As adults we strive to make our environs, be they home, work or public spaces, aesthetically pleasing so that we feel connected to the spaces that we occupy, I believe we should provide the same type of space for our children.
Children too need to feel at peace in the spaces that surround them. I see far too much emphasis, both indoors and out, in early childhood settings making playground environments "stimulating". This often leads to a cluttered, brightly coloured mish-mash which is a visual assault. It should come as no surprise that children will react to this type of environment with rowdy, unfocused behaviour.
This is why I try to provide an outdoor environment that reflects the beauty of nature. The reality of our modern urban existence means that many children have fewer opportunities to experience, first hand, walks on beaches, strolls in the bush or messing about in a stream. Therefore we need to provide as close an approximation of this kind of experience as possible within our centres.
I believe that we are creating these play environments not just for the children that attend the early childhood centre but for the staff, parents and other adults. Parents particularly should feel at home and welcome in the play environment so that they have some connection with the place where their children spend many hours each day.
Creativity is also important to my view of preschool playground construction. Children need to develop an appreciation of their environment and this can be encouraged by giving them beautiful surroundings. I take every care, in each playground that I create, to ensure that there are unique creations which interest and excite the people that use the centre.
The Compass Rose, which is an integral part of our logo, represents the guidance that is needed to set children up for their life journey. It is my role to help you facilitate this journey.
- Tim Anderson
Compass Playground Design and Construction, Christchurch