Tips & Guides, Outdoor Classrooms & Shelters, Outdoor Playground Equipment

A Buyer’s Guide To Outdoor Shelters & Classrooms

Little Girl Playing With Sensory Sand At School Outdoors Under A Canvas Canopy

Outdoor shelters and classrooms are a fantastic way to bring learning outside and engage children with the topic at hand in an immersive, direct, and hands-on way. This makes any subject matter more interesting, increases motivation, and helps to enhance understanding.

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll offer a comprehensive description of our outdoor shelters and classrooms, and why your school and students could benefit from them. 

Why Outdoor Shelters & Classrooms 

Outdoor shelters enable pupils to connect with nature in a meaningful and impactful way, thus increasing their learning potential.

For schools, investing in outdoor learning and play spaces provides the opportunity to utilize them in an interesting and creative way, therefore bolstering the school life experience, whilst also supporting the curriculum and encouraging student development. 

A number of benefits you will experience from outdoor shelters for schools include:

  • Learning can take place outdoors any day of the school year, offering shelter from the elements
  • Schools can increase their outdoor learning provision
  • Provides a space for relaxation, de-stressing, and calming mindfulness practices 
  • Offers a multi-purpose space that can be adapted to your needs for either reading, teaching, a space for parents to wait, an eating area, and much more
  • Promotes social engagement amongst children

At Red Monkey Play, our in-house expertise enables us to provide bespoke designs that encompass the needs of your school, whilst providing a personalized experience, designed to capture your required specifications. Our shelters can be constructed to incorporate a wide range of design features and special customizations, as we’re proud to offer our clients a solution that suits their budget, from the ‘standard’ model through to a structure that features all the bells and whistles. No matter the shelter you choose, you can always add something a little different to your school with us! 

Now let’s take a look at our wide range of outdoor shelters that could be the perfect fit for your pupils to invite them to play and engage in fun learning!

Red Monkey Play Outdoor Shelters & Classrooms 

  1. Earth Pod
  2. Sunshine Canopy
  3. Treehouse Classroom
  4. Canvas Gazebo
  5. Wooden Amphitheatre

Earth Pod

With its hobbit-house exterior, our Earth Pod outdoor shelter is a great way to bring a sense of magic and wonder to your school. The perfect, quirky space for storytelling!

earth pod outdoor classroom










Personalized Aesthetic

Completely adaptable to the needs of your school, the stunning wood finish and artificial grass roof blend into any natural environment, tapping into an ‘organic’ aesthetic. If you’re looking to add a splash of colour to your shelter, making it that much more exciting, you can alternatively select bright and colourful artificial grass and framing. You can choose from a variety of bold and brilliant colours to personalize your space, whilst introducing zoning by providing an outdoor shelter for each year group. This outdoor wooden shelter also features windows at both the front and rear of the space, increasing the amount of natural light without the need to install electric lighting.

An Adaptable Space

This outdoor classroom facility is suitable for early years and primary students alike and can be used for different purposes, including:

  • A breakout classroom
  • A library space
  • A reading area
  • A space for 1-2-1 tutoring

It can even be a great space for children with additional needs who require their education to be facilitated in a space separate from the rest of their class. If you want to find out more about our playground equipment for children with learning disabilities, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

outdoor classroom earth pod










Numerous Design Features

Our Earth Pod is fully adaptable to meet your budget, and can be fitted with various design features, ranging from the standard model through to the top-of-the-range model, which comes fitted with:

  • Insulation
  • Lighting
  • Electricity points
  • A panel heater to keep the space warm during the colder months

Careful Construction

Our Earth Pods are pre-constructed and lifted onsite by a crane, making it that much easier and less disruptive for schools, and they are usable from the day of delivery.

The price point for this product ranges between £6800 and £8300 plus VAT, and the price of delivery is dependent on the school location.

View the Earth Pod 

Sunshine Canopy

Our Sunshine Canopy is a brilliant and colourful way to extend your playspace outdoors, whilst providing shelter from the elements with a fun sensory aspect.

