FAMILY FUN: Children enjoyed story-telling, henna painting, dancing and tasty snacks at the playgroup.
FAMILY FUN: Children enjoyed story-telling, henna painting, dancing and tasty snacks at the playgroup. Mike Richards GLA250518KIDS

Barney Point playgroup packed out with kids

IT WAS a play-date on a grand scale.

About 200 people gathered in Barney Point Park today for the World's Biggest Playgroup Day, held annually during Queensland's Under Eights' Week.

Children ran about in the idyllic beach side park, music played and black cockatoos squawked from the trees.

The event was co-hosted by Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours and GAPDL's Gladstone Region Communities for Children and it had a multicultural theme.

Taking some time out: A little boy has a rest from all the action.
Taking some time out: A little boy has a rest from all the action. Mike Richards GLA250518KIDS

Elmira Esfahani, project officer at WIN, said the not-for-profit held a multicultural playgroup every Friday, which was run by parents.

"With our playgroup, sometimes the mums ask, 'how much should I pay? I say nothing it's for free," Elmira said.

"For our playgroup the main purpose is to give people the confidence to come out of their homes and make connections."

Elmira said today's playgroup was about making people aware of the services on offer in the region as well as building connections. It was also a free event.

Gladstone resident, Kristina Gibson, runs her own bakery business and brought along trays of treats which reflected her Philippine heritage.

She had baked Spanish bread, which is a bit like a croissant with a butter, brown sugar and breadcrumb filling and, her ever popular cinnamon scrolls. Unsurprisingly they were snapped up quickly.

"Its' been wonderful to share a bit of my heritage, it's super nice," Kristina said.

Mothers shared dancing skills drawing on different cultural backgrounds.
Mothers shared dancing skills drawing on different cultural backgrounds. Mike Richards GLA250518KIDS

Mothers from Philippine and Indian backgrounds performed traditional dances to music giving children an opportunity to learn new moves.

Maria Luisa Parnell had come from Calliope for the event and has worked with WIN's playgroup.

She said the Filipino women had been initially reluctant to perform.

"I said no we can't be shy, we've got to show the kids because we are the model for the kids," she said.



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