*Rural has been defined as either rural centres that have a population of between 300 and 999 or rural areas that have a maximum population of 299.
Wading through the sea of red bands to get to the front door you are greeted by familiar and friendly faces. “Morena!” The first twenty minutes are lots of laughs and catch-ups. This is an integral part as we are a rural Playcentre so connection is key.
Almost all our families are dairy farming in the area and some travel a fair way to join our vibrant sessions. Rural life can be isolating, relentless and frustrating. Our Playcentre connects these families with face-to-face contact which helps to build strong relationships within our community.
Our children are independent and love the outdoors. For these rural children the concreted area outside is a novelty and they go straight for tractors, bikes and scooters. Role-play of farm work such as putting up fences or loading gravel is a major theme of play.
Our Dads recently installed a mud kitchen with a sink and water-wall which has really extended their learning. Inside we always have collage, playdough, and the ever-popular toy farm animals. Children at our playcentre have a strong sense of belonging – He waka eke noa – we are all in this together!