Tips & Guides, Outdoor Classrooms & Shelters

A Buyer’s Guide To Outdoor Shelters & Classrooms

outdoor playground shelter with students playing

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 the subject matter more interesting, increases motivation and helps to enhance understanding. Outdoor shelters enable pupils to connect with nature in a meaningful and impactful way, increasing their learning potential.

For schools, investing in an outdoor shelter provides you with the opportunity to utilise your outdoor space in an interesting and creative way, bolstering the experience of school life whilst also supporting the curriculum and encouraging student development.. 

A number of benefits you will experience from outdoor shelters 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 – 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 a school, providing a personalised experience designed to capture your required specifications. Our shelters can be constructed to incorporate a wide range of design features and special customisations. 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, add something a little different to your school with Red Monkey Play.

Our Outdoor Shelter Products

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

 

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

Personalised Aesthetic

Completely adaptable to the needs of your school, the stunning wood finish and artificial grass roof blend into the 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 a bright and colourful artificial grass and framing. Choose from a variety of bold and brilliant colours to personalise your space. This is a great way to introduce zoning, for example providing an outdoor shelter for each year group. This 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 tuition.

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.

outdoor classroom earth pod

Numerous Design Features

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

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

Construction

Our Earth Pods are pre-constructed and lifted onsite by a crane, making it that much easier and less disruptive for schools. This shelter is 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 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. Add a sensory aspect to your nursery or school!

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 shelter is also fitted with guttering, keeping 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 that projects beautiful patterns on the floor in the sunlight – our canopies are the perfect way to inject colour and life into a previously dull space. Also available is our standard clear polycarbonate, or a variety of bright coloured panels to 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 area. The canvas sides also come with the option to be rolled up or fixed into position, these are manufactured in a range of beautiful colours.

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 the structure doesn’t require planning permission and can be used as soon as it has been installed.

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

View the Sunshine Canopy!

 

Treehouse

Our stunning Treehouse 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. Its waterproof roof makes it the perfect space for learning outside all year round.

Our Treehouse shelter provides an extended learning space that enthuses children to get actively involved in their learning, 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 doubling as a breakout space or mindfulness area.  
  • The balcony area, a brilliant space for observation of the natural world. 
  • The lower level provides an ideal space to watch birds and wildlife with it’s slim windows, a shelter during playtime or a second learning space. 

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

View the Treehouse!

 

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 of a wooden framework with a durable and waterproof canvas roof. The covered learning space is suitable for use in all weather eventualities. The 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. Just like our Sunshine Canopies, there are options to add vinyl or glass windows, zip up or hard doors and wooden sides 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 easily adapted to a school’s needs. Along with being a outdoor learning space, it can fitted with a number of our other products, here are a few of the endless options to choose from:

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 dependant on the size of the gazebo.

View the Canvas Gazebo!

 

Amphitheatre Seating

A fantastic way to host theatrical performances and exciting storytelling sessions, our Amphitheatre Seating can hold an entire class of up to 30 pupils! We offer a bespoke service to adjust the size to accommodate for smaller or larger class sizes.

Take To The Stage

Our amphitheatre is normally constructed as an open (non-roofed) stage and seating area, although 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, bringing a natural aesthetic and non-intrusive sense to the space.

The amphitheatre enables staff and children to integrate a permanent performance area into playtimes, lessons and formal productions.

An Adaptable Space

Due to it’s semi-circle composition, our Amphitheatre Seating creates an environment where the teacher can address an entire class, 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

Construction

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. We can also build this space bespoke to the needs of the customer. Fencing is constructed at the rear of the top tier to prevent pupils from falling backwards. This product is built onsite. 

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

View the Amphitheatre Seating!

 

Product Comparison

 

 Product  Benefits & USP  Audience  Price Point
 Earth Pod  
  • Adaptable space to suit the needs of the school.
  • 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 the 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  
  • 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 requirements.
  • Access from every direction.
  • Can be fitted with canvas sides to provide shelter. 
  • Can be fitted with numerous sensory products to develop learning.
 Nurseries and primary schools  £4500 to £9000
 Amphitheatre Seating  
  • 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 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 adhere to best practices, ensuring the safety of your staff and pupils.

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

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. 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 available, each with its own unique benefits. If you’re looking for advice and support in choosing the perfect product for your school, we are more than happy to discuss the options available to you.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can either email us at hello@redmonkeyplay.co.uk or call our Leicester office on 0116 366 9922 or our London office on 020 38445 525 to book a free consultation.

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