Meadowridge News

The Future of the Outdoor Play Space: Interview with the Playground Taskforce
The Playground Committee members standing in the Meadowridge Playground

In celebration of the new proposed playground by our Playground Task Force members, we wanted to know what motivated them to join the task force and how they envision the reimagining our outdoor play spaces.

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What is your motivation for being on this task force?

Mrs. Nicholson
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL & PARENT

"I have watched a generation of students grow up on our playground and return in Grade 12 as buddies to play with the kindergarten students. The playground is a much-loved space in our school and memories made there are strong and meaningful. I hope we can refresh the space for the next generation so that it continues to be a special place for our youngest learners.” 

Mrs. Dyer
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
“My motivation for being on the Playground Task Force is to update the Junior Kindergarten play area into an outdoor classroom and place of exploration.” 

Mrs. Kozol
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
“Learning about loose parts play and seeing the value of our younger children using their imagination. I have seen so many accidents on metal play structures, where the smaller children have had quite serious injuries and when they play in the forest and with loose parts, they are more aware of the risks and are more careful.” 

Phoebe Zhang
STAFF AND PARENT
“I hope by joining the Playground Task Force I will understand our philosophy behind play, then I can tell the story to our parents and community members and get everyone’s support to make our new playground happen, so our children can benefit from it!” 

Ms. Walker
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
“Play is so important in how students learn and use their imagination. I wanted to be a part of this task force to help create a unique play space that fosters creativity, confidence, and exploration.”

Mrs. Dobie
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
“I believe in providing engaging and challenging playground experiences for our students to learn to take risks, run, jump and climb during unstructured playtime.”

Marisa Plasterer
GRADE 6 AND 8 PARENT
“My combined education and experience in Recreation and Health Education, as well as my many years of working with children, has drawn me to this group. Through both my education and professional experience, I have examined both the physiological and social aspects to play. We learn so many things through play, how to take risks, how to interact with others, and not to mention the mental break play can provide.”

Rodney Chan
KINDERGARTEN AND GRADE 3 PARENT
“Ever since my older child started in kindergarten, I would bring my younger one to school at pickup and let them both play at the big playground. The playground was an opportunity for them to explore a new environment and to meet with new friends. Fast forward to today, both my children are students of Meadowridge. Although the playground has become a familiar environment, and most friends have become old friends, the playground is still a place where friends meet during breaks. It is very exciting to know a new playground is being planned, so new and old friends, and siblings, can meet up and explore it together.”


What do you hope to see in the new playground? 

Mrs. Nicholson
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL AND PARENT
“I hope to see play spaces that inspire creative play and ignite the imaginations of our students.  The joy we see in their play is a gift.”

Mrs. Kozol
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
“Lots of loose parts, natural items, large items, heavy items, things children can move. I hope to see a creative play space that they are more engaged in, more cooperative, and a place where they can use their problem-solving skills more.”

Mrs. Dyer
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
“We already notice that with large movable pieces in our space, our children are enjoying more collaborative play, they get to develop their muscles and improve their balancing skills. We are looking forward to using our outdoor space every day, in all weather, with the addition of a partial cover and storage for learning engagements.”

Ms. Walker
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
“I hope to see an accessible multi-sensory space that is both challenging and fun for students. It would be great to see different elements from water to sand and lots of climbable parts. The new playground should showcase the spirit of our Meadowridge Community, where everyone can come together and enjoy the fun environment surrounded by play.”

Ms. Dobie
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
“I hope to see equipment that will allow children to use their bodies in a physical way to help them to get stronger, areas for them to use their imagination in play and areas for them to play in a group or to practice their athletic skills.”  


What benefits will there be for the students?   

Mrs. Nicholson
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL AND PARENT
“Recess is much more than a break from learning. It is a place where meaningful and essential learning is happening authentically. In play, students develop their social skills and learn how to be good friends.  They learn how to communicate and advocate for themselves and others.  They navigate problems and emerge with confidence.  Our playground should be the place to inspire them to develop into their very best self.”

Mrs. Kozol
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
“Children play better together and are more aware of their surroundings, spatial awareness, of each other, and are more caring of the environment.”

Ms. Walker
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
“Students will benefit from more complex forms of play as well as a more organized way to evoke creativity. The students love using water in their play, so it will be nice to create an actual water feature that fits the space better. I think creating a space that promotes climbing, building, acting, digging, musical play, etc. will invite PYP students to collaborate with each other and with students of other grade levels.”

Ms. Dobie
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
“A well-designed playground will benefit our students’ bodies, minds, and social skills.”

Marisa Plasterer
GRADE 6 AND 8 PARENT
“Every child should have a playground that is designed to help them to learn to move their bodies in meaningful ways, to develop their physical bodies as well as their growing minds. Physical and social skills learned on the playground can help our children learn to grow in the classroom.”