Every time Brian Whitlow visits the Dayboro Community Kindergarten, he is greeted by plenty of children who are happy to see him.
Brian, who is a member of the Dayboro Men’s Shed, drops by the kindergarten regularly to help with odd jobs, build new equipment for the playground, and even teach the children how to use basic tools in a safe way.
It’s a role he finds very rewarding.
“I have been helping out at the kindergarten for a while now, which I love doing,” Brian says.
“I love coming in and teaching the kids how to use different tools and make sure they are using them safely.
“Their little minds are like sponges – they just soak everything up.
“Seeing them learn new things, it’s just magical.
“But I have to say the kids have taught me far more than I have taught them – I definitely get more out of this arrangement than they do.”
Dayboro Community Kindergarten Co-Director Alison Vellnagel describes the relationship between the kindy and the Men’s Shed as a “positive partnership”.
“We are so lucky to have the Men’s Shed nearby and have members like Brian drop by and help us out with things and teach the kids important practical skills,” Alison says.
“They have helped us in so many ways, which we are really grateful for.
“They helped us with our bee hotels. They made 20 little bee hotels in total which the kids decorated. The bee hotels were then placed out in the community.
“Brian and the guys also helped us with our lizard lounge, which is a place for our water dragon Daniel to come and shed his skin and get a drink of water.
“The members of the Men’s Shed also help us with practical things like moving furniture at the end of each year, and building things we need.”
One of Brian’s most recent projects was making a planter garden for the children which they use as a doorway into their bush kitchen.
Alison says she hopes to cover the planter garden in flowers or herbs to make the doorway seem even more magical for the children.
See the photos below (click through)
New play equipment
Playtime is much more fun for the children at Dayboro Community Kindergarten, who have a new ropes course to play on.
The ropes course features tyre swings, disc swings, a knotted rope swing and a circuit the children can climb and balance on.
The kindergarten was able to install the new play equipment after receiving funds through the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
Dayboro Community Kindergarten Co-Director Alison Vellnagel says the children love their new play area.
“The ropes course is something new for us and the kids love coming down here to play,” Alison says.
“We were very fortunate and thankful to receive the grant so we could put this course in for the kids.”
The Dayboro Community Kindergarten has a big focus on nature-based play, with its outdoor environment featuring a playground, loose parts play area, a fire pit where the children can enjoy story time, a mud kitchen, bike tracks, chickens, natural stingless bees, vegetable gardens, composting and worm farm, a lizard lounge, and grassed lawn areas.
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