The Sudbury House Early Learning Centre Nature Playground is complete,
this was made possible with a LotteryWest grant and funds from the Dept for Communities.
At the launch held at Sudbury House Early Learning Centre,
Our Executive Manager Virginia Aden
talked about the Nature Playground what it means to and for our children.
Good morning and welcome everyone,
Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge the Noongar People who are the Traditional Custodians of this land and pay my respect to Elders Past, Present and Future of the Noongar Nation and extend that respect to the Aboriginal people present here this morning.
We are come together this morning to celebrate the funds received from Lotterywest for the repair and upgrade of our Outdoor Environment.
Research has found that intentional contact with natural play spaces is crucial to mental and physical health, especially with children.
Play complements the ‘formal’ curriculum in an Early Childhood Learning Centre and quality play opportunities are an integral part of a stimulating learning environment. Through play, children interact and make friends, engage in role -play and extend their creativity; they test themselves physically and master skills, improve their fitness and health, and engage in self-directed activities that aid individual development towards independent adulthood.
Summary of key benefits for children engaging in nature play:
• Children who play regularly in natural settings are sick less often. Mud, sand, water, leaves, sticks, pine cones and gum nuts can help to stimulate children’s immune system as well as their imagination.
• Children who spend more time outside tend to be more physically active and less likely to be overweight.
• Children who play in natural settings are more resistant to stress; have lower incidence of behavioural disorders, anxiety and depression; and have a higher measure of self-worth.
• Children who play in natural settings play in more diverse, imaginative and creative ways and show improved language and collaboration skills. Single use, repetitive play equipment becomes boring quickly.
• Natural, irregular and challenging spaces help children learn to recognise, assess and negotiate risk and build confidence and competence.
• Children who play in nature have more positive feelings about each other.
• Bullying behaviour is greatly reduced where children have access to diverse nature-based play environments.
• Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder are reduced after contact with nature.
So, on behalf of the Children, Families, Staff and Board of Management I would like to say a Great Big Thankyou to the Premier of WA Hon. Mark McGowan and Lotterywest for the funding received and the Department of Communities for their generous contribution to this project, to our local MP Janine Freeman for presenting the Cheque and for all of you who have taken time to come and celebrate with us this morning.
An acknowledgement of the contribution this Nature Playground will make to the development and natural education of our children.