Tumby Bay school adds nature play area

NATURAL: Reception student Dylan Webb, year 1 student Jalen Burgoyne and year 2 student Shannay Povey sit in Tumby Bay Area School's new nature play area.

NATURAL: Reception student Dylan Webb, year 1 student Jalen Burgoyne and year 2 student Shannay Povey sit in Tumby Bay Area School's new nature play area.

Tumby Bay Area School has become the latest school on lower Eyre Peninsula to help its students get back in touch with nature with a nature play area.

During the summer school holidays the school added a nature play area in the junior primary courtyard.

Junior primary teacher Louise O’Leary said the school decided to add the play area last year and met with Nature Play SA in November.

“We at Tumby Bay Area School recognise the importance of nature play and encourage for children to explore the natural environment,” she said.

After staff at the school came up with the idea for the play space it was turned over to community member Roxanne Richardson to design the area and with support from Shae Franks and other community members the area was created in time for the start of the new school.

We at Tumby Bay Area School recognise the importance of nature play and encourage for children to explore the natural environment. - Louise O'Leary

The space includes a rocky creek bed, a grassy area and logs for sitting.

The school helped fund the project with money raised at the R-6 Sports Day Trading Table

The aim is for students to explore the space through play based learning as well as being incorporated into curriculum areas including literacy and numeracy.

Miss O’Leary said the space has already seen a lot of use which the school was pleased to see.

With children now living in a technological age schools across the state have been working hard to ensure students can connect with the natural environment.

Lower Eyre schools including Navigator College and Lake Wangary Primary School are some of the schools that have added nature play areas on their grounds in the last few years.

But the space at Tumby Bay Area School is expected to grow even further with plans to add a mud kitchen.

Miss O’Leary said the school wanted students to explore the possibilities with the space was now looking forward to seeing where they would go with it.

“We just saw the need in the kids and wanted to encourage exploration and provide an opportunity for them to do that,” she said.

“It’s a changing play space because of the new ideas the children bring to it.”

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