Over the past couple of months, we have started to launch woodworking stations at our campuses! But why, you may ask. It’s dangerous! They could get hurt!

At Little Scholars, we actively guide children through ‘risky’ activities to build up their skills, confidence, and resilience. Engaging in woodworking helps children learn to assess and manage risks, develop fine motor skills, and boost their creativity and problem-solving abilities. By introducing these activities in a controlled and supervised environment, we ensure they gain valuable life skills while staying safe.

 The children at our Ashmore campus were the first to start their own project by wanting to build a frame. The children and their educators devised a plan for the project and took a trip down to their local Bunnings to source their own tools and materials, and completed their project over the week!
 
 
Skills learned through using tools

Woodworking is an excellent way for children to exercise their creative, practical and critical thinking skills. It allows them to express their ideas and figure out solutions to their projects.

As they measure, cut, and assemble pieces of wood, they enhance their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. These activities require precision and control, which are crucial for writing, drawing, and other tasks. Furthermore, using tools like hammers, saws, and sandpaper teaches them how to handle and manipulate objects with care and accuracy.

Confidence and resilience

Guiding children through woodworking activities helps build their confidence and resilience. Completing a woodworking project, no matter how simple, gives children a sense of accomplishment and boosts their self-esteem. They learn that they can create something tangible and useful with their own hands. Additionally, the process often involves overcoming challenges and solving problems, which teaches persistence and resilience. These qualities are essential for tackling academic challenges and life’s obstacles.

 

Woodworking
Planning and assessment

Our little scholars begin their woodworking projects by making a plan. This may look like drawing out their project, or making a model out of cardboard or building blocks,  discussing with their friends and educators what they’d like to build, how they’d like it to look, what tools they need in order to make their design come to life, and figure out any risks there may be and how to reduce chances of hurting themselves.

Risk management

Introducing woodworking in a controlled environment allows children to learn about risk management. They are taught how to use tools safely, understand the potential dangers, and take appropriate precautions. This hands-on experience with ‘risky’ activities helps them develop a healthy respect for safety and risk assessment. They learn to think ahead, plan their actions, and make informed decisions to minimise risks, which are valuable skills both in and out of the workshop.

Some of their documented conversations with educators have included:

How can we make sure we are safe when using the tool table?

“You have to wear safety glasses”

“If you step on a nail you can hurt your feet”

“It can’t be too busy, I might knock something over or into someone and hurt them.”

What do you do at the tool table?

“I can measure the wood.”

“When I’m at the table I use the screwdriver.”

“I use nails to put in the wood.”

How does it make you feel when you build at the tool table?

“I like tools because I can screw something in.”

“I feel happy because I can make something.”

Woodworking3
Creativity and problem-solving

Woodworking supports creativity and problem-solving skills. As children design and build their projects, they must think creatively to overcome design challenges and find solutions. This process encourages them to experiment, explore new ideas, and think outside the box. The ability to approach problems creatively and develop innovative solutions is a real skill in today’s world, where adaptability and innovation are highly valued.

Educational value

In addition to the practical skills, woodworking integrates educational concepts such as maths and science. Measuring pieces of wood, calculating dimensions, and understanding geometric shapes are all part of the woodworking process. Children also learn about the properties of different materials and the principles of mechanics and engineering. This hands-on application of academic subjects helps to reinforce their learning and makes these concepts more tangible and understandable.

By providing children with the opportunity to engage in woodworking, we are equipping them with a wide range of skills and experiences that will benefit them throughout their lives. Through careful supervision and guidance, we ensure that they can enjoy the benefits of this fun activity safely.

If you’re after the best playgrounds in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, and Redland areas, look no further. Here we cover all of the top playgrounds in the region so that you can have a fun day out with your little one no matter where your adventures take you!

We think South East Queensland has really stepped up its game when it comes to offering some great play spaces for the young, and the young at heart. We like these playgrounds because of their nature themes, as well as adventurous play-designed spaces. Adventure play, also known as ‘risky’ play, is an important part of childhood, it develops physical skills, problem-solving, self-assessment, and risk detection skills, and something we encourage in our campuses and in our curriculum! So we thought we’d share our favourite playgrounds on both the southern and northern ends of the Gold Coast and Brisbane!

Southern Gold Coast

Livvi's Place at Goorimahbah - Place of Stories Playground

Straddling the border of Queensland and New South Wales at Jack Evans Boat Harbour sits an impressive new inclusive playground, Livvi’s Place at Goorimahbah – Place of Stories Playground.

This fully-fenced playground has play equipment so everyone can all play together, and includes two climbing towers with interactive play equipment, including binoculars and sound tubes, a carousel, a double flying fox, multiple swings, suspended rope bridge and an enclosed slide. There is also water and sand play, carved wooden animals, a water pump and sand table, and some accessible musical elements too!

The playground integrates stories of the Indigenous Seasons Calendar through art, colour, and storytelling. Children can wind the player up and then select a season and listen to Indigenous stories.

There are barbecues, shaded seating and shaded grass mounds to encourage social gatherings and picnics, and public toilets nearby. Parking is on the street. The second stage of development works was just completed at the end of 2023 and includes a youth recreation area, an Aboriginal Memorial Wall, as well as additional seating, picnic tables and barbeques facilities outside of the fenced play space.

Palm Beach Pirate Park

The new and improved Pirate Park at Palm Beach is finally finished, and it’s GREAT. After 12 years, this beloved southern Gold Coast playground had reached the end of its life, so the city kicked in $1.4M to revamp the space, located at Palm Beach Parklands, right on Currumbin Creek. The new design maintains the popular pirate ship theme, and provides a variety of different play opportunities and experiences for a range of ages. The new pirate ship play structure includes:

  • Climbing nets and ropes
  • Suspension bridge
  • Telescopes, cannons, interactive panels
  • Imaginary play elements
  • 7-metre-high crow’s nest towers
  • 8-metre-long tunnel slide
  • Swings
  • Flying fox
  • Spinning globe
  • Large basket swing
  • Row boats with talk tubes
  • Caves
  • Hammock
  • Sensory play elements
There are public toilets nearby, BBQs and the Dune Cafe steps away, as well as creek, which makes for a perfect day out! Just beware it’s a busy playground and parking fills quickly!

Schuster Park, Tallebudgera

Schuster Park adventure playground in Tallebudgera is not to be missed! We suggest it’s best for children ages 4+ as it’s a climber’s dream with two giant slides off the main tower, with a series of nature paths, with balance beams, jumping posts, sand paths with drums, and musical flowers, and stepping stones for your little adventurers. Plus there’s a small beach if you need to cool off, and two BBQs and a toilet block right next to the playground!

Tugun Park, Tugun

This castle-themed playground at Tugun Park is great for imaginative play, including a double Medieval Tower, a Drawbridge, a Knight and a Horse! There are arches, shields and bridges and more, all sure to inspire fun and games. Plus, there are two large tunnel slides and one open slides, all sure to delight. A swing set also entertains, with a parent and child swing alongside the traditional swings.

It’s important to note there are no shade sails over this playground, but the location is very cool and shady, with large trees and covered picnic tables. It is not fully fenced, but a fence does run along the carpark side of the playground, while the open side opens to large grassy spaces. There are also numerous picnic tables and BBQs right by the playground as well as toilets!

Galleon Park, Currumbin Waters

Nestled away on Galleon Way in Currumbin Waters, Galleon Park is a hidden gem offering a myriad of activities for families. This exceptional park boasts a variety of features including a learn-to-ride track, a playground suitable for both toddlers and older children, a basketball court, expansive grassy areas, picnic shelters, and convenient toilet facilities.

The playground received a comprehensive upgrade in late 2021, introducing an array of equipment designed to entertain children of all ages. The toddler section is thoughtfully shaded under a canopy, while the rest of the playground benefits from natural shade provided by surrounding trees. Attractions include slides, climbing ropes, a flying fox, swings, and seesaws.

Adjacent to the playground, there’s an impressive learn-to-ride track complete with roundabouts, traffic signs, and crossings, making it an ideal spot for young cyclists and skaters, including those on trikes, bikes, scooters, and skateboards. Parents will appreciate the ample seating available, offering a perfect view to oversee their little ones in action.

The park also features additional amenities such as a picnic shelter with BBQ facilities, a modern toilet block, and a basketball court. With plenty of open grassy space, it’s the perfect spot to lay down a picnic blanket and enjoy a leisurely visit.

Laguna Park, Palm Beach

The Laguna Park playground in Palm Beach is a great playground for ages 2+, check out the huge adventure playground, pirate ship, slides and rockers, a pedal power monorail, funny faces interactive boards and more. The entire playground is fenced, which is great for the little ones, and it also includes a Liberty Swing for kids in wheelchairs. Much of the playground is shaded by sails, and there are toilets nearby. The playground is surrounded by a lovely lake and a walking trail. A great bonus is that Laguna Park is steps away from Third Base coffee!

Bill Thomson Park, Elanora

Bill Thomson Park in Elanora has recently received an upgrade. Located next to Pine Lake, this medieval-themed playground has really brought the neighbourhood together like never before!

There are turrets and bridges connecting the playground together to create one large castle. A large flying fox runs along the lakeside of the playground, there are internal and external slides, a great swing set and plenty of imaginative play opportunities. This playground is more aimed at slightly older children, but agile toddlers can get around most of it as well.

In the same area, you will find basketball court, picnic shelter great for birthday parties and public toilets. Located a short walk around the lake is The Pines Shopping Centre, so you can grab everything you need for a picnic or just a coffee.

This playground is not fenced and steps away from the lake, so adult supervision is a must.

Robert Neumann Park, Currumbin

The Robert Neumann Park is smaller than some of the other playgrounds we’ve listed, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun!

This nature-based playground has two mega slides, a toddler slide, climbing opportunities and swings. Note it is not fenced and sits near a duck pond, so adult supervision is a must! However it does have shade sails, a picnic gazebo, and BBQ is available, as well as toilets onsite and big open grassy spaces to run around.

Frascott Park Safari Playground, Varsity Lakes

Frascott Park has two playgrounds!

Accessed via Yodelay Street or Mattocks Road, the most popular section of the park is the Mattocks Road entrance safari-themed playground. Here you’ll find two play structures, one for the bigger kids and one for the toddlers. A huge slide and flying fox are keen favourites, while little ones will love driving the safari jeep.

The second playground is located by Yodelay Street and is well suited for younger children. There is lots of natural shade, and easy climbing opportunities on the playground. The playground includes bridges, a slide, merry-go-round, swing set and spider net.

Ronnie Long Park, Tallebudgera

The Ronnie Long Park is a great set of two playgrounds between the Tallebudgera Surf Club and the beach. With one playground suited toward slightly bigger children, it’s partially fenced, has a big climbing tower, large nest swing, spinning frame, and rockers. This area is shaded and has a rubber floor, while the second playground is more suited to toddlers. There’s a slide, two swings and a plane to climb in and on. This area is also shaded with a sand floor. Behind the playground is the surf club’s cafe for parents. There are toilets and BBQs nearby. Just beware, because the playgrounds are steps away from Tallebudgera Creek, parking can be a challenge on nice days.

Deodar Park, Burleigh Waters

Deodar Park is home to a total of seven slides, including a mega slide (which of course means mega fun!). Partly covered by shade sails, this small but mighty playground has elements suitable for a range of ages. Here you will find climbing opportunities, a flying fox, interactive panels, swings, a seesaw, balance rope and tunnels.

Alongside the playground is a fenced BMX pump track, suited to confident young riders. There is also a concrete basketball court and a large grassed area that allows for dogs off-leash.

There’s also a drinking fountain, picnic shelter, picnic tables. Note, there aren’t toilets located near the playground.

Broadwater Parklands

The Broadwater Parklands playground is one of the most beloved play areas on the Gold Coast with several fun areas for children to explore, and recently got a $5M upgrade with a new spiral tower over four levels, with interactive play equipment like a glockenspiel, binoculars, telescopes, suspended nets, rope tunnels and an enclosed slide.

There’s also a water and sand play area with carved sandstone, bronze sea animals, water pumps, mini weirs and water gates, an elevated sand table designed as a ‘fish and chip shop’ that can accommodate wheelchairs

Play equipment including play panels, swings, slides, trampolines, diggers, stepping stones, balance beams, a carousel, climbing walls, and climbing nets

And that’s just the upgrades. Further down the park, there’s also the huge fenced bouncy pillow, as well as a popular monorail track that circles the perimeter of the playground. There’s also a zip line that runs along one side. There is also an unsheltered sand-based playground with swings, slides, and climbing equipment. A jumping pillow, seesaws, and other bouncing play equipment provide lots of play opportunities for kids of all ages.

The Rockpools water play is a sculptural water playground. The water play area is designed with cool water fountains and vibrant marine-themed equipment. It includes a creek bed and several tidal rock pools for children to splash in and explore.

The playground features a liberty swing for all abilities. There are four electric BBQs near the main playground area, and several covered table areas near the main playground, plus shady trees and umbrellas in random places on the large lawn area closest to the café. There are several toilet blocks throughout the park, including accessible toilets. There’s lots of paid parking, but know it’s well-patrolled by Gold Coast City Council.

All Abilities Playground at Kurrawa Pratten Park

While not a new playground, the Kurrawa playground has play equipment to suit the needs of children of all ages and abilities, there are plenty of opportunities for fun and imagination throughout the three play zones within this playground.

Children can enjoy sand play, flying foxes, swings, including a Liberty Swing, slides, spinners, climbing equipment, and imaginary play while safely contained within the fenced playground. Due to the fenced nature of the park, this is a popular Gold Coast Kids’ party venue.

As a bonus, the playground is located next to the Kurrawa Surf Club and beach, so when the kids (or adults) tire of the playground you can easily transition to beach play.

Playground features: Fully fenced, flying fox, swings, slides, Liberty swing, climbing equipment, sand play, near beach, BBQs and picnic tables nearby, accessible toilets.

