Mawson Gardens, Aspire Estate

The second stage in Villawood Properties’ Aspire Estate, the playspace at Mawson Gardens was designed to provide varied play experiences with a major focus on the sensory stimulation that can be experienced through play.  Seven Senses Design undertakes to develop a play experience that integrates sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste, vestibular and proprioceptive stimulation, delivering a playspace that is stimulating, educational and inclusive for children, parents and carers of all abilities.

Going beyond accessibility, the playspace truly ignites the senses with an Eclipse Net Climber, multi-user Oodle Swing, Sensory Walls and the interactive Pulse Tempo.  Villawood Properties have more than embraced our sensory design approach, with a partnered vision to offer a multigenerational sensory space that can be a highlight for the community – encouraging all ages and abilities outdoors to play, interact and experience.  Villawood’s commitment is “to setting the benchmark for design, innovation and style in the area, and delivering a first class community” and “to going that extra mile to deliver vibrant communities where residents form strong and lasting relationships”.  They have certainly stood by their commitment in delivering a truly inclusive, sensory stimulating playspace here at Mawson Gardens.

For some great photos of the park opening, visit Villawood Properties’ Facebook page.  Themed “Super Heroes” the day brought all the young invincible heroes out for a fantastic day, celebrating the diversity of this great space!

Photo credits to Bernie Bickerton for these great images of the day.

KEY COMPONENTS TO ACHIEVING AN INTEGRATED PLAY EXPERIENCE AT MAWSON GARDENS INCLUDE:

CLIMBING – satisfying the urge to climb and conquer,  helping children effectively relate to objects and understand their body movements

SOCIAL – allowing children to integrate previous sensory knowledge with new worldly experiences through playful interaction and friendship

TACTILE – helping the brain to organise information for developing visual and auditory systems and the nervous system to organise surrounding sensory information

PROPRIOCEPTIVE — BODY POSITION / MUSCLE SENSE – allowing proprioceptive receptors to tell a child’s brain about body position and how much force is needed for an activity, encouraging them to test their muscles and explore the senses of push and pull

VESTIBULAR — BALANCE / MOVEMENT SECURITY – vestibular receptors in the inner ear tell children how their body moves through space and against gravity to develop balance and coordination

VISUAL – colours, visual patterns and light reflection provide an important variety of visual experiences for children of all abilities

AUDITORY – sounds enhance or hinder play experiences so playgrounds should provide for a variety of hearing and sound-making opportunities

MOTOR PLANNING – planning then action helps children understand process and consequential implementation through activity feedback loops

SOCIAL / IMAGINATIVE – children create new worlds together through imaginative, make-believe play

COGNITIVE – learning by doing through cause and effect using educational topics, names, shapes, measurements and colours in the playground.