Playtime in Otumoetai

Otumoetai Playcentre has been without a playground for a year, until now. Photo: Supplied.

An early childhood education centre in Otumoetai rediscovered their playful side last week with the official opening of a new playground.

Youngsters at Otumoetai Playcentre, on Windsor Road, have been without a playground structure since the previous version failed to meet the required regulations.

But thanks to the dedication and fundraising of 60 member families, alongside a generous $28,916 grant from TECT, the long-awaited space has finally been revealed and is already a huge hit with the centre’s children.

“Not only does the construction meet strict early childhood regulations, it has also been designed to allow children to develop their physical skills as well as their imagination,” says the centre’s co-president, Amy Prouse.

Built by specialists Playscape, one unique aspect is the tuatara nestled under the centre’s apple tree, which represents the local Maori legend of Taurikura.

“We have been without a playground for a year,” says Amy, “as our old structure no longer met code and was in dire need of serious work. 

“We got our tamariki involved in drawing and describing their ideal play structure and Playscape transformed all of our ideas into this awesome space. 

“Our tamariki have been so excited to watch the area transform and see their ideas come to fruition. It has been worth all the work it has taken to get to this point to see their joy and watch them explore the different elements.”

The centre celebrated the opening of the new playground with a sausage sizzle and bake sale earlier this month, with past members and the wider community showing up for the big reveal. The day began with a blessing from Koru Tu.

“The day was very successful,” says Amy, “and it was lovely to see the community and present and past members coming together to celebrate the opening.”


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