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Curtin graduates’ playground design helps children connect with nature

Curtin graduates’ playground design helps children connect with nature
April 20, 2014

Children from Challis Early Childhood Education Centre (CECEC) in the Perth suburb of Armadale will soon have a natural adventure playground, where they can build cubbies and play musical instruments, thanks to a design created by Curtin University graduates and funding received from Perth-based mining company, Independence Group NL.

Physiotherapy graduates, Amy Ross-Edwards and Lisa Tran, came up with the unique idea last year as part of a project they undertook while completing an interprofessional fieldwork placement as final-year students at the centre.

Tran said that the duo had to design an ‘ultimate playground’ that would support child development in the areas of physical development, sensory exploration, teamwork, language and social skills for children aged from three to five years old.

She explained “our design also needed to be culturally sensitive and include Aboriginal learning points such as artwork, dreamtime tales and musical instruments.

“We worked collaboratively with occupational therapy, psychology and speech pathology students from Curtin, to design a playground that would get kids away from their computer screens and out into the fresh air.”

The principal of CECEC, Lee Musumeci, said that although the design was part of a student project, she was so impressed with it that she wanted to make the specially designed play area a reality.

Musemeci added “playing outside, getting dirty and using natural play items like leaves, nuts, water and twigs is great for kids

“Research also supports the notion that child’s play in natural settings, increases immunity levels, helps fight childhood obesity and stimulates all aspects of a child’s development.

“I approached a number of companies seeking funding for the project and was delighted when Independence Group NL said they would finance over $24,000 towards the nature play area.”

The natural adventure play space will include a maze, a cubby-building zone, a crane pulley, a conveyer belt, talk tubes, a sensory wall, stepping stones, a story book and musical instruments including chimes, a drum, a washboard marimba and cymbals.

The graduates said they hoped the children love the adventure playground as much as they enjoyed designing it.

Work on the nature playground will commence in May and will provide over 100 children with a fun and safe play area.

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4th November 2013 - VALE: DR DAVID ALDOUS, RESPECTED PARKS AND RECREATION ACADEMIC

27th December 2012 - NATURE PLAY SETS THE HOLIDAY CHALLENGE

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