Tips & Guides, Outdoor Classrooms & Shelters

The Ultimate Guide To Outdoor Play With Playground Equipment For Schools

kids at school playing and exercising on yellow gym equipment outdoors

If you’re planning on purchasing new school equipment, school playground toys, or any other educational resources but you’re not quite sure where to start, our ultimate guide to outdoor play with playground equipment for schools will come in handy!

Choosing Outdoor Playground Equipment For Schools

There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to play equipment, which can be a little overwhelming, but spending that extra time researching upfront will pay off in the long run. To help you out, we’ve based our guide on some of the most common questions and topics to get you started on the right foot. 

There are a few factors that will help you find the best playground equipment for schools, and first of all, you must take a look at the space that’s available for your children outdoors and see if anything can be moved around to make way for any new playground equipment. The range of educational resources available come in various shapes and sizes to work with your playground setting, but if you’ve got your heart set on a particular piece of playground equipment, we can also make this bespoke, so it can effortlessly slot into your learning environment.

You should always encourage and welcome ideas from your wider staff, school governors, or even the children themselves, as their views could help you to narrow down your decision-making process. Also, it’s not a bad idea to get them involved early on too, using their suggestions and feedback to make more informed decisions about which school resources and playground equipment will really make a difference to your children. 

Finally, the budget may be an influencing factor that contributes to which pieces of educational equipment you’ll go for in the end. There are plenty of outdoor playground equipment choices to suit every budget without compromising on quality and of course, the level of learning that children receive.

Will Children Benefit From Outdoor Play?

MUGA playground pitch equipment for schools

In case you were wondering if outdoor learning and natural play improve wellbeing, the short answer is yes!

Having outdoor school resources will benefit children immensely, starting with their physical strength to their mental capabilities, social experiences and of course, overall health, all of which will simply be a result of engaging in outdoor activities. 

There’s nothing better than enjoying the great outdoors, which is highly recommended for children. For example, for toddlers aged between one and two and preschoolers aged between three and four, the NHS Physical activity guidelines for children (under 5 years) recommend they should be physically active every day for at least three hours, with a mixture of indoor and outdoor play. Children aged five and upwards require around 60 minutes of physical activity at a moderate level, again as advised by the NHS Physical activity guidelines for children and young people. This can also involve taking part in a variety of physical activities which strengthen skills, muscles, and bones, as well as coordination. 

While all outdoor teaching equipment will stimulate children’s physical strength and condition, we recommend you to have a look at our range of sport and fitness playground equipment, which can be easily incorporated into your outdoor learning programme. You can even set up your own playground gym with our range of outdoor gym equipment for schools. From arm and pedal bicycles to working the arms and legs simultaneously on the double slalom skier, children can find new ways to challenge themselves independently and in pairs. 

We also offer an excellent KS2 to KS4 Gym Bundle, complete with eight units that allow up to 14 children to use the equipment at any time. This is the perfect addition to PE lessons, as children can take turns using the gym station or even at break time. 

Another all-in-one addition is our Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) which will challenge students by boosting their social interaction and promoting team play. It can also be used for many sports including football, netball, basketball, and other outdoor activities that can be done in one space. 

Can Outdoor Play Be Fun And Educational?

Outdoor play and better school playground equipment lead to smarter children, and they can also be very fun! By using wooden playground equipment for schools as an educational resource, children will still be able to learn and have plenty of fun, as it’s a great balance that comes naturally. Below, we’ve listed some practical and common uses:

Lessons 

Taking lessons outside of the traditional setting is becoming increasingly popular, and this can happen all year round. Check out our range of outdoor classrooms and shelters that are perfect for this. 

Thanks to its generous space, the Wooden Amphitheatre allows children to showcase their drama skills outside, whilst teachers and parents can be invited to watch a school play from the benches. Children can bring plays and scenes to life and really come into character using this piece of outdoor play equipment. 

Another excellent and engaging unit is our Earth Pod, which can be transformed to suit many scenarios. It’s particularly popular as a reading snug for quiet time or an outdoor classroom that provides an engaging learning zone beyond the traditional setting, and it can even be made bespoke to your school colours. 

A great tip we have for you is to not be put off by the typical british weather, because our educational equipment is built to last no matter the weather conditions. For example, our Sunshine Canopy is a great addition to any outdoor play zone, and it comes with a bright and enchanting flower pattern printed onto a polycarbonate roof. Additionally, you can also include timber sides for extra weather protection!

In case you want to find out more about this range of products, check out our Buyer’s Guide To Outdoor Shelters & Classrooms

Role Play

Get the children aboard our Interactive Pirate Ship and let the fun-filled adventures begin! It’s wheelchair accessible and comes with a moving steering wheel and a climbing net, so children can really get into character. You can add your own finishing touches such as a sailor’s hat or jacket to complete the adventure. 

If being at sea sounds exciting, check out our Adventures Ahoy ship, designed with three decks, which offer plenty of room for a large number of sailors (or pirates). Children can climb up using the rope or even pull themselves up as anything is possible with this action-packed play unit. 

If you’re searching for the ideal setting where stories and fantasies can come to life, have a look at our Towers Adventure and Wimbledon Woodland Towers. In these educational play resources, children will love acting their favourite characters from stories or films whilst taking turns playing different roles such as princes and princesses. They can take a trip to the forest, climb up into the towers, and even slide back down. 

Sensory Learning

Bring all your student’s five senses to life with our range of outdoor sensory playground equipment, suitable for all ages and abilities. Children can explore and investigate exciting play panels, sounds, and textures at the touch of their fingers. The benefit of our sensory play equipment is that children have direct access to a full range of sensorial materials which add to their learning.

For example, pouring water through chutes, running sand through their fingers, or messing around with mud will stimulate hand-eye coordination and provide them with movement with different compositions. Bring some pots, pans, and any other kitchen utensils to create your very own mud kitchen, which is great for curious little hands, and set this up in our Small World, complete with doors and windows to create their own wonderful house. 

We can also create rich sensory areas, such as gardens full of herbs and plants, cascading water, and places for bugs to find a new home in our Natural Sensory Path. These real-life settings allow children to explore natural flowers as if they were growing in a meadow or in their own garden at home. To follow this up with a learning activity, children can use their artistic skills to sketch or paint the scenery, capturing the flowers in season. 

There will be plenty of noise if you go for an installation of musical playground equipment, where our Rustic Music Centre is a brilliant way for children to create their very own band, complete with plenty of singing. Encourage them to make their own microphones and take centre stage for a new way of having fun at school.

If music is what you’re after, you should check out our Play Panels, as these stations are equipped to make musical instrument noises when interacting with different panels, along with vibrant colours to catch their attention. There are also plenty of games and mazes to get their little minds working hard.

Where Can I Store Playground Equipment For Schools?

Most likely, you have certain playground equipment that typically remains outside, and rather than bringing them in and out, having some form of outdoor storage could come in handy. 

At Red Monkey Play, we have a range of options available to accommodate your outside teaching equipment so that it can be accessed easily whilst keeping your playground look neat and tidy, but more importantly, to be kept safe. Our selection of playground storage can be made bespoke to fit into your external space and to work around your current or new playground installations.

How Can Red Monkey Play Help You?

The world of playground equipment for schools and outdoor play is very vast, and it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of the benefits they can bring to children, as well as the options available to you and your school or nursery.

Our dedicated and experienced team at Red Monkey Play hope you found this guide useful, and if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be more than happy to help and answer any questions you may have, and all you have to do is to drop us an email at hello@redmonkeyplay.co.uk or call our Leicester office on 0116 366 9922

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