Did you happen to watch Gardening Australia on Saturday evening?
They did a special on children’s gardens and gardens for families, and the episode really resonated with me. So much of what they were talking about is what we are trying to achieve at Flinders. Costa went to Kings Park in Perth and played in their natural play space, and the way he talked about risk, imagination and natural play was so exciting. The school in Melbourne was truly inspiring; the beautiful plantings, use of open ended space, access to loose parts and consideration for ‘outdoor rooms’ are all brilliant examples of natural, flexible outdoor play.
The biggest thing I was excited by was the fact that the broader community is starting to talk about the importance of natural spaces and appropriate levels of risk for children. Natural play spaces provide children with opportunities to explore creative, open ended play, to assess and take risks, and to build a relationship with the natural world. These are the kinds of things research is showing to be best for children’s learning and development, and these are the kinds of environments all early childhood services (and the broader community, for that matter!) should be providing for children.
You can catch the episode on iView here:
Catch it while you can, it expires in 9 days!