After School Special

Thanks to a new set of outdoor activities and toys, many children in Midvale will now have a safe and fun place to spend their afternoons. We all know energetic young children need to be near-constant entertainment, so when the Midvale Early Childhood and Parenting Centre were finding an increased amount of children unsupervised and bored in the area after school, it prompted action to provide an alternative solution. With the need for a safe play zone quite apparent, the Ngala Indigenous Parenting team worked with ToyBox to fund a grant for after school learning activities.To help promote active play, ToyBox funded outdoor toys and equipment (stored safely in the primary school). It helps keep the kids active, stimulates their imagination and even build up their immune system.

"The equipment and resources donated has supported many opportunities for the children to explore and be creative and think about designing new games, adding rules and being part of a team," says Midvale Early Childhood and Parenting Hub Co-ordinator Raeleen McAllister.Soccer balls, a goal set, cricket bats, basketballs and net were all handed over to the kids, eagerly unpacked with delighted smiles. "The equipment was aimed at enhancing team spirit by teaching the children team games, which support negotiation, listening and social skills," says Raeleen. "We have noticed that the children are eager to attend the after school sessions and ask to play with the equipment even prior to having afternoon tea.""Several children were delighted to ‘get a goal’ in a game as the basketball rings are the right size for little children," says Raeleen. The older kids are even helping out the little ones by explaining different rules, organizing games and helping umpire the matches.

"It was great to see the children having so much fun with the equipment on the day. I got there to see that they were playing dodge ball and running around having a wonderful time," says Ngala Coordinator Kerryn Lewis. "You could see that the children had a sense of ownership and pride over the equipment and were looking forward to enjoying more activities that engaged them." The gift of the grant has allowed a community to come together, with the kids and teachers developing stronger relationships outside of the classroom. "It is rewarding to know that Ngala had connected this worthy after school program with an organisation such as Toy Box that could fund the purchasing of the new equipment," says Kerryn. Perhaps we might even see a little super star or coach rise up from the pitch very soon. You can help ToyBox International continue to fill grants for kids like those in Midvale by donating to ToyBox International.