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Our Russian-language playgroup, “Teremok”, started in September 2009. The first playgroup meeting was on Friday 11 September 2009. The name “Teremok”, derived from a popular Russian fairy-tale, was chosen in 2012. 

“Teremok” is for children aged 0 to 5 years, together with their parents, grandparents or carers. All participants must be willing to learn Russian. 

We usually meet in the church hall at Saint Nicholas’ Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend.  We also go together to parks, on excursions, and for picnics. 

We meet on Tuesdays between 10.00am and 12.00pm.  A timetable can be obtained from the playgroup co-ordinator. 

At each meeting of the playgroup we do a short Russian play-lesson on a chosen topic, prepared by one of the parents.  We also sing songs, read stories, have free play, and share morning tea. 

Parents are encouraged to celebrate each child’s birthday at playgroup. We usually sing "Karavai" – a traditional Russian song for birthdays and name-days - and present the child with a birthday card signed by the other children and their families. 

Our hope is that “Teremok” will provide parents, grandparents and carers with an opportunity to sit and bond with their children, play together, and learn new songs and games. We also hope that all participants will have time to make friends, chat and enjoy speaking Russian.

The goals of our playgroup are:

  • To help young children to speak Russian by speaking Russian with them, encouraging them, and using music and play;

  • To foster a love for the Russian language and culture by immersing children in a Russian-speaking environment, by using traditional toys, books, songs, and costumes together with contemporary resources, and by introducing them to Russian history and annual celebrations;

  • To support families through social interaction, printed resources, prayer, and by creating a calm and friendly atmosphere that encourages bonding between mother and child.

Our playgroup philosophy is:

  • To let children be children;

  • To encourage children to take the lead, helping them to make things for themselves and to give expression to their own ideas;

  • To help children to speak Russian through natural social situations, events and environments that are interesting to them; and

  • To model good language skills.

For more information, including details of activities, resources, and costs, please contact our Playgroup Coordinator, Mrs Anastasia Harwood.

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