When I was a kid we had a spare block of land about 4 doors down from our place in Coniston, NSW.
It was the days of 22,000 employees at the Port Kembla Steelworks and life in Coniston, right on the doorstep of the steel mills, was as blue collar as you could get.
But the spare block of land had everything we needed, including incredibly long grass that hid you from the street while you built secret tracks through it, plenty of trees to climb, a stormwater creek with tall and bending bullrushes, and tadpoles, and frogs, and clay banks that could be made into excellent dams, that sometimes caused flooding upstream I’m sure…
It’s a cliche now, but we literally played until dark most nights, avoiding homework at all costs while we did the important stuff. “Nature play“… and we loved it.
Down the road near Westfield Figtree, opened in 1965 and one of the first Westfield stores in the world, we had an awesome “real” playground with a plank swing (an incredibly heavy piece of hardwood plank suspended between 2 arms that swung freely and very high), a razzle dazzle (did anybody else call them that?) This was the huge spinning “witches hat” shaped structure that your brother could spin as fast as he liked while you hung on for dear life…
If you put your legs on the inside there was a chance they would be temporarily squashed by hitting the pole, but that was part of the fun…
… And of course there was the massively high steel slide that had absolutely no protection from falling onto the exposed concrete footings below. The “Traditional playground”. And we loved it too.
During 2016 we have been glad to see the continuing return of Nature Play… the increasing recognition of how important it is that kids get to play in the “spare block of land”. We’ve been involved in many of them during the year and look forward to many more in 2017.
At the same time we can see the importance and place that “traditional playgrounds” still have, allowing children and families to easily find a place where they can do the things they can’t do at home, or even at “the spare block”, a place where they can challenge their bravery, build their strength and learn how to hang on long enough to get the “job done”.
Our promise to you is to help you achieve whatever is required to get kids outside and engaging in healthy and active play.
Take our 27 years of experience in designing awesome play areas, add the unique capabilities of our team of 33 specialists in play, along with our in depth knowledge of the Australian Safety Standards, and the fact we manufacture our products right here in Australia… and you have a winning formula that works for you.