At the start of this year we at High Kirk Community Playgroup have had a jam packed schedule for our children. One of the first things on our list was to invite along the Dogs Trust. They brought in some lovely doggy friends who met the children. Because we feel it is important that the children learn through playing we took the opportunity to teach children about how important it is to take care of their pets

A great start to the year at High Kirk Community Playgroup A great start to the year at High Kirk Community Playgroup

Both children and the dogs were all very well behaved and we had a lovely time. To find out more about the work of the Dogs Trust please click here to visit their website.

Here a picture of one of our pupils who was part of our class about building aeroplanes. The children used their problem solving skills to select resources and follow instruction cards to complete aeroplane. Just take a look at the results below. 

Some other children were learning how to use knives safely. They practiced cutting sticky jelly and we talked about all the different sensations we could feel. The children enjoyed exploring their senses and got very messy by making jelly and then experimenting with its properties after it had set.

We also like to keep the children active so here are some pictures showing them participating in a variety of physical activities to promote balance, jumping and team participation as well as learning to practice turn taking.

We enjoyed a visit from First Touch who taught the children team games and help assist in our physical programme promoting health and fitness.

And finally the children had fun learning how to cook rice and noodles and the really nice part was the role play of a Chinese restaurant where children were encouraged to serve and taste the food. Awareness of Chinese culture was also promoted through books, displays and the Media Initiative resources of puzzles, posters, puppets and stories. Take a look below;

It is such a delight to see the children of High Kirk Playgroup enjoying their time here and learning so much at the same time. As we get closer to springtime we are excited about what our next term will bring. Keep checking the High Kirk Community playgroup blog to keep up with what we are doing.

December can be such a busy time but here at High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena we had lots on. The children who come to our playgroup enjoyed lots of educational and festive themed fun.
Just take a look at the children as they enjoyed their activities below:

December at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena

The children’s performance in the Nursery Rhyme Nativity was excellent and well supported by an audience of Parents/carers, grandparents, aunts and uncles on the 20th December 2016. Everyone did a great job!

Children had eagerly awaited receipt of their Santa letters after they had posted their Christmas Lists to Santa earlier in December and Santa’s Christmas Elf ate the Chocolate Orange!

Sarah the Christmas Elf visited the children during the month of December and brought a variety of friends to visit the children. There weren’t any Reindeer but lots of exciting new animals to learn about.

At High Kirk Playgroup we look forward to another great year learning together. 2017 will have lots more adventures and new experiences for the children to enjoy and we look forward to helping them develop. Stay tuned to the High Kirk Playgroup blog to keep up to date with our latest news.

In Ballymena, High Kirk Community Playgroup have enjoyed lots of activities and games. Although it is lots of fun the best bit about High Kirk Community Playgroup is that our children learn as they play and are exploring the world together.

This month we had lots of great activities which were designed to help the children to learn new lessons.

Firstly we had a pyjama party where the children came in wearing jammies and onesies and explored the concept of Day and Night.  We were even able to encorporate one of our favourite storybooks ‘Can’t you Sleep Little Bear’ by Martin Waddell. If you would like to share this story wth your kids then please click below to watch a beautiful video accompanied by the story.

The children learned about the concept of small, medium and large and we all enjoyed our Farmers Dress up Day! Just take a look below!

October at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena

Farmers Day invited the children to dress up and meet local farmer Victor Steele who kindly brought his tractor. It was a very big hit with all of the children and everyone enjoyed talking to Victor. The children made soup and learnt about how vegetables are harvested at this time of the year and names of lots of different types of vegetables and fruit.

This month the children also had great fun developing skills with First Touch who teach them how to play together and learn ball skills. And then we enjoyed planting bulbs which we will all keep a close eye on for some new flowers in the springtime. Some of the children will find it hard to wait that long!

And finally last month we investigate a very exciting type of mountain –  A volcano! Not only did we learn lots about volcanos but we actually got to build some too.

As you can see it was educational, fun and fairly messy too! What a great way to learn.

If you are considering sending your child to High Kirk Community Playgroup and have any questions please contact Mrs Dempsey on (028) 256 44834.

September at High Kirk Playgroup was a month where children were getting to know staff and each other. Going to playgroup for the first time can be a big change and the for first few weeks we focus on introducing their new routine, making new friends and familiarising themselves with all the different areas in the playgroup.

September and October at High Kirk Community Playgroup

As you can see it didn’t take long for most of the children to settle in and feel at home!

Playing together is one of the best ways to get to know each other so we love seeing the children share ideas and fun activities with each other.

September and October at High Kirk Community Playgroup

The month of October will be busy, enjoyable and educational the children too.
This month he children will learn about the colour Brown and the shape will be a square. We will have a nature table which ties in with the Harvest theme featuring lots of items including vegetables, leaves chestnuts and acorns.

Will will learn about Healthy Eating, Our book of the month is Autumn is Here and our Nursery Rhyme will be Three Blind Mice.

If is great to have a new class of children at High Kirk community Playgroup and we are delighted to see them settle in so well and look forward to the year ahead.

The High Kirk Community Playgroup trip to Carnfunnock Country Park was held in June.

High Kirk Community Playgroup trip to Carnfunnock Country Park

The day out was a big celebration of all that the children had learnt throughout their year at High Kirk Community Playgroup. All the children had lots of fun and the staff enjoyed their day out too.

Here are some of the pictures.

