11/06/2011 9:09

Welcome to my blog about natural playspaces. I am a natural playspace designer in Sydney, NSW, with a focus on preschools, child care centres and schools.I have a background in early childhood education initially as a teacher then as a director. I have worked in an assortment of centres, both private and commercial, community and religious based, some funded wholly by Local and State government bodies. I have also worked in varying capacities in Local, State and Federal government Childcare organisations.

When I was a director/teacher I was always baffled with adult perceptions of what constitutes an outdoor environment for children. This led me to study further and gain my landscape design and horticulture qualifications with an idea to change the world by adding natural playspaces to one centre at a time.

I believe that children in early childhood centres (some attending for up to 10 hours a day) deserve a natural, inspiring and aesthetic environment outdoors. I really dislike the word playground when used in relation to outdoor areas in child care centres and preschools – playgrounds have always seemed to me to be those “one-hit” weekend or after school experiences, where play is often in short bursts and then it’s time to go home. In a child care centre, play is the basis for all learning and it is in these environments that I think the word playspace encompasses what the outdoor environment really is.

In this blog I hope to pass on ideas and share my experiences in working with varying children’s services to create natural playspaces and also to provide a forum about natural playspaces, promoting information exchange about how important they are!
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Tess Michaels