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How Sensory Play helps develop Creativity

Hsphdc Featured Image | How Sensory Play Helps Develop Creativity | Creative Play

Hsphdc 1 | How Sensory Play Helps Develop Creativity | Creative PlayThere are many educational benefits to sensory play, but one area that it can help develop greatly is a child’s creativity. Children are constantly learning to create throughout their childhood, something we at Creative Play are passionate about supporting and helping to cultivate. While problem solving and decision making are often seen as the most obvious cognitive skills to be developed and fine-tuned by sensory play, linguistic experts are also quick to sing the praises of a more sensory approach to early years learning. Many cite sensory play as a key motivator behind children first using descriptive words and expressive language to convey their feelings and emotions as they’re encouraged to explore each of their senses.

Hsphdc 4 | How Sensory Play Helps Develop Creativity | Creative Play

At the same time, the more social and emotional aspects of initial human interaction are also flagged up, with sensory perception being significantly responsible for youngsters taking control of their actions and experiences. This boosts the likelihood of them learning and experiencing to greater degrees going forward. It’s also been a long-held theory that a small child’s more physical attributes are brought into play at a young age, courtesy of the fine motor skills perfected through the manipulation of various materials put in front of eager hands and minds, whether playdough, duplo bricks or crayons. But, it can be overlooked that sensory play also work wonders with encouraging an impressionable child’s mental and social creativity.

Hsphdc 2 | How Sensory Play Helps Develop Creativity | Creative PlayFrom the very outset of a child being introduced to materials such as sand, water and the variety of different surfaces in a creative playground, they are being actively welcomed into creating something from nothing. As they manoeuvre their way around the environment, experiencing different surfaces through their eyes, ears and fingertips, the youngster is the master of their own creative destiny. According to authorities on the subject, sensory experiences afford open-ended opportunities ‘where the process is more important than the end product’. Essentially, how children use materials is much more important than exactly where they end up, whether we’re talking about building a sand model or reaching the top of a climbing frame. Enthusing a child to think creatively will also help them resolve a number of problems, while fostering make-believe scenarios encourages them to express creativity and bolsters self-esteem.

Hsphdc 3 | How Sensory Play Helps Develop Creativity | Creative PlayBe it pouring, scooping, pulling, pushing, climbing or sliding, sensory play gives kids the green light to experiment with a large variety of materials in new and creative ways. Uninterrupted play, whether individually or in groups, provides the catalyst for creativity to flourish, with boundary-less restrictions on what they should do or how they should approach a task. Children are able to enjoy the process as they use the materials they see fit, not consumed by an end product. The more youngsters engage in sensory play, the more adept they become with spatial concepts, increasing their ability to process all the priceless information they receive via the five key sensory modalities of touch, taste, smell, hearing and vision. Sensory play is ostensibly a vehicle in which to physically encourage emotional stimulation and responses through a new medium of play.

Hsphdc 5 | How Sensory Play Helps Develop Creativity | Creative PlaySo, we hope that this journey through some of the more creative aspects of sensory play has helped you to begin to think creatively about how building your own sensory playground could benefit the creativity of the children and young people who get to enjoy it. We like to think that just by taking a look at our expansive catalogue of bespoke-designed children’s play areas, you’ll understand precisely how passionate we are about children’s creativity, as we continue to strive for unique, imaginative and above all else, safe and enjoyable solutions to kids’ playtime needs.

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Top 5 Playground Developments of 2016!

Top 5 Fi | Top 5 Playground Developments Of 2016! | Creative Play

Top-5-0During 2016 we have completed just over 1000 playground developments all across mainland UK!

Each and every project we have worked on has been a pleasure and we hope we complete even more in 2017.

In light of this, we have chosen 5 of some of the great transformations completed this year, to which we can tell you, was VERY difficult!

So, here it goes the TOP 5 Playground’s by Creative Play in 2016!


The Howard Junior School


The Howard Junior School were looking to develop a vast outdoor play area and had contacted Creative Play in regards to designing, manufacturing and installing their brand new playground! They were undergoing a huge development project throughout the school and we were extremely excited to be involved.

The school were looking to develop an area for KS2. The area was large and they wanted to encourage imaginative, social and physical play. Initially The Howard Junior School wanted to incorporate our Pirate Ship, a Trim Trail circuit and a Multi-Use Games Area as well as safety surfacing at their site. However as this was such a big project the school decided to split the playground development into 4 different phases – starting with our impressive Pirate Ship!


