The happy sounds of children playing together on their latest piece of outdoor equipement is the first thing you notice as you walk into KidsFirst Kindergartens Sumner. Thanks to fundrasing and grants, the Kindergarten is redeveloping and upgrading their outdoor playground. The latest acquisition is a hexagonal box funded by the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation.
"We were so excited when the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation agreed to fund the hexagonal box" said Head Teacher Liz Morritt. "Having observed ngā tamariki at play, we identified our need for more loose parts equipment to promote creativity, critical thinking, decision making, problem solving and collaborative play. The hexagonal box is an open-ended piece of equipment that can be used in a variety of ways within our environment. We are looking forward to seeing ways that children are going to use this in their play."
The children immediately saw opportunities as to how to link this new piece to exisiting equipment in the playground. "For us the environment is the third teacher; it sets the scene for the children’s exploration" said Liz. "Here we value the importance of children having the opportunity to engage in challenging and risky play to help develop their physical skills, perseverance, and their resilience – important skills which they take with them into their adult life" said Nicola Gardiner, a teacher at Kidsfirst Kindergartens Sumner.
Martin Hawes, a trustee of the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation, saw the new piece of equipment in use first hand, and was delighted to see the children exploring the many ways to play with, and on, the hexagon. "Children in Sumner tend to have active families so its great to see the staff helping the children to develop more physically challenging skills."
Like any not for profit organisation, fundraising is of vital importance, so Kidsfirst Kindergartens Sumner are delighted the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation has provided a helping hand. "It’s a great example of the local community helping each other" said Liz. "The children are showing their appreciation by making a card for the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation."
And that’s exactly what the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation is all about" commented Martin, "when locals support us through donations – either specified for a particular initiative or an untied donation -we are able to support the community in which they live. That’s what makes the Sumner Ferrymead community such a great place to live."