This is the 3rd post in the series "What Rusty Said: Creating Natural Playscapes".
Form a Playscape Committee
At preschool we have more ideas for the outdoor environment than we can poke a stick at. So why is progress so slow? I think the answer is that we don't have the organisation or focus that comes from having a playscape committee.
Teachers are busy people with a lot on their plate. Without a team of energetic helpers it is difficult to devote the time needed to get your outdoor learning project up and running.
Putting together a team of parents, teachers and members of the local community who share our enthusiasm is an important step towards making your playscape dreams a reality. It also becomes a wonderful community building experience, right in your own backyard!
The Work of the Playscape Committee
Together you can brainstorm the unique resources and materials of your community, begin dreaming the playscape possibilities: draw up plans and schedule a timeline that will kick start the project.
Rusty recommends breaking the committee down into areas of responsibility with people in charge of locating materials; signing up volunteers; sourcing tools and equipment; fundraising and organising working bees.
The case studies in Rusty's Natural Playscapes offer inspiring insights into how different teams worked together to create amazing playscapes in their centres. Here is an excerpt from the Mekeel Childcare Centre:
We started with the parents at Mekeel, university members, and then the outside community. First we sent a letter stating our endeavor and asked for replies if they were interested in serving on the committee. At our first meeting, we established goals and how to move forward.
We needed go-getters, responsible people to handle specific jobs. And we got them. Each person on the committee had a specific job. For example, one parent was strictly responsible for finances. Another parent was responsible for spreading the word on campus about volunteers needed to actually build the project. Committee members reported their progress at each meeting.
Playscape Committee Sites
I love the idea of keeping your community informed and enthused through online updates or blogs, like these two centres are doing:
::: The Ivy Playscape
::: The Elm Tree
Next in the Series
Who are the people in your neighbourhood?.