Sunshine Circles Australia

What is Sunshine Circles?

Sunshine Circles® is a group based on Theraplay® principles that focuses on the social and emotional development of children. Sunshine Circles® gives children an opportunity to practice their self-regulation skills, co-regulation skills and to feel encouraged to have a go at achievable challenges. Educators lead playful, cooperative and nurturing activities to create an atmosphere of fun, caring, acceptance and encouragement. The goal is to enhance children’s social, emotional and cognitive development. 

Children embrace the three rules of Sunshine Circles®… No Hurts, Stick Together and Have Fun!... and carry them with them throughout the day. Sunshine Circles® provides educators with the resources to maintain an emotionally positive and cognitively enriched environment.

Building Relationships from the Inside Out

Learn how to introduce this amazing, evidence based, social-emotional development group to your kindergarten or school.  Sunshine Circles® are adult-directed and structured, but rather than talking, the teacher leads playful, cooperative and nurturing activities.  Sunshine Circles® can very quickly and dramatically improve the quality of the classroom and provide teachers with resources to maintain an emotionally positive and cognitively enriched environment.

Core Concepts



Creates environments that are warm, nurturing, engaging and challenging 

Meets the basic needs of children so they can be free emotionally to explore the world

Promotes warm relationships between children, adults and peers

Encourages self-control and cooperation

Engages hard-to-reach children, and those with hyperactivity and sensory issues

Brings fun and exuberance into the lives of children

Enhances trust of others through concrete, personal and positive experiences

Addresses a child's cognitive, social and emotional development

Award Winning

The 2023 winner of the Victorian Early Years Awards Category 4: Promoting Children’s Health and Wellbeing, Barwon Child Youth & Family (now Meli) implemented Sunshine Circles® and observed a positive shift in overall outcomes identified for over 80% of all participants, with over 60% of children showing a decrease in challenging, uncooperative and distracted behaviours. 


Evidenced Based

Sunshine Circles® can be used with children of any age, but is best known for pre-school/early years ages. 

Read Research on its application here (Randomized Controlled Trial of an Attachment-Based Play Group with Preschool Students Who are At-Risk) and here (Enhancing Social-Emotional Skills in At-Risk Preschool Students).



Attend a Workshop 

Sunshines Circles® is for teachers, educators, support staff and the professionals who support them; social workers, school counsellors/psychologists, and early childhood specialists. 

Sunshine Circles Workshop

In-House Training

If you have group of 9 to 36 staff from your centre or a cluster of local centre we can come to you. 

2 day workshop at your location

1 Trainer per 18 participants 

Sunshine Circles® Manual, workbook and certificate for each participant

Email Compass to discuss your group training needs.

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