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inspiring play spaces

At Skippy’s Early Learning Centres in Rockhampton, Gracemere, and Yeppoon (coming soon), we strive to create environments that inspire children to be active participants in their learning. That is why our indoor learning environments are purposefully set up to support children in experiencing a sense of belonging and security. Spaces are flexible and are shaped through shared observations and reflections. A variety of open-ended materials are provided to trigger a sense of wonder, foster development, promote learning, and provoke investigations and intentional teaching moments. While children can usually be entertained for hours on end with their own imagination, nothing can really compare to the fun had when engaging with our carefully designed play spaces.

Maria Montessori believes in education philosophy and practice that fosters rigorous, self-motivated growth for children and adolescents in all areas of their development, with a goal of

nurturing each child's natural desire for knowledge, understanding, and respect. Using purposefully designed play spaces that are tailored to the children’s current interests, age, stage and development, the children have a range of resources to engage with, led by their own passions and learning needs.

Maria Gibbs, OSHC Coordinator at our Skippy’s OSHC The Range branch says: “As an educator my philosophy is to provide an enriching environment that supports children’s growth and development as the third teacher. This means that the resources and experiences available for children to engage in at our OSHC service facilitate discovery and exploration based around their likes, dislikes, and current and evolving interests.”

We provide a variety of learning experiences, educational resources and equipment that stimulate different senses and encourage different types of play. We make sure that the layout of the play space encourages both independent play and social interaction. Thus, supporting children to explore, experiment, and discover in a safe and engaging environment, and can help them develop critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and social skills.

Let’s look at some of the many benefits carefully designed play spaces hold:

  • Imaginative play: through imaginative play, children can develop their creativity, communication, and social skills. This might involve role-playing, creating scenarios, or using their imagination to transform everyday objects into something else.

  • Construction play: building and constructing with blocks, Legos, or other materials can help children develop their problem-solving, spatial reasoning, and engineering skills. It can also help them learn about shapes, sizes, and patterns.

  • Games: Playing games can help children develop their cognitive skills, such as memory, attention, and strategy. It can also help them learn about rules, fair play, and social interactions.

  • Artistic play: Drawing, painting, and other forms of artistic expression can help children develop their creativity, fine motor skills, and self-expression. It can also help them learn about colours, shapes, and textures.

  • Music and movement play: Singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments can help children develop their physical coordination, rhythm, and musical skills. It can also help them learn about diverse cultures and traditions.

“Purposefully designed play spaces that are tailored to children’s interests can be highly effective in engaging them in play and promoting their development. By understanding children’s interests and designing play spaces that cater for those interests, we can create environments that are highly motivating and engaging, and that encourage children to explore, learn and develop new skills.” Says Penny Farrell, Managing Director of Skippy’s Early Learning Centres Central Queensland.

Play has significant physical, social, cognitive, and emotional benefits for children’s wellbeing. And we invite you to book a tour at one of our childcare centres or afterschool care services in Frenchville, The Range, Gracemere, or Yeppoon (coming soon) to witness these play spaces being utilised to their full potential.


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