Monday, 3 August 2015

Texture panels


Completed and on their way to their new home these three texture panels are to be mounted in an under two's playspace. All the panels feature components or have components that have been treated to weather the weather.

The panels feature a variety of timbers, different metal and metallic finishes, 9 imitation and cloth textures, leather, rubber, hessian, brass, ceramics and repurposed plastics. The timber components have been sectioned and sanded so that a child running their hand across an item will feel a gradient of textures from the raw untouched surface through to the wood after it has been finely sanded.

Each panel contains three coloured sorting trays that children and educators can fill with a variety of textured natural components.

The final panel contains a tiny dinosaur locked in a knothole in amber colored perspex. Why? Because I could and everyone loves a surprise.






  

Friday, 17 July 2015

Early child development: Body of knowledge : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Early child development: Body of knowledge : Nature 

Full article can be read from the hyperlink above.

Three interesting and integrated articles relating to play, playspace design and nature by Barbara Kiser:  Learning through doing,  Günter Beltzig: Learn to play, play to learn  & Stephen Kellert: Build nature into education.

From the Stephen Kellert article 

"Immersion in the sensory and informational richness and dynamic qualities of woodlands, beaches and meadows evokes basic learning responses such as identification, differentiation, analysis and evaluation. Children distinguish big trees from little trees, house plants from garden plants, vines from ferns, ants from flies, ducks from songbirds, real creatures from imaginary ones. They develop quantitative skills by counting insects and flowers; gain materials knowledge from playing in grass and mud; intuit physics from how creek water responds to obstacles and opportunities. In recognizing hills, valleys, lakes, rivers and mountains, they learn geological form. In engaging with other life from redwood trees to hedgehogs, they encounter an endless source of curiosity, emotional attachment and a motivation for learning. In adapting to the ever-changing, often unpredictable natural world, they learn to cope and problem-solve."
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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

IJERPH | Free Full-Text | What is the Relationship between Risky Outdoor Play and Health in Children? A Systematic Review | HTML


Full article can be read from the hyperlink above.

Photograph: Tim Laman/Getty images Tim Laman/Getty
"The evidence from our systematic review indicates that the overall positive health effects of increased risky outdoor play provide greater benefit than the health effects associated with avoiding outdoor risky play. Although these findings are based on ‘very low’ to ‘moderate’ quality evidence, the evidence suggests overall positive effects of risky outdoor play on a variety of health indicators and behaviours in children aged 3-12 years. Specifically, play where children can disappear/get lost and risky play supportive environments were positively associated with physical activity and social health, and negatively associated with sedentary behaviour. Play at height was not related to fracture frequency and severity. Engaging in rough and tumble play did not increase aggression, and was associated with increased social competence for boys and popular children, however results were mixed for other children. There was also an indication that risky play supportive environments promoted increased play time, social interactions, creativity and resilience.  These positive results reflect the importance supporting children’s risky outdoor play opportunities as a means of promoting children’s health and active lifestyles."




Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Old MacDonald's Childcare

21 Mandalong Cl, Orchard Hills
NSW 2748


Some amazing before and "during" (because it is not totally finished yet) aerial drone shots of the phenomenal Old MacDonald's Childcare Centre in Orchard Hills, Sydney. Jamie and his crew have done an amazing job and just have to complete one more playspace before their opening in October 2015.


Before

















Before

Before
Current

 Current
















Current

Current

Current



Sunday, 28 June 2015

Let kids take risks when they play - Opinion - The Boston Globe


Let kids take risks when they play - Opinion - The Boston Globe

Full article can be read from the hyperlink above.


We have deprived children of free, venturesome play, presumably for their own good, but in the process we have denied them the opportunity to learn how to be resilient by playing in risky, emotion-inducing ways.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Mud pies and green spaces – why children do better when they can get outdoors

Mud pies and green spaces – why children do better when they can get outdoors

Full article can be read from the hyperlink above.


A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a team of researchers from Spain, Norway, and the US found that time spent near or in green places, especially those in and around schools, can improve learners’ cognitive development. Payam Dadvand and colleagues found that pupils’ ability in memory tasks and to maintain attention improved over time if their schools had green spaces on their campus and nearby.

The study involved 2,500 children aged seven to ten in Barcelona, who were tested every three months over a 12-month period. The researchers found small but significant improvements in “working memory”, “superior working memory” and “attentiveness” in pupils with green areas near and in their schools. Importantly, in this rigorous study, the effects of greenness were found regardless of the socio-economic background and education of parents.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Kid play zones in parks



Full article can be read from the hyperlink above.


Photos property of Matthew Browning
"Browning was a ranger at Mount Mitchell State Park in North Carolina, and along with the other rangers he had been trained to give a little speech to children caught picking flowers, pocketing shells, or trying to make off with rocks. He explains it like this: “You are supposed to calmly kneel down and say, ‘I saw you picking the flower. That is so pretty! Now think about what would happen if every child picked a flower.’ And then they are supposed to have this moment of guilt.”

Browning had given this little talk many times. But on this day, in August 2009, he saw another ranger deliver it to a boy at the park restaurant, about age 8, with a fist full of rocks—rocks, Browning noticed, from the gravel road. “It was gravel we bought at the local store,” Browning says. “It made me sick. The boy was crestfallen. He was so excited about coming to the park that he wanted to take a little memento back with him. More than feeling empowered or excited to protect the natural world, now he is going to associate going to state parks with getting into trouble.”