Play Centers, A Curious Australian Thing

I never would’ve known about this play centre trend if I hadn’t started going to the Mum’s group…and honestly, I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

Our family only came to Australia three months ago, and while Rolann has got himself a job and is probably chatting like a native, I didn’t think I was getting too much practice learning English while looking after the kids and keeping the house in order. I’m even having to run this through a translator, but things are improving since I started meeting the International Parent Support Group. We chat a bit, have some coffee, talk about Australian culture and all the while, the kids can play in the play centre.

Yes, these kids indoor play centres in Melbourne are curious. We had no such things in my home country. In my country, a boy becomes a man at age seven and a girl becomes a woman…also at age seven. We grow up very quickly and start contributing to the family, even in this modern world when times have changed. Children now mostly go to trade schools where they learn school-like things as well, but the culture still doesn’t allow for play centres and birthday party venues. If children wish to play, then they will play, using their imaginations or what is around them.

Play centres are not bad. I like how they serve beverages, and they seem very safe. But they are certainly seeming very foreign. Less so as I go along twice a week, however. We’ve only had a few meetings, and already my son and daughter are in love with the place, so I can learn to love the kids party venues open in Melbourne, even if I’m not the direct recipient of the fun.

I still want my kids to learn how to play OUTSIDE the play centre, however. It’s not like we can spend all of our time here, and there’s a wonderful outside world as well.