Youngsters enjoy school holiday fun

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The Mount Gambier Library has celebrated its second interactive school holiday program back after COVID.

Children’s Services Development Coordinator Kelly Lynch said there were activities for children of all age groups including cooking cold rolls, healthy eating, baking Anzac biscuits, Anzac Day poppy watercolour painting, craft and crochet learning.

“The youth constructed a fantastic outdoor living room for three days where they ran entrepreneurial market stores and busked,” Miss Lynch said.

“We are happy to have things back to normal in the sense there are people coming back into the library and really engaging with us again. “This allows us to build relationships with our community, help them become learners and enjoy their life as part of the community.”

As part of its April school holiday program, The Mount Gambier Library piloted a program called ‘maths is fun’ for the very first time in a library and educational engagement setting. The program has been developed by the Smith Family which is a children’s charity that has a department focussed on early childhood education.

It consists of four sessions which educate parents and guardians on how to teach maths in everyday life to children under five years old. “This program is beneficial because a recent census shows that Australian children are not performing as well as they could at numeracy compared to the rest of the world,” Miss Lynch said.

“We are hoping what parents and caregivers get out of these sessions is more confidence to talk to their children about numeracy in everyday life such as at the supermarket, in the bath, down the beach and at the playground.”

Miss Lynch said the program was based on play methodology because that was “how children learn best”. “It focusses on how to make learning about numeracy fun and exciting as well as teaching mathematical concepts, sometimes without their knowledge,” she said.

“In their early childhood children will be better at picking up different connections through schooling because their brains are developing at their most rapid. “It is about teaching children to make links about maths in everyday life which contributes to them being better prepared for school, continuous learning and better outcomes in life.”

Another session hosted by the library that works on building connections was baking Anzac biscuits. Miss Lynch said the children were taught the story of the Anzac Biscuit which was “a way for the kids to make the connection with the Anzacs while doing something fun”.

“This is a nice way to help educate children about Anzac Day,” she said. “During World War One, people at home in Australia would often send parcels to the Anzacs. “Many care parcels included biscuits made from rolled oats, golden syrup and flour because they had high nutritional value and kept well while being transported overseas.

“These biscuits are now known as ‘Anzac Biscuits’ and are still popular in Australia today.”

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