It is a great feeling making someone’s day, but to share in the joy of over 100 kids on their last day of the school year is an even better feeling. Their playground opened in the morning break of their last day – a reward for having witnessed the construction taking place throughout the last term.
The Junior Playground at Indooroopilly State School has been a great achievement for the school with the long term vision of the school Playground Committee coming to life. A masterplanned project, the committee was able to use this vision to gain funding and support from the school community including donations for additional items. Developmental benefits of individual pieces of equipment along with the overall design were clearly outlined in this nature inspired playground so that all parties could have a true understanding of the value of the school community’s investment in the playground.
The school is set on the boundary of bushland reserve and a creek in an ever increasing built up residential area, so blending in with the natural environment and promoting nature play were the key points in our design brief. However at this age, essential skills like climbing, balance and coordination were vital to the design to provide a just right fit for all children using this playground, offering a suitable level of challenge for a variety of abilities. The design has active areas – allowing many to burn off a little extra energy in the break, and quieter more sensory activities for some to have some more contemplative re-grouping time before their next class. While not usually promoted in the school environment, the school saw the value in a spinning element – seen as more and more vital in developing fine motor skills as well as in helping to regulate children with sensory processing disorders so that they can concentrate better in class.
With varying abilities within any group of children, it was good to see those in these classes with physical and sensory disabilities interacting with their friends in play, enjoying the equipment, enjoying the sensory activities of the water pump and xylophone in particular.
Congratulations again to the Playground Committee and school for your vision and commitment. Judging by the interaction of the sea of children with the playground – it’s going to get a lot of love over many years!