LANDSDALE Primary School celebrated the official opening of a nature play space for its preprimary students last month.
Teacher Carleigh Boyle said the project had been six years in the making.
“In 2010, three purpose-built classrooms were built in the early childhood area,” she said.
“Once these classrooms were completed, outdoor spaces included the standard playground equipment surrounded by safety surfacing, sandpits and large areas of grass.
“Staff dreamed and planned of creating special places for children that promoted challenge, curiosity and interest and to support current research on the importance of play.”
She said over the past six years, about $70,000 had been spent on the outdoor play space.
Money was funded through the school’s special projects budget, P&C donations, fundraising activities and $15,000 worth of donations from local businesses and families.
Nature Play Solutions was brought on board to help design the space and construct some areas while families also helped with construction and maintenance with various ‘busy bees’.
She said the design allowed the school to utilise the areas around the existing playground, sandpits and softfall to create large spaces to run as well as small spaces to play.
It includes stepping-stones, winding pathways, logs, rocks, a climbing tree, a water pump attached to a sandpit, a musical area with wooden and metal instruments, a stage and amphitheatre, places for discussions with a camp fire, wooden tepee and benches and areas for imaginative play with a pretend shop and mud kitchen.
It also has garden beds with native plants, an edible garden with herbs, fruits and vegetables and a natural bushland area named The Wildspace.
“It has been designed to incorporate the four elements children look for when playing; a place for doing, a place for thinking, a place for feeling and a place for being,” Ms Boyle said.