Friday, October 26, 2012

Now this is what I call a playground!

We discovered an amazing place in the recent school holidays. The St Kilda Adventure Playground.
In a word it is amazing!!
I had read about this playground with a difference and finally there was a chance to go and explore. With help from some online directions we found the one way suburban street from which you turn onto the walking path which takes you down through a open grass area to the brightly decorated front fence of the playground.
When you walk through the gates you see the scene above and the sound of children loudly and happily playing sings in your ears.


There is a great flying fox that Big Pickle couldn't get enough of. Like most of the turn taking equipment in the playground this had a quirky painted sign which set out the rules of operation. 
- One child at a time
- Must be five years or over
- Bring the fox back to the platform after riding....
The inground trampolines all stipulated one at a time, three minutes per turn and other necessary information.
I found this seemed to add to the parks relaxed yet organised feel. There was far less need for adults to get involved as older kids read the instructions to kids who couldn't read and children could be heard firmly but quite nicely reminding another of the rules if they seemed to have forgotten.

This is a community playground that is predominently used by the children who live in the immediate area. Its a backyard for those who don't have one of their own. When its not school holidays the park is open from 3pm - 5:30pm each weekday to service the after school period and then on weekends.

All the equipment has been built by able hands but in a way that makes it seem natural and evolved rather than planned out and clinical like most parks. There's lots of wood and things have been painted in various colours and possibly by kids.


 It's a big space and there are numerous different big structures for kids to play on including a big pirate ship; a U-shaped skateboard ramp (I'm sure they have a specific name but its not known to me) that is just for sliding down; an inground trampoline and three or four other netted tramps; an old aeroplane that they can climb up into the cockpit of; another huge wooden structure that is full of ramps and tunnels and a rope maze.


All through the park there are lovely old trees many of which are perfect for climbing or sitting in or pretending you are riding a dragon.

This rope maze thing was a big hit with Big Pickle too.

They do recommend the park for kids over five and I'd say the perfect age would be seven to ten. There were lots of things that weren't suitable for Little Pickle who is three but he was content just to wander about enjoying the space and the trees and the little slides and things dotted about. I was happy to note that there was only one swing and it really didn't get any traffic as there was so many other things to do.

The park also has a clubhouse type building where you can sit undercover but still outside to eat your lunch and there was also tea and coffee making facilities available for a gold coin donation.
The whole place had a really lovely, inclusive community feel and was a very different and welcome playground experience.

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