Notes from the school:
The wondrous tree, provided by nature and utilised by children of differing abilities. Some are able to climb just a little way and others have the confidence to climb quite high to be rewarded with views across the land…. In the children’s words they are ‘on top of the world.’
The tier of tyres and the musical instrument were part of a garden development funded by Lottery West. Children, families and educators were all encouraged to have input into the garden design. The tyre apparatus promotes the principle of reuse whilst also offering play to multi-age groups and differing development levels. Children negotiate the equipment in multiple ways while older children model and support younger children to build confidence and ability. Making music is one of our passions, we enjoy creating our melodies with the chimes which where sourced from recycled materials.
The tepee; special places for one or two children for social interaction and quiet contemplation. Inspired by the curriculum and the children’s interest to learn more about homes around the world, educators and children worked together to sand, paint and construct. Initially the Tepee was dressed in cloth which was created by each room decorating a piece of material which was then sewn together, over time this decayed in the weather so the children refurbished with gathered branches from their community walks. Climbing plants have been planted and in time we are hoping this will develop into a wondrous natural play space for years to come.
The fairy garden; inspired by children’s creativity and storytelling, how they enjoyed the magical imaginary world of fairies, initially creating their own small fairy play spaces across the Unicare garden, from this a larger project was inspired. Children were involved in the design from the get go, drawing and creating models and bringing their ideas to life. Children and educators worked in collaboration, decorating stones, old plant pots and gumnuts to creating fairy housing and furniture. Children utilise the space, sharing morning and afternoon tea with the fairies, sharing stories and developing imaginations and creativity.
Open-ended natural play spaces are a key component of Unicare philosophy; the unique house front inspires and promotes creative play. This play space can be used in a range of ways from a restaurant, to a home, to a potting shed, the list is endless. Simple projects like this can be undertaken by most competent maintenance personnel.
Under the shady tree we gather each morning to sing our Unicare song and hear about the experiences that will be available to us throughout the day. As with many of the Unicare play spaces, this cost very little money, tyres and logs can be accessed for zero cost, a little hard work and careful thinking is all that is required.
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