The West

Mobile playgroup to aid cultural learning
Mobile playgroup to aid cultural learning

Aboriginal babies and toddlers are learning songs in traditional languages as part of a program providing developmental learning to children at remote Kimberley communities.

Save the Children’s mobile play scheme runs educational playgroups at the communities of Mud Springs, Molly Springs, Bell Springs, Cockatoo Springs and Mirima.

Aimed at encouraging parents to play and interact with their children during early childhood, the sessions include songs and games delivered in traditional Miriwoong language.

STC team leader Kathy Hoff said cultural learning was an important part of the program.

“The most important thing to us is the parents and the children and the families being involved in their children’s lives and culture,” she said.

“The elders come and teach the children songs and dances and they have given us a disc so we are learning the songs and dances in Miriwoong (language).”

The team of women who run the sessions try to incorporate other languages by learning from children and elders. Ms Hoff said all of the activities were designed to be educational.

“Everything we do is play based but each thing has a significant developmental and sensory role,” she said.

The playgroups are delivered four days a week from a new, custom-made van donated by Lotterywest.

Most of the program’s workers have children of their own who they take with them to the sessions.

Sadella Nocketta said the playgroup activities were constantly being adapted based on the response from the children.

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