This versatile covered structure can be constructed in any size, bespoke to fit your space, and is suitable for any environment. Keeping you clean and dry all year round, our canopy is also fitted with guttering to keep your roof space spotless and debris-free. Our canopies are made from timber that is guaranteed for 10 years, giving you peace of mind that should something happen to the framework, you’re covered!

outdoor playground area roof








Bespoke Design

Our top-of-the-range, flower-printed perspex roof projects beautiful patterns on the floor in the sunlight, being the perfect way to inject colour and life into a previously dull space. They are also available in our standard clear polycarbonate, or in a variety of bright coloured panels that you can choose from and arrange in any order.

Our canopies even have the option to be built with vinyl or glass windows, zip-up or hard doors, and wooden sides or canvas sides to create a fully enclosed play and learning area. The canvas sides also come with the option to be rolled up or fixed into position, and they are manufactured in a range of beautiful colours as well. 











Hassle-Free Construction

Our Sunshine Canopy is easily constructed with minimal impact on the school, due to it being a self-supporting structure that doesn’t require to be fixed to a wall. This also means that it doesn’t require planning permission, and can be used as soon as it’s been installed.

This outdoor shelter is typically priced between £5000 and £15000 plus VAT, varying to adapt to customers’ needs, and depending on the space available for fitting.

View the Sunshine Canopy

Treehouse Classroom

Our stunning Treehouse Classroom shelter brings life, fun, and adventure to any primary school play space. This structure encourages children to explore the natural world, engage in role-playing, and exercise in an exciting space. With its multifunctional uses, our treehouse can even be used to teach outdoor lessons.

outdoor playground equipment treehouse














Unique Design

This outdoor shelter features built-in steps to provide easy access up to the raised learning space, windows, and doors to make the most of natural light. This quirky yet natural product blends into the environment due to its natural, organic aesthetic, and its waterproof roof makes it the perfect space for learning outside all year round. Our Treehouse Classroom shelter provides an extended learning space that enthuses children to get actively involved in their learning, thus improving their understanding of the topic material.

outdoor playground equipment treehouse










Flexible Space

Our Treehouse provides a multifunctional outdoor space, consisting of:

  • The main raised space, designed to be a learning environment and doubling as a breakout space or mindfulness area
  • The balcony area, a brilliant space for observing the natural world
  • The lower level, an ideal space to admire birds and wildlife through its slim windows, or use it as a shelter during playtime or second learning space

This outdoor shelter is priced at around £15000 plus VAT, and the cost of onsite installation is dependent on the school location.

View the Treehouse Classroom

Canvas Gazebo

Our Canvas Gazebo is a great outdoor shelter that not only extends the learning space of your school but also protects your pupils from the sun and rain whilst staying connected to the outdoors! This is a perfect option for both nurseries and primary schools.

outdoor playground equipment gazebo










Personalised Design

Available in a range of sizes to suit the requirements of its intended use, our Canvas Gazebo is constructed from a wooden framework with a durable and waterproof canvas roof. The covered learning space is suitable for use in all weather eventualities, whilst its framework allows access from all directions, and can even be fitted with canvas sides to create a fully enclosed area. 

The canvas is available in a range of fantastic colours, and just like our Sunshine Canopies, you have the option to add vinyl or glass windows, zip-up or hard doors, and wooden or canvas sides to create a fully enclosed area. The canvas sides also come with the option to be rolled up or fixed into position.

A Multi-functional Space

This shelter is extremely multifunctional and can be easily adapted to any school’s needs and wants. Along with being an exciting outdoor learning space, it can be fitted with a number of other playground equipment products, such as:

These are all part of our beautiful range of Sensory Playground Equipment, and if you’re interested to find out more, check out our Buyer’s Guide To Sensory Play Equipment.

outdoor playground equipment gazebo










Easy Installation

This product is installed into the ground in an efficient manner that creates minimal impact and disruption to the school. Created from high-quality, long-lasting, and 10-year guaranteed timber, you are safe in the knowledge that this shelter is built to stand the test of time.

The price point for this product ranges from £4500 to £9000 plus VAT and is dependent on the size of the gazebo.