Holly Brooke Carter Playground (Bob Huth Park)

Do you have a dinosaur lover in your family? Then Holly Brooke Carter playground is the place to be! Located in Ashmore, the playground caters for a range of ages, with both a big and small playground at Bob Huth Park. The big playground is 3-storeys high and has two slides, and there’s a fun swinging bridge for children to climb across and plenty of high climbing opportunities too. The small playground has steps that toddlers can crawl or climb up without fear of falling off. There is also a small slide to tackle, and a few interactive panels.

Other elements in the playground include the infamous dinosaur, which survived recent renovations to the playground, to climb, a see saw and a dinosaur rocker, swings and a spinning swing too. The playground is mostly covered by shade sails, and the parkland has plenty of open green spaces with shade trees. There are picnic shelters, but no toilets or BBQs.

Emerald Lakes Parklands, Carrara

Check out Emerald Lakes in Carrara! The play structure revolves around a central ramp, making it accessible for everyone! Children can climb, explore, and slide their way through the play area, with additional slides, climbing webs, interactive panels, swings, a spinner, and a see-saw for endless fun.

Safety is a top priority, as the playground is fully fenced with only one entry and exit point. Shade sails and trees offer protection from the sun, ensuring a comfortable play experience. While heavy rains can make the surrounding parklands wet, the elevated design of the playground keeps it dry.

Conveniently located within walking distance to the French Quarter, it’s the perfect spot to play while parents enjoy a cup of coffee. Please note, there are no toilets or picnic facilities. Off street parking available. There is a bike path and walking track around the lake.

Codrington Park, Pacific Pines

Codrington Park in Pacific Pines is a fantastic neighbourhood playground designed to entertain children of all ages!

This playground is perfect for climbing enthusiasts, featuring an array of climbing structures, nets, bridges, and walls that will keep older children engaged and active. There’s also an exciting flying fox that will be a hit with everyone.

For the younger children, there’s plenty to enjoy as well. The playground includes a swing set, slide, mini pirate ship, and sand play fort, all spread out over a safe sand and soft fall play area. Toddlers seem to especially love running over the boardwalks and exploring under the bridges!

While the playground utilises natural shade, there are no shade cloth coverings, so it can get quite hot in the middle of the day. It’s best to visit in the morning or afternoon to take advantage of the shady spots. Additionally, there are picnic shelters and BBQ areas, perfect for taking a break or watching the children play.

Codrington Park is a great spot for a fun and active day out, offering something for every age group. Don’t forget to bring some water and sun protection to enjoy your visit fully!

Northern Gold Coast

Bim’bimba Park, Pimpama

The Bim’bimba playground is an award-winning park with a large outdoor amphitheatre, toddler play space, playground, teen hangout, and basketball court, which are all connected by a series of entwining paths perfect for bike and scooter riding. There’s also the metal music gong, the animal sculptures, and a spinning wheel. Everything is spread out at this park, with lots of little spaces for different types of play. The park really encourages exploration and the use of imagination.

It’s a climbing-focused park, so better suited to children ages 4+. There is a toddler area separate to the big structures.

The park is partially shaded by shade sails. There are also toilets and baby change facilities, as well as picnic shelters and BBQs on site and onsite parking for 50 cars, otherwise street parking available.

Eagle Tree Park, Coomera Foreshore

Eagle Tree Park at Foreshore Coomera is one of the newest on the Northern Gold Coast. It’s packed with areas for imaginative play and sensory play, as well as more traditional play equipment. It comfortably caters for all ages, and provides a range of experiences for all ability levels.

Based around a central ‘birds nest’ structure, the playground includes a standalone toddler play space, small basketball court and swing set. There are heaps of flat pathways for bike and scooter riding, a picnic shelter with BBQ and a toilet block.

This playground is perfect for those who love to climb! There are platforms to reach, bridges to cross and huge slides to come down again. Little ones are not forgotten, with a space that has a sandpit with hidden shells and diggers and a playhouse with interactive game and music features. There’s also a number of small slides across the park.

The bike paths allow you to link up with the Foreshore Jetty Park, which incorporates a launch pontoon for kayaks and a riverside setting for family get-togethers and barbecues.

On-site there are BBQs, toilets, and a water fountain. The area is accessible for prams, wheelchairs, bikes and scooters.

Tallowwood Park, Upper Coomera

Tallowwood Park is a fantastic spot featuring a large open green space dotted with shady trees, a beautiful lake with ducks, an adrenaline-packed bike track, and a fenced playground – it has everything you could ask for!

Pack the bikes and scooters and start with a walk along the lake, where you can spot ducks and turtles. You can do a complete lap of the lake or follow the length along the path if a full loop is too much for little legs. Then, head over to the playground area, where you’ll find picnic tables, BBQs, a nearby toilet block, a bike track, and the playground.

Children love racing around the bike track, taking on the twists, turns, and hills. Set up a picnic blanket and enjoy a morning tea break between rides. When they’re done with the bikes, it’s time for the playground. The playground is fully fenced, but be mindful of bigger children or adventurous toddlers who might try to climb the rock wall section.

Tallowwood Park offers a perfect mix of activities and facilities for a fun day out! And parents don’t worry, Cafe Two Coomera is not far away!

Parklake Park, Maudsland

The Parklake Park playground is a child’s dream! It has six different playground play spaces and a large park to explore, with a giant brightly-coloured two-level treehouse fort with two slides, several sets of swings including a nest swing, rockers, and see-saws, flying fox, suspended rope bridge, a play car, climbing dome turtle and drums!

There’s also shade sails or large established trees that provide shade over the majority of playground play space, a large sporting field, wide walking paths, one gazebo and several BBQ picnic shelters scattered throughout park, a basketball court, on-site public toilets and an off-street carpark.

Gibirrngaan Park (Black Snake Park), Maudsland

Gibirrngaan Park/Cloverside Park is a unique one! It’s centred around a huge black snake statue. There is play equipment for both young and old with a toddler cubby and slide, as well as a giant rope-climbing tower and enclosed slide for the bigger kids. There’s even a fun sandbox to dig for dinosaur fossils!

There are no toilets or cafes nearby so be prepared. There are several shaded picnic tables for snack breaks.

Lion's Park, Helensvale

Lion’s Park at Helensvale is a huge playground that caters for everyone, especially the climbers, as the only way to the fort is by climbing nets!
The main fort is pirate-themed and features a lookout, a large fort, net bridges, monkey bars, a mega slide, a parkour gym and heaps more!
For toddlers and little ones, there is a smaller playground featuring a mini fort, slide, rocker, see-saw and stepping stones.

Within close proximity are:

  • Barbecues
  • Toilets including a wheelchair-accessible toilet
  • Drinking fountain
  • Picnic shelter
  • Picnic tables

Buckler Park, The Surrounds Helensvale

The Surrounds at Helensvale boasts an innovative playground designed for children to embark on a tactile and sensory journey. It offers numerous play elements, encouraging safe risk-taking and physical and mental challenges. The standout feature for older children is a large, double climbing cube structure, with slides accessible via climbing points and rope nets, ideal for those who love a challenge. Meanwhile, trampolines, a rope swing, and a flying fox provide ample fun for all.

A separate, smaller playground caters to younger children or those less confident in climbing, featuring slides, a ride-on jeep, and a see-saw. Additionally, a sand and water play area promises heaps of messy fun.

Perfect for birthday celebrations, the site includes a large picnic shelter with BBQs, tables, and bench seats, all under shade sails for comfort. To avoid the heat, early morning or late afternoon visits are recommended. Conveniently, a café and toilets are nearby at the community centre, making it an ideal spot for families.

Celadon Park, Helensvale Surrounds

Celadon Park is located in the Helensvale Surrounds estate. This is a great play space for 0-5 year olds with its to the endless opportunities for imaginative play! This playground doesn’t feature any of your traditional play equipment pieces and allows for creative play!

The playground is surrounded by an interactive bike track designed to help kids of all ages learn how to ride a bike. Incorporating traffic signs, a petrol station for refueling, a fire station for imaginative play and a small pump track component for the children looking for a challenge, do not forget to bring the bikes or scooters on this visit!

The playground is shade-sail covered, but the bike track is not. Note there aren’t toilet facilities or BBQs. Picnic tables, rubbish bins and a water fountain are available.

Discovery Park, Helensvale

This popular Helensvale Park got an upgrade in early 2024, moved away from busy Discovery Drive, the fully fenced playground is now situated further into the parklands behind the Tennis Club. It caters to a wide range of ages with varying climbing structures. The playground features two play towers with a bridge, a small ninja climbing structure, a swing set, and a spinner, providing plenty of opportunities for engaging play.

Due to its new location, access involves a bit of a walk. The best parking spot is by the Tennis Club; from there, follow the path entrance to the right of the Tennis Club, running alongside Helensvale State School. Continue on this path, looping around beside the school and behind the Tennis Club to reach the playground. 

Toilets are available at Discovery Park, located near the skate park and close to the Discovery Drive entrance, though they are not very close to the playground itself. The playground offers natural shade from the trees, but there are no shade sales.

Country Paradise Parklands, Nerang

The centrepiece of the adventure playground at the Country Paradise Parklands is the 11.5m windmill with mega slide, accessed via a water-tank tunnel and swing bridge. Wrapping around the entire playground space is a creek bed with water play elements. There are toddler and primary schooler play spaces, as well as the central playground for everyone to enjoy. The water play area features water pumps, troughs and ramps, encouraging the kids to build natural channels for the water to flow.

This area includes BBQs, toilets including accessible ones, a drinking fountain, picnic shelter and picnic tables.

Just beware, we’ve heard magpies can get nasty during mating season.

The Backyard, Coomera Westfield

An unexpected gem at a shopping centre! The Backyard at Coomera Westfield offers a lot for children of all ages!

There’s an age one – four years play zone: a ‘fallen log’ immersive sensory zone entertaining children with tactile, auditory and visual experiences. The fallen log includes cubby and hiding spaces, sound tubes, a playful tunnel experience and slippery slide.

Then there’s an ages four – eight years play zone: a fun-filled obstacle course providing imaginative and adventure play. The space includes numerous balance and climbing experiences, trampolines, swings and a spiral slide.

The real highlight of The Backyard, particularly on hot summer days, is the water play area, which features ankle to knee-deep water, children can pump the water pumps, dodge squirting frogs, spin water wheels and explore the winding streams of water. The Backyard features big shade sails and grassy banks, and has deck chairs for the adults. There are change rooms are right beside the water area, plus toilets and BBQs. The Backyard is also conveniently located right next to the shopping centre’s fresh food Marketplace!

Green Grove Park, Pimpama

Green Grove Park in Gainsborough Greens (Pimpama) isn’t the biggest playground in the area, but the playground’s interpretive and educational play experience is why it received an Award of Excellence – Play Spaces at the 2019 Queensland Landscape Architecture Awards in recognition of the playground’s elements of exploration, discovery, role play, balance, climbing, storytelling, exhilaration, and social interaction.

Children will enjoy this award-winning adventure playground with its eight-metre-high hill slide, timber log play forts, sandstone block stair climb, and sand play at the base. The playground also includes a reclaimed fallen tree for climbing over as well as big sandstone boulders and climbing structures. The area is connected by pathways and dry creek beds.

Note, there are no toilet or BBQ facilities available.

Aquila Park, Pimpama

Aquila Park’s playground is a haven of fun, featuring a fantastic water play area with dynamic spouts and pumps, an impressive slide tower, a spinner, and various climbing and balancing equipment. Designed to keep children engaged for hours, the playground is divided into four zones, each offering activities suited to different ages and skill levels. The layout ensures all areas are visible from the surrounding seating, making it a hit with parents too.

Zone 1 offers a gentle introduction with a swing set, a small cubby house, rope balance beams, and a see-saw.

Zone 2 is a paradise for sand play enthusiasts, equipped with diggers, water play tunnels, spouts, pumps, and troughs.

Zone 3 focuses on climbing, featuring a small structure with a slide, mushrooms for hopping, colourful boulders for climbing, and a four-seater spinner.

Zone 4 boasts the slide tower, standing 9m tall with two slides catering to different confidence levels, mesh panels for peeking through at the top, and a side rock climbing wall.

Additional features include a small bike path around the playground, perfect for scooters or bike learners, and a dry creek bed for exploration. With a toilet block, BBQ, and picnic tables on site, Aquila Park promises a fun outing for families.

Hilltop Park, Ormeau

An oldie but a goodie! Hilltop Park is split into two sections, you’ll find a shady toddler play area with a car, climbing frame and mini playground with slide and swing in one area.

The main playground space is better suited for bigger children, with a larger playground and slide, large climbing net, balance beams, spinners and a swing set. Little ones can also climb the ramp up to the old water tower, which has been converted into a play structure.

Toilets, a BBQ , water bubbler and picnic shelter are right beside the playground, with additional shady seating all through the park.

Redlands

Thornlands Community Park, Thornlands

Thornlands Community Park is a nature-themed playground that includes multiple nature-inspired installments. Children will be able to spot plenty of fun larger-than-life vegetables scattered around the playground too!

The park features a ‘dinosaur dig’ area where kids can uncover a large dinosaur fossil buried in a sandy pit, with excavation tools included. Alongside this is a large sandpit with diggers and the area is rimmed with large stone and wood stepping stones.

you will find a huge, three-towered climbing structure which features two giant enclosed slides, climbing nets, enclosed netted walkways and even a pirate ship crows nest.

It has large climbing mounds covered in soft matting and a delightful little farmers market cottage with slide. It has a slide, outdoor dining area and a couple of little spots to set up in.

The playground also features a two-person flying fox, ninja warrior-like climbing course, swings and includes sensory and all-abilities play too!

The park features accessible toilets, is partially shaded by shade sails, BBQs, picnic shelters with tables and benches.

Jingeri Park, Shoreline, Redland Bay

The Jingeri Park playground has been designed with climbing and sliding in mind with several options offered to scale the elevated playgrounds with two slides to come back down!
The playground at Jingeri Park was created in partnership with the traditional owners of the land. The structures within the playground have been designed to embody the local landmarks, including an 8.5m lighthouse and a jetty.
The park also has a picnic area and shaded areas to enjoy some lunch or a coffee whilst the children play.
Jingeri Park also showcases native flora, including three fig trees being relocated from the Shoreline site, chosen for their ties to First Nations culture and local plant species.

