Nihongo Youchien has gone from strength to strength in recent years. The play group which runs from KMCC, provides Japanese cultural and language immersion for children 1-5 years. The playgroup has grown steadily since commencement in 2006. It now has 60 families enrolled in 2022.
Recently the playgroup celebrated Spring Equinox day on the 21st of March, as Japan is enjoying the season of the cherry blossom. The children were encouraged and stimulated via a range of activities. These included singing, dancing, craft, and story time. A big hit was the “straw rockets” craft activity. The children drew the passenger faces first. Then they cut out their paper rockets, and then attached the half-cut straw on with sticky tape. Finally, they used the other half of the straw to blow it….then Blast Off!! 🚀
One of the big differences between Nihongo Youchien and other playgroups is the provision of structured educational lessons by experienced educator, Chisato McCarthur. This is not a free-play style group, but one where there are intentional efforts made to engage the children in learning. Chisato worked as a teacher for 15 years in Japan before migrating to Australia. In the 12 years since she has been an early years educator. The group also runs a number of events through the year, including a Christmas party and Japanese style festival.
Deep Cultural Appreciation
Rie Greenhalgh, a mother who assists at the playgroup states “It’s very important that children with Japanese heritage in Australia have the opportunity to learn about their language and culture. Nihongo Youchien provides the children with a deep appreciation of their background. It enables them to feel more confident in their social interactions.” There is a roster where parents, mostly mums, provide assistance, including setting up the classroom, preparing craft, encouraging children who need emotional and practical support, cleaning and pack-up.
There are currently vacancies in the Tuesday Kindy class.
Whilst pre-Kindy classes are now full, prospective families can place their names on the waiting list.
Enrolments are now open for 2023.
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