The beautiful environment of the Hunter Wetlands Centre just got more engaging for little ones, with a nature play upgrade from Timber Creations that generates discovery and adventure.
There are now several hidden play areas in the Hunter Wetlands Centre that encourage exploration and interest in the many different flora and fauna that are found in the wetlands environment. Site-specific playground pockets were installed to suit the unique beauty of the wetlands, including a lizard-inspired play area, a loose play nature zone, and a climber inspired by the rare magpie goose that now inhabits the area after a successful breeding program.
Many play pieces have been partially hidden from the main tracks, to add to the sense of discovery and adventure, such as friendly lizard faces that poke out from the underbrush along the trail, encouraging little explorers on their way.
One of the best ways to play in nature is to get creative with found objects and materials.
The loose play nature zone is a learning and play super area, where children can work magic with collected natural materials. The play elements encourage children to enter the space and get involved. Keeping these pieces spread out ensures that children are inspired to build their own play around the rest of the area and find all sorts of things to play with within the natural space. Children can create their own cubby house, unique to them, using found sticks and branches, leaves and pine needle thatching. Great for problem solving, engineering and developing an understanding of building materials found in nature.
The bird climber area has no high-fall risks or difficult challenges, just a beautiful and fun place to explore and discover with supervised little ones. The wings and tail form an interesting climbing ladder for little ones, and supervisors can assist as there is plenty of room beside the pieces walking up the tail and along the whole trail, or let children explore freely and discover what they can do.
The log stepper trail is a fantastic balance challenge for younger kids and they love exploring the texture of the engravings. This is especially true for children with special needs, who often experience sensory concerns from brightly coloured play equipment, but who love to explore natural textures. As an educational and interesting discussion point for young children, the engravings represent the magpie goose, local plants and some of the berries, seeds and bugs that make up the diet of the local birdlife.
Timber Creations Nature Play is perfect for creating playspaces that blend seamlessly with the natural environment and become part of the overall space, rather than a separate designated area. Playgrounds don’t need to be stuck inside a box!