I've decided to do my next Recycling piece on a local childcare center which my wife, Justine, works at.
They are a big believer of re-using unwanted goods and teaching the kids the value of recycling as opposed to buying something new. Over the course of this article I'll show the ideas they have put added to the centre - due to child protection though I won't be able to show any children in the photos.
So, the centre is called Emali Early Learning Centre which is based out at Broadview, South Australia. The centre is only about a year and a bit old but the staff in charge are extremely experienced and excellent to deal with.
Since my wife has worked there we've had discussions with the Manager, Rachael, about the value and fantastic things you can do with items such as unused Timber Pallets. Now the centre is not only creating new things with Pallets but they have shifted their focus to anything else they can lay their hands on to create new and exciting ideas.
This is a simple plastic container bought from anywhere like a cheap shop like Cheap as Chips, Reject Shop or even from Bunnings. Buy the longer one that is still relatively deep but with some soil added and the grass the kids can just reach in and play.
The centre basically bought the container, added a good two inches of soil and then bought a patch of grass from Bunnings. They're selling it there at the moment for approx $7 - $10 per patch.
The idea is basic, cost effective and brilliant, it can be used while its bucketing down during winter or too hot to go outside. It teaches the kids about the environment, gets their hands dirty and good thing - they can grab some scissors - cut off as much as they like and it will grow back! Brilliant!!
This centre is excellent for pallets as they too see there is still life in the old work horse even after its spent years holding stuff like bricks, pavers and other heavy items - yet often to be left discarded on the side of a road!
We love nothing better than picking them up, sanding them back, fixing them up then applying some varnish to give them a new look.
Here's some examples of the pallet work the centre have added as well as some i've helped do. This one to our right is simple - can be used as a table, somewhere to sit or play on yet looks very loved and used alot by the kids!
Here's another example similar to the above photo however for this one, Rachael tidied this one up alot more giving it sides and legs!
This one has come up very nicely and tall enough for the kids to sit with their legs under and punch out some excellent art-work!
This one is simple yet effective, pallets and other recycled items have been thrown together to create an "Insect Hotel"!!
Here the kids can explore and learn about all the bugs our gardens have to offer - on top the centre has also included plants for them to help water!
As I move to the next ideas, Tyres, you'll see in the background some pallets we've bolted to the fence to add extra garden spots for the children to help plant with and water.
Here you can see different sizes and length pallets have been used
You can also see in the left hand side of the photo a "Pallet Boat", nothing major but Rachael added a sail to the base - the kids love it and spend hours pretending their sailing the seven seas!
Tyres, every childcare centre loves them (And if they don't they should!!!) I remember growing up in O'Halloran Hill where our Kindergarten had big massive Tractor Tyres, I used to love playing in them!
Rachael found an advert on Gumtree where someone was giving Truck tyres away for free, a quick phone call and within days the centre had approx 20 tyres of different sizes delivered.
Here you can see they've been added around the centre for the kids to climb, explore or simply sit and have a chat!
The kids can paint or draw on them!
Here a tyre has been added just in front of one of the pallet gardens, children can sit here and have a chat or sit and help plant!
Here's one my talented wife, Justine, came up with, she took some off cuts of pipe laying around in the shed and secured these to the pallet.
Too often these days the world ignores those things which die off yet when given a new life can be used to create wonderful things.
This hanging decoration is just that, using an old metal ring, some string and sticks the centre has created quite an interesting hanging piece.
You can't see in the picture but they have also tied pebbles and glass pebbles with fishing wire for added effect.
I'm extremely proud of this creation, my lovely wife Justine on a recent trek up the Riesling Trail in the Clare Valley collected these large sticks to create a fun and inviting wall decoration outside her children's room.
Using fishing wire and lots of coloured pebbles she as included individual photos of the kids for their parents to see!
The next couple of photos highlight other items businesses take for granted and throw away after use.
These big wheels are normally used for industrial items like wire. I'm not sure of their life expectancy but for kindergartens and child care centres they live on for many decades, the kids love playing on them, climbing etc.
Here just simple, its new use is a table, thrown together with some cut tree logs.
Below are a few more examples, wood or plastic - either will make a great table for the kids to use, rather than spending $100 on a new one!
So this brings me to the end of Part 3 of my Recycling article, I hope the above gives you some ideas for things you can do at home or even at a centre you work at.
It doesn't matter what the item is, there is usually a new home for it. Let your mind think outside the comfort zone and help teach the kids of today that life isn't just brand new things bought from Ikea and local stores. Recycling helps not only the environment but also the youth remember that reducing our carbon footprint will help generation after generation.
Emali Broadview are apart of a new trend of centers with Managers/Directors who are on the look out for this type of Recycling, its fun to do, easy to make and all centers and schools should think of doing this regularly. For more information on Emali you can go to: http://www.emali.com.au/childcare-broadview.html.
Finally it must be noted the work Justine & Rachael do at the centre, on top of their very busy schedules and juggling a very busy centre - they have transformed their ideas from dream to reality and the children are benefiting from this. A very valuable partnership they have and I look forward to watching what else they come up with!!
I'll leave you now with some more examples below of items the centre have either collected or set up and used.
|Pallet turned Bookshelf!|
|Wood off-cuts sanded back to now be used as building blocks!|
|The Storage Area!|
|Pallet turned Music Wall!|
|New Planter Boxes!|
|Nice area for a quick nap or relax|