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New outdoor environment extending local children’s skills

21 February 2013

New outdoor environment extending local children’s motor skills.

Campbell Street Kindergarten was abuzz with the sounds of diggers and concrete mixers in January. Term One saw the children return and be instantly delighted with their new outdoor environment. To celebrate, a pōwhiri welcoming and thanking contributors and special guests will be held 25 February.

The new area had been in the planning stage for many years, a visit from the Ministry of Education in Term Three 2012, deeming the old equipment non-compliant, set the wheels in motion. Labour Weekend saw the pulling down of the wooden adventure playground and moving of the sandpit. With an A3 plan in hand the children and teachers explored and discussed the developments to come. Somerset Kindergarten supplemented Term Four outdoor activities by lending their adaptable challenge course equipment. The children’s curiosity included asking, “how will they get the diggers in?”.

The temporary removal of a side fence let the team from Outer Life (and diggers) in over the Christmas break. The transformation has brought about a wide concrete path, free draining sandpit and storage shed, new swing set, and the main feature of a rolling hill, adorned with gazebo and slide. All of which contribute to the children’s exploration, well-being, and extending of gross motor skills. “The new areas maximise the outdoor space in the best way possible,” says kindergarten teacher Colleen. “The plan was designed to ensure all elements of play, learning, environment and atheistics were included”.

The new outdoor environment provides the kindergarten children a vast amount of space and resources to test their physical abilities and creativity. It proved an instant hit when the kindergarten returned for Term One, “the best day of my life at kindergarten is the hill,” says Teira.

A strategic approach from the Ruahine Kindergarten Association towards dealing with compliance and safety issues supported the creation of an educational, challenging, safe, enjoyable and natural environment. Fundraising efforts saved from the Campbell Street Kindergarten Mini Gala in November and community and whanau donations of native plants, also made the timely project possible.

A previous whanau member, who also worked on the new outdoor environment construction, will give the pōwhiri. Campbell Street Kindergarten is very excited to share their awesome new space with the community.


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