Mount Cotton Community Park, Redlands

Mount Cotton Community Park has a wonderful mix of slides, tunnels, monkey bars, balance beams, and a challenging climbing web. The main play structure has several ideal look-out posts and a bridge that invokes fantasy games of houses and ships. There’s a great toddler section too, with its own mini fort featuring low-set stairs and slides, plus musical instruments, a sand activity table, and a large plastic igloo. Both playgrounds are covered by a shade sail and surrounded by sand.

Other features include a flying fox, a basketball court, skate park, off-leash dog area and lots of green space. The parkland also has wheelchair-accessible toilets, electric BBQs, covered picnic tables, and a network of wide concrete paths.

Capalaba Regional Park, Capalaba

Capalaba Regional Park is a great all abilities playground, with a giant terraced playground for children of all ages, in which they can clamber, swing, wander, wheel, and interact with sensory installations. The climbing webs, a fortress, flying fox, built-in slides, a sandpit, and totem pole maze are supported by sensory equipment such as steel drums and an audio spinning wheel.

The playground is overlooked by BBQ and picnic pavilions and with wheelchair-accessible paths winding throughout. There’s also covered areas and accessible toilets nearby.

The park also boasts a spacious dog off-leash area, lily ponds, and a number of paths for walking or cycling.

O'Gorman Street Park, Alexandra Hills

O’Gorman Street Park received a high commendation in the recent Queensland Parks and Leisure Conference Awards of Excellence for its ‘outstanding and innovative upgrade’ just a few years ago.

The park offers swings for babies and children, musical play, a basketball court, slides, climbing ropes, and plenty of things to climb and jump over.

The accessible park also has drinking fountains, BBQs, public toilets and plenty of shade and picnic shelters.

Our Top Logan Playgrounds

Logan Village Green playground

This fantastic playground features a birds’ nest lookout, slides, trampolines, a flying fox, totem poles with ropes, a dry creek bed, and a range of swings for all ages and abilities.🌲

The highlight for us is the mega slide, with a fun and impressive climb up to the top via logs and net tunnels and through several platforms, including some that resemble a birdhouse and a birds nest. There’s also a mini slide off the bottom platform.

It also has a balancing obstacle section including natural stumps, logs and ropes to test the balance of visitors. The shaded soft play section has multiple swings for visitors of different abilities.

There are three inground trampoline pads and a ground-level round-about that is fun for all visitors and accessible for people in wheelchairs.

The area also includes covered picnic tables, park benches and sandstone blocks for seating, barbecues, accessible toilets, skate park nearby (across the oval) and wide cement paths.

Eridani Park, Logan

Located in Logan is Eridani Park! This park and playground have just had an exciting new upgrade, featuring a brand new nature play area!

This recreational space features a wide, rocky creek bed with water pumps! There are multiple opportunities for crossing the creek bed, including bridges, logs and sandstone structures. This new space is perfect for children of all ages to enhance gross motor skills and coordination.
New additions to the playground include a spinning carousel, a new set of swings including a nest swing and a flying fox!

There’s also accessible toilets, a BBQ area, basketball court and a picnic area.

Bellubera Park, Yarrabilba

 Billubera Park boasts over 5.6 hectares of parkland, the park features two multi-level play towers, a 10-metre elevated ‘maze bridge’ walkway and a 4.5-metre tube slide! 

This playground also features a ninja warrior course for those little risk-takers, as well as a basketball court, nature play areas and two large ovals. This park also has toilet facilities and plenty of seating.

In the Yugambeh language billubera means ‘a clear sky or fine day’  this name was chosen as it represents the prospect of having clear, fine and sunny days at this family orientated parkland.  The language connects the site back to country and shares culture with the wider community. 

Alexander Clark Park, Loganholme

Alexander Clark Park at Loganholme is brand new and full of fun activities for the family to enjoy! With its unique Australian animal theme and water play area, it’s the perfect spot for a weekend adventure!

The main playground features a large koala structure, providing climbing opportunities and a thrilling slide. The park also includes a bike path with two small pump tracks, a flying fox, swings, trampolines, a small slide, and a digger for added fun.

One standout feature is the engaging water play area! Children can enjoy a gentle spray of water from misters, water pumps, and a network of channels to direct water flow.

Additional amenities include toilets, shade sails, and picnic tables, making it a well-equipped destination for family outings.

Flagstone Adventure Park, Jimboomba

Located within the expansive 10-hectare Flagstone Regional Park, this adventure playground stands as one of the largest in South East Queensland, promising endless fun for children of all ages. The playground thoughtfully includes a dedicated toddler zone for younger children and those preferring to stay closer to the ground. This area boasts a low-level fort equipped with miniature firemen’s poles, tiny ladders, and slides of various heights. Little explorers can also navigate a caterpillar-themed climbing web or venture through a long tunnel that’s nestled into the ground.

For those bursting with energy, the playground offers a competition-standard skate plaza and a concrete half basketball court. There’s also a multi-purpose grass field outfitted with basketball hoops and soccer goalposts for sports enthusiasts.

The central playground section is well-shaded by sails and encircled by sandstone blocks, creating a comfortable spot for carers to relax while the children enjoy prolonged play sessions. Additional attractions within the playground include in-ground trampolines, bouncers, bike paths, merry-go-rounds, twin flying foxes, and eight swings. This selection features two all-abilities net swings and two swings for infants, ensuring enjoyment for all.

Right next to the Flagstone Adventure Park lies the equally impressive Flagstone Water Park, complete with a café for those looking to grab a coffee. There are public toilets, but no BBQs, and off-street parking.

Our Top Ipswich Playgrounds

Faye Carr Park, Ripley

Check out Faye Carr Park in Ripley, a rocket ship-themed playground designed for the whole community.

The standout feature is the impressive trio of red and green pods, which have become a landmark of the Ecco Ripley development since its opening in 2018. These custom-designed pods by Playscape Creations are a first for Australia, offering sensory delights like cogs, steering equipment, and rainbow spinning wheels, all connected by a bridge. The exterior is just as engaging with ladders, slides, staircases, and fireman poles for endless fun.

For younger children, there’s a separate toddler playground complete with a mini slide, ladder, and puzzles. The area also includes a five-person swing circle, a rotating net climber, a see-saw, and a double-track flying fox for inclusive play.

Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the middle section of the park with multipurpose fields for soccer, rugby, and basketball, as well as an outdoor workout zone. Picnic shelters and BBQs make it perfect for a family outing.

 Over 20 developmental activities between the main and toddler playgrounds promote educational play in a fun outdoor setting. The park also emphasises social play with shared swing circles, rotating net climbers, and multi-track flying foxes, encouraging greater participation.

The parklands are wheelchair and pram friendly, with accessible pathways connecting all areas. The seated playground equipment, including an adaptive swing, see-saw, and net climber, are designed for inclusivity.

Faye Carr Park Features:

  • Accessible toilets
  • Unfenced
  • Baby change table facilities
  • Playground 50% covered by shade sails
  • Rubber, bark chip, and sand base
  • Adaptive swing with harness
  • Learn-to-ride track
  • Basketball court
  • Fitness equipment
  • Open kick-around area
  • Soccer/rugby field
  • BBQs
  • Picnic shelters
  • On-street parking

Orion Mega Playground, Springfield

 A multi-million dollar playground that is accessible and engaging for all ages is the incredible result of a consultation between locals and Orion Shopping Centre.

The main attraction is a vibrant activity centre with a tower reaching 11 metres high, accessible via internal ladders or a 16-metre Sky Walk bridge offering a birds-eye view of the playground below. Two enormous tunnel slides flank the tower, perfect for young thrill-seekers. Note that the play area is not fenced from the nearby car park, so close adult supervision is necessary.

For children who prefer to stay grounded, the playground features in-built trampolines, mountaineering ropes, and a large climbing net tunnel. A wheelchair-friendly merry-go-round promotes inclusive play.

The toddler area includes slides, stairs, a rock climbing wall, a fire pole, a colourful see-saw, and a cognitive play hut with educational activities. Swings are available for both independent children and those needing assistance. Most of the playground is covered by shade sails or roofing for sun protection.

Redbank Plains Recreation Reserve Playground, Redbank Plains

Located just 15 minutes from Ipswich city, the recently upgraded Redbank Plains Recreation Reserve has become a popular community hub for gathering, playing, socialising, and relaxing.

The central playground features a 9-metre tall adventure tower made of cargo netting, platforms, and ladders, offering a vertical thrill for older children. Climbers can choose between a speedy tunnel slide and a twisty tube slide. The roped exterior allows for easy parental supervision.

The reserve also boasts a 20-metre high ropes course, challenging balance, strength, and coordination, with opportunities for adults to assist younger climbers. Additional features include a giant rotating bird’s nest swing, a multi-bay swing set, and sensory spinners.

A dedicated toddler playground caters to ages one to five with accessible platforms, ground-level activities, gentle slides, and imaginative play areas. Essentials such as swings, see-saws, bouncers, and an inclusive carousel are built on a soft base with ample shade sails. Nearby seating is available for supervision and picnics.

The reserve also includes a newly renovated skate park, suitable for skaters of all levels, adjacent to a large grassy field ideal for soccer, cricket, or kite flying.

Additional features:

  • BBQs
  • Car Parking
  • Dog Off Leash Area
  • Drinking Water
  • Gazebos/Rotunda/Shelters
  • Picnic Facilities/Seats/Benches
  • Power
  • Public Toilets

Splash n' Play Adventure Park, Ripley

The rapidly expanding Ripley Valley is home to several state-of-the-art playgrounds, and the Splash ‘n’ Play Adventure Park is a standout. Designed for all age groups, the park features towering sky cabins at 7.5 metres high, connected by enclosed rope bridges for safety. Children can exit the playground via a straight tubular slide, a twisted mega slide, or by climbing down netted ladders. This section is ideal for children over 5, though confident younger climbers can also enjoy it.

The park also includes a flying fox, a small swing set, and toddler-friendly options in the neighbouring play area.

Directly across from the playground is a shaded, multi-age Splash ’n’ Play area with water fountains, movable sprayers, button-controlled jets, and waterfall arches. This area is divided into two sections, allowing smaller children to play safely away from the larger splash zone. The non-slip rubber base and ample seating enhance safety and supervision.

For families, the Forty West Café at the top of the adventure park serves delicious coffee and food daily. A takeaway coffee is ideal, as a tall garden partially blocks the view between the café seating and the playground below.

  • Accessible toilets
  • Not fenced but set back from the road
  • Largely shaded playground and water play area
  • Zero-depth Splash ‘n’ Play area
  • Mixture of bark, artificial turf, and rubber base
  • Family-friendly café
  • Showers
  • Picnic shelters
  • BBQs
  • Open kick-around area
  • Ample on-site parking

Sunshine Park, Bellevue Ripley

As you approach the Sunshine Park playground, the central tower immediately catches the eye. Standing at 8 metres tall with three levels, it invites children to come and play. Inspired by the towering trees and creeping vines of a rainforest, the structure is both impressive and engaging.

Children can access the different levels through vertical climbing tunnels, ball pommels, and nets. The internal decks are inclined to provide an extra challenge. Once at the top, the 4.5-metre tunnel slide offers a thrilling descent back to the ground.

In the junior play area, there is a cubby-style fort with interactive elements decorating the walls. A small slide is easily accessible for little ones using stable stepping platforms.

For those who love to run or play ball sports, Sunshine Park features a basketball half-court, a handball court, and a generous kickabout area. There’s also a small pump track designed to manoeuvre around without pedalling, providing an additional challenge for competent riders and a fun spot for little ones to push their diggers down the hills.

Features:

  • 8-metre tall central tower with three levels
  • Vertical climbing tunnels, ball pommels, and nets
  • 4.5-metre tunnel slide
  • Junior play area with cubby-style fort and interactive elements
  • Basketball half-court, handball court, and kickabout area
  • Small pump track
  • No public toilets

Sunshine Park is an engaging and versatile playground, offering a variety of activities for children of all ages.

Tucker Family Park, Bellbird Park

Tucker Family Park is one of the best parks in Ipswich for children of all ages and abilities, set in a beautiful, nature-filled environment. This park offers a range of exciting features:

Key Attractions:

  • Giant Cube Tower: An impressive 11-metre structure with an 18-metre steel slide, providing plenty of thrills.
  • Toddler-Friendly Features: Includes a smaller slide from the second level of the cube and a dedicated play fort for younger children.
  • Sports Facilities: A large sporting field with goal posts and a fenced multi-purpose court for basketball and other games.
  • Nature Trails: Concrete pathways that lead around the park, through the trees, and to a dog off-leash park and separate puppy park. These paths also connect several local communities with hectares of green space.

Playground Features:

  • Fort with Mini Climbing Wall and Rope Bridge
  • Cube Tower with Giant Tube Slide
  • Musical Bar Chimes
  • Rocker and Roundabout
  • Climbing Nets
  • Sports Field and Multi-purpose Sports Court
  • Gym Equipment
  • Bike and Walking Paths
  • Picnic Tables and Shelters

Tucker Family Park is perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying a variety of activities. Whether it’s exploring the extensive playground, participating in sports, or simply taking a peaceful walk, this park has something for everyone.

Whiterock Adventure Playground and Splash Pad, Ripley Valley

Whiterock Adventure Playground and Splash Pad in Ripley Valley is quickly becoming a top summer destination. The standout feature is the intriguing “play curl” structure, accompanied by water play and natural exploration zones.

Upon entering the beautifully designed space, the first thing you’ll notice is the huge and uniquely shaped “play curl,” which looks more like a sculptural masterpiece than a playground. The Australian-first design is over 16 metres long and can accommodate up to 40 children at a time with its mixture of net climbs, rock climbing holds, rubber ramps, balancing ropes, and suspended resting areas. This area is best suited for children aged 5 to 12, though confident younger climbers can also enjoy it.

