Sensory surprises

It was a scaly, furry and spikey surprise for 160 children at Port Pirie West Children’s Centre when they had a special visit from Animals Anonymous on Wednesday. 

The children spent an hour with Wildlife demonstrator, Adrian Satrriff feeling, holding and looking at each of the animals. 

Each week, the centre has a themed focus in order to keep the kids engaged and this weeks was nature.

The featured animals included a bettong, tawny frog mouth, Centralian carpet python, Darwin carpet python, Centralian knob-tail gecko, Spencers monitor, fresh water crocodile and a squirrel glider. 

Monique Button, the mentoring playgroup co-ordinator says that the sites across Port Pirie have implemented the SPIKE program in a bid to connect and engage children and parents through play. 

“Parents used to bring their children to playgroup and then stand around with the other mothers. Now they are getting involved and watching how their children learn.”

“We have found the program very successful, parents are now learning to know the value of what their child is doing”, Monique said.

Adrian Satrriff from Animals Anonymous says that the kids love the animals and there is such an important lesson to teach when bringing them in. 

“We try to encourage the kids to have an appreciation for the environment as well as to learn about safety.”

“Some of the kids are fearful and sometimes, being scared of animals that are dangerous is not a bad thing”, Adrian said. 

Wednesday’s event was a taste of what the early childhood education centres are doing throughout October, for their Kidtober month that will be celebrating children’s week. 

The celebrations kick off on the 1st of October with Sunday story time at the Port Pirie library.