Wednesday, 18 March 2015

New project - Frederick Street Kindergarten U.C.

Frederick Street Kindergarten U.C.
Preschool Playspace, 
 Rockdale, Sydney, New South Wales
Construction: J M Landscapes


Frederick Street Kindergarten sits on the corner of  Frederick and Watkins Streets in Rockdale. The intersection is busy and the traffic flow is loud and constant. Design challenges included creating and maintaining secluded intimate areas within the playspace, as well as rationalizing (reducing /incorporating) the levels within the playspace, to produce an uninterrupted flow between areas of interest. A number of decks and an outdoor classroom were included for small group activities.  


Before 2013


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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Rachel Carson - Sense of Wonder


"I hear parents say, 'How can I possibly teach my child about nature -why, I don't even know one bird
from another !' I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to KNOW as to FEEL. Once the emotions have been aroused - a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and the unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration, or love - then we wish for knowledge. It is more important to pave the way for the child to WANT to
know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate . . ."

Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her a U.S. National Book Award, recognition as a gifted writer, and financial security. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the reissued version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. This sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life from the shores to the depths.

Late in the 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially some environmental problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was the book Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people. Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides, and it inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Forest Kindergarten - A better way to teach our young children? :

Forest Kindergarten - A better way to teach our young children? :

Full article can be read from the hyperlink above.

" They find “toys” everywhere because their imaginations are left intact.....

Picture property of  SAFBABY
"The Forest Kindergarten model, through its interest-led programming, inquiry-based teaching style and emphasis on social and emotional development teaches life long skills and prepares for kindergarten readiness in the following ways: it leads to better problem solving; higher critical thinking; encourages excitement about learning and retains the desire to learn; it teaches kids HOW to problem solve not WHAT the answers are; it expands creativity; it promotes a willingness to take risks; and it results in children who have better peer communication, emotional resilience, lower frustration levels, higher perseverance, and who work more cooperatively with their class mates."

Friday, 13 February 2015

Maze table & stools, Panels for posting, sorting, comparing, matching & storing, Ball & Water walls

The  maze table and stools were created for a local long daycare's 0-2 years outdoor area. As well as being used as a conventional table children can sit on each side and from their individual starting points, use their fingers to trace their way to the centre of the simple circular maze. If they choose to they can change positions and try a new pathway.  Mazes and labyrinths are beneficial in numerous developmental areas as well as an aid for relaxation.  
  More info about the benefits of mazes and labyrinths for all ages can be found at:

http://www.revistaenespera.com/index.php/revista/noviembre-2013/get-the-health-benefits-of-labyrinths/ 
http://www.boomers-with-elderly-parents.com/maze-games.html
http://goarticles.com/article/The-Educational-Benefits-of-Mazes/1020217/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maze



The panels below are created from natural and up-cycled materials and will be mounted to a wall at toddler height. They can be used in the processes of posting, sorting, comparing, matching & storing natural objects found within the playspace or supplied items. These skills help children identify and describe relationships between items. 

"Comparing involves identifying similarities and differences among objects. Being able to compare objects and identify similarities and differences leads to the ability to classify objects.

Classifying/sorting involves finding things that are the same, or alike, and grouping them by specific traits. Once they have classified items, children can compare items further to learn more specific similarities and differences between items, both within and between matched groups.

Sets are simply a collection of things that have been classified together because they have something in common. In your child care program, you could find many sets, such as blocks, markers, food, people, and animals.

Measuring is determining the extent or degree of something. For example, children can measure a block in many ways; (number) height, weight, length, even temperature. If you don't have rulers or other measuring tools, help children practice measuring with everyday objects such as yarn or paper clips."

Full text at http://www.extension.org/pages/25593/basic-math-skills-in-child-care:-matching-classifying-and-measuring#.VN2Y9fmUdnN)

The first shelves are are from Melaleuca off-cuts and are for displaying found treasures. 






The second set of honeycomb shelves are made from bamboo and painted perspex tube off cuts and are different diameters and lengths. Once again these shelves are to be mounted to a wall at toddler height.
The different compartments are used for the posting, sorting and storage of found and supplied items of various sizes, colours, textures etc. 







The last two panels were to be a single 1m x 2m panel, however were changed at the last minute because there was a heretofore unnoticed door were the panel was to be mounted. 

The first panel can be used for various sized balls or water and is made from 12mm AA Grade Hardwood Marine Plywoodt hat has had its edged routed and sanded. The fittings and brackets are all for the 90mm x 6m Upvc Stormwater Pipe that was utilised. A child can easily choose the pathway for play by turning the flow diverter up or to the right. The ball/water may fall to the right or to the base were they are drained or retrieved a basket is attached for storage.  
















The second panel is made from the same material and fittings can be used for ball, water or car play