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Hillsdon Kindergarten

Home > Brisbane > Places of Interest | Kids | Fun for Children | Courses | Community Centres
Published November 6th 2017
Kick start a lifelong love of learning here
Open the gate and walk down memory lane at Hillsdon Kindergarten. Set high in a Heritage-listed building on Hillsdon Road, Taringa, this early childhood centre reminds me of happy childhood memories spent painting, potato stamping and playing with play dough.

The homely building, welcoming atmosphere and happy kids at the recent Hillsdon Art Show and Family Day sparked my inner child.

I spoke with 15 parents of past and current students and got some insight into this magical place. It honestly made want to be 4 again!

"There is a lot to like about this place and if you are 3 or 4 it is a magical, carefree wonderland!"

Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa
Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa

Hillsdon's rich history

This beautiful Kindergarten was built in 1897 by the Simonds family and named Pen-y-Byn, Welsh for "Top of the hill".

In 1961, a group of parents purchased the building after the local kindergarten closed; it had run since 1940! They renovated the building and opened its doors in 1962 as the Toowong Kindergarten Association, affiliated with the Creche and Kindergarten (C&K) Association. In 1981, it became incorporated as the Hillsdon Kindergarten Association Incorporation and in 2011 affiliated with Lady Gowrie Qld.

Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa
Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa

What did the parents say?

All parents spoke highly of the teachers, assistants, support staff, the quality of the Program and how genuinely happy their kids were at Hillsdon.

"I love this place. It has been an adventure and a great transition my son for school next year. He is ready, I am not!! I am going to miss it!"

The parents liked the;

overarching philosophy and focus on play-based learning that encourages imagination and fun
balance between daily indoor and outdoor activities
variety of materials and stimuli
incursions (external shows that visited the centre)
Grandparents / special person day, Mother's and Father's Day and upcoming Christmas Decorating Day.
their child's portfolio that is sent home semi-regularly with parental/home involvement encouraged.
Information Sessions held each Term with educational and health experts.

They also liked the parent-teacher interviews throughout the year, that allowed them to keep a finger on their child's progress.

The Kindergarten has a number of incursions and this year's program included a visit from The Fruit & Vege Puppets, Reef Experience Puppets, Ocean Life Education Experience and Henny Penny Hatching.

"My daughter loved the reef experience. She touched starfish!"

The Indigenous Insights and Christmas Concert are just about to happen. It feels like a well rounded and caring place.

"We were so lucky to see a chick hatch out of its egg one drop off! I will never forget the sparkling and excited eyes of the class. Special - it brought tears to my eyes."

Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa Henny Penny Hatching Chickens
Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa Henny Penny Hatching Chickens

Inside play
There are two large, welcoming but homely rooms inside for the two groups of children who attend daily. There are photos of the children's families scattered around the room and this, with the sensitive nature of the staff, helps a smooth transition from home.

There are blocks and magnetic tiles aplenty for the budding builder, architect and engineer. There are various sensory toys and gadgets for all.

There is a "home area" with dress ups, a mini kitchen and dining area, an old computer, telephones, cameras and a baby bed. There is a fairy table with unicorns, horses and fairies.

"Role play here is fun, social and expands my son's growing imagination."

Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa Fairy Table
Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa Fairy Table

Each room has pint-sized tables and chairs for play dough, drawing and painting. Play dough is made regularly and is all-in-hands-on affair.

There are easels for large paintings and once dried the masterpieces go home or are proudly hung on the walls.

The book and puzzle library is fantastic, with daily borrowing allowed by children and their parents.

There are group activities in the daily routine where stories are read, songs are sung and number and alphabet recognition is taught; all essential pre-literacy elements.

"Sometimes they bake bread or make fruit salads. Learning happens all the time."

Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa Qld
Inside one of the rooms at Hillsdon Kindergarten

Outside fun
Outside there is a large undercover area for group activities and wet weather fun. The surrounding grounds have a rainforest feel, which carried the magical feeling outside.

Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa back
Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa view from inside

There is a great shaded outdoor area with climbing frames, a sand pit and a dig area which is great for young exploring minds. The swings are a favourite. There is a herb garden for nature exploration.

The "sky bridge" is a fantastic addition to the outside area that captures the imagination of kids and parents alike.

"The sky bridge is a great vantage point for spotting bush turkey antics!"

Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa - sky bridge
Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa - sky bridge

Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa Qld
Outside play areas at Hillsdon Kindergarten

Hillsdon Art Show and Family Day
The Kindergarten hosts an annual Hillsdon Art Show and Family Day in October, to raise funds for the kindergarten and support local artists.

This year was my first time, it was impressive. I will be back next year."

This community event was founded in 1963 and exhibited the works of ten artists, including Vida Lahey (1882-1968), a local Brisbane artist known for her modernist floral studies. Since that time, its success has transformed it into an icon of the western suburbs in Brisbane, with hundreds of local painters, potters and sculptures showcasing their works.

A snapshot of the Hillsdon Kindergarten Art Show Gallery
A snapshot of the Hillsdon Kindergarten Art Show Gallery

Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa
Hillsdon Kindergarten Taringa Art Show

Currently, there is a mix of long or short day options and with a few flexible groups to suit families needs. They welcome prospective families to look at the facilities.

All parents I spoke to would recommend it to others; a testament to Hillsdon Kindergarten's success.

If you are considering future 3 year old or Kindergarten options, live in the area or your child will be going to a nearby school, this is a fantastic option. If only I was 4 again!

"I would absolutely recommend this Kindy. It has everything your child needs and so much more."

The parent's name and their child's name and age have been withheld from publication at their request.

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Why? Because all children needs a magical kindy
When: School Terms
Phone: (07) 3870 7861
Where: 79 Hillsdon Road Taringa QLD
Cost: Term Fees as per Kindergarten
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