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Fun in the Snow at High Kirk Community Playgroup. In Ballymena we have had more than our fair share of snow this winter. Hopefully things will get more springlike soon and we are looking forward to some warmer brighter days.

Fun in the Snow at High Kirk Community Playgroup

The snow isn’t enough to keep our children from getting outside. Here are some photographs of what we get up to out and about even when it has snowed. Fun in the Snow at High Kirk Community Playgroup


As you can see the snow didn’t keep us from learning and playing together. We just get wrapped up in our coats, scarves and gloves.

Learning is at the centre of all that we do here at High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena. All our staff provide a carefully planned and structured learning environment, in line with Department of Education guidelines. Coming to playgroup helps children learn how to develop relationships and respect for other children and adults. It builds confidence, independence and self-discipline to enable them to make their own choices. We encourage all children to develop at their own rate through stimulating, progressive play. They learn to express themselves and be creative through many different areas of the curriculum – e.g. role play, books, drama, singing, music, science and the natural world.

Above all, we aim for all our children to have fun at playgroup for it is then that they learn most effectively. Stay tuned to see more of the activities planned for the children who attend High Kirk Community Playgroup. 

February and the start of March have been very busy and productive months for the children of High Kirk Community Playgroup.

In February our theme was people who help us. There was quite a diverse range of visitors to inspire the children and the photographs show how learning can be fun.

High Kirk Playgroup learn together in February and March

High Kirk Playgroup learn together in February and March

Vets 4 Pets visited to teach the children the importance of caring for their pets as well as the role of Vets. Then later in the month we invited Fire Personnel to visit and to teach the children the importance of safety in the home. They also taught us about the role of the Fire Brigade in our community. The children enjoyed trying on their equipment and using the hose.

High Kirk Playgroup learn together in February and March

Making Playdough is one activity the children of High Kirk Community Playgroup particularly enjoy. This wonderful activity gives the children the opportunity to explore how the ingredients change as they mix together, about quantities and how to be safe in the kitchen and of course the children love to get messy too.

Craft is another activity where children can use their imagination and problem solving skills and in this picture you can see the pleasure obtained in creating their helicopter. This led to a discussion around lifeboats and helicopter rescue and was a brilliant learning opportunity.

Another important visitor was Alison the Optician. The children enjoyed trying on different shaped glasses and the importance of caring for your eyes.

On the 1st March Angela The Librarian visited High Kirk Community Playgroup and the children were enthralled by her puppets, storytelling song and rhyme session. We are really looking forward to a visit to our local library.

2nd March was World Book Day and this is a very important date in the High Kirk Community Playgroup Calendar. We like to use this date to reinforce the importance of early literacy and the positive aspects of sitting down with children and reading.

The children are encouraged to dress up as their favourite character from either a book, rhyme or fairytale. This as you can see, from the pictures, captured the children’s imagination and we would like to thank the parents for all their hard work in putting together the costumes.

Phew, what a month. Please keep an eye on the High Kirk Community Playgroup blog to keep up with all that we do here in Ballymena.

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.

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.

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.

In February our theme at High Kirk Playgroup was “People who help us”. We enjoyed learning about people who have different jobs and even had a go ourselves. Here we are running our own Dental surgery – “Say Ahhh”!


Then we enjoyed a few visits from people who serve our community.


The police came in a white police van to tell us about their jobs. We even got the chance to try on their some of their uniform and sit in the back of the van – we are glad that the police didn’t lock us in!


On a different day the Fire Brigade turned up. There wasn’t a fire at playgroup but the Fire Service were there to show us the Fire Engine and all of their equipment which they use for their job.

We all enjoyed meeting people who have jobs which help others and had lots of fun dressing up and trying out the professional equipment. Over the next few months we look forward to more educational fun where we will learn about lots of different sports and start to talk about moving to school in September.

In February the Ballymena Fire Brigade came to meet the children at High Kirk Community Playgroup. Everyone was very excited to see the red Fire Engine arrive and we all had to get in and pretend that we were Firemen!

We also got to try on the uniform which the Firemen wear – we think that it was a bit big but we will grow into it eventually!!

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We had to include this snap which features a big creepy crawly which was brought along by the World of Owls. We think that everyone was really brave to meet this big coachroach. In fact, we think that some of the kids were even braver than the staff!!


We want to say a big thank you to the Fire Brigade and the World of Owls for coming to see us at High Kirk Community Playgroup.

The children of High Kirk Playgroup this december enjoyed a brilliant day of dressing up and fun for their Nativity Display and Little Snowman Poem.

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We had Wise men, a star, shepherds, Mary, and even a donkey at our Nativity. We all enjoyed our dress up day and it was a wonderful end to the year in December.

Thanks to all the parents who helped put together these great costumes for the children and for all who contributed money which will go to the Children’s Northern Ireland Hospice. £186.00 was raised altogether for this great cause and everyone enjoyed our Nativity here at High Kirk Playgroup.


High Kirk Playgroup recently built a Volcanic Island. The children of High Kirk Playgroup had great fun and even the adults had a great time making and painting the Volcano.

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The best bit is that our Volcanic Island actually erupted and we all enjoyed watching it in action.

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To Make our Volcanic Island we used:

  • Paper Mache. We used two parts PVA glue to one part water
  • Lots of newspapers
  • A large square of cardboard for the base
  • A large plastic bottle in the centre to form the Volcano.

Place the bottle in the centre of the cardboard base and paste the newspapers around it to build the mountain.

When the volcano is painted and dry add to the bottle baking soda, washing up liquid, red food colouring and vinegar into the bottle to make it erupt!

We all had a great day making our Volcanic Island at High Kirk Playgroup.