This school had two connecting spaces they wanted to develop. A large expanse of tarmac where we have built an outdoor classroom and play structure with a sandpit with rocky ravine. Along with an unused section of the playing field, which we have turned into an adventure play area.
Green Play Project have created a fantastic resource for our Early Years Foundation Stage children. Their creativity has enabled us to bring our vision for our Nursery & Reception children to life!
Mo Cann, School Business Manager
Sandpits are one of the most versatile elements to a playground and a great way to further the development of the minds and bodies of children. By digging, pouring, sifting, and scooping sand, children use their upper bodies and arms in ways that many of their other toys do not require them to work. Sandpits are often very social spaces too and no matter the age or development level of the child, sand offers an opportunity to explore and experiment in a safe and inviting environment.
Children love playing with water, so including a water element in a playground is always a hit. Run-off water from the outdoor classroom roof is captured and redirected into a storage tank where the children can access it using a tap. The children can then play with the shallow water that flows down the rocky ravine, and use sand to create dams to manipulate how the water flows down stream.
A key part of the development of the tarmac area was to create a large structure that could be used as an outdoor classroom, along with a covered play space. Underneath the structure, two little dens create hideaway spaces. The round perspex windows allow spots of coloured light in to brighten up the spaces.
Dens provide opportunities for a range of play and social functions. Children love to use their imagination to transform structures into forts, castles, homes, rockets ships and so much more. The lookout den overlooks the play space and gives the children a great vantage point to sit and watch what is going on.
Non-prescriptive play structures like the pole jungle encourage movement with a focus on climbing, balance and coordination to maximise the physical potential of each child. They also let children choose where they start and what they think they are starting on, providing a place of difference for open-ended play. Using areas of suspended netting can create a hammock, a clambering place, a bridge, an obstacle or whatever else the children’s imaginations come up with. They also encourage upper and lower body development, coordination, glancing, climbing, traversing and the general building of agility, fitness and stamina.