Nature comes to the fore at Cockle Bay School, so when Playground Creations was tasked with designing a new junior playground, learning through play in nature was a key focus. Working with this well-established school site, close to East Auckland’s coast, our design supported the development of children’s gross motor skills as well as encouraged social play.
If we can reuse and incorporate existing play equipment into a playground design, we will. Cockle Bay School’s existing sandpit provided a perfect starting point from which to develop imaginative water play with the installation of a ship’s wheel, wooden shoots and pulleys and a water table.
A beautiful and well-established oak tree on the site provides good shade and inspired the main tower of the natural wooden-themed playground. Surrounding play items, including a slide, balance apparatus, an overhead bridge, two trampolines and traversing equipment, enable children to run, jump, weave, step and slide in an environment which mimics the contours and differing heights of nature.
Accessibility was another factor with surrounding paving and a neighbouring boardwalk laid for easy access and seating provided for pause and shade. Percussion play instruments and a basket swing were included to cater for all abilities.
Cockle Bay School has a strong community spirit, evident in the support given to the project from both parents and students. The new junior playground is packed with play value and reflects the school’s commitment of encouraging children to explore and discover their natural environment.