The Positive Role of Loose Part Playgrounds in Early Education

Playgrounds are often viewed by parents and carers as needing more ‘structure’, ‘equipment’ and ‘fun’.  These common perceptions, based on the playgrounds we see in local government parks and public play areas, are being challenged more and more by leading research emerging from top Australian universities.

Research from Federation University, Charles Darwin University and Deakin, examined the impact of loose parts playgrounds on behaviour and risk management for early learning development.

The findings from these studies found the following of loose parts playgrounds overall:

  • There was increased physical activity overall
  • A reduction of risk of injury
  • Increased positive behaviour patterns
  • Increased creative, child-led play

As educational professionals, we believe in research guiding all facets of practice.

Locally owned and operated child care offering Village Education Ararat is conducting our own trial at our centre in Ararat.  We commenced operations with a large, loose parts playground.  Our team very quickly identified that staff needed support to fully implement and engage with this type of playground, and have set about supporting staff.

We are starting to gather some great qualitative data to support the anecdotal statements from educators and parents.  Our injury rate from outside play is minimal and the creative play is being supported outside and that is flowing to the inside spaces.

So next time you tour a Centre, ask yourself, is this playground designed for parents to like the look of, or for a child’s positive learning outcomes? Be part of something special at Ararat Village Early Learning Centre.

Find out more about Village Education Ararat by visiting our centre at 17/19 Wilson Street Ararat or phone 03 5352 1473. We offer long day childcare Monday to Friday from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm.

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