People of LoganMarch 21, 2024 / 3 minute read

Preps playing their part

Prep students at a Beenleigh school are experiencing fun in their class breaks with approval from the Australian Institute of Play. 

The students, attending St Joseph’s Tobruk Memorial School, are enjoying a new play environment thanks to a ‘loose parts playground’ they call Kids Kingdom. 

Principal Kevin Billion says the special equipment is part of a Loose Parts Play Initiative supported by the Australian Institute of Play. He says hand-eye coordination, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving, and critical thinking skills are among the lessons the children learn in the play zone while they are having fun. 

During play, students are encouraged to be the rule makers by using loose parts like pipes, planks, and tyres to manipulate, construct, and carry anything they choose to play with. 

Mr Billion says the play space reduced separation anxiety for students before school, as they could engage in meaningly play before class starts. 

‘The play space provides an unstructured environment for our students to experience student-led and self–directed play that helps them develop independence and confidence on the playground,’ he says. 

Teachers have noticed a decline in lunchtime incidents, putting it down to the students increasing their engagement and independence by learning new skills. 

‘As they build on their ability to communicate, work together, problem solve and engage with their older peers, students learn from each other, create friendships, make memories and engage in rich play experiences,’ Mr Billion says.  

‘The benefits to our early years learners have been tremendous, creating a strong foundation for their holistic development.’  

The loose parts playground was piloted at the school in 2023 and will be expanded this year for students in Year 3 to Year 6. 

Your Privacy

This website uses ‘cookies’ for analytical purpose and to improve site user experience. By continuing to browse, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.