Activity Centres Project

by Adam Buckingham. 28th August 2007.

Aims and objectives…

  • Transforming rubbish into learning experiences for children.
  • Showing and teaching others what they can do with waste.
  • Linking communities together.

I work on this project in my spare time, and I have taken half a day off work each week.

To date I have built over 200 activity centres.

I have made an advertisement and poster (to educate).

I have visited 137 early childhood centers (pre-schools) in North Shore City, 14 in Auckland city and 40 in Waitakere city promoting the activity centres.

Next I intend to go to Auckland and Waitakere City, where there are around 400 early childhood centers.

I have distributed 175 activity centres, and I am waiting for replies from other early childhood centres.

A. Benefits to the environment:

Approximately 3700 kg of waste has been diverted from landfill so far.

Ongoing improvements for the environment from influencing others.

More waste has been diverted through teaching others.

The only items which are not always recycled are the screws, bolts and nails.

B. Community participation:

Community involvement has been the key to sourcing the waste materials.

The main sources of waste have been from businesses based within Auckland.

Parents, family and friends have been helpful in sourcing waste.

I have placed advertisements to source waste in early childhood centres, church newsletters and the North Harbour Networker, I have made notes to hand out, the and I have done some door knocking (see copies attached).

C. Significance to the local community:

It has linked people from the wider world to the preschool environment; in using their waste and seeing it turned into something useful.

Showing people another use for the waste materials.

Over ten thousand children and caregivers see or use an activity centre each week.

D. Leadership and innovation:

I have suggested that teachers and children to add more waste to the activity centres, and the response has been positive.

An article has been published in “Early Education Journal” Volume 39; What’s out the Window?

I have given a few lecturers and talks, and more are planned, to student teachers about technology, recycling waste and how to use waste and make it safe for children. (see poster)

I gave a presentation on the activity centers at the 2006 Australian summit for men in early childhood and they enjoyed it.

I have been confirmed to run a workshop and display the poster for the workshop at the NZ 2007 Early Childhood Convention.

E. Sustainable management practises:

The materials to be recycled need to be appropriate and safe for use with children.

Funding from Wastewise has enabled them to be affordable.

Some are given away for free.

The money only covers my time.

Good relationships with people who provide the waste for free.

My main issue is finding spare time to make them.

F. Project resilience: (see articles)

Teachers think they are great; and they give teachers and children ideas of what you can do with waste.

It is very rewarding seeing them being used enthusiastically by children.

To educate children and adults to care for our world.

G. Overall sustainability of your project:

This project is enhancing the Auckland region now and for years to come through the educational value to children.

Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.

It demonstrates and enhances recycling within our early childhood centres and the wider community.