There’s a bear in there, and a coin as well… Royal Australian Mint marks 50 years of Play School

If you grew up in Australia, have children or grandchildren growing up here, then you know about a little show called Play School. Forget the round, square, arched or diamond windows, it is all about the dodecagonal as Play School celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

To mark the television show’s milestone, The Royal Australian Mint has released a collection of specially designed 50 cent coins.

Fans of the show will recognise some familiar faces including Big Ted, Little Ted, Humpty Dumpty and Jemima, who all appear on the set of three commemorative coins.

Play School has entertained three generations of Australian preschoolers, providing them with new experiences and learning opportunities through music, crafts, stories, games, ideas and information for each of the five decades it has been on air.

While the official birth date isn’t until July 18 – when the first episode aired in 1966 – hundreds came out for the coin unveiling and to sing happy birthday.

All enjoyed hearing some favourite songs from the show, including the iconic theme song, performed by long-serving former Play School presenter Simon Burke.

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The coin collection is just one of many events planned to celebrate the birthday of the year.

A television special, and exhibition and string of concerts are just a few of the things fans young and old can look forward to.

“We try to celebrate the major events in Australia and this is a major occasion, the 50th birthday of an institution,” Mint chief Ross MacDiarmid tells the ABC.

“Many of us have had the opportunity to watch it, watch our children watch it, or someway be connected to it, so it was our chance to be a part of the celebration.”

The set of three colourful coins are available to collect only for $45.

(via ABC)

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