Directly across from the playground is a mostly shaded, zero-depth Splash ’n’ Play area. It features water fountains, movable wiggly sprayers, button-controlled jets, and waterfall arches. Smaller children can safely enjoy water play away from the larger splash zone. The area has a non-slip rubber base for safety and ample seating for supervision.

Rounding out the play space are other playground favourites, including an embankment slide, swings, a seesaw, educational games, and an accessible carousel. The parklands are also equipped with full picnic amenities, making it an excellent choice for birthday parties and family gatherings.

The “play curl” offers a foundation for imaginative play. Its abstract design creates a sense of mystery and encourages problem-solving. Running adjacent to the curl is a dry creek bed with cylindrical stepping stones, providing a nice contrast to the metal and steel of the playground and encouraging a nature-style play. The different ground textures, equipment heights, and water play combine to form a multi-sensory experience.

Whiterock Adventure Playground is located on even terrain with connecting paths, making it easy to navigate with prams. The ground-level carousel spinner is designed for inclusive play. Disabled toilets and a baby change room are available on site.

Additional Features:

  • Unfenced playground
  • Accessible toilets
  • Mostly covered by shade sails
  • Bark chip, rubber, stone bases
  • Swings, including toddler and birds nest swings
  • Natural play elements
  • Educational games
  • Steel slide
  • Seesaw
  • Wheelchair accessible carousel
  • Short bike and scooter track
  • Picnic shelters
  • Electric BBQs
  • Bench seating
  • Kick-around area
  • Ample on and off-street parking

Whiterock Adventure Playground is perfect for families seeking fun and adventure, with diverse activities for children of all ages.

Our Top Brisbane Playgrounds

City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane

A visit to the Botanical Gardens is a must when you’re in Brisbane, but have you been to the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens playground? This play space has been designed to host a range of sensory play, musical activities, imaginative and physical play.

There are climbing objects for little ones and tall musical chimes that can have two kids at any one time playing a melody. A circle of ten speaker tubes has been set up for children to listen and speak through, and to encourage social interaction. There’s also spinning hand objects, clear shapes to look through, and a sand play area with little diggers to sit and dig in the sand. This Brisbane playground features all the standard equipment, including multiple one and two-person see-saws and spinning seats, a four swing set, including one baby swing and one for all abilities.

Located nearby are public toilets, it is partially shaded but not fenced.

Our Top Ipswich Playgrounds

Faye Carr Park, Ripley

Check out Faye Carr Park in Ripley, a rocket ship-themed playground designed for the whole community.

The standout feature is the impressive trio of red and green pods, which have become a landmark of the Ecco Ripley development since its opening in 2018. These custom-designed pods by Playscape Creations are a first for Australia, offering sensory delights like cogs, steering equipment, and rainbow spinning wheels, all connected by a bridge. The exterior is just as engaging with ladders, slides, staircases, and fireman poles for endless fun.

For younger children, there’s a separate toddler playground complete with a mini slide, ladder, and puzzles. The area also includes a five-person swing circle, a rotating net climber, a see-saw, and a double-track flying fox for inclusive play.

Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the middle section of the park with multipurpose fields for soccer, rugby, and basketball, as well as an outdoor workout zone. Picnic shelters and BBQs make it perfect for a family outing.

 Over 20 developmental activities between the main and toddler playgrounds promote educational play in a fun outdoor setting. The park also emphasises social play with shared swing circles, rotating net climbers, and multi-track flying foxes, encouraging greater participation.

The parklands are wheelchair and pram friendly, with accessible pathways connecting all areas. The seated playground equipment, including an adaptive swing, see-saw, and net climber, are designed for inclusivity.

Faye Carr Park Features:

  • Accessible toilets
  • Unfenced
  • Baby change table facilities
  • Playground 50% covered by shade sails
  • Rubber, bark chip, and sand base
  • Adaptive swing with harness
  • Learn-to-ride track
  • Basketball court
  • Fitness equipment
  • Open kick-around area
  • Soccer/rugby field
  • BBQs
  • Picnic shelters
  • On-street parking

Orion Mega Playground, Springfield

 A multi-million dollar playground that is accessible and engaging for all ages is the incredible result of a consultation between locals and Orion Shopping Centre.

The main attraction is a vibrant activity centre with a tower reaching 11 metres high, accessible via internal ladders or a 16-metre Sky Walk bridge offering a birds-eye view of the playground below. Two enormous tunnel slides flank the tower, perfect for young thrill-seekers. Note that the play area is not fenced from the nearby car park, so close adult supervision is necessary.

For children who prefer to stay grounded, the playground features in-built trampolines, mountaineering ropes, and a large climbing net tunnel. A wheelchair-friendly merry-go-round promotes inclusive play.

The toddler area includes slides, stairs, a rock climbing wall, a fire pole, a colourful see-saw, and a cognitive play hut with educational activities. Swings are available for both independent children and those needing assistance. Most of the playground is covered by shade sails or roofing for sun protection.

Redbank Plains Recreation Reserve Playground, Redbank Plains

Located just 15 minutes from Ipswich city, the recently upgraded Redbank Plains Recreation Reserve has become a popular community hub for gathering, playing, socialising, and relaxing.

The central playground features a 9-metre tall adventure tower made of cargo netting, platforms, and ladders, offering a vertical thrill for older children. Climbers can choose between a speedy tunnel slide and a twisty tube slide. The roped exterior allows for easy parental supervision.

The reserve also boasts a 20-metre high ropes course, challenging balance, strength, and coordination, with opportunities for adults to assist younger climbers. Additional features include a giant rotating bird’s nest swing, a multi-bay swing set, and sensory spinners.

A dedicated toddler playground caters to ages one to five with accessible platforms, ground-level activities, gentle slides, and imaginative play areas. Essentials such as swings, see-saws, bouncers, and an inclusive carousel are built on a soft base with ample shade sails. Nearby seating is available for supervision and picnics.

The reserve also includes a newly renovated skate park, suitable for skaters of all levels, adjacent to a large grassy field ideal for soccer, cricket, or kite flying.

Our Top Brisbane Playgrounds

City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane

A visit to the Botanical Gardens is a must when you’re in Brisbane, but have you been to the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens playground? This play space has been designed to host a range of sensory play, musical activities, imaginative and physical play.

There are climbing objects for little ones and tall musical chimes that can have two kids at any one time playing a melody. A circle of ten speaker tubes has been set up for children to listen and speak through, and to encourage social interaction. There’s also spinning hand objects, clear shapes to look through, and a sand play area with little diggers to sit and dig in the sand. This Brisbane playground features all the standard equipment, including multiple one and two-person see-saws and spinning seats, a four swing set, including one baby swing and one for all abilities.

Located nearby are public toilets, it is partially shaded but not fenced.

Kalinga Park Playground, Clayfield

Kalinga Park Playground offers some fun timber forts, resembling trees houses, which are adorned with many opportunities to climb – nets, poles, bars, ladders, steps and a climbing wall. This Brisbane playground is suitable for children of all ages, with a separate structure, slide and swings designed for the younger children.

There’s a mini traffic track, adjacent to the playground, can be utilised to develop road safety awareness and riding skills.

The park also offers accessible toilet facilities, electric BBQs, picnic tables both sheltered and unsheltered, water fountains, walking and cycle paths and a fenced, off-leash dog area. Note the playground is not fenced.

Lower Moora Park, Shorncliffe

The Lower Moora Park seaside playground offers fantastic forts, slides and wooden carvings. Confident climbers will enjoy exploring the many levels of the playground

There is also a separate fort perfect for toddlers, which includes a slide and a place to express themselves musically via the instruments. Toddlers can also amuse themselves under the main playground in the play area underneath the fort or get busy in the sand area, where there is plenty of space for digging. They can also play on the colourful animal structures and spring rockers.

Note this park is near water and unfenced, but does offer shade sails and large trees, a variety of seating options surrounding the playground, water fountain, shaded picnic tables, BBQs, and accessible toilets.

Bray Farm Park, Griffin

Commonly known as the ‘Harry Potter’ park in Griffin, north of Brisbane, this destination blends art, culture, nature, and fun for the entire family.

Discover two whimsical ‘cottage style’ play structures, a climbing sphere, slides, swings, and charming bridges. With a magical forest backdrop, plenty of park benches, winding paths, and a large grassy area for games, this park is sure to be a fun day out for all!

Parents take note, there aren’t toilets, the park isn’t fenced and it’s close to a road, so keep an eye on your youngsters while they play!

Hidden World Playground, Fitzgibbon

Hidden World Playground is a wonderful north Brisbane playground with a series of interconnected rainbow-coloured ‘houses’ built on sand and is ideally suited to toddlers and preschoolers. Besides clambering through the houses, there are plenty of other fun activities including the sandpits surrounding, as well as an in-ground lawn maze.

Hidden World has a whole back story that you can find here!

The playground is not fenced, but it’s not close to the road. It offers accessible toilets including a baby change table
There are no shade sails over play equipment, but in the general area there are. There are water fountains, four shaded picnic areas and electric BBQs.

Rocks Riverside Park, Seventeen Mile Rocks

The popular Rocks Riverside Park offers a whole day of fun for families!

There are two playgrounds, each aimed at differing age groups. There is a giant fort aimed at bigger kids, with so many climbing and exploring options. The fort is mostly covered, so lots of shade, with additional shade sails nearby. There is also a flying fox, giant climbing net, swings, bike paths, exploration paths, and even a half basketball court. The playground for younger children is fully fenced with two smaller forts: a toddler fort and one for those slightly bigger kids. There’s also a sandpit is also within the fenced area, with a sand table and push-button water tap to help with the sand creations. Toddler swings, bouncers, and safari car seat all add to the fun to be had here.

This Brisbane playground also makes for a great summer stop, with a water play and splash zone. Children can play in the shallow water, run in and out of the fountains, relax in the man-made rock pools and more. There are multiple shade sails covering most of the water play area.

There are accessible toilet facilities, a soft-fall ground cover, BBQ and covered picnic areas.

Thrush Street Park, Inala

Thrush Street Park in Inala is a great suburban oasis that’s a must-visit for families in Brisbane! This park is fun for children of all ages, boasting an array of playful attractions. A standout feature is the misting forest, complete with interactive water sprayers, which is a crowd-pleaser during the warmer seasons.

Despite its compact size, Thrush Street Park’s playground is densely packed with engaging elements. Notable attractions include a sizable climbing structure with two thrilling slides, an extended flying fox, swings, and a merry-go-round, ensuring endless entertainment for little visitors.

The playground also houses an exciting water play area, highlighted by a hand-operated water pump that feeds into a creek leading towards the misting forest. Here, towering tree-like structures equipped with buttons unleash a refreshing shower from their branches, offering a delightful escape from the heat. It’s a good idea to bring along a change of clothes, swimwear, and towels, especially on hot days, to fully enjoy the water features. However, it’s important to note the absence of public toilets at the park, so plan your visit accordingly.

Accessibility is thoughtfully considered at Thrush Street Park. The merry-go-round is flush with the surrounding soft fall area, facilitating access for visitors with wheelchairs and other mobility devices. Additionally, interactive panels and musical features are conveniently located on this accessible surface. Wide concrete pathways meander through the playground, with one leading directly to the water play area and misting forest, both set over a sturdy concrete base.

Parking is available in an off-street lot with a gravel surface, but be prepared for a brief walk over uneven grass to reach the playground from the car park. Thrush Street Park is indeed packed with features that cater to a wide range of interests and needs, making it a fantastic destination for a family day out.

Colmslie Beach Reserve, Murarrie

Colmslie Beach Reserve, nestled along the Brisbane River, offers everything for a perfect day out. With attractions including flying foxes, slides, climbable large sculptures of sea creatures, interactive water play, and scenic picnic areas, plus a new scooter/bike track, it’s a haven for families.

This park is a paradise for children, featuring a playground with unique sculptures like a fish, octopus, crab, and submarine, designed to enhance gross motor skills. Interactive buttons activate water features for extra fun. The playground also offers a variety of activities including a dry creek bed for imaginative play, a balancing bridge, slides, a musical boat, and a flying fox.

The reserve is well-equipped for picnics and outdoor activities, with ample seating, connected pathways, and abundant shade. A highlight is the scooter/bike track complete with a maintenance pit stop, making it feel like a real road adventure with its speed bumps and road signs.

Accessible toilets are conveniently located within the playground area, which is semi-fenced for safety. The larger park area is open, inviting visitors to explore the boardwalk for stunning views of the Gateway Bridge and the Brisbane River.

Colmslie Beach Reserve encourages imaginative play, whether pretending to be a sea captain or a pirate. The playground’s design and facilities, including a partially fenced play area, accessible toilets, shaded play equipment, and ample green spaces, make it an ideal spot for family outings.

Wynnum Whale Park, Whynnum

Wynnum Whale Park is a hit with young families, featuring a unique whale pod water spray area on soft rubber matting to prevent slips. Children love climbing and jumping off water-spouting whale sculptures, with intermittent water bursts adding to the excitement. The area includes a large tipping bucket and a smaller water feature for younger children, ideal for leaf races along miniature streams.

Adjacent to this water play zone is a spacious nautical-themed playground, offering climbing structures, slides, swings, and imaginative play areas like a shop and boat. Situated near Wynnum Jetty and Pandanus Beach, it’s perfect for a calm beach day. The area also boasts bike paths and walkways along the waterfront, ideal for a family ride or stroll. Nearby fish and chip cafes provide convenient dining options.

There’s also the Wynnum Wading Pool nearby. The oceanic theme encourages imaginative play, with children pretending to be sea captains or pirates, while the anticipation of which whale will spray water next adds to the fun.

The park is accessible, with wheelchair-friendly toilets and shaded areas for setting up a day camp. Unsheltered water park sections, small gazebos, picnic tables, and well-maintained BBQs make it comfortable for families. Shops and cafes are easily reachable for refreshments, with convenient parking and public transport options nearby.

Wynnum Whale Park’s features include an unfenced playground with sand and rubber surfaces, accessible toilets, a wading pool, seasonal water play, ocean-themed play structures, climbing nets, slides, swings, and bike and walking paths. Sheltered picnic spots, BBQs, and the sight of soldier crabs at low tide enrich the visit.

