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Whangaparoa Primary: Creating their dream playground

A Case Study

Whangaparaoa

Kevin Cronin - Principal

"A memorable learning experience that the children are proud of every day."

Whangaparaoa Primary School

Spotlight on: Whangaparoa Primary

Working with the children to design their dream playground, Park Supplies focused on

delivering an experience that was inclusive and educational for the children and adults involved. 

Here is their story.

When a new playground was mooted as a forthcoming project for Whangaparoa Primary School principle Kevin Cronin, he knew that the design had to be led by the children. Selecting the group of children to be involved in developing their “dream playground” was the easy part. Coming up with their “dream playground” took time. Here is what Kevin had to say;

“Over the course of the year our children worked with the Park Supplies Playgrounds team to create their dream. We selected a group of children, tasking them to work closely with Jenny from Park Supplies to come up with a concept that would excite and inspire their peers.”

Of course, designing the children’s “dream playground” might include swings as high as Auckland’s Sky Tower or Rockets that shoot over the moon and back, however these ideas form the foundations of the design that can then be translated into more practical and realistic solutions.

With the “dream” designed it was now down to the FUN part of translating the dream into activities, equipment, colours and materials.

As part of the design process Park Supplies Playgrounds presented a series of 3D designs from multiple angles that really put all the hard work into perspective and gave the children a clear view of what their playground would look like. With Park Supplies guidance, the children took ownership of the project and helped present the winning plan, with Jenny, to the Whangaparoa Board of Trustees.

As the playground was under construction, the children were invited by Park Supplies to visit their Auckland factory/workshop. Adam and Jenny guided them through the manufacture process, from Metal Fabrication to seeing how the materials like Hercules Rope and PolyPlay would be used on their playground.

Jenny says, “For the kids, having an idea of how their park was being made and how all the different elements in the design were going to come to life was simply amazing. Their attention and faces as we walked them through our factory were wonderful to see and was an experience I know they will remember into the future.”

The children’s visit finished up with lunch and a full Question and Answer session which enabled the children to come away with a real tangible appreciation for the project and what was involved in bringing their dream into reality.

Once completed and the park ready to be opened Whangaparoa Primary planned an Special Opening Ceremony that the Team from Park Supplies were thrilled to be able to attend, says Adam,

“The culmination of our work is always evident on the faces of the kids as they get to play and explore their new playground for the first time. The laughter and fun they have is contagious and we were so thrilled to be able to attend Whangaparoa Primary’s Opening Ceremony.”

So not only have the children learnt about design and manufacturing and experienced something unique to their school, the team at Park Supplies learnt a lot too.

Adam ads “Seeing how excited the children were and the sense of achievement that comes from seeing their dream manifested from the hard work that they put in was really inspiring for us. We want to take this entire experience into future projects and recreate the joy and excitement that comes from working together with schools and communities to create their dream playgrounds.”

And as for the school itself and their new playground, here is what Kevin Cronin, Principal, had to say,

“Seeing the finished playground, we really felt we had created something not only for our school but for the wider Whangaparaoa community. The (Park Supplies) team’s willingness to work through the project with our children was one of the most valuable and memorable learning experiences they had during their school year.”

Designing a new school playground is a process that excites everyone involved and the team at Park Supplies want to thank the Children and Teachers at Whangaparoa Primary School for making this journey such an enjoyable one.

Further below you can see how the process unfolds from beginning to end.

Creating our dream playground

A valuable learning experience!

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The student design group visiting the workshop to see first hand how their playground is coming along.

The children are taken through the process of design and manufacture

Jenny and Adam taking the children through the process of manufacture.

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Adam showing the children how the metal fabrication process works.

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Q&A with the students.

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Over lunch Jenny shows the children our Hercules Rope and PolyPlay materials.

Dream to Design

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3D Playground Design - Vew 1

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3D Playground Design - Vew 2

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3D Playground Design - Vew 3

The Discovery Process is such an exciting stage for the kids. Brainstorming all their playground possibilities and then seeing them come to life is such a fun and rewarding experience.

The Dream Playground

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The opening of our new playground was unveiled to our school and the wider Whangaparaoa community.

Excitement and Exploration!

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The Lillypad Swing is better with friends.

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Flying on the monorail.

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We love the vibrant colours!

Beauty In The Details

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Gaulet Climber

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Hercules Rope Net

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Lunar Spinner

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Classic Swings!

Much thanks and appreciation to all who were involved in making this happen!

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