A note from the school:
To start with we worked with Wendy Seymour and Amy Hollins in association with Nature Play Solutions for our Nature Play Ground Plan, to get their input and suggestions. We put it all into a plan and still work to this plan today. This was our first investment in the Nature Playground. We have varied here and there but it is still our base. Our community and our P&C have a strong commitment too.
So with our area and our plan we began.
We put in a tyre border, this was a working bee with staff and community families.
We went hunting for big wood/rocks and worked with our local shire to get some great feature pieces. A local family had the machinery to pick up and we started to apply for grants to get local works done and pay our community members for some of the big jobs. These pieces of wood and the rocks are still favourites of mine. So simple but never without children climbing on them.
Cubby building is the most popular activity in our Nature Play area and we also have boxes for spare part play. They have wood rounds that they move, rocks that they move and they make the most amazing structures.
We have put in gardens that the students can play in and go through with a cubby shell that they can do what they like with.
We have draped large rope over and around a tree and tied to another tree, we have made balance boards, a climbing wall with a net on the other side, we have a rope course and plenty of open and creative space. Each year new additions are planned for, this planning is also done with our students with pin up boards of ideas, and a story of where we started to now. Students contribute their ideas and suggestions with no limits.
— Trichelle Edwards, Teacher, Dardanup Primary School
(see below for more from Maggie)
A word from Maggie:
I was invited to visit the Dardanup Primary School ECEC nature play space and I was so excited to see such a varied, engaging space very much following a ‘loose parts‘ approach. I was fascinated by the shared game/pseudo business of selling dust! The kids spend ages making dust from stones and there is a unique pricing system and currency! This is fantastic in terms of shared intention and negotiated play without grown up guidance. Congratulations to all those who have created this space with community support. My heart was singing when I left this fabulous space.