Providing opportunities to play builds positive and fun relationships between you and your children.
Playing with your children promotes opportunities for you to support them as they experiment with new skills. The most positive reinforcement for children comes from the approval and praise of a parent.
The most important play for young children is play with parents – make sure you make some time for play every day.
“While there is no one definition of play, there are a number of agreed characteristics that describe play. Play can be described as:
- pleasurable-play is an enjoyable and pleasurable activity. Play sometimes includes frustrations, challenges and fears; however enjoyment is a key feature
- symbolic-play is often pretend, it has a ‘what if?’ quality. The play has meaning to the player that is often not evident to the educator
- active-play requires action, either physical, verbal or mental engagement with materials, people, ideas or the environment
- voluntary-play is freely chosen. However, players can also be invited or prompted to play
- process oriented-play is a means unto itself and players may not have an end or goal in sight
- self motivating-play is considered its own reward to the player (Shipley, 2008).”
“One of the greatest benefits of playing is to assist with the development of social competence. Children can build relationships, learn to resolve conflicts, negotiate and regulate their behaviours. In play, children usually have increased feelings of success and optimism as they act as their own agents and make their own choices. Playing is a known stress release; it is often linked to child wellbeing.”
- Pretend/Make believe Play: puppets, dress ups, dolls, cars, dinosaurs.
- Play outdoors: Throw balls. Push kids on swings. Make mud pies. Go on a hike around the neighborhood. Take a nature walk in your backyard.
- Play games – card games – board games – silly and wacky kids games. Help them learn to take turns, how to win and how to lose. Praise them. Encourage them. Laugh with them.
- Get involved in a craft project together. Build a jigsaw puzzle as a family. Bake cookies. Paint a picture.
- Listen to music together. Sing along. Play rhythm instruments along with music. Get out the guitar or keyboard and make music.
- Read a book together. Ask questions. Ask them to change the story or make up a new one.
- Watch a movie together. Find out what they liked – how they felt. Discover the child’s interests. Comment on and discuss any bothersome content either words or actions.
- Play kid games like: Follow the Leader, Guess What I Am? I spy.
Support your early years teachers by actively encouraging Play Based learning.
The aim of this document is to extend and enrich children’s learning from birth to five years and through the transition to school.
The Council of Australian Governments has developed this Framework to assist educators to provide young children with opportunities to
maximise their potential and develop a foundation for future success in learning. In this way, the Early Years Learning Framework (the Framework) will contribute to realising the Council of Australian Governments’ vision that:
“All children have the best start in life to create a better future for themselves and for the nation.”
The importance of reading at home
Reading at home is one of the most important ways of engaging with your child in the journey of learning. From birth, children are immersed in the spoken word: speaking, singing and reading to children helps them to unlock the magic of language.
Starting school, you will be encouraged by teachers to begin home reading with your child. There will be many topics covered by home readers, and it is important to enrich the learning opportunities by extending the diversity of reading material offered to your child.
P&Cs Qld is delighted to be partnering with Griffith University to introduce their STEM focused home reader series Suzie the Scientist:
Learning to read is the single most important life skill that we, as parents, can pass onto our children. Raising awareness and developing skills in Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) to allow them to thrive in 21st century is also vitally important. The Suzie the Scientist home reader series empowers parents to do both.
To find out more information on this exciting new series visit their website: Suzie the Scientist
The Department of Education and Training has a dedicated web page to support parents as partners in education.
- Find a school – schools directory, education facilities in Queensland
- Life at school – curriculum, student health and wellbeing, support services
- Parent resources – engaging online resources to assist your child with literacy and numeracy, support services, frequently asked questions
- Inclusive education
- Early Start
- Early childhood education and care
- Parent and Community Engagement Framework (PACE)
- P-12 curriculum, assessment and reporting framework
First time in Prep, moving up to a new class, or moving to a brand new school; young people can get butterflies about starting new things. Here are some tried and true tips we have collected to help you and your child through the back-to-school jitters.
- For beginners: Take time to explain how the school day is structured (e.g. morning tea and lunch breaks, assembly, sports).
- Visit the school. Time the journey and familiarise yourself with the route.
- Try on the uniform: Do you have all the bits you need? Does it still fit?
- Practise lunch box choices and remember that a change is as good as a holiday!
- Meet with friends who will be in the same class or are going to the same school.
- Visit the library to borrow “getting ready for school” books.
- Set a nice and easy routine to begin with (it may not stay that way!).
- Take time to settle your young child: find the classroom, help put their bag away, find a friend to talk to etc.
- How is your child getting home? Make a meeting plan for the end of the day or remind your child that they are going to outside school hours care.
- Stay calm and positive – at least in front of your child! Many P&Cs hold “tea and tissues” get-togethers for new school parents.
- Introduce yourself to other new parents and make plans for a coffee/chat. P&C executives are often around on the first day to help parents feel comfortable.
- Say goodbye so your child knows when you have gone.
- Ask simple questions: “What’s one thing that made you happy today?”
- Phone a favourite friend or relative to share school news.
- Manage tiredness by limiting after-school activities for the first term.
- Reassess the lunch box: What works best? What is still in the lunchbox at the end of the day?
- Make sure your routine is working for everyone.
- Good luck and feel free to add your own tips to our Facebook page!
If you’re a parent or carer of children, lots of tasks are competing for your attention. By the time you hit the supermarket aisle after a big week, it can feel overwhelming and lead to you reaching for easy food and drink choices that may not be best for your children’s health. Luckily, arming yourself with some simple tips, shopping suggestions and recipes early in the school year will set you up for success.
The Smart Choices – Healthy Food and Drink Supply Strategy for Queensland Schools is all about offering healthy food and drink choices to students in Queensland schools.
Smart Choices applies to all situations where food and drink is supplied in the school environment including tuckshops, vending machines, school excursions, school camps, fundraising, classroom rewards, school events such as celebrations and sports days, and food used in curriculum activities.
AMBER FOODS select carefully: These foods and drinks should not dominate choices and should be avoided in large serve sizes.
As parents, we know all to well that children have wide ranging abilities and differences. From learning and physical differences, food allergies, backgrounds and experiences, family dynamics, expression of sexuality and gender, and different religious and cultural beliefs. It is expected that schools demonstrate a commitment to the wellbeing of all children, regardless of their background or ability, and to communicate this commitment to their school community.
Students learn best when their wellbeing is prioritised, and conversely, they develop a strong sense of wellbeing when they experience success in learning.
It is the primary responsibility of the principal to ensure systems are in place to promote and support the learning experience, health and wellbeing of students when at school or involved in school activities.
The department’s Student learning and wellbeing framework supports state schools with creating positive school cultures and embedding student wellbeing in all aspects of school life.
Schools develop a safe learning environment in collaboration with their school community to enrich learning environments that are open, respectful, caring and safe. See the Department’s website for more details on supporting student health and wellbeing.
If you are faced with a situation where you need the school environment addressed in regards to your child and student welfare, please contact your school principal directly.
For more information on services to assist your child’s wellbeing, see our section on student wellbeing.