Our Pirate Ship was chosen by the school to incorporate and cover a wide variety of play aspects as well as allow large groups of pupils to play together. To go along with the ship we incorporated blue and yellow Wetpour Safety Surfacing to give the appearance of sea and sand. This looks really effective and enhances the imaginative play aspects of the design brief. These colours also match the school’s crest which is great!

The installation went very smoothly and there was a lot of fantastic interaction between Creative Play and The Howard Junior School. The Pirate Ship has been extremely popular and has even featured on ITV Anglia!

We have had some great pictures of the children dressed up and playing on the Pirate Ship which makes us really proud to have been able to offer this to The Howard Junior School.

We are excited to continue working with the school on their additional playground phases in the coming months and completely regenerating their outdoor play space!

Langley Primary School

Top-5-2Langley Primary School contacted Creative Play looking to completely revamp their reception and nursery areas including ripping out existing equipment and surfacing that was already in place. The School wanted to incorporate both new equipment and surfacing with the possibility of having a roadway design within the surfacing!

After our initial consultation on site, the design team began to prepare the drawings and detailed proposal.

Langley Primary School had decided to go with a varied range of EYFS playground equipment including a Mound Tunnel, Timber Sandbox, Timber Cabin and Timber Bridge to really promote explorative play.

We also included EYFS-appropriate trim trail items to encourage physical play. Popular sensory items such as our Mud Kitchen Mini and Water Wall were also added. A thermoplastic roadway with zebra crossing was installed in an additional play area to promote role play via kinaesthetic learning.


Artificial Grass Safety Surfacing was also installed in the main play space to provide a great, all-weather surface for the younger children. Overall the equipment and surfacing installed really transformed the existing playground at Langley Primary School.

Langley Primary School was a huge project and one we are very proud of. We created a whole new play area in a short amount of time, one which provides a wide range of equipment for children to have heaps of fun and develop key skills.

The whole project was completed efficiently and the school are extremely happy with the final project!

Lacey Green Academy

Top-5-3Lacey Green Academy contacted Creative Play looking to develop their KS2 area, currently installed was tired and dull Trim Trail items. The academy were looking for a new, updated Trim Trail area to freshen up the playground and wanted to have safety surfacing to allow all weather use.

After meeting with Lacey Green they were interested in the look of our Zenith Max Tower Systems! In addition to this they wanted to include different ‘stations’ of Trim Trail items. The Academy really wanted to include play equipment that would cover all fundamental movement skills. After much consideration, and going over the designs Creative Play had put together, it was decided they would go with our Fort Riley Tower System in a bespoke rustic style as well as various items from our Challenger Trim Trail range.

Top-5-3-2Lacey Green Academy also had seating incorporated into the play area including our Teachers Storytelling Chair, Curved Modular Seating and Mushroom Seats. From the original meeting the Academy were sure they wanted Wetpour safety surfacing with creative inlaid designs to help brighten up the new play area and create the individual ‘stations’ around each piece of equipment.

After seeing the designs for this project I knew this was going to be challenging but we were looking forward to the final result. Preparation was key with this project and involved extensive groundworks to ensure a suitable sub-base was in place for the new equipment and safety surfacing.

We worked closely with the Academy to ensure everything went to plan smoothly and the finished development now serves as a grand focal point within the school grounds. It was a great project to have worked on!

Richard Avenue Primary School

Top-5-4Richard Avenue Primary School contacted Creative Play as they wanted to completely transform their outdoor space. They wanted to provide an abundance of sports and fitness opportunities that could be accessed during break times as well for PE lessons and after-school sports clubs. Along with a MUGA the school also hoped to include fitness equipment.

With such a strong focus it was essential that we were in continuous communication with Richard Avenue Primary School to ensure we met all their sports and fitness requirements. For the Multi-use Games Area (MUGA) we wanted to ensure a number of sports could be played so we incorporated various sports court markings into the green Wetpour Safety Surfacing – including tennis and football. The goal ends were then customised with bespoke engravings to add an extra personal touch. Together with Richard Avenue, we also decided to include a number of outdoor fitness equipment units in a separate area. Including our Double Air Walker and Arm and Pedal Bike, these items were then grouped into a trail to create an instant fitness circuit ideal for PE lessons. Artificial Grass Safety Surfacing was then incorporated into this area to provide a natural-looking, durable surface.

Top-5-4-2With a complex bespoke MUGA and a large number of outdoor fitness equipment stations to install it was essential that we kept in constant correspondence with all involved on the Richard Avenue development to ensure that the project was executed to the highest of standards.

