Building Stronger Families and Communities through Play
‘Home’ is central to family life. Stronger families are central to stronger communities. National Families Week is an annual celebration of all families, encouraging organisations, families and individuals to celebrate the value of family, and the vital role they play in our society. We are pleased to have the opportunity to celebrate National Families Week @ home this week and look forward to marking Families Week again later in the year through family friendly community events as we all reconnect face-to-face.
Playgroups have always been about families connecting with and supporting each other. This year, families have adapted to our current circumstances, supporting each other and strengthening the broader community in new and innovative ways. When playgroup sessions were suspended earlier this year, families rallied together to play, share, connect and grow through joining our national Playgroup at Home initiatives and virtual playgroups.
“Playgroup organisations have for many years, provided online play resources, information and digital engagements. However, these have traditionally been second to direct playgroup participation. In response to COVID-19 we congratulate our teams for rising to the opportunity, creating virtual playgroup communities which have exceeded our expectations. While we are all still navigating these waters, we cannot help but recognise the incredible potential. So although we look forward to resuming playgroup sessions, we are delighted to be able to share the benefits of Playgroup at Home and virtual playgroups, supporting families and communities in such a unique way both now and in the future.”
– Playgroup Australia CEO Fiona May, Champion for National Families Week 2019 and 2020.
Through Playgroup at Home we have been able to connect more families. Including families who had not been attending a playgroup. Together, through these online communities and initiatives, we have seen such an incredible show of kindness between families and connections with community. We thank all the parents and caregivers who are sharing ideas and resources to support life and play at home. We have seen many families thrive, truly enjoy, and be grateful for this time and new ways of connecting.
Teddy bears and childrens art have filled windows, chalk hopscotch, friendly messages, rainbows, and painted rocks have appeared in our suburbs. Through our online community and neighbourhoods we have seen, and heard, children and families enjoying the outdoors together again. Families and neighbours waving at each other in the street and through windows. Neighbours who had never met, talking over fences or from driveways and undertaking random acts of kindness. While it has by no means been easy, communities have shown just how resourceful and resilient we can be when we join together.
At Playgroup Australia, we are proud to join and share national initiatives which celebrate and support the role of families and communities. We are taking guidance from governments as we look forward to recommencing playgroups in the coming months. Regardless of what comes next, we hope to continue welcoming new families through Playgroup at Home. We encourage our community to visit their state or territory playgroup organisation websites to discover and contribute to creating a village through play.
We are stronger together.