New playground gives children back their space
When the team at Goodstart Wangaratta Williams Road, Victoria, first started talking about their playground upgrade, they knew the most important aspect was to get rid of the fences dividing up spaces.
Four play spaces were reduced to two, with children up to the age of three years old sharing a yard, and those aged three to five together.
“It’s made such a huge difference to the centre because now siblings can play together and the bigger spaces mean the children can just run and run,” centre director Nicole Jackson said.
And that’s exactly what the children have been doing since the new playgrounds opened at the end of July – running.
“They actually haven’t stopped,” Ms Jackson said. “And the slide is continual in use at all times.”
The two- month upgrade, which cost more than $100,000, is well shaded with native trees and plants and plenty of space for exploring.
Digging patches and sand pits are new, as well as a new fort in the three to five year old playground.
“The new areas really help build their imaginations – they can be anything they want to be and do anything they want to do on any given day,” she said.
“It encourages them to mix with other age groups, and play with their siblings. It’s very easy for them to interact between yards.”
The Wangaratta Williams Road team worked with Stable Projects in Victoria to complete the project and Ms Jackson said the experience couldn’t have been better.
“They listened to any of our concerns and issues and worked with us to make sure the final result was beautiful. And they were great with the children and their families.”
Goodstart is a social enterprise with social purpose at its heart and a commitment to providing quality early learning for all children – both indoors and outdoors.