Learning happens both inside and outside and our wonderful environments have been carefully nutured over the years to encourage the tamariki to explore their worlds, discover and learn...
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“The best playgrounds offer not only good equipment but challenge, interest and adventure. These call for energy, initiative and imagination from the staff who frequently have to find junk materials, move them about into different arrangements and add new materials to stimulate the children’s play.”
Eva Millen, Supervising Director, 51st Annual Report, 1962
Places to play and explore are so important for young children. Early on, there was talk of the benefits of fresh air and sunshine and the need for children to have somewhere to run around.
Advice to an association opening its first kindergarten… A Kindergarten is “a child’s garden” and it is the child who must always be your first consideration.”
Kindergarten Handbook 1956.
“If one can judge from anything so intangible as “atmosphere” 1939 has been a year of happiness and progress in Kindergarten work in Christchurch.”
Rene Wilke, Prinicpal,
Phillipstown School, Annual Report and Balance Sheet 1920 – 1921
“... a greater emphasis was placed on the outdoor area as an exciting place for learning. Much interest was evident in planting trees and shrubs to make this an exciting and beautiful place to play. Within programmes there was, along with provision of activities, a continuing recognition and strengthening of the elements which made for a good preschool - friends, space and freedom, equipment and materials, first hand experiences, and people to supervise and take an interst in the children and to share their enthusiasm.”
"Equipment has improved in some ways. Perhaps we have to thank Dr Katherine Whiteside-Taylor for reminding us of the values of swinging and rocking. Quite a lot of swings have been bought and most kindergartens now have a set of these.
Some of the playgrounds are really lovely places for children to enjoy. Some trees were chosen for their quick growth and shade and some because they were good trees for climbing. Where these have grown, playgrounds offer more scope for imaginative play, and they are, I think, less tiring to children than large bare spaces.
Almost all the old cars, boats and stoves have been removed through the year... Some pipes have also been removed. We have observed that the removal of pipes from grassy mounds has enabled children to play more freely on the slope with carts.
Sandpit equipment has been generally better this year with more good spades for digging and more strong metal toys.
The day to day work of the staff with children has reflected the interests of parents. Television programmes are accepted now and are not “news” as they were at first. There has been a lot of talk about space rockets, and landings on the moon."
E Millen Supervising Director. 1965
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.