New playground a New Year treat for children
A produce maze, bike exploration trail, and fairy forest are all features of a major outdoor upgrade at Goodstart Noble Park, Victoria.
The new-purpose built playground was designed with a focus on natural materials and environments that encourage the children to explore and use their imaginations.
Centre director Ebonie Williamson said the design also supported sustainable practices with a vegetation garden in the form of a produce maze, a worm farm and compost.
“The children can walk through pathways in the produce maze that lead them in between the garden beds,” Ms Williamson said. “That is where we’ll be growing all sorts of vegetables including tomatoes, strawberries and lettuces, and herbs throughout the rest of the garden.”
A digging patch encourages children to get dirty with shovels, buckets and trucks. The tactile bike pathway leads through the top of garden and features different materials including timber and bricks for children to ride over.
There is a dry creek bed for climbing, two sandpits, and a yarn circle where children can sit and tell stories in the shade of a large oak tree.
A log tent offers a space for children to enjoy pretend play and a cubby and deck area has a viewing platform and binoculars for watching the trains go by on the other side of the fence.
“We also have a soft fall area with lots of synthetic grass for the babies so that they can roam around freely and safely,” Ms Williamson said.
The deck stage is for the children’s plays and productions and there is a blackboard on a third decking area near the centre.
“Perhaps one of my favourite spaces is the forest of trees which the children pretend is a fairy garden and can hide while the educators can still see them.
“It’s been a wonderful experience and the children couldn’t be happier with their new playground.”
Goodstart Noble Park is just one of the latest Goodstart Early Learning centres to benefit from an upgrade as part of the not-for-profit organisation’s $27 million investment in the last financial year to improving the centres.
The centre has also been recently repainted.