Over the last few posts we have shared the journey of redevelopment in the Sturt House garden. Today we share with you the final product…
The fence has been down for a few weeks now and the children have celebrated by thoroughly exploring the space and all the challenges it has offered their bodies and minds. New ways to balance, swing and climb; individually and together. New skills to learn, practice and then master. The Educators had expected this physicality but what has been most impressive has been the respect and empathy children have shown within the space.
Bird’s nests have been discovered in a tree, now called the ‘bird tree’, within the space. Nests and offerings have been created in and around the tree for the bird sitting on the nest while keeping a respectful distance.
Children have empathised with others who are struggling with the new skills, and have guided their peers with instruction, demonstration and encouragement. As is the case with peer tutoring, these types of interactions seem to cultivate confidence in both the tutor and the student.
The construction focus within the children’s play has continued; the children are taking their tools into the play space and investigating the construction work in detail, looking carefully at the nuts and bolts that join the timber work. Using their tools, found objects and loose parts they have built playgrounds for the dinosaurs and nests for the birds. Some children have also created games with quite complex rules and objectives.
Our documentation gathered during the construction time has now been complied into a book for the children to look through. The children tell us they can’t remember what the old garden looked like, so together we look at the photos in the book. When I ask the children if it felt like a long time for the new playground to be built they answer me with a puzzled look on their faces, and in a tone that tells me they think it is a silly question; ‘No!’ All that waiting seems to have been forgotten among the joy of the new.