Riverside Green Playground, Southbank

A visit to the Southbank isn’t complete (at least for children) without a stop to the Riverside Green Playground!

The two-level playground has an adventure zone up top, and the lower level features interactive equipment. The 7.5 metre high structure has sky cabin towers interconnected by a series of rope bridges and connecting slides.

For the smaller ones, there’s a dedicated toddler area on the upper terrace level with an all-inclusive area pirate ship-themed toddler zone with undercover areas, grasp holes, climbing ladders and ropes, slides, compass, binoculars, and interactive elements to touch and turn.

This park space also features climbing nets, slides, swings, and a giant hamster wheel!

The area, not enclosed, also features accessible toilets, including baby change table, shade sails, picnic tables, electric BBQs and water fountains.

Bradbury Park, Kedron

Check out the new and improved Bradbury Park, which received a $10m upgrade in 2023! There are comments about this park that it’s really like a ‘mini theme park’ and we can definitely see why!

It encourages adventure play with challenging towers and bridges to navigate and incorporates inspired nature play. It’s also great for keen climbers, as every surface at Bradbury Park has footholds and handgrips encouraging climbing. This playground is tailored more for children ages five and older, however, the little ones still might enjoy it with the help of a grown-up or an older sibling! Toddlers aren’t forgotten though, underneath there is a section just for little ones to explore, with a mini cliff climber and wide slide at the top of a soft fall mount.

Parents, just be warned due to its design, it might be hard to spot your child in the structure, and there is a certain amount of risk involved when playing at Bradbury Park.

The area includes picnic spots, BBQs, toilets, an impressive scooter track that includes several challenging obstacles. You’ll also find a basketball half-court and a fully fenced dog park.
The park is now equipped with all the other amenities that will keep families comfortable and entertained for hours on end. 🎉

Buxton Park, Yarrabilba

Buxton Park truly offers something for everyone! For children, there’s an 8.7-metre high tower featuring two enclosed slides set either side of an elaborate climbing web. The most unique feature is the large synthetic grass caterpillar which snakes its way around the playground precinct. Children will adore scaling the rises before rolling, running or jumping into the dips. There’s also in-ground trampolines, swings for all ages and abilities, horse bouncers and spinning poles round out the play equipment aimed at children. Grownups haven’t been left out of the design either! There’s an innovative outdoor gym featuring magnetic bells for strength training, a core twist, a bicycle, and more. The equipment even has an integrated training app to help you get the most out of a workout.

There are BBQs and a picnic area, but no public toilets.

New Farm Park Playground

Have you visited New Farm Park Playground? This enchanted forest playground in Brisbane, nestled in amongst Moreton Bay Fig trees, consists of an impressive fort-like tree-house with an expansive bridge walk that winds and promotes all kinds of imaginative play. It boasts:

  • climbing walls
  • meandering pathways
  • wobbly walkways
  • chain link bridges
  • swaying poles to
  • clamber across
  • slippery slides.

There’s also a separate playground for the littlest ones, as well as accessible play equipment. This outdoor gem is just a few minutes’ walk from the New Farm Park ferry terminal and the Powerhouse Museum. Onsite are accessible toilets, BBQs, walking and bike paths, water fountains, an onsite cafe for coffee and plenty of cafes nearby and free parking.

There you have it! We hope you enjoyed our list of the best playgrounds on the Gold Coast and in Redlands and Brisbane City. If you’re after the best childcare in the Gold Coast and Brisbane areas, look no further than Little Scholars, we’re sure to have a centre near you. Contact us or book a tour today to ensure your little one gets the best start to life that they can.

Do you have a playground you think should be here? Let us know on our socials @littlescholarsearlylearning!
*Images courtesy of Gold Coast, Redlands and Brisbane city councils, mrslardeedah.com, romethegnome.com, and kidsonthecoast.com.

Our Parkwood little scholars are not only a part of our newest intergenerational program, they’re helping contribute to important research that looks at how intergenerational bonds support children’s emotional wellbeing as well as that of older people who often experience feelings of loneliness in their later years. This latest study by Griffith University will run over 24 weeks in three eight-week pairings with eight children and eight grandfriends.

Researchers at Griffith University, led by Professors Gaery Barbery and Anneke Fitzgerald, are evaluating the intergenerational program, proudly hosted by Bupa Agedcare Group Limited at Bupa Runaway Bay.

“The program is all about making connections,” according to Professor Barbery, project lead for Griffith University.

The project will measure loneliness, resilience and general wellbeing of the aged care residents using the De Jong Scale of Loneliness, he says. 

Isolation and feelings of loneliness are a serious threat for older people, because they’re more likely to live alone, lose family members and friends, suffer from chronic illness and hearing loss. Statistically, one in four older (over 65) Australians live alone. Of those who live alone, according to a 2015 Australian Bureau of Statistics survey, about 12 per cent didn’t receive visitors in a three-month period, and older men were reported to be less likely to have been visited, at 17 per cent.

From the viewpoint of the children, their educators will mark and monitor the project feedback and how it measures against set parameters using the Leuven scale.

“It measures children’s wellbeing and involvement based on observations from staff. There’s also a reflection manual for staff (educators) to offer their perspective of the program, along with a program evaluation survey,” according to Professor Barbery.

Bupa residents getting involved
Img 2738
Joan was surprised at how much she enjoyed her first vist with our little scholars

The Bupa residents were delighted to join the research project, all having different reasons for wanting to be a part of the program. 

“To see the little ones again, because my grandchildren are all grown up, and all littler ones who’ve been born are overseas, so it’s nice to see little people again,” says Lorette. 

“I like little children, and I’ve got a baby great-granddaughter but she’s in New Zealand. So this is a way to spend time with small children. They’re so cute, they’re gorgeous!” Pam says.

Being a half a world away from her family has been hard for Beverley.

“I was a teacher in preschool. I just love kids,” she says. “I have two grandchildren in England, I miss having my family nearby, they come but it’s so far away and a lot of money.”

For Joan, who turned 95 the day before the research project kicked off, she hadn’t considered how much she’d enjoy the visits.

“To start with, it was just an activity, but I found it was so interesting watching these children.”

And Joan says she’s impressed by the maturity of the children, even though they’re only four and five years old.

“They’re much older than we were mentally. Probably because as a society we do more adult things with them. They do seem very advanced to me. It’s a totally different ballgame than when I was a child,” Joan says with a laugh.

Our little scholars' feedback

Of course, we had to ask our little scholars what their takeaway of the program has been so far, and their answers were predictably unpredictable.

 

Ida, age 4
I like drawing with Judy.
Learn more
Adeline, age 4
I really like colouring with Judy. I think she’s a hundred thousand old
Book a tour
Hendrix, age 4
I love to paint with Gigi.
Learn more
George, age 4
My favourite thing is reading a book with Bob. Bob isn't lots old.
Book a tour
Ethan, age 4
I like to do painting with Gigi.
Learn more
Frankie, age 4
Sometimes I like to paint with them and other times I like to just play with all of our grandfriends.
Book a tour
Previous slide
Next slide

Community involvement

This project is enthusiastically supported and funded by Bendigo Paradise Point Community Bank.

“The Bendigo Paradise Point Community Bank is a registered social enterprise supporting the Gold Coast Community,” says William Matthews, who is proud to be on the Board of Bendigo Bank Paradise Point, as well as principal and director of client operations for Sovereign Family Offices. 

Will says he heard Professor Fitzgerald speak at the Australian Institute for Intergenerational Practice (AIIP) meetings that he regularly attends, and was inspired to see how Bendigo could help.

“As a social enterprise we reflect the values of our community, customers and staff. We see our support of Intergenerational Practice in the community as an essential component to strengthening our community by breaking down the barriers in how our most venerable people in society are cared for. We are extremely grateful for Little Scholars, BUPA and Griffith University for championing this project and supporting a future that includes people from every stage of life.”  

Img 2750

How intergenerational programs benefit participants

Mandy Kaur, general manager of Bupa Runaway Bay, says once her team heard about the project, they were very quick to jump to be a part of it.

“We are all excited to continue this project,” Mandy says. “I believe these visits can foster a sense of joy, connection, and purpose for both the children and the elderly residents.”

The benefits of intergenerational programs in aged care are numerous, according to Mandy.

“Combating loneliness, fostering empathy, promoting social engagement, and enhancing cognitive function for older adults.

“They also provide younger generations with valuable life lessons, respect for elders, improved social skills, increased empathy and understanding towards older adults, enhanced emotional development, and opportunities for learning and cognitive stimulation.”

Img 2697

“The children are loving the visits so far,” according to Amy, campus manager for Little Scholars Parkwood. “They have developed some beautiful relationships with some of the residents and regularly discuss throughout the week their experiences with them.

“After week two, the children knew their grandfriends by name and were buzzing with excitement to see them again, which I think shows just how beautiful incorporating an intergenerational program can be!”

Professor Fitzgerald  says  programs like intergenerational ones further support the old proverb that it takes a village to raise a child.

“This research has the potential to make a huge impact on society, reconnecting the young and old,” she says.

“It is not just their eyes that lit up, but also their brain. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing older adults and young people connect for mutual benefit. So exciting to see how hearts are filled with joy.”

“I’m proud Little Scholars has the opportunity to assist in important research that looks at the benefits to both the young and the young-at-heart. Our little scholars are in the most important years of their life when it comes to brain development, and the lessons they learn from their grandfriends they can carry with them their entire lives,” says Jae Fraser, founder of Little Scholars.

Intergenerational relationships is something Jae is passionate about, and it’s been part of Little Scholars nearly since its inception 10 years ago.

“We’re honoured Griffith University researchers contacted us as leaders in the early education field, and we’re thrilled so many of our Little Scholars families jumped at the chance to participate. I can’t wait to see the results of this study when it concludes, and I hope it further highlights the proven positive impact of these relationships, showing how they enrich the lives of both children and older adults.”

For anyone who’s ever tried to learn a new language, you can probably attest to the fact it’s challenging. You think in one language and translate into another. There are new tenses, jargon, sentence structures, plurals versus singular words, never mind having the muscular movement necessary to form words with your mouth, the confidence to speak – we could go on and on. Now imagine what it could be like for a baby or small toddler?

There are benefits of course for children learning their mother tongue, or even a second language compared to adults learning language. According to German researchers, the melody of newborn babies’ cries is shaped by the sounds of their native language, which they hear in utero. Babies even babble in their first language. Wait, what? Meaning, from a very young age, they start copying the sounds and rhythms of the language they hear around them. This means they begin to use the same ups and downs in their voice (intonation) and the same timing as the language spoken at home. Plus, when babies babble, they often use the most common sounds (like consonants and vowels) from their family’s language. As babies continue to develop, their babbling starts to sound more like conversation, referred to as jargon, with a rhythm and tone resembling adult speech.

Fascinating, isn’t it?

So, how can you help your baby learn to speak? First, remember babies all develop at different ages and stages, so while some of their peers may be speaking, others may be more focused on movement, fine motor skills or something completely different.

How do babies learn to talk?

Babies learn to communicate by listening to the people around them, especially their parents. They will:

  • listen to people talk
  • watch facial expressions

Chatting with your baby is important, and it’s even better when it’s just the two of you. When it’s just parent and baby, without other adults or children around, baby talk can really work its magic. And when your little one tries to chat back, give them your full attention – it shows them you’re interested in what they have to say, and they’ll be encouraged to keep going.

It’s important to note that too much screen time isn’t great for babies’ language development. Australian and international guidelines suggest that children under two should ideally have no screen time, except maybe for a bit of video chatting. After all, your baby will find you way more interesting than any screen!

It’s great to use that sing-song baby talk voice, as babies love it. But don’t forget to mix in some regular, adult conversation too. Hearing how words are used in everyday talk is a big part of how your baby learns language.

Speech development milestones

Learning through play

You might know by now that it’s Little Scholars philosophy that children learn best through play. So with that in mind, we had some ideas about how you can play with your baby and help him or her learn to speak at the same time.

  • Talk about everyday stuff – As you go about your day, chat with your baby about anything and everything – like explaining why Daddy’s vacuuming or what you’re cooking for dinner. It might seem simple, but it’s a big deal for their language learning!
  • Eye to eye – speak to them at their eye level so they can see your mouth move, which will help them sound words by copying you
  • Echo and expand – When your baby tries to say words, repeat them back. If they say “mama”, you say “mama” too! And if they say something like “train”, add a little more, like “Yes, a big red train!”
  • Engage with their babble – Show your baby you’re interested in what they have to say. Make eye contact, smile a lot, and be all ears when they babble away.
  • Talk about their interests – If your baby shows interest in something, like a toy train, join in with related words or sounds – “Toot, toot” for the train!
  • Walk and talk – Walk them around the house, yard or neighbourhood and point out different things they’re seeing. It’s also a great sensory experience.
  • Story and song time – Reading stories and singing songs or nursery rhymes together is not just fun, it’s also great for language development. The 3A Abecedarian Approach, the reading approach we use in our campuses, helps children learn to speak through conversational reading. City of Gold Coast libraries and Brisbane Libraries also have story time and baby rhyme time group activities, which is great for socialising as well.
  • Cheer them on – When your baby tries to talk or points at something, like a dog, and tries to name it, give them a big cheer – “Great job spotting the dog, Charlie!”
321033696 1143259023012767 2688464734727877159 N (1)

Supporting language development at Little Scholars

Sasha is a lead educator in one of the toddler studios at Little Scholars Burleigh. She says the Abecedarian Approach is one of her favourite tactics for supporting language development, especially when she’s reading with just one or two children.

“It’s a great way to have back and fourth conversation, for example ‘I can see a horse, can you show me where the horse is?’ or ‘I can see you’re pointing to a monkey, can you find anymore monkeys?’ another one could be ‘I can see you’re point to a dog, what noise does a dog make?’

“It’s not only conversational reading,” Sasha continues. “But also just communicating throughout experiences, if a child is stacking a block on top of another block communicating that action that the child is doing.”

