New age playground ignites Yarrabilba students’ imagination
Letting children play with discarded objects, dubbed “loose parts”, is proving successful at Yarrabilba State Secondary College, providing ‘risky play’ opportunities to ignite students’ imagination while also increasing balance, coordination and motor skills.
The playground contains tyres, pallets, landscaping materials, recycled tarpaulins, pots and pans, timber offcuts, a recycled boat, cable reels and steel and PVC and poly pipes.
Lendlease Yarrabilba provided the recycled tarpaulins, timber offcuts were sourced from the school’s industry and design centre and other materials were donated by local businesses and the community.
Loose parts play is a growing concept aimed at encouraging creativity by allowing children to build or dismantle things to bring their ideas to life.
Yarrabilba State Secondary College Head of Department James Wendt said the school’s Loose Parts Playground was only established this year but already proving to be a hit with students.
“The playground officially opened in Term 1 this year, to best meet the needs of our diverse student body. Engaging with loose parts play aligns with our belief in guiding students to become physically and mentally prepared to lead a life of choice, not a life of chance,” he said.
“Many students have enjoyed playing in this area during breaks. We have seen amazing examples of creativity, role playing, physical feats and manipulation of materials.
“Most importantly they have developed their ability to assess risk, be innovative and creative and to collaborate and share. Providing ‘risky play’ opportunities for students in our school has direct links to physical, mental and social and emotional wellbeing.
”The school hopes to add a mountain to their loose parts play area made from dirt as well as a water tank so that they have rainwater to incorporate into student play.
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