Muddy puddles and messing about with animals is all part of the fun at Parkland Kindergarten.
Adjoining Parkland School, the kindergarten enjoys a huge outdoor space complete with climbing equipment, swings and tunnels. But by far the most popular feature is the animal life that calls Parkland Kindergarten home.
There’s Cottontail and Rosie, the two giant Flemish rabbits that have free range over the property, guinea pigs Chatter and Frost, a small community of chickens, two mice and a frog.
Head Teacher Amy McDonald says “the children ensure the animals have food, water and hay every day. Even in the school holidays families will come in to tend to them.
Many of the chickens were raised from incubated eggs and have now just started laying, and the kindergarten also experienced the death of an earlier bunny, so the children have seen the whole cycle of life through the animals.
The children go and check for eggs every day and the shed is always open where children can access the hay, carrots and other food for the animals.
We’ve had animals for about three years and now our children know how to manage the food intake.
Animals are well and truly embedded in our kindergarten. Children bring food or treats from home and the older ones teach the younger ones how to care for them.
It’s actually just lovely. The animals and children work and play alongside each other.”