Playground Pursuits – Good for the Brain

Playground Pursuits – Good for the Brain

A self-pumping river stream, climbing wall, suspension bridge, playground climbers, slides and platforms are the latest in exciting and challenging components of a local school’s Prep playground, specifically designed for engaging and enhancing gross motor skills and physical activity.


It can be difficult to imagine the impact a play area can have on both physical and healthy brain development, confidence, self-esteem, risk taking, problem solving, and critical thinking, but the educators at Peace Lutheran College are very aware of its importance and this has been one of the driving forces behind the newly developed playground structure in the College’s Prep area.

The College places a high importance on physical activity for students across the whole of the College through its specialist Physical Education classes and sporting pursuits, but it also understands, especially for its younger students, these healthy habits, the ones that ultimately develop a child’s gross motor skills, are best learnt through the process of having fun through play.

In the past, there has been much focus on fine motor skills, but Mrs Sarah Rowan, Peace Lutheran College’s Head of Junior School notes, “Gross motor skills are just as vital because these are the physical skills that require use of the whole body to move, involving the movement of different parts of our body at the same time in a coordinated manner.”

So what is the real difference? Gross motor skills get you to where you need to go, while fine motor skills help you to do what you need to do once you get there. Mrs Rowan explains it this way, “If your child wanted to do a craft activity, they would walk to the table and sit down (gross motor skills) and they would then fold, cut or colour the paper (fine motor skills).” Two separate sets of skills, but both fundamental to a child’s development.

Whilst navigating their new playground, Peace Lutheran College Prep students have been developing not only their physical health, but the health of their gross motor skills, all through the most important channel – FUN! Add in the element of water in the river stream and you have – DOUBLE THE FUN!

But don’t just take our word for it…Prep student, Aapti says, “There are two slides and the really big one is super-high and super-fast and the swings go super-high too. It’s lots of fun.” Ruby admits, “I like to play shop and pretend we are cooking chocolate cake”, while Eli proudly states, “I like climbing up the rock wall like a spider!” And Elias was excited to tell us, “I went round and round the fireman’s pole and came down really fast.”


PREP OPEN DAY – Wednesday 17th May

All-inclusive school fees $20 per day, based on a 40-week school year; plus, the opportunity to speak with teachers and see classes in action; all great reasons to go along to the Prep Open Day and find out why it’s such a great place to be!

Classroom visits at 9.00am and 10.00am.
Limited numbers at each session – register via admin@plc.qld.edu.au.
Call 4039 9000 for more information.


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