With a large amount of safety surfacing also needed for this project, our equipment and surfacing teams successfully collaborated together to create a strong final outcome. Well done to all involved!

Rushbrook Primary Academy

Top-5-5Moving from their old site, Gorton Mount, Rushbrook Primary Academy wanted us to duplicate the trim trail equipment we had previously installed for them. They also wanted to incorporate new equipment that would utilise the larger playground they had at their new site.

Because the new site’s playground was so vast we were excited to work on such a large project. We decided to break the playground down into numerous zones to encourage different aspects of outdoor play.

Firstly, we incorporated the trim trail items Rushbrook Primary Academy had at their old site and arranged them into a classic circuit- such as our Net Tunnel, Overhead Ladder and Leapfrog Posts.

For PE lessons or playtimes we also incorporated our vibrant Target One to encourage a range of sports activities. We also included our popular Dart Activity Centre to encourage more open-ended physical play.

Top-5-5-2Playboards, such as our Weather Station, Mound Tunnel and Dee Climbing Frame were grouped together in another area to create a more sensory/ imaginative play zone ideal for Rushbrook’s younger pupils. Our Octavia Shelter was added to another area to provide a quiet seating zone, ideal for outdoor lessons or keeping sheltered from the elements.

When we saw the plans for the project at Rushbrook Primary Academy we were excited to be involved with such a big project.

Due to Rushbrook Primary Academy being a new build development, it was essential that all our installation teams coordinated well with all external contractors and teaching staff involved.

All our hard work paid off and the playground development was a success.

Well done to everyone involved!

As you can see, these projects are outstanding and we worked very hard to complete them as we do with each and every project we are successful in obtaining.

If you are looking to update your outdoor play area, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us 

Before you do, why not take a look through our wide range of products available

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The 5 Key Benefits of Sensory Play

5Sense0 | The 5 Key Benefits Of Sensory Play | Creative PlayDevelopment Of Outdoor Play

Look. Listen. Touch. Smell. Taste.

These are just five fundamental elements of life that we often take for granted.

Each of us will experience them in slightly different ways, and some will suffer additional challenges or certain limitations to one or more senses, but we will all go through life engaging with the world in large part, through our senses.

Today, there are a large number of sensory play ideas and sensory materials that can be used to engage young children, many aimed at helping them experiment with the key attributes associated with the five predominant senses as they grow, both in home and educational environments.

These methods tend to recruit a variety of textures, substances, ingredients and props, which come together to create an overall awareness and stimulation of the core senses.

Sensory Play

Sensory Play is a non-traditional method of learning and exploration, which enables a child to learn through all five senses.

Sensory play is being utilised more than ever before in a range of scenarios and settings, as many adopt a more proactive stance in empowering and facilitating children to use their senses to develop a variety of skills at the beginning of their life journey.

Why Sensory Play Is So Important

Children of all ages need to feel, see, taste, touch and hear in order to learn. However, as children grow, educational settings require more reading and writing, which can be quite demanding and overwhelming for young children who are still learning how to listen and speak.

Most children also have a hard time staying still for long periods. Sensory play is active and engaging, getting them moving as they explore new textures, tastes and sounds.

Play is very important for child development as it stimulates all the senses and enlarges a child’s perception of his or her surroundings. Children learn through their senses by touching, tasting, seeing emotions on others’ faces, listening to sounds and talking with others.

Sensory play can create an opportunity for children to work on their own individual skills such as:

  • Social skills
  • Communication and language skills
  • Sensory and gross motor skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Cognitive skills

It also encourages children’s:

  • Brain development
  • Cognitive development
  • Scientific thinking
  • Sensory development
  • Vestibular system

Sensory play is beneficial to all children, but may be especially valuable for children who have intellectual disabilities, due to the nature of this type of play.

A variety of activities and using different items, will help children learn and increase their understanding of the world around them.

Sensory play includes but is not limited to:

  • Water play
  • Sand play
  • Imaginative play
  • Musical instruments
  • Using different shapes and different objects
  • Finger painting
  • Sensory bags
  • Interaction with animals

All of the above offer different stimuli and developmental opportunities, helping to encourage children to discover their surroundings.

Benefits Of Sensory Play

Children who have a variety of sensory experiences, learn to use their senses in different ways. For example, they can feel that something is wet and notice that it feels cold on the skin and that water disappears when it is dry.

The benefits of sensory play in early childhood are immense and there is no right or wrong way to engage sensory activities.

No matter what the child’s age group, child’s development stage or learning style, they will all benefit from sensory stimulation and sensory play based learning.