High Kirk Community Playgroup has been offering a quality learning environment for pre-school children in Ballymena for 20 years.Children of Pre-school age are provided with a funded placement and High Kirk Community Playgroup have arranged an open day for any parents who might be interested in sending their children along. The well established playgroup offers a high standard of care and education open to all children in the community, with qualified staff who are passionate about helping your child to grow, learn and play preparing them for school and giving them a head start in life-long learning.

At High Kirk Play Group we are just starting our new term. We love meeting lots of new children and their parents. If you would like to know more about the learning, trip and visits your children can expect at High Kirk Playgroup please click here to read our blog.

This month at High Kirk Community Playgroup has the opportunity to meet a shepherdess and some of her lambs. Learn with Lambs had a brilliant visit here and the kids really enjoyed meeting and learning about these lovely little farm animals.

Learning with Lambs at High Kirk Community Playgroup

Learning with Lambs at High Kirk Community PlaygroupLearning with Lambs at High Kirk Community Playgroup

Gill from Learning with Lambs explains:

Each element of the programme has been specifically designed to connect with the children and allow them to have fun while learning about the world around them.  No matter how much I am TOLD about our flock and what we need to do with them, my real learning happens ‘on the job’, handling the lambs and being shown what to look for…that was where our slogan ‘real life learning, real life lambs’ came from.   

I have put my heart into creating ‘Learn with Lambs’ programmes, to ensure that not only are they are factually correct but that they engage and excite children, no matter what their age, background or level of learning. I hope ‘Learn with Lambs’ excites you as much as it does me!

As you can see the visit was a great success. The children had the opportunity to feed lambs and learn how best to care for them. If you would like to find out more about Learn with Lambs then click here to visit their website.

Thanks to Learn with Lambs for visiting us here at High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena.






High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena have hosted many exciting events for our children. The children who attend High Kirk Community Play group all enjoy it when someone visits, or they get involved in new activities and we love seeing them have fun while learning. Here are some of the things which we have been up to lately:

Party animals paid us a visit and we got to meet all sorts of different animal! The children loved meeting a skunk, an African giant snail, a guinea pig, boa constrictor, tortoise, bearded dragon, and  some stick insects. The children also brought along some of their parents to join in with the fun, although we think the the children were much braver than some of the grown ups.

Latest news from High Kirk Community PlaygroupLatest news from High Kirk Community Playgroup

Book Start Rhyme challenge also was an exciting activity we enjoyed. The children received certificates for participating in learning ten rhymes also had the chance to make jelly. “Jelly on a Plate” links rhyme with the science behind this yummy pudding – melting jelly cubes and watching it dissolve in warm water then using cold of fridge to set. It was a delicious tasty reward for learning 10 rhymes!

Latest news from High Kirk Community Playgroup

And at Easter the children of High Kirk Community Playgroup had a brilliant Easter party where everyone wore an Easter Bonnet and took part in the hat parade. Don’t they all look amazing? All the kids had their own individual look which was expertly created with the help of some talented parents.

Thanks to all the parents, children and organisations who help us to make High Kirk Community Playgroup a brilliant place for children to learn and have fun together.

High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena enjoyed a great, and noisy visit from Fun with Drums! They use Rhythm to bring Joy, Creativity, Hope & Engagement to Groups of all kinds! Fun With Drums say:

Our rhythm workshops make music accessible to, and incredibly FUN for, everyone! We like to work in groups so that everyone gets to join in, engage, and interact with each other and with what’s going on – it’s just better, and more FUN, that way!

Fun with Drums and People who help - High Kirk Playgroup P1010525

The children certainly had lots of fun beating out rhythms and playing along with the Drums for Fun team.

We also have another visit from some special people who help us in the community – the police and the Fire Service. They both came along and explained a bit about their jobs and how they help people to the children.

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We know it is early to tell but we are sure that lots of little ones would like to be in the police and Fire Service when they grow up.


It was brilliant to enjoy these visits with the children. In February our focus was on People who help us and we thank all who came along and worked with the children at High Kirk Community Playgroup.

World Book Day was held on the 3rd March and here at High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena we invited lots of incredible characters to our playgroup. All the children were encouraged to dress up as their favourite character from a story book. Just have a look below:

World Book Day at High Kirk Community Playgroup

World Book Day at High Kirk Community Playgroup

We had some handsome princes, princesses, a gruffalo, a hungry caterpillar, and lots more amazing characters. On World Book Day all of the children are given a £1 voucher which they can exchange for a free book encouraging them to enjoy reading from a very early age. At High Kirk Playgroup we see this as very important and the children here absolutely love story time! The World Book Day books which we would recommend for pre-schoolers are Kipper’s Visit and Supertato. Well done to all the children who dressed up and to all the parents who helped them with their wonderful costumes.

If you would like to find out more about World Book Day please click here to view the website and click here to visit the High Kirk Playgroup homepage.

High Kirk Community Playgroup hosted the team from Coaching 4 Christ this month. They really put the children through their paces with some football skills and great games.

Playing together is an important skill for children to learn. Being part of a team and learning how to win, and lose is a crucial part of growing up and fun activities like our visit from Coaching 4 Christ allows the children at High Kirk Community Playgroup to join in and learn together. Here are some photographs from the visit.

Coaching 4 Christ visit High Kirk Community Playgroup

Coaching 4 Christ visit High Kirk Community Playgroup Coaching 4 Christ visit High Kirk Community Playgroup

Thanks to the Coaching 4 Christ team who organised a great session and we were happy to see lots of kids enjoying playing with the footballs and learning new skills.

Coaching 4 Christ visit High Kirk Community Playgroup

To find out more about Coaching 4 Christ click here to visit their website and keep an eye on out website to see more of what we get up to here at High Kirk Community website.