Our outdoor areas are as much a tradition for kindergarten as a Kiwi family's own backyard... a place for getting out and having fun.
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The Kidsfirst 100 year commemorative book describes our kindergartens as “lush with vegetation, full of exciting nooks and places to hide and play,” and nothing is truer than the wonderful backyards of our Central Otago kindergartens.
Where else in the world would you find kindergartens with magnificent views of the alps, or a sprawling green lawn with panoramas of vast natural plains?
Our outdoor areas are as natural as a Kiwi family’s own backyard. Take a look at some of the wonderful outdoor spaces that we have in our kindergartens around Central Otago...
At Kidsfirst Wakatipu there are plenty of ways the children can choose to challenge themselves with the support of our trained teachers. From the water trough and sandpit on the terrace under the wisteria-draped pergola, to the snaking slide and climbing wall, there’s no end of confidence-building opportunities.
The kindergarten has views of dense forest on the hill behind and the lake and ski fields out front. In fact, the kindergarten sits next to the entry point of Queenstown’s Skyline Gondola – offering some of the best views in the world!
Kidsfirst Terrace is an established sheltered site with natural shade from its huge old trees - excellent for climbing. On the ground below, sealed bike and scooter areas edge green lawns decorated with bright coloured climbing equipment, slides and play houses.
An expansive, open outdoor area is what you’ll find at Kidsfirst Maniototo. Lots of lush lawn to run around on, barked areas with climbing ropes, shade sails over the playground, boxed planters growing herbs and NZ natives, and one of the biggest sandpits we’ve ever seen! It's complete with bench seating at the edge, tyres, solid spades and other sandpit accessories to make building sand structures the real-deal.
Views of the mountains, sky and natural tussocked plains extend 360 degrees around Kidsfirst Hawea. The vista has been brought down-to-earth within the kindergarten’s boundary through planting of native flaxes, grasses and use of local rock to create winding paths, ideal for young explorers. Children can see into the great beyond through glass panels in the boundary fence, building a sense of who they are and where they come from.
Tucked away beneath the mighty Remarkables mountain range, Kidsfirst Frankton’s outdoor area is a gem of a spot, with golden elm trees and toi toi growing around its perimeter. It has wind proof huts, great for outdoor crafts or painting, jungle gym bars and a tunnel to clamber through.
Demonstrated by the giant fruit sculpture at the entrance to Cromwell, it is a town known for its fertile soil, and Kidsfirst Cromwell attests this reputation. The kindergarten grows a lot of its own vegetables, herbs and fruit which the children use to bake with or are harvested and shared with whānau. It offers equal parts lawn, bark and concrete area to encourage all types of active play and development while keeping children safe.
Kidsfirst Alexandra is a new eco-designed building with floor-to-ceiling glass, bi-fold doors overlooking a paved patio with tables and seating. Beyond the patio, there’s a wide lawn space with shade sails overhead and trees and shrubs planted around its edge. An enchanting slide sweeping over rocks and between plants completes the vast array of outdoor excitement.
The Central Otago kindergartens’ wonderful outdoor spaces, reflective of New Zealand’s natural environment and culture, provide children with the classic Kiwi childhood where they’re encouraged to give things a go and learn through doing. Through outdoor play, we are building confident young Kiwis ready to take their next step in the world.
Vegetable growing and tree climbing among alpine views are some of the happenings you might see in our Central Otago kindergartens’ wonderful outdoor spaces.
KIDSFIRST KINDERGARTENS ARE A NOT FOR PROFIT ASSOCIATION THAT HAS DEVELOPED AND MAINTAINED KINDERGARTENS IN CHRISTCHURCH, CANTERBURY AND ON THE WEST COAST FOR OVER 100 YEARS - AS THE PLACE LOCAL KIDS COME TO LEARN, PLAY AND HAVE FUN.