Nikki, the lead educator in the nursery also at our Burleigh campus, says utilising one-on-one periods during routines and rituals, such as nappy changes, washing hands and faces, sunscreen times, are a great time to be talking to the children about what they have been and are doing, ‘we are putting our sunscreen and hats on so we are sun-safe to go outside,’ for example. They also name body parts during the process.

“We always warn the children if we are about to touch their bodies in order to help them, like for nappy changes or sunscreen application, and dictate what is happening to them, so we are verbalising every step,” Nikki says.

“We also talk through the steps at rest times as we place the children in their cots or walk into the cot room, saying ‘we are going to rest our bodies and have some sleep now, I will see you when we wake up and we will do ___’. Basically, we are constantly narrating to the children their every move,” Nikki says.

At our Deception campus, Hayley, lead educator of the toddler studio, does the same thing, but adds a little twist.

“I do a lot of singing, and turning things into songs!” says Hayley. We think that’s a great idea, research shows that singing can help with language development, memory, and even emotional regulation. Singing also has many physical benefits, like improving breathing and posture, and help with early literacy.

“I also think it’s important to be at the child’s level. Talking clearly, and using simple sentences, as well as showing interest when they are speaking to you,” Hayley adds.

Social media accounts to follow

Social media can be a great source for parents, so when it comes to baby speech, we’ve got a few we recommend.

Firstly, for all things child-development and early learning, @littlescholarsearlylearning

Then specific for children’s speech development tips, tricks and support, we like these Instagram accounts:

Remember, if you’re worried about your child’s speech development, talk to your GP who can advise or help you with next steps to support your child.

Speech development chart information from Speech Pathology Australia

We adore the endless stream of questions that little ones bring to us every day!  From an early education standpoint, we want children to learn at every opportunity. Children are inquisitive beings, and they have lots to learn! At Little Scholars, we cherish this innate curiosity in children and strive to foster a lifelong passion for learning.

As parents and educators, we understand that some questions from our little ones can catch us off guard, leaving us searching for the right words to provide age-appropriate answers. We’re here to lend a helping hand, so let’s tackle a few of these tough questions together!

Conception

How are babies made/how did a baby get in a mummy’s belly?

Children at this age are curious about the beginning of life. You can answer simply, “A tiny seed, called sperm, from the daddy joins with a special egg from the mummy, and that’s how a baby starts to grow inside the mummy’s belly.” They may understand it like a fruit grows from a seed. For young children, this should satisfy the question. You may want to explain it’s not the same kind of egg we eat for breakfast!

Death

What does dying mean?

The concept of death can be challenging for young children to grasp. We think it’s important to be honest here. You can say, “Dying means that a person’s body stops working, and they don’t feel pain anymore. They don’t breathe, eat, feel hungry or cold. It’s a natural part of life’s cycle, like when leaves fall from a tree in the autumn.” This is a topic that may be followed up with further questions, such as ‘will I die or will you die?’ and be honest. “Yes, we all die. But I hope to be around for a really long time. I have no serious illnesses that could change that.”

What happens to us when we die?

For toddlers and preschoolers, you can offer a comforting response like, “When someone dies, they become like a beautiful memory in our hearts. We remember all the happy times we shared with them, and they will always be a part of us.” If your family has cultural or religious beliefs around death, this may be the place to share, “in our family and our culture/religion, we believe when the body dies ______.” Your child may work through this further through their play, but just be there for them and prepared to revisit this topic.

Same-sex relationships

How come Louis has two dads?

Children may notice different family structures. You can say, “Families come in all shapes and sizes. Louis is very lucky to have two dads who love and care for him just like your mummy and daddy love you.”

Separation

Why does Ashley’s mum live in a different house from her dad?

When answering a small child’s question about why a couple has divorced, we think a simple, honest, and age-appropriate response that takes their emotional well-being into consideration works best. Here’s one way to address the question: “Sometimes, mummies and daddies decide to live separately because they have found they feel happier when they have some space. It’s like when friends need some time apart.

If it’s your separation, your child will need a lot of reassurance from you. “Even though mummy and daddy won’t be living in the same house, we both still love you very much, and we will always be there for you. You will have special time with both of them, and we will continue to love and care for you in different homes.”

Young children may have a limited understanding of complex situations like divorce, so keeping the explanation simple and reassuring them of their parents’ love is crucial. Encourage them to share their feelings and questions, and assure them that it’s okay to talk about their emotions. Creating a supportive and open environment helps children navigate through changes and emotions in a healthy way.

News events

What happened in the news that’s making everyone so sad?

Addressing sad news can be tricky. Open the discussion by asking your child what they know about what’s happened in the news. This is a good opportunity to correct false information and provide context. Remember to use age-appropriate language. Check your child’s understanding throughout the conversation and allow them to ask questions. You can say, “Sometimes, sad things happen in the world, and it can make people feel upset. It’s okay to feel sad or worried, and we can always talk about our feelings with someone we trust. You can always talk to me about anything.”

Science-related

Why is the sky blue?

The secret behind the blue sky lies in something called “Rayleigh scattering”. It’s a fancy scientific term, but it’s a super interesting phenomenon that helps us understand why the sky is blue. When sunlight enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it interacts with tiny particles like dust, water vapour, and pollen. This mixing causes the sunlight to scatter, or spread out, in all directions. When light waves hit these particles, they bounce off and scatter in different directions, just like water droplets scatter after you throw a rock into a pond.

Now you might ask, “Why is the sky blue and not another colour?” That’s because blue light has a shorter wavelength than other colours of light, like red or yellow. Shorter wavelengths scatter more easily when they interact with the tiny particles in the atmosphere. So, when we look up at the sky, we see more blue light than other colours.

But guess what? The sky isn’t always blue! Sunrises and sunsets are not only beautiful but also full of science. The colours we see during these times depend on the angle of the sun and the distance its light travels through the atmosphere. The lower the sun is in the sky, the more atmosphere the light has to pass through. This causes shorter wavelengths, like blue and green, to scatter more, leaving the longer wavelengths, like red and orange, to dominate the sky. That’s why we see those breathtaking colours during sunrises and sunsets!

Clouds, pollution, and weather can also change the sky’s colour, making it look grey, white, hazy, or yellow.

Where do birds go at night?

Children might wonder where birds go when it gets dark. You can say, “Birds have special nests or cozy spots where they rest at night, just like we have our beds to sleep in.

How do plants grow?

Children might be fascinated by the growth of plants and flowers. You can say, “The plants have roots at the bottom that absorb water and minerals in the ground, and then the stem starts growing. With the help of the sunlight, the stem grows in branches. Green leaves start growing out of the branches. The five things plants need to grow are sunlight, water, minerals, and food..

Why do we have seasons?

Seasons happen because the Earth goes around the sun. The Earth travels around the sun, called an orbit, once a year or every 365 days. As the Earth orbits the sun, the amount of sunlight each location on the planet gets every day changes slightly. This change causes the seasons. When it’s closer to the sun, it’s warmer, and when it’s farther away, it’s cooler.

Where does rain come from?

Children may be curious about rain and weather. Sunlight heats up water on Earth’s surface. The heat causes the water to evaporate/dry up into the sky, or to turn into water vapor. This water vapor rises into the air and makes up clouds. As the water vapor cools, it turns back into water, in the form of droplets or rain drops.

How do airplanes fly?

Little ones might be fascinated by airplanes in the sky. “Airplanes have special wings that help lift them into the air. When they move forward, the air goes over and under the wings, which creates lift and allows the airplane to fly.”

If they have follow-up questions, we liked the answers from Britannica Kids.

Growing up

Why do I have to go to bed early?

Children may question bedtime rules. You can say, “Going to bed early helps our bodies and minds rest and get ready for a new day of fun and learning.”

Why do I have to eat vegetables? 

Answer with something like, “Vegetables have special nutrients that help our bodies grow strong and healthy. They are like superhero foods for our bodies! We need a variety of food that have different types of nutrients so our bodies can get everything they need to be the best they can be.

How come your body doesn’t look like mine?

We bet you thought the puberty question would come later! But nope, your child has noticed there’s a slight difference between their bodies and their parents’ bodies. We know this can feel awkward to answer, but your child doesn’t understand why it could be hard for their parents to explain, so use proper words and keep it simple.

  • Why do you have hair down there? Getting hair under your arms and on your private parts is a normal part of growing up for boys and girls.
  • What are those bumps on mummy’s chest? They’re called breasts and they come in all different sizes. They can make milk when mummies have babies in their bellies and can feed babies while they’re little.

It’s okay not to have all the answers, and it’s perfectly fine to keep explanations simple and age-appropriate. If you don’t have the answers, you can look it up together. By embracing your child’s questions and engaging in open conversations, you’re nurturing their curiosity and building a strong foundation for their learning journey. Be sure to let your lead educator know you’re having these conversations at home. Your child is likely not the only one wondering some of these questions, and your educators can find ways to help them understand life’s curiosities!

Each child comes into the world with a unique temperament, or personal way of engaging with their surroundings. One key aspect of this temperament is how a child reacts to new experiences and people they haven’t met before. While some children are naturally at ease and dive straight into unfamiliar settings, others are more reserved and require additional time and support from attentive adults to feel secure in new situations.

We’ve all encountered them, the little ones who hang back a bit, observing the world from a safe distance before stepping in. Perhaps they clam up and don’t say a word, even when they’re encouraged to say hi. Whether it’s at a family gathering, coming to Little Scholars for the day, a playdate, or even in their own home, these children often take their time to warm up to both familiar faces and new acquaintances. While it’s easy to label them as ‘shy,’ ‘reserved,’ or even ‘standoffish,’ these terms can be misleading and, at times, unfairly stigmatising. The implication with terms like these often is that there’s something wrong with the child or some problem they need to outgrow.

Construction E1698038841376 300x262

Understanding the nuances of a slow-to-warm-up temperament is crucial, not just for parents but for anyone who interacts with children. These children aren’t necessarily shy or unsociable; rather, they have their own unique way of engaging with the world around them. And contrary to some misconceptions, their reserved nature isn’t a sign of rudeness or obnoxiousness. These children simply need time to observe a situation, time to figure out how things work, space to decide whether they feel comfortable with someone, and respect for their right to move at their own speed. In fact, if they feel pressured to change, then they can turn into shy people, as shyness often is based in a fear of being judged negatively.

Research tells us the brain grows tells us that children learn best when they feel safe and relaxed. Feeling safe helps their brains become more flexible, making it easier for them to learn new things. On the other hand, stress and worry can make learning more difficult. So it’s important to create safe and comfortable spaces where children can focus on learning. For all the reasons above,  children who warm up to others gradually are precisely those who could benefit the most from a little extra understanding and support from parents, caregivers, and other trusted adults in their lives.

One American study evaluated the usefulness of slow-to-warm-up temperament as conceptualised by Thomas and Chess in predicting child and maternal parenting behaviors, with a particular focus on its conceptual link to child inhibition. The study included 1,072 mothers and their children in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. The study found that slow-to-warm-up temperament in infancy did predict later inhibition. Specifically, ‘shy’ toddlers whose mothers are overprotective or overly forceful demonstrated more inhibition in childhood than shy toddlers whose mothers do not demonstrate such parenting styles. The study also found that maternal sensitive and stimulating/supportive parenting was associated with less shyness in early childhood for children who were slow-to-warm-up in infancy.

It also found slow-to-warm-up infants with high quality interactions with their mothers may be less likely than slow-to-warm-up infants with low quality interactions with their mothers to demonstrate inhibition in early childhood. So while it may be hard for parents who are not slow-to-warm up themselves to understand their child’s feelings, it’s important for them to understand what their child needs to feel comfortable. The style of parenting used with a slow-to-warm up child can affect them long into childhood and beyond.

So, how can we create an environment that not only respects their natural disposition but also empowers them to overcome feelings of anxiety or discomfort? How can we help them muster the courage to engage more freely with others, enriching their social experiences and emotional development?

Preparing for situations with your child

Children who are slow to warm up often feel more at ease when they know what’s coming. This could be anything from going to a friend’s birthday party to a visit to the dentist. You can help them get ready by:

  • Showing them photos or short clips of where you’re going or what you’ll be doing
  • Use pretend play to practice the activity at home before you go
  • If you can, visit the place before the actual event. That’s why Little Scholars playdates once you enrol can help your child begin to feel more comfortable with new surroundings
  • Go over the day’s plan so they know what activities are lined up and what’s expected of them. Even simple things, like changing into sport clothes before sport, or what happens at the dentist, should be mentioned
  • Consider reading books or watching videos that show similar experiences
  • Practice beforehand with role play. This helps to bring your child to that mindset before they are in that actual place, so that when the time comes, they’ve had a dress rehearsal.

Before going into a situation you suspect might be hard for your child to warm up, prepare them for what they can do when they get there by saying something like, ‘when we walk in, it may feel like a lot of people are there, when everyone comes to say hi, if you’re not ready, you can smile and wave.’

When in the moment where your child is still assessing the situation they’re in, you could say to your child something like, ‘You don’t have to answer, but if you want to, here’s a game. If you’re having a good time at this party, touch your nose, if you’re not, stomp your feet!” This helps warm the child up without feeling like they have to speak and help them get past the feeling of ‘freezing up’ and you might even get a smile out of them.

The strengths of the slow-to-warm-up child

Being someone who is a little more gradual in building comfort around others is not a negative trait, and it shouldn’t be treated as such. Children who are slow to warm up possess a unique set of strengths that make them truly special. Not only are they keen observers, picking up on nuances that might escape others, but they also demonstrate exceptional impulse control, carefully considering their actions before taking the plunge.

While they may have a selective circle of friends, their loyalty to those with whom they connect is unwavering. Their empathetic nature allows them to tune into the feelings of others, making them excellent listeners and compassionate companions.

Once they find their comfort zone, these children are every bit as joyful and adventurous as their peers. Additionally, their cautious approach often makes them excellent problem-solvers, as they take the time to assess situations thoroughly. Their introspective nature also lends itself to deep thinking, allowing them to engage meaningfully in activities and conversations.

