On Sunday 26th October approximately 30 parents and staff came to the Kindy to work on the ultimate ‘backyard blitz’, creating the Kindy Nature Play Outdoor Classroom.
Parents helped to construct a tepee, wooden slab table, log chairs, dry creek bed, mosaic spiral garden, reinstall the music playground, construct a timber arch, move vege tubs, worms farms, compost tubs and the rainwater tank. As well as mulch, mulch and mulch.
I interviewed Peta James about the concept and she explained that the aim was to develop an outdooor classroom to engage children and allow them to feel connected to their world. In this space, children will be able to make their own meaning by exploring and discovering at their own developmental level. She says it is early days yet, but they have already started using it as an outdoors classroom. I asked her what the children’s response was when they arrived to find the playground built and she explained how they had been just so excited “Wow!” and had immediately rushed out to explore!
She said she was most looking forward to
just being able to run an indoors/outdoors classroom where the children’s learning is not defined by four walls.
Here are some images to show you just how much fun the students are having in their new learning space – from their first collaborative planning sessions at their whiteboards to exploring and meeting in their teepee. Thank you to all those who helped us create this space. 🙂
These thoughtful quotes explain the benefits which should arise from having this imaginative nature based playground learning space:
They feel free to try things out in a pretend world (a 4 year old world) that would be too risky or impossible in a serious world.
It’s not just play; it’s the essential part of early learning.
It’s all about developing their curiousity and problem-solving, developing flexibility and developing both verbal and non-verbal skills.
It will develop EQ (emotional intelligence), co-operation and confidence.
These are skills for life, not just play.
Written by Peta James and D. Veary; Photos by Peta James; Posted by D. Veary