Group’s ambitious playground plans

Group’s ambitious playground plans

The Willetton Playgroup wants to bring this place to life with a sensory garden and nature playground.

The Willetton Playgroup Association wants to bring colour and life to one of their largest outdoor spaces with a sensory garden and nature playground.

The team provides a place for parents, grandparents and carers with children from zero to five years old to come out and play.

There is currently a large sandpit, some swings, a climbing frame with a slide, a shed full of bikes, a grassy area, musical instruments and a cubby house.

The other half is neglected and full of sandy soil, weeds and some old tyres.
After having a design drawn up and quoted, the cost came out to $40,000.

Even with several grants this is out of the association’s reach and they are hoping to get help from the community to raise funds to cover the cost of the design and safety paperwork they need to be able to apply for other grants.

Willetton Playgroup Committee President Amy Crosby said the idea was to
fill it with native edible plants and some nature play equipment such as wooden balancing logs, spare parts barrel and similar with a gravel path through.

“Our current plan for the first stage is to clear the space and put in a concrete path for children to ride the bikes and other ride-on toys and fill the rest of the area with soft-fall mulch,” she said.

The new quotes for stage one so far range from $10,000 to $20,000.
They also want to plant some herbs into the large truck tyre planters and use them again as obstacle courses for children.

“As we already have the musical instruments for sense of hearing and sight we wanted to focus the new garden on touch, taste and smell with a variety of plants that would allow children to do so safely,” she said.

“So we chose to focus on herbs, vegetables and fruit.

“By extending that to natives allows children to learn about Australian plants and the huge variety of them.”

Sensory and nature play focuses on getting children outdoors and exploring using all five senses in the natural world.

Ms Cosby mentioned some of the benefits of the Early Learning Framework sections that state that children who play regularly in natural settings are sick less often and tend to be more physically active.

Also it says that children who play in natural spaces play in more diverse, imaginative and creative ways and are more likely to build confidence and competence.

The Willetton Playgroup team has been struggling to make ends meet over the last couple of years due to a sharp decline in member numbers, but they have been working hard this year to reach their goal through multiple fundraising events.

On August 17 from 9-11am they will be doing their pre-loved toy sale to add to their playground renovation plan later on this year.

If you want to donate contact the Willetton Playgroup Association or go to their Willetton Playgroup Sensory Garden GoFund me page.