Tips when starting Playcentre

Here are a few tips from seasoned Playcentre members for when you are starting Playcentre. 

What do I need to bring to Playcentre?

Playcentre is always busy and sometimes messy! It is a good idea to dress yourself and your child in comfortable old clothing so that you can participate in the full range of activities.
We recommend always bringing at least one change of clothes for your children.

What’s the best way to settle in?

There a several ways you can help you and your child to develop their sense of belonging at Playcentre.

  • Greet other children and adults as you arrive, this helps your child (and you!) to remember names
  • Remind your child of the routine
  • Take time to explore the centre together learning about where things are located
  • Linking Playcentre and home is a vital part of our philosophy, so remember to share with your family activities and creations from your day at Playcentre
  • Seeing your child learning and gaining confidence with the support of other parents.

Things to do as a parent at Playcentre?

  • Get to know the tamariki interests. Value them by learning their names and find out about their interests. Look for common interests.
  • Get to know the environment inside out. Find out where resources are kept.
  • Set up invitations to play at the start of the session and refresh areas of play during the session. For example, gather playdough after all tamariki have left and roll it into balls for the next group to begin their play.
  • Be genuinely interested in what they are doing and ask questions to find out more about what they are thinking. Ask open ended questions, who, why what? And the powerful phrase “I wonder ….”
  • Listen to their stories and share your stories. Tamariki learn from us through the stories we tell about our lives.
  • Speak te reo on session. Use the words you know, sing waiata and play Kei a wai?
  • Guide children’s behaviour positively and safeguard the needs and rights of individual children.
  • Ensure that equipment is used appropriately.
  • Observe tamariki carefully to learn about their strengths, what they are working on and how you can help them to achieve their goals.
  • You are part of a team. There are lots of other people on session who are happy to offer a helping hand, guidance or answer any questions.


Set your inner child free at Playcentre. Laugh and be silly. When tamariki. are little the days can be long, but the years are short. Enjoy every minute at Playcentre with your tamariki.