View the Canvas Gazebo

Wooden Amphitheatre

A fantastic way to host theatrical performances and exciting storytelling sessions, our Wooden Amphitheatre seating can hold an entire class of up to 30 pupils! We also offer a bespoke service to adjust its size so we can accommodate smaller or larger classes.














Take To The Stage

Our amphitheater is normally constructed as an open (non-roofed) stage and seating area, however, it can also be constructed with the addition of a perspex roof. This product can be fitted with wooden seating or the usual artificial grass-covered seating, to bring a natural aesthetic and non-intrusive sense to your play area.

The amphitheater enables both staff and children to integrate a permanent performance area into playtimes, lessons, and even more formal productions.

An Adaptable Space

Due to its semi-circle composition, our Wooden Amphitheatre creates an environment where the teacher can address an entire class, thus creating a dynamic and versatile space for learning in any educational setting.

This space can be utilised in a number of ways, including:

  • Plays and dramatic performances
  • Music recitals
  • Educational demonstrations
  • A space to gather during outdoor lessons to promote the sharing of instructions and ideas
  • A space to regroup for discussion
  • A space to share discoveries and celebrate achievements

outdoor playground equipment role play equipment stage












Our seating is constructed from the highest quality, guaranteed timber and is available to be purchased in a number of different sizes and tier quantities. Also, the fencing is constructed at the rear of the top tier to prevent pupils from falling backward. We can build this space onsite, bespoke to the needs and requirements of your school or nursery. 

The price of our Wooden Amphitheatre seating ranges from £8000 to £16000 plus VAT and is dependent on the size of the seating area.

View the Wooden Amphitheatre

Product Comparison

 Product  Benefits & USPs Audience Price Point
 Earth Pod 
  • Adaptable space to suit the school’s needs
  • Personalised exterior finishes and internal features
  • Brings a sense of magic to your play space
  • Constructed off-site with minimal disruption
 Early years and primary  students £6800 to £8300
 Sunshine Canopy 
  • Can be built to fit any intended space
  • Personalised exterior finishes, adding a sensory aspect
  • Freestanding with minimal disruption
  • Can be enclosed with canvas walls
 Nurseries and schools £5000 – £15000
 Treehouse Classroom 
  • Provides multiple multi-use spaces for learning
  • Built using natural materials, enabling it to blend in with the environment 
  • Adds an exciting angle to learning
  • Can be used to interact with the natural world
 Primary schools £15000
 Canvas Gazebo 
  • Available in a range of sizes, and built to suit your requirements
  • Access from every direction
  • Can be fitted with canvas sides to provide shelter
  • Can be fitted with numerous other sensory products to develop play and learning
 Nurseries and primary schools £4500 to £9000
 Wooden Amphitheatre 
  • Built using natural materials, enabling it to blend in with the environment
  • Multifunctional space for lessons, performances, and demonstrations 
  • Classes can be addressed as a whole
  • Can be built to a bespoke size
 Primary schools £8000 – £16000


The Installation Process

Our outdoor shelters are made from sustainably sourced and guaranteed timber, and are constructed and installed in adherence with the current building regulations. During the construction of your outdoor shelter, we carry out numerous quality assurance checks to ensure that our builds are of the highest quality and that they adhere to best practices, ensuring the safety of your staff and pupils.

Post-installation, we would advise scheduling playground safety checks at least once a year by a certified professional. For more information on this, read our blog on ‘Playground Safety and Annual Inspections.

Create Your Perfect Playground Today

At Red Monkey Play, we’ve provided nurseries and schools across the UK with bespoke outdoor shelters and classrooms to suit the needs of their pupils for over 20 years. We pride ourselves on offering a bespoke and specialist service that provides our clients with a solution that exceeds their expectations every time.

We have a number of Outdoor Shelters & Classrooms available, each with its own unique benefits. If you’re looking for advice and support in choosing the perfect product for your school or nursery, we are more than happy to discuss the options available to you! Please don’t hesitate to contact us either by email at, or call our Leicester office on 0116 366 9922 to book a FREE consultation.

In the meantime, check out our Case Studies to see what our previous customers have to say about working with us, or read more articles on Top 5 Benefits Of Outdoor Classrooms For Schools and Fun Lesson Ideas For School Outdoor Classrooms.  

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