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"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colours are brighter, the air is softer and the morning more fragrant than ever again." Elizabeth Lawrence.

Life at Lilly Pilly can be compared to living and working in a large family. The group of children comprises 30 girls and boys between the ages of three-and-a-half and five.

Our program is arranged to strike a balance between free play - in which the child uses their own initiative - and general activities in which the whole group participates. There is a daily mix of play and rest, creativity and receptivity, free play and listening. See Rhythm below. We aim for the preschool environment to encourage creative play as play is the child's "work". They learn to solve problems, anticipate difficulties, plan ahead, communicate with others, negotiate differences and ask for guidance and help when necessary. It is crucial, therefore, to create a space that allows them to play creatively and imaginatively.

We take a lot of inspiration from the cycle of the year and many of our activities are linked with the events of the seasons. We try to help the children develop an increasingly deep and living relationship with the cycle of nature.

Domestic Activities

In our day we include domestic activities such as washing, sweeping, polishing and packing away. The experience of enjoying and caring for our preschool helps children build an appreciation of their environment and fosters a healthy outlook on the wider world.

Singing and Storytelling

Singing is an important activity and has been described as the language of childhood. Children love to sing certain melodies over and over again without ever tiring of them. To hear and sing such a melody repeatedly appeals to their sense of rhythm and repetition. This also helps to strengthen sequential memory and widens their vocabulary. Singing games also have social educational values.

Storytelling is another popular activity at the preschool. Through storytelling, our children acquire listening skills and can enter imaginatively into the events of the tales. This can sometimes lead to particular stories having a healing effect on certain behaviour problems.

Art and Craft

We offer a variety of artistic activities including painting, modelling with clay and beeswax, simple sewing and felting. Children will sometimes bring their artwork treasures home while other creations will become part of their preschool play world. Most paintings and drawings will be kept in their personal art folder until the end of the year.

Special Occasions

Birthdays are an important celebration of preschool life as this is a big event and a very important day in a child's life. There is true magic in this day, of all days. There is much preparation for and anticipation of our afternoon 'birthday house' which we celebrate with the child's parents and siblings. During the day the children are involved in baking the birthday cake, making a birthday book and preparing for the celebration. The child's family then comes in at 2.30 to share photos and tell the child's growing-up story and to sing birthday songs. The family also shares their home culture with us as we sing the birthday song and count the candles in the child's first language. The birthday child then shares the cake before happy home time. The families are also invited in to celebrate end of term and seasonal celebrations .

Daily Rhythm

The education of small children is based on the three R's: rhythm, rhyme and repetition. Children feel very secure when they know what is happening next in the day. Predictability is extremely important for young children. This also eliminates the need for constant verbal instruction.

At Lilly Pilly our daily rhythm follows the seasons. There is a daily mix of play and rest, creativity and receptivity, free play and listening. The day is rhythmically structured and ordered to provide artistic and imaginative activities, games and rhymes, music and storytelling.

Term 1 (Summer) & Term 4  (Spring)
In the warmer months, outdoor play is at the start of the day. 

8.30         Educators arrive and set up

9.00         Children arrive, outside play

10.15        Pack away song, children gather for transition & drink

10.30        Morning circle, music & movement

11.00        Toilet & wash hands for morning tea

11.20        Inside play and craft

12.30        Pack away, gather children for transition & drink

12.40        Finger plays & story time

1.00          Toilet & wash hands for lunch

1.30          Clean up & free play

2.00          Rest/quiet time

2.30          Afternoon Tea

2.50          Good-bye circle

3.00           Happy Home Time.

3.00 - 3.30      Educators pack away and prepare for next day

3.30 – 4.00     Educators all meet for evaluation and reflection


Term 2 (Autumn) & Term 3 (Winter)

8.30          Educators arrive and set up

9.00          Children arrive, inside play & craft

10.20         Pack away song, gather children for transition & drink

10.30         Morning circle, music and movement

11.00         Toilet & wash hands for morning tea

11.20         Outside play

12.30         Pack away song & gather children for transition & drink

12.40         Finger plays & story time

1.00           Toilet & wash hands for lunch

1.30           Clean up and free play

2.00           Rest/quiet time

2.30           Afternoon Tea

2.50           Good-bye circle

3.00           Happy home time.

3.00 - 3.30      Educators to pack away and prepare for next day

3.30 - 4.00      Educators all meet for evaluation and reflection