Playcentre their home. These feathery additions will help with composting for the centre’s new gardens, and support the kids as they learn about caring for animals.
    Posted: 19/10/2016