Wombats Playschool gets playground upgrade

New playground: The playground has been five years of fundraising in the making, with a large emphasis on natural play and the environment. Photo: Supplied
New playground: The playground has been five years of fundraising in the making, with a large emphasis on natural play and the environment. Photo: Supplied

After several years of fundraising through community barbecues and cake stalls, the children at Wombats Playschool have finally got a new playground to use.

The Page-based preschool got a much-needed upgrade to its play area, with the children getting an input into the design process.

The centre’s director, Liz Rebetzke, said the upgrade of the playground has been a project long talked about, and has been amazed by the transformation.

“We had a very big space and it was just a green hill, so we wanted to make it a more outdoor-adventure playground, and the children are just loving it,” she said.

“We’ve been saving up for it for about five years. We’ve just been putting money aside for it with lots of fundraisers.”

The new playground has a large emphasis on the environment, with the $30,000 upgrade including features for nature play.

Ms Rebetzke said the improvements were also designed to help with the children’s motor skills.

“There’s a dry-creek bed and lots of balancing logs and big rocks as well for risk-taking play for the children to jump on and challenge themselves,” she said.

“There’s also lots of different surfaces, and to make it sensory, there’s lots of grass and bark and rocks and sand.”

The improvements to the playground took three weeks to complete the area and has been open for play since the beginning of the term.

The children were also consulted for ideas of how the playground should be, with many of their suggestions making it to the final product.

“They wanted a mud kitchen and there’s room for lots of messy play as well, they wanted a vegetable garden as well as hills to roll down,” Ms Rebetzke said.

“They wanted a treehouse, but unfortunately we couldn’t do that.”

While the children at the preschool used to only play in the top section of the old playground, Ms Rebetzke said the upgrade has seen the children use much more of the open space.

“They’re no longer only playing on the old equipment we had,” she said.

“They’re all down there exploring and making mud pies and really engaging with the whole environment.”