There’s an opportunity there to lift up the cautious child as you observe them in these situations. Maybe by telling them you admire how they read the room before they move forward, or highlighting when they took a big step of approaching someone first,  then asking them how they felt afterward. This shows your child you’re always in their corner, and helps them build up those feelings of safety and confidence.

Building relationships at Little Scholars

Kristen, a lead educator in the early learner studio at Little Scholars Pacific Pines, says that building relationships through play is key, especially when a child starts with us for the first time.

“Play is the language of children,” Kristen says. “We are always on the child’s level offering support and companionship without expecting them to return or respond immediately. Through observations and learning stories we share how we celebrate even the smallest achievements such as a child engaging in a group activity alongside peers.”

Kristen says family involvement is really important, as our families know our little scholars best.

“We remember that every child is unique, and the key to helping slow-to-warm-up children is individualised attention and care. We work closely with families to bring children’s interests and special talents from home into their Little Scholars environment.”

Raylene, lead educator at our Yatala campus, agrees.

“One of the most useful, however overlooked strategies that I’ve used in my time as an educator is to build strong relationships with parents. When children see their parents positively engaging with a person, they begin to see that person as someone they too can connect with. Having a good relationship with families also provides the platform to initiate open, meaningful and welcomed communications whether it’s light social banter or a need to develop collaborative care strategies for their child.”

Ray also says it’s important for educators, parents and other people who interact with children to attune themselves to the child’s temperament.

“As educators it’s crucial to ensure that we are attuning to the children in our care at every stage of their life so they feel recognised and supported to become the capable little humans they were born to be at a pace that is natural for them.

“We can do this by being intentionally present in our interactions, which in turn gives us the opportunity to identify their emotional cues whether it’s from their words, behaviours or body language. We can continue developing this safe space for children and support them to feel seen, heard, understood and validated by ensuring we are genuinely responsive; actively listening to them and addressing their need in a way that allows them to feel content. It’s about not only recognising, but facilitating for each child as the individuals they are to build a trusting relationship and safe environment.”

Understanding and supporting children with a slow-to-warm-up temperament is a collective effort that involves parents, caregivers, and educators. At Little Scholars, we’re committed to creating an environment that respects and nurtures each child’s unique way of engaging with the world. By taking the time to understand these special little ones, we can help them flourish, turning their cautious observations into confident explorations. Rather than treat your child’s temperament as something that should be excused or apologised for, we should celebrate the strengths of these thoughtful, empathetic, and deeply introspective children, and offer them the understanding and support they deserve. After all, they might just be the careful thinkers, loyal friends, and compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

Tips for coming to Little Scholars with your little one who needs time to warm up

  • You’re bringing your child into Little Scholars for the day. The yard is already full of action, children running around, it’s noisy and might be overwhelming for a child who needs a bit of time to be comfortable.
    If possible, allow plenty of time to get there so you’re relaxed, not rushed
  • Arrive early so you and your child can be some of the first to enter the space. That will be so much better for them than arriving in a studio that is already full of children running around, making noise, possibly crowding other children
  • Let your child come in gradually, and engage slowly when they’re ready. You may sit together in the yard for a while before they decide to play
  • If an educator greets your child, don’t push your child to respond. If the educator asks a question, give your child time to respond – try not to jump in too quick to answer for them
  • It would be a good idea to talk to your child’s educator before his or her first day, away from ear shot, to let them know that your child is slow to warm and give suggestions on what seems to help.
  • Take care not to apologise for your child’s temperament. If a child always hears their parent say ‘sorry – he’s shy’, when your child hears this summary of their disposition, it could result in him or her acting in ways that confirm the expectations

Teaching a small child self-respect, to find and use his or her own voice can be one of the most valuable lessons you share as a parent or special adult in that child’s life. When children can speak up for themselves, this will help them in every aspect of their lives, for the rest of their lives. Having the ability to use their voices, they’re able to command respect, protect their feelings and their bodies, and increase their confidence in their ideas, their relationships and in various social settings. There are several facets to teaching a child to use his or her voice.

278006754 714213219944419 5754360704191986920 N E1691712688525

Examples of self-respect for children

Allow your child to make choices about his or her body. You can start by allowing them choices on what to wear, and checking with them if it’s ok to help them dress or undress. This is the beginning of teaching your child about consent, even if he or she is a baby. Loved ones can also model consent by asking, ‘May I pick you up?’ or ‘May I give you a hug?’ and in the bath or nappy changes, asking permission before you clean or wipe your child in private places. Those conversations can lead to discussions about appropriate versus inappropriate touching, and even little children should expect to be asked permission from anyone who comes into contact with them. Even if they’re your children and you’ve been looking after them literally since day one, you’re showing them you respect their body by asking first.

Respect for their bodies

This is the same in our campuses. It’s our policy to maintain the rights and dignity of the children, that includes in terms of nappy changing and toileting, so we try to provide privacy where possible from everyone in our campuses. Our educators are all trained in respectful care, and host not-for-profit visitors such as Bravehearts, who teach children about advocating for body safety, yes and no feelings, the difference between parents, trusted adults like doctors or educators looking after their bodies, versus strangers and unsafe adults.

We recommend teaching children young the proper names for their body parts and use them any time you are talking about them. When they’re first learning to speak, this can be a great bathtime conversation as you point out the names of various body parts. Keep any cringing when talking about body parts to yourself. The sexualised nature of private body parts — giggling or shame when talking about them — that’s adult stuff that we don’t need to put onto children.

“I teach my children “Your body belongs to you and you only” as well as naming their correct private parts which are theirs only,” says Holly, a lead educator in the Senior Kindy studio at our Staplyton campus. “Children really need to be educated about body awareness/safety.”

Why is teaching them proper names so important? Getting used to these conversations young can reduce embarrassment, something unnecessarily expressed by many adults and in previous generations, and establish ongoing communications with children about sex/sexuality. But most importantly, this educates and empowers little ones about their body safety, and research shows this could protect them from predators.

Explain to your child that nobody is allowed to touch our private parts unless it’s for hygiene or medical reasons and that people who have to come in contact with your child’s private areas have to ask permission first. But while there’s no shame in their bodies, they should also know there are parts of the body that are private and have it explained to them those parts are just for them.

Holly says additionally, they have conversations with the children with scenarios about stranger danger and the steps they need to remember in case anything like that happens. They also have conversations about who the children name as their ‘safe people’.

0n9a9687 1024x683

Respect for children in public

There are lots of ways to show children respect, and it’s important when you expect them to respect others. Try to refrain from talking about your child, especially in front of them, to others, or be mindful of what you do share. This shows your child you respect his or her privacy. You may remember a time when you were younger when a parent or someone you loved shared a story that embarrassed you – even as an adult, you remember. Your child could too. Before you tell a story, ask yourself how they’d feel about you telling it.

In our increasingly digital world, this also goes for sharing everything about them on social media. Once it’s online, it’s there forever. Even if it in theory disappears after 24 hours, screenshots can be taken. That also goes for other people’s children – other parents may not want them on social media, so keep online sharing to your own children. Consider what you are posting, would your child want to have a picture for the world to see of themselves on the potty or with a bare bottom when they’re older? Keep in mind others may Google them in the future; potential and current employers, associates, and most scarily, predators.

Another way you can show your child respect is by discussing inappropriate behaviour away from public settings. Keep important conversations for a time when you can discuss them privately. You may think embarrassing them by calling their actions out in public might stop them from doing it again, but this will likely backfire. You can say in public something like ‘We will have an important talk about this later.’ and stick to that. But highlighting negative behaviours in public only causes humiliation and shame, and no one needs to feel that way.

Respect for their physical boundaries

Don’t force children to hug or kiss anyone, even family. You could ask, for example, how they’d like to say greet people in each social situation.

“I offer children the choice of a hug, holding hands or sitting together as an alternative to allow them to make the choice. When saying hello or goodbye they can say just the words, high five, fist bump or hug, but it is always up to them,” says Claire, an educator from our Nerang campus. These options still teach them to be polite if that’s important to you, but shows them how they can do it within their comfort level and respects their physical boundaries.

Respect by owning up to mistakes

Parents often focus on teaching children to be respectful, such as learning to apologise when in the wrong, but teaching children to just say ‘sorry’ versus understanding how their actions actually affect others and learning to own their actions is a better way to develop their emotional maturity. By asking the children questions such as ‘how do you think your sister felt when you hit her?’ or ‘how were you feeling when you broke that toy?’ and ‘what would you like people to do if they recognise they made you feel sad?’ will get them to begin to understand owning up to their mistakes and learning to say sorry meaningfully.

This is also where modelling comes in. It’s important to apologise to your child when you make a mistake. They learn from you, and by saying you’re sorry sincerely shows children that no one is perfect, that everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how we respond to them that counts. This could be done in other ways, rather than an adult yelling when angry, but by speaking kindly and respectfully to them, even when it’s difficult to, or if you’re setting a limit, children begin to understand their actions have consequences and can respond to situations differently in future.

278027180 703419040971326 1622081606038654014 N E1691712746975 1024x988

Respect their voice

Let your child answer for themselves. Refrain from answering questions directed at them. If they don’t want to answer, don’t make a big deal about it.

“We use language to acknowledge how children feel for example, ‘I can see that you are upset, how can I help you?’” says Claire. “We use this language to help children to speak for themselves every day so it becomes second nature to them.”

We guide our educators to tune in to the behaviours, actions and emotions of the child to identify what they may be trying to communicate.

“Through listening to gestures cues, along with words, shows respect and ensures we are responsive to children and value their rights,” says Susan Cooper, group pedagogical leader for Little Scholars. “It is important for early childhood educators to validate what the children may be feeling and this is done by our educators asking the child about their emotions and setting spaces and environments where the children feel safe and secure to express their feelings comfortably.”

Tell them it’s OK to say ‘no’ if they feel unsafe or unsure. This teaches children and young people that it is OK to stand up for themselves and to be assertive if something doesn’t feel right. Following this, they should know that nothing is so ‘yucky’ that they can’t tell someone they trust about it. Hopefully, this is something your child never has to deal with, but if they’re asked to keep something secret that hurts them or makes them uncomfortable, then by talking to them about situations like this, they’ll speak up straight away and not worry about getting in trouble by breaking a ‘secret’. Teach them the difference between secrets, privacy, and surprises.

Here’s an explanation of the differences. A surprise is something that should be fun, happy, and temporary. Secrets that are meant to be kept for a long time are usually meant to protect someone or keep someone from getting in trouble. Although we want children to be wary of secrets (therefore, keep language in mind) —and especially to come to us when they have an unsafe secret—they also need to learn that some things should be kept private. Privacy isn’t about keeping someone from getting in trouble; it’s about respecting a person’s personal information.

Finally, please feel free to talk to your educators or campus managers about how they manage any of these conversations and talk to them about how you prefer it handled. We want your children and your family to feel respected and heard, safe and happy in our care, and if we can help with those conversations, we’d like to. These are also conversations you should have with extended family or people who will be in your child’s life.

Most importantly, model the person you want them to become. Children will remember their biggest role models their entire lives, so being a respectful, caring, supportive, confident adult influence will teach children the best person he or she can become. By showing them the respect they deserve and teaching them about self-respect, we’re setting them up for their future. Self-respecting and resilient children who spend time in positive, affectionate and supportive environments, led by clear and reasonable guidelines, and have healthy connections to parents and other adults, grow to be adults with the ability to bounce back from challenging situations their entire lives. And, all of the ways you show respect for children teaches them how they should show respect for others.

If you have a child at Little Scholars, you’ve likely heard of ‘The Collective’ but do you know what it is? We thought it might be time for an explainer!

Little Scholars School of Early Learning’s The Collective is a service-wide, multi-faceted educational initiative, designed to enhance each child’s learning and development and best support educators’ time spent with children.

The development of The Collective is based upon early childhood pedagogy. Children are provided the time and space to explore, imagine, create, problem solve and develop social groups and guided to find their individual learning journey. The Collective allows for educators to have freedom in how they document and plan for children. This supports a strength-based approach with our team and highlights individual skillset of our educators and value the multiple voices being heard, embedding a collective response to children’s learning.

Humble beginnings and a pizza box

Understanding the demands of documenting processes, Little Scholars wanted to create a streamlined approach to the educational program across all our campuses. The intention was to demonstrate quality over quantity, foster children’s growth, and develop them to become successful citizens and critical thinkers. This curriculum approach also supports educators to adopt theory and put it into practice. Educators, through observations of children’s play, conversations and their interactions within their environment, explore what the child might be thinking. This is then the beginnings of the planning process within our collective curriculum.

Alice Micklewright, campus manager of Little Scholars Burleigh, with her team, came up with the idea of The Collective and led its early development.

Alice Micklewright 300x200

Alice Micklewright, campus manager of Little Scholars Burleigh

Humble beginnings and a pizza box

“I wanted to look at curriculum for a while because there were a lot of things that we felt were just kind of there but didn’t feel like they had a place, so streamlining that focus was good.”

“We had a lead educator meeting one night and we talked about how the educators were feeling in general, and some of the comments were just like ‘I feel like I spend more time writing things down than I do with children.’ They are still with the children most of their time, but when you’re feeling like you’re trying to focus on something else and not giving the whole attention to something and being present, it can be really unsettling.”

That was at the peak of the pandemic crisis, according to Alice, and her team became cognisant that what they were doing in the moment was far more important than anything else.

“The first conversation we had, we looked at what we were doing and wrote down notes on the back of the pizza box – ideas about why we’re doing what we were doing, what the processes were and what we felt didn’t really fall within the planning cycle appropriately for it be conducive to having good outcomes for everybody involved.”

Documentation

“We really started The Collective off the back of our Engagement Initiative – that’s the one day a month we have with no documentation of photos, no technology. It was purely based on educators getting back in touch with engaging with children and not focusing so much on some of the perceived pressures that have come about in the sector in terms of things like families’ expectations on photos being received, and the amount of documentation that sometimes can spiral. It is a regulation for services to demonstrate planning toward an educational program for children. We wanted a streamlined approach to guide our campuses to set the benchmark to support and engage.