Let’s take a look at a few benefits of Sensory Play:

  • Helps build nerve connections within the developing brain’s neural pathways, which triggers a child’s inclination for and ability in competing for more complex learning tasks
  • Supports language development, cognitive growth, motor skills, problem-solving skills and social interaction
  • Aids in developing and enhancing memory function
  • Is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child
  • Helps children learn vitally important sensory attributes such as hot, cold, sticky, dry, etc

Increased concentration and focus is a major benefit of sensory play, as the child has to listen intently for any clues in order to solve the story. This helps with developing multi-tasking skills, as they maintain their attention on the story instead of being easily distracted by other things going on around them.

It’s also worth noting that sensory play can go one step further when involving children who suffer from medical conditions which they’re either born with or develop at a later stage. These include deafness, blindness and a variety of other illnesses or challenges, which can restrict their ability to learn and develop certain skills.

Language Development

Sensory play helps children, even adults, learn the meanings of descriptive words through repetition.

For example, you can make up a story using different textures, such as a soft, furry dog animal. Be sure to describe what the dog feels like and how it makes you feel when you touch its fur, then your child can hold on to a stuffed animal and tell him or her about the texture.

Emotional Development

Sensory play also helps children learn how to express themselves in different ways such as crying, laughing and smiling, and is an effective way to convey your child’s emotions.

What Is Sensory Play Commonly Known As?

Sensory Play has a number of titles, including but not limited to:

  • Sensory Activities
  • Sensory Play Activities
  • Sensory Learning
  • Auditory Play
  • Tactile Play

…. and are commonly associated with sensory play ideas such as sensory tables and themed sensory bins which can include different materials that encourage sensory exploration of some, if not all of the five senses (depending on the sensory activity and materials used).


The more often children engage in sensory exploration activities, the more likely they will be successful learners.

Early childhood education is important when it comes to a child’s senses, developing language and brain development, as children explore their multiple senses through the benefits of sensory play.

Allowing children to explore their surroundings through creative ways is part of learning in their early years.

Our Guarantee

Here at Creative Play, we’re passionate about building play spaces that are inclusive for all children, and we believe that sensory play activities, products and approaches, really come into their own with individuals or groups who may struggle to grasp certain skills or actions, whatever the reason may be.

We ensure the highest levels of thought and care go into each of the items we create, with our full range of sensory play items available here.

We guarantee that any item you receive will look fantastic and offer lasting quality.

We’re highly passionate about sensory play and we’d love to talk to you about how we can support your children with their sensory play needs.

We love to see young people learning and enjoying themselves with our equipment, and our team is more than happy to chat to you by phone or email today.

Why not read our other blogs about Sensory Play….Our New Water & Sand Play Range!

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Playground Development at Llanferres Playing Field

Llanferres | Playground Development At Llanferres Playing Field | Creative Play
Jack Roberts, 10 Who Officially Opened The New Playground In Llanferres Pictured With Rob Williams Sales Manager From Creative Play, Gareth Jaggard, Secreatary Of The Playing Field Association And Little Daniel Jaggard.
Jack Roberts, 10 Who Officially Opened The New Playground In Llanferres Pictured With Rob Williams Sales Manager From Creative Play, Gareth Jaggard, Secretary Of The Playing Field Association And Little Daniel Jaggard.

Creative Play asked a brave schoolboy dealing with Type 1 diabetes to officially open a children’s playground and recreation park which has been transformed thanks to a community fundraising drive.

Family firm Creative Play, based in Knutsford Way off Sealand Road, enlisted the help of 10-year-old Jack Roberts to cut the ribbon at the new playground in Llanferres, near Mold.

Jack and his friends have been overjoyed by the major facelift of the much-loved adventure area thanks to help from Creative Play who design, manufacture and install state-of-the-art playground equipment.

The contemporary new look, achieved with £24,000 worth of charitable grants and fundraising via the Llanferres Playing Field and Recreation Association, includes top of the range climbing, swinging and rope obstacle challenges, an exhilarating zip wire, all-weather safe surfaces and seating areas.

Creative Play’s Rob Williams, who oversaw the project on behalf of the family firm, said: “From the moment we met with the association, it was clear that they were determined to create the best possible facility they could within their hard-earned budget. We talked with them to get a feel for the style of equipment they wanted and then put together some ideas for them to select from.

“It was important that the space had a natural community feel and didn’t seem like it was just for toddlers or just for teenagers. It needed to be somewhere for all ages to use and take pleasure in re-visiting time and again.

