Exciting Play Experiences for Children of All Abilities and Ages
It is with anticipation that EarlyEd waits to see what “exciting play experiences for children of all abilities and ages, in all seasons” have been included in the City of Parramatta newly transformed Ollie Webb Reserve. The community is invited to the Official Opening this Saturday 23rd February 10.00 am – 2.00 pm. There will be even more FREE fun activities as the Opening includes a BBQ, jumping castle, face painting, balloon artist, petting zoo and pony rides.
This is the first playground of its type in the City of Parramatta LGA. The project includes a new changing places amenity building and the playground integrates a water play splash pad with active and passive water play elements, along with all-inclusive playground elements.
The water play is just what we need in the hot weather and the play feature will offer plenty for everyone.
Almost 12 months ago EarlyEd had the opportunity to discuss the design plans with members of the Landscape Design Team from Parramatta Council. Kerry Dominish, EarlyEd’s CEO met the team on site as they explored ways to make the most of this environment and its current equipment while trying to meet the requests of the community. By discussing ideas from an early intervention and child development perspective adaptions were considered especially low cost solutions that would increase the play opportunities available to all children and their families. EarlyEd staff were able review equipment options and provide comment on their features, accessibility and value in play.
EarlyEd was impressed with the approach taken by Council and its recognition that organisations with experience and expertise in supporting the inclusion of children and families added value to the consultative process. Parramatta Council and their Landscape Architects for the Ollie Webb Reserve demonstrated that to re-vision facilities to be inclusive they need to ensure that they are going to be used by all members of a community.
For playgrounds to be used children and families need to be able to:
- Understand what to do
- Stay and play
- Engage everybody so they will want to and be able to play
- Develop play that leads to exploration, learn and creativity
Councils need to regularly upgrade their playground facilities and when doing so they need to work within budgetary, environmental and policy limitations. It isn’t the equipment that makes a play space work. It is the design. Some of the best design features in a site may end up being low cost or even no cost.
Congratulations to Parramatta Council at the launch of the Ollie Webb Reserve Playground.