Nautical adventures for Kingston kids

Carrum Foreshore has become home to the City of Kingston’s newest playground, a creative space where children can imagine themselves in all sorts of nautical adventures.

A miniature boat and lighthouse give the recently opened playground a fun, sea-faring feel.

The playground is one of 114 public playgrounds across the municipality, each with their own unique charm.

Kingston Mayor Ron Brownlees said the importance of play to Kingston’s youngest residents could not be overestimated and Council places a high priority on developing and maintaining accessible and varied playgrounds.

“Play is the means by which children develop all the skills they will need in adulthood. It is important for its own sake, for the well-being of children and for society.

“Play offers physical, neural, social, sensory, vestibular, kinaesthetic and sensory integration and body movement as well as developing social interaction, decision making and risk taking skills.”

Three of Kingston’s playgrounds are ‘regional/destination playgrounds’, large spaces which attract visitors from surrounding areas as well as locals.

One of these, Bicentennial Park in Chelsea, was named the 2011 winner of the Parks and Leisure Australia Victoria/Tasmania and National Play Space Award of Excellence.

As well as being accessible, design principles in Kingston’s play spaces include natural elements and loose materials available for open-ended play and blurred boundaries between designed and undesigned space.

These unique and enjoyable play spaces have not appeared by chance, they are the result of a playground strategy which Council has implemented over several years.

Kingston’s commitment to providing creative play spaces does not end with the opening of the Carrum playground.

Due to open in the next 12 months, the Grange Reserve Clayton South ‘UFO’ playground, a playful nod to the 1966 Westfall UFO incident, will feature a space theme for budding astronauts.