“Our designers are all specialists in outdoor play equipment construction so we were fairly quickly able to come up with some solutions, including our popular Trim Trail range, which we felt would work perfectly.

“The feedback we have had from Jack, his family and other children in the village has been really positive.

“One of the best parts of my job is to know how much what we do benefits young people and this is one of the best examples.”

For Ysgol Bro Famau pupil Jack, who was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition, Type 1 diabetes, four years ago, the playground has extra significance because it offers him a great chance to get the exercise he needs to help stay on top of his condition.

His mum, self-employed accountant, Louisa Roberts, said: “Along with injecting insulin with every mealJack needs regular exercise, as staying active also helps to keep Jack’s blood sugar levels under control, so having the playground right here in the heart of the community is fantastic for us.”

Jack Roberts, 10 Who Officially Opened The New Playground In Llanferres Pictured With Gareth Jaggard, Secreatary Of The Playing Field Association And Rob Williams Sales Manager From Creative Play.
Jack Roberts, 10 Who Officially Opened The New Playground In Llanferres Pictured With Gareth Jaggard, Secretary Of The Playing Field Association And Rob Williams Sales Manager From Creative Play.

Liverpool and Barcelona football fan, Jack, whose dad Steven works in IT, has a younger brother, Adam, aged seven and sister Hannah, five, who regularly join him to have fun in the revamped playground.

“My favourite new piece of equipment is a challenge where you have to hop across some wooden planks. I love it, and all the other obstacles too!” said Jack.

The leisure area was originally the culmination of a bumper fundraising effort by determined Llanferres villagers who joined forces two decades ago to form the Llanferres Playing Field and Recreation Association and create an outdoor family friendly arena for use by everyone in the village.

The association’s current secretary, Gareth Jaggard, who lives in the village with his wife Charlotte and their two children, Finley, five and Daniel, two, said: “It was a huge effort and it’s a credit to everyone who worked so hard at that time 20 years ago to make their dream come true of creating a recreation area where families could happily gather.

“But in a recent health and safety inspection it became clear that some of the equipment was time worn, in need of replacing, and the area as a whole required a general overhaul. The last thing we wanted was to see it fall into disrepair so we put our heads together and determined on a plan for improvements.”

Creative Play..... Jack Roberts, 10 Who Officially Opened The New Playground In Llanferres
Putting The Playground To The Test –  Jack Roberts, 10 Who Officially Opened The New Playground In Llanferres

The association, which is a registered charity, applied for grant assistance from various bodies and was rewarded with two mini windfalls. It received a £5,000 donation from Santander’s local communities fund and £12,000 from Tesco’s bags of help scheme, in which money from carrier bag sales is given to charitable projects.

The association also did some fundraising of its own to add to the total pot required of £24,000. It considered various options when it came to selecting play equipment.

Gareth said: “We were impressed with Creative Play’s designs. The equipment they supply has just the right feel for the direction we wanted to take the playground in and it is terrific quality.

“Their company’s representatives were available to help and advise us through each stage of the project and they were a real pleasure to work with, so friendly, helpful and informative.”

Creative Play is based on Sealand Road Industrial Estate in Chester. Each playground is designed to suit the client’s specifications, depending on their budget and location.

All of Creative Play’s equipment is designed and manufactured by the company’s in house teams, who use state of the art equipment and specialise in timber, plastic or metal.

Creative Play’s own teams install all of the equipment and surfacing to meet the requirements of the client and their own rigorous quality standards.

Next to the Llanferres playground is a pretty woodland walk, which includes a wildflower meadow, wetland garden, picnic tables and a barbecue area, free for use by all residents of Llanferres. There’s also an information board and safe, gated access.

The association leases the land for the recreation area from Llanferres Community Council which allows them to have it for a peppercorn rent of £1 a year. Gareth and a group of locals share in undertaking general maintenance work such as grass cutting, shrub pruning and weeding, and the association would be happy to welcome more volunteers.

Creative Play..... Jack Roberts, 10 Who Officially Opened The New Playground In Llanferres
Smiles All Round – Jack Roberts, 10 Who Officially Opened The New Playground In Llanferres

Gareth said: “It is a joy to think that what started out as a dream venture thought up by a few determined villagers was not only turned into fruition, but is still thriving and looking as dazzling as ever 20 years later.

“We want to thank everyone who contributed to its success – the people who regularly turn out for our fundraising events, the organisations who generously awarded us grants without which we could not have done this, and to all the professionals like those at Creative Play who helped us make the new design a reality.”