“It’s really been child-driven on the focus of what we want to do,” she says.

Melanie Excell, Operations Manager for Little Scholars, agrees.

“When we started this process, we gathered information from a variety of different perspectives – including families and children, and professional training and resources,” Mel says.

There was a vast amount of training for educators to understand new processes.

“At its core, it’s really been just trying to pare back what we were doing to deliver quality curriculum for children, that supports their outcomes and their developmental needs, to generate a stronger culture of critical thinkers in terms of children and educators,” Alice adds.

0n9a9710 300x200

Weekly, rather than daily, detailed written updates are now sent to families, allowing educators to focus more on being with children. Families still get photos daily to see what their child has been learning and enjoying that day, but learning outcomes, routines, links to Early Years Learning Framework and research are saved for the end of the week, and individual child updates are sent out termly.

“Sometimes you find that services will continue to add a lot of documentation [about each child] and to try to meet the needs of the framework and the standards, when it can be a lot simpler and child focused,” Alice says.

Reflection in action

The critical reflection component of the curriculum is most important, according to Alice.

“Everything we do really needs to have a purpose, a thought behind it and a reason why we want to engage in it that way, and then involving the children in that process and the families as well.

“If you look at the planning cycle in the National Quality Framework (NQF), you gather information from an idea or interest that children have, engage the children in what they’d like to do moving forward and analyse the information you’ve gathered, plan for it, then reflect and review is the whole cycle.”

For example, educators might look at children who are engaging in an activity and would consider it across developmental milestones and outcomes what they think the children are trying to achieve. In a nursery, where early learners can’t yet speak, educators might observe a child picking up resources and putting them into a basket and taking them back out, a learning behaviour known as a schema.

“Children are exploring all of these different concepts every day, even though you may not realise because they’re playing and it’s natural for them to do that,” says Alice.

The use of open-ended questioning with children supports the understanding of their play and helps gain a child’s perspective as opposed to an adult’s agenda.

The planning comes from what educators talk about in the moment, and educators act on what they’ve gathered, followed by a review at the end, where they decide if they activity worked well or didn’t, and if it didn’t, questioning why – were the children just not interested in that topic anymore, and is there a reason why?

Communicating with families

Little Scholars produces individual learning journeys for each child that highlight significant milestones and achievements to their development whilst in our care. Various modes of documentation record the learning identified through the child’s participation in our program.

Little Scholars sends out the personalised mid-year assessments to the families and then the end of the year they’ll receive a transition letter which wraps up their child’s journey, acknowledging achievements and progress in their studio.

“One of the other points we highlighted when we started reviewing the curriculum, is that we wanted to educate our families that what we were doing. We know that there’s a lot of electronic information available as well, but the value of that face-to-face conversation and relationship with staff and families, is important too,” Alice says.

0n9a1403 300x200

Reflection

The Collective allows for educators to have autonomy in how they document and plan for children. This supports a strength-based approach with our team,” according to Susan Cooper, group pedagogical leader for Little Scholars. “It highlights individual skillset of our educators and value the multiple voices being heard, embedding a collective response to children’s learning.”

Alice says it’s still a process that Little Scholars is undergoing.

“Ultimately, it’s important that we have educators here who feel stable and like they want to contribute and that they are getting recognised for the things that they’re doing, and we believe The Collective does that.”

Jae Fraser, founder of Little Scholars agrees. Little Scholars wants to ensure educators feel seen, heard and valued, because our educators’ passion for our children and their education is why we’re delivering exceptional educational play-based programs.

“We really care about and listen to our teams, so when they are feeling pressured due to significant amount of paperwork, we act,” says Jae. “It’s all about the educators and the children, so if we can achieve amazing outcomes without all the unnecessary paperwork, and children and educators are interacting and engaging in really meaningful ways  – this is what we need to focus on.”

More about Little Scholars:


Book a tour today!

Do your children play with dolls? There have been some fascinating research findings that highlight the advantages of dolls as a tool for nurturing social and emotional skills in children. Recent studies have shown that doll play provides children with opportunities to engage in imaginative role-playing, develop empathy, and enhance their communication about others’ thoughts and feelings. There’s also been some research that looks at traditional notions of gender preferences in toy choices, emphasising the importance of providing children with diverse play experiences, all of which we’ll explore here.

Research challenges the notion of innate gender preferences in toy choices. Studies have found that even baby boys can and will show a preference for dolls over trucks, indicating that toy preferences may be influenced by environmental factors rather than biological predispositions. By encouraging children to play with dolls, we can help them develop a broader understanding of the world, challenge gender stereotypes, and promote equality.

Doll play provides opportunities for children to practice social and emotional skills by creating imaginary worlds, taking others’ perspectives, and talking about others’ thoughts and feelings, according to 2020 research titled Exploring the Benefits of Doll Play Through Neuroscience. The study, conducted by researchers from Cardiff University and King’s College London, saw 33 children between the ages of four and eight freely play with Barbie dolls and accessories, or tablet games with a social partner or by themselves.

The children were left to play spontaneously, but their chat was monitored and they were also fitted with a specialised cap containing state-of-the-art, functional near-infrared spectroscopy equipment – a form of brain imaging technology, making it possible to track brain activity while the child freely moved around.

The study found that the children talked more about others’ thoughts and emotions when playing with the dolls, compared with playing creative games on a computer tablet, such as a hairdressing game or a city-building game with characters.

Social play also activated the right prefrontal regions in the brain more than solo play, researchers found. These areas of the brain are responsible for regulating thoughts, actions and emotions.

The children in the study were also more likely to talk to the dolls versus characters in the digital games, which showed they were developing important social and emotional skills, according to the lead researcher.

“When children create imaginary worlds and role play with dolls, they communicate at first out loud and then internalise the message about others’ thoughts, emotions and feelings,” says lead researcher Dr. Sarah Gerson in the university release. “This can have positive long-lasting effects on children, such as driving higher rates of social and emotional processing and building social skills like empathy that can become internalised to build and form lifelong habits.”

343287416 283802440637715 3263136742193202938 N E1682991249621 275x300

Boys and dolls

Closer to home, research conducted at the University of Western Sydney in 2013 found young baby boys seemed to prefer dolls to trucks, challenging the theory of an innate preference among babies for typical feminine or masculine toys. Researchers gauged the preferences of four and five-month-old babies by showing them pictures of male and female humans and dolls, as well as cars and other items.

Researchers then measured how long their gaze lingered on the objects, and calculated their preferences based on that length of time. Researchers found there was a general looking preference for dolls or doll faces over cars or trucks for both the male and female babies observed at five months old.

Other studies conducted at U of WS have found as babies age, there are sometimes preferences toward toys marketed at their own gender, but those preferences, researchers hypothesised,  could be environmental or a result of nurturing, so if they’ve been given more opportunities to play with toy trucks than dolls, they may show a preference for toy trucks.

Dolls1 E1683596482356 256x300

Babies don’t typically show gender preference until at least their second year, according to some studies, indicating that preference later may be the result of their physiological changes, cognitive development or social pressure.

Making sense of the world through play

Playing with dolls is a version of role-playing, and that’s a great thing in child development. Dolls are used them to create narratives while playing. When children do this, they’re learning to make sense of the world and helps them see things more broadly.

Other research has looked at how gendered toys are approached by each sex. One study in the 1980s had a few dozen girls and boys (aged four to nine years) presented with toys in three sex-labeled boxes and were given six minutes to explore the objects. The children’s memory for information about the toys was tested one week later. Results show that the children tactually explored toys labeled for their own sex more than similar objects labeled for the other sex, and remembered more detailed information about own-sex than other-sex objects. Between ages three to five, gender is very important to children, according to an an associate professor at the University of Kentucky. So when children are presented with very specifically-marketed gendered toys, they pay careful attention.

This is a time we should encourage children to play with all kinds of toys, as it sets the foundations for free thinking, creative play and removes the constraints of gender.

The benefits for children, regardless of their sex, of playing with dolls are numerous and supported by research. Doll play provides opportunities for children to practice social and emotional skills, develop empathy, and engage in imaginative play. Studies have shown that doll play leads to increased communication about others’ thoughts and emotions, activating important brain regions responsible for regulating thoughts, actions, and emotions.

At Little Scholars, we recognise the importance of supporting children’s interests and providing them with a diverse range of toys and play opportunities. Our home corner, which includes dolls and role-playing materials, encourages children to explore, imagine, and develop important skills and dispositions for learning. By embracing doll play and role-playing activities, we foster autonomy, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and a sense of agency in our children.

References:

  • Exploring the Benefits of Doll Play Through Neuroscience (2020). Cardiff University and King’s College London.
  • Study on baby boys’ preferences for dolls (2013). University of Western Sydney.
  • Gendered toy exploration and play: Sequelae of the gender identity interview (1986). University of Kentucky.

What an incredible asset online media has become when it comes to raising or educating children. From YouTube to Instagram, there’s a wealth of expert information at your fingertips that previous generations simply didn’t have. Thanks to online media, parents and educators can now access an array of information, tips, and tricks on child development, parenting, and education.

And of course, podcasts are an excellent way to learn while on the go. You can listen to them while commuting, during your daily walk, or even before bed. Here we have compiled a list of our favorite parenting and child development podcasts, divided into categories for parents and educators. Check them out!

For parents

Raising Wildings

Podcast+artwork+700+x+700

A podcast about parenting, alternative education and stepping into the wilderness with children. Each week, Nicki Farrell and Vicci Oliver interview experts who inspire them to answer questions about parenting and education. They also share stories from families who took the leap, and are taking the road less travelled.

Spotify  Apple Podcasts

Parental as Anything

Maggie Dent, one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators gives you practical tips and answers to your real-world parenting dilemmas.

Spotify  ABC Listen app  Apple Podcasts

Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled

Each episode of Unruffled addresses a reader’s parenting issue through the lens of Janet’s respectful parenting philosophy, consistently offering a perspective shift that ultimately frees parents of the need for scripts, strategies, tricks, and tactics.

Spotify  Apple Podcasts

Emerging Minds

Listen to conversations with experts on a variety of topics related to children’s mental health. Episodes offer practice wisdom from experts in the field and will give you an insight into the work and values of the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health.

RCH Kids Health Info

Based on the popular RCH Kids Health Info fact sheets, the Kids Health Info podcast explores common topics and concerns with experts in children’s health. Hosts Margie Danchin, Lexi Frydenberg and Anthea Rhodes are all paediatricians and mums, so they know first-hand what keeps parents up at night. Every episode features guest experts in a range of child and adolescent health specialties, and lots of practical tips and advice.

Spotify    Apple Podcasts 

How other Dads Dad

Hamish Blake chats with other dads he really admires about their approach to ‘dadding’, and in the process hopefully learn a little, steal some of their hard earned wisdom and help dads dad a tiny bit better.

Spotify  Apple Podcasts  Google Podcasts

The Play Based Learning Podcast

All humans learn through play. Join Kristen RB Peterson of Learning Wild as she chats all things early childhood education, preschool, nature and forest school, homeschool and parenting.

Spotify   Apple Podcasts

Play it forward, a Wearthy podcast

Hosted by international keynote speaker, educator and founder of Wearthy; Lukas Ritson, Play it Forward is an educational podcast about the importance of play. With the increase of technological advancement, it has never been harder to get kids playing outside

Spotify   Apple Podcasts

Early Childhood Perspectives

 

Early Childhood perspectives is a fortnightly podcast devoted to exploring the often overlooked concepts and issues of the Australian Early Years Sector.

Apple Podcasts    Soundcloud

Provoking Minds – an Early Childhood Podcast

This podcast covers meaningful topics in early childhood education with some of the sector’s most experienced educators and subject matter experts. With each short episode, its aim is to provoke minds and inspire excellence in early childhood education.

Spotify         Apple Podcasts

OSHC After The Bell

Barbi Clendining from Firefly HR and Saurubh Malviya from We Belong Education have teamed up to bring to you a fun and informative conversation and talk about every aspect of the Out of School Hours profession.

Spotify   Apple Podcasts

International podcasts

OK, we fibbed. It’s not JUST Australian podcasts. Here’s a few international podcasts that are quite popular with the kids these days. (and by kids, we don’t mean baby goats, or children really, but we’re just trying to sound cool)

Loose Parts Nature Play

Building creativity one leaf and bolt at a time. Join Dr. Carla Gull, American educator and mother of four boys, as she talks about getting outside and exploring loose parts.

Spotify   Apple Podcasts

Parenting Hell

A funny take on parenting with UK hosts Rob & Josh as they share their tales of parenting woe and chat to celebrity parents about how they’re coping, or not coping.

Spotify

Mom and Dad Are Fighting

Slate’s parenting show – Jamilah Lemieux, Zak Rosen, and Elizabeth Newcamp share triumphs and fails and offer advice on parenting kids from toddler to teens.

Spotify      Apple Podcasts       YouTube

Good Inside with Dr Becky

Join American clinical psychologist and mother of three Dr. Becky Kennedy on her weekly podcast, as she takes on tough parenting questions and delivers actionable guidance—all in short episodes, because we know time is hard to find as a parent. Her breakthrough approach has enabled thousands of people to get more comfortable in discomfort, make repairs after mistakes, and always see the good inside.

Spotify     Apple Podcasts

Not Another Mummy Podcast

This is one of the UK’s top parenting podcasts with previous guests including Philippa Perry, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Emma Bunton and more. Host Alison Perry chats to a different guest each episode about parenting and family issues

The Modern Dads Podcast

Each episode discusses issues today’s fathers face navigating work, parenthood, relationships and play. We share stories of dads who are active and engaged in the decisions, the drudgery, and the pains and the joys of parenthood. Our parenting podcast not only brings modern dads into the conversation, but also – regardless of gender – our spouses and partners, friends and colleagues, and leaders in business, entertainment and media.

Spotify      Apple Podcasts

 
 
 

 

Logo
Come and see the Little Scholars difference

Let us hold your hand and help looking for a child care centre. Leave your details with us and we’ll be in contact to arrange a time for a ‘Campus Tour’ and we will answer any questions you might have!