Play and Learn Fairfield Team

Dunedin, NZ - Early Childhood Educators

Workshop Title: - Respecting Children’s Voice through participation in an outdoor playground project

Play and Learn Fairfield have a long history of fully involving children in projects. When they were having some problems with the drainage at their centre they naturally involved them in all aspects. A new playground was designed and the spades came out. Over the next year the children were involved in all aspects such as designing and physically moving their "hill", making planter boxes, lifting matting, laying drainage, planting, constructing a mud kitchen and a ropes course etc.

While commercial spaces or products may offer new opportunities they do so at the cost of the loss of control children have over their own play. Moss, P. and Petrie, P. (2002).

Children's play spaces are important environments. Children have a right to take part in the processes that affect them. We must listen to what children say about their play and genuinely value their contributions. Play Wales (2016). This is a great example of ways to genuinely involve children and value their contributions.

The Play and Learn Dunedin Team will demonstrate how they implement their Key Theme of Respect, Involvement, Competence in Outdoor Environments, and how this translates on a day to day base in their centre. Delegates will leave with ideas of what they can implement in their own centres and schools and how children can benefit from this model.

This workshop will demonstrate how the team implements their Key Themes of respect, involvement, competence in outdoor environments, and how this translates on a day to day base in their centre. Delegates will leave with ideas of what they can implement in their own centres and schools and how children can benefit from this model.

Personal Bios: This session will be presented by Donna Marr and Julia Anson from the Play and Learn - Fairfield Team.

Donna Marr is qualified Primary, ECE and Montessori teacher. She is committed to achieving sustainable learning environments and empowering children to become sustainable thinkers through our nature based programme, where they are the owners and drivers of the programme. She is passionate about encouraging manakitanga, inspiring respect for the environment and those within it.

Julia Anson is a qualified Primary and ECE teacher with a background in Museum LEOTC Education. Passionate about the natural environment, art and sustainability, Julia enjoys working with children in the outdoors, as they explore their place within the natural world and learn about all of the other animals, plants, and fungi who share it.

Play and Learn Fairfield Team