Playschool is a high quality educational children's television programme on
The first episode went out on July 18, 1966, and a different episode has been shown
every weekday since that date. Approximately 80% of children up to 4 years and approximately 44% of children 5 - 12
years will be reached by the program at least once in any 4 week
Playschool uses play, dance, music and songs, story reading, locational
segments, dressing up and make believe to both teach and entertain preschoolers
and early primary school children.
And it's a lot of fun.
I have vivid memories of John Hamblin reading The Peddlar and his Caps, and
doing The Wobbly Walk. The two Johns were very much my favourite as a littly.
Every day of the week on Playschool has a particular association. Monday is
Useful Box day, Tuesday is Dressing-Up day, Wednesday
is Animals day (which used to be called Pets' Day in my day), Thursday
is Imagination day and Friday is Finding out day.
Each Day has certain activities attached to it.
In addition to the special Day activities, a number of things happen on
Playschool every day. A picture story book is read to the viewers, with the
reader sitting in a comfortable chair (in my day it was The Story Reading
Chair, but now it's just a nice comfy chair, or a bench, or even a pile of cushions)
and the camera positioned in such a way that the viewer feels almost as
though they are sitting at the feet of the reader, his or her attention fixed
solely on them. There is an "on location" section Through the Windows
(Think Teletubbies, but with class, and worth, and making-senseness
There is a selection of toys who are the constant cast of Playschool. Big and Little Ted are traditional teddy bears, complete with worn fur,
Morris is a
smallish white shaggy furred bear, Jemima is a rag doll, Lisa, David and
Kim are plastic dolls with nylon hair, (one of them is Asian and one is
aboriginal, but I never can remember which is which) There is a Banana in
Pyjamas (and he inspired a TV series) and Humpty, who is a large oval fellow
with a happy smile and a bow tie, and he does really well at falling off
Then there is the human cast, which at the moment consists of Angela Moore,
Benita Collings, Colin Buchanan, Don Spencer (music), George Spartels, Glenn
Butcher, Jamie Oxenbould, John Hamblin, Max Lambert, Monica Trapaga, Nicholas
Opoliski, Noni Hazlehurst, Pauline McLeod, Philip Quast, Simon Burke and
Any two of these people present the programme on any given day. The
partnership is usually a male/female one, but sometimes a single sex pairing is
used, and for out of studio excursions there are usually three presenters; two
men and a woman.
Three of these presenters have been a part of Playschool since I used to
watch it as a child. John Hamblin, Noni Hazelhurst, and Benita Collings have
continued to keep Playschool lots of fun, despite the obvious signs of aging
they have gone through... Well, actualy, Noni is still looking pretty good :)
So if you are in Australia have a look at Playschool on channel 2 at 9.30 am
and 3.30 pm in Victoria.
Much of the information for this writeup was taken from Playschool's website