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Pop-up junk playground a huge success in Albert-Eden

Published: 18 June 2019

A pop-up junk playground in May at Western Springs proved to be engaging and hugely successful with kids and adults alike.

The Creative Kids Collective coordinated this free community event, attended by over 270 children and over 200 adults. It was supported by Albert-Eden Local Board.

“I enjoyed watching the kids having so much fun while learning about recycling at the same time,” says Peter Haynes, Albert-Eden Local Board chair.

“Child-led, open-ended play is an effective way for children to develop a range of skills, but especially for creativity and imagination.”

Creative Kids Coordinator Heather Carolan says that re-thinking rubbish in a world facing a never-ending wave of waste is critical.

“We promote zero waste while also saying let's re-use what we have and come up with new ways to do it, starting with supporting kids to develop their creativity."

The play workers promoted alternative ways to use waste and seeing rubbish and junk as vital useable resources rather than landfill fill. The junk-play utilises everyday items that would otherwise be thrown away. The idea of seeing beyond the rubbish to the creative treasure it can become was well received by parents.

Parents also loved the open-ended quality of the play; this was non-prescriptive, imaginative opportunities for their children to be able to develop their own capacity, to take risks and make mistakes while developing their creative problem-solving skills and having a great time. 

A central community recycling centre at Western Springs.

Auckland Council and Albert-Eden Local Board have worked to identify the site for a Community Recycling Centre, the first one to be on the Auckland isthmus.

Dr Peter Haynes says the centre will have a strong education focus, second-hand store, and facilities to repair and recycle goods, “maybe even a café.”

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