Children engage with Early Start’s new outdoor experience
The Sector > Provider > General News > Children engage with Early Start’s new outdoor experience

Children engage with Early Start’s new outdoor experience

by Freya Lucas

November 08, 2022

The University of Wollongong’s popular Early Start Discovery Space has launched a new outdoor experience for young children to coincide with the start of Children’s Week.


The Circle Garden, as the space is known, includes climbing structures (man-made and natural), a mud kitchen, hidden garden pathways, wharf and sand pits (including wheelchair accessible) to inspire children to create, innovate and imagine.


The new space has been designed for active play and promotes agility, balance and coordination in an environment that encourages imagination, problem solving and social interaction.


As well as its physical features, the new space was created in a way which emphasises the importance of reconnecting with the natural environment and encouraging outdoor play and learning.


Early Start Discovery Space Manager Josef English described the Circle Garden as “an exciting new experience that is backed by research.”


“The development of this space has typified the work of Early Start,” Mr English said.


“It’s a genuine collaboration between our researchers and education team to translate what we know about best practice in early childhood settings into this physical environment.”


The Circle Garden was informed by the work of UOW researchers Dr Karen Tonge, Professor Lisa Kervin and Associate Professor Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett; and funded by the Abbott Foundation, one of the founding donors of Early Start.   


“Research shows that active play helps with the development of dexterity, physical strength, builds confidence, improves balance and problem-solving skills, develops focus and concentration, and enhances social skills,” Professor Kervin said.


Learn more about the Early Start Discovery space here

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button