Home Education Nature play antidote to anxiety

Nature play antidote to anxiety

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Bullsbrook Community Kindergarten Education Assistant Michelle McKenzie with her delightful students.

There’s no doubt that the last eighteen months or so have been a tumultuous time for every member of the community, and our young ones have not been immune to the changes around them.

Bullsbrook Community Kindergarten teacher Michelle Williams said, “I’ve become concerned with the increase in anxiety in children who attend the kindy. The children are very aware of COVID, they listen in the background to the words of adults and the media; they are sometimes greeted by their teacher in a mask and have to say goodbye to their parents at the door.

“Although teaching staff and parents are all working together to reassure children and provide them with a safe and secure environment in which to play and learn, the anxiety is still present.”

With many glad to leave 2020 behind, the reality for the wider Perth community was that 2021 started off much worse than where we left its predecessor, with school closures due to COVID lockdown and the disastrous Wooroloo bushfires.

“Some of our students were taken from their homes in the middle of the night to safety. They were prepped and excited to start their first day of school, only for that not to happen for another week,” said Michelle.

“We believe that we need to build the children’s resilience and provide them with a fun, educational and challenging environment for them to take risks, work together and form friendships. And we want to do this by providing them with a challenging outdoor nature playground!”

Plans for the nature playground, pictured below, include several balancing logs, rock climbing wall, scramble net and a hammock swing. Nature Play WA says, “Children who play in natural settings are more resistant to stress; have lower incidence of behavioural disorders, anxiety and depression; and have a higher measure of self-worth. They also show improved language and collaboration skills.”

The parent committee of Bullsbrook Community Kindergarten has already managed to raise $50,000 of the approximately $60,000 needed for the nature play area. A GoFundMe page has been set up in the hope that community contributions will help get them over the line. Bullsbrook Community Kindergarten has been part of the area for more than forty years and past and current families and community members have already contributed nearly $5000.

You can make a contribution at www.gofundme.com/f/bullsbrook-community-kindy-nature-playground or phone the kindy direct on 9571 1392.

Bullsbrook Community Kindergarten and Bullsbrook College are also both currently open for 2022 kindergarten enrolments. If you have a child turning 4 before 30 June 2022 you can obtain an enrolment pack for the Community Kindy by phoning 9571 1392 or Bullsbrook College on 9501 7600.