Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free Play at school

I am very excited to share a fantastic example of a local Perth school embracing the concepts of nature-based playground design and children's free play.
Completed in time for the first day of school, the pre-primary playground now has a great green grass slope to roll down with large deciduous tree to provide shade, steppers in between some grassy landscape plantings and giant limestone boulders to climb over.

The plans for the new natural play space on the edge of the quadrangle and the large tree log at the edge of the grassed sports field are even more exciting. This work will be undertaken by parent volunteers over the next few weekends.
But inspired by a recent documentary screened on the ABC - The Lost Adventures of Childhood - rather than wait, the school has added loads of great loose parts to stimulate children's imaginative play in the meantime. The kids quickly embraced the concept and the pieces of fabric, cushions and dress ups have been really well used.
I asked the principal about the impact of these changes to the school play areas. His response was clear and strong - "immediate and huge." The kids have made each other laugh with their crazy dress ups, they have collaborated to create interesting and regularly re-designed cubbies and other creations. I can't wait to see the new space when it's completed and see how the children's play continues to evolve.

1 comment:

  1. An immediate and huge impact. Wow. I wish more people in the right places could hear that.