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A Guide To School Playground Equipment

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As schools look to provide kids with more opportunities for physical activity and outdoor play, many are turning to playgrounds as a way to promote these activities and keep kids active.

However, with so many different types of playground equipment available on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start when choosing outdoor play equipment for your school, nursery and even local community parks or commercial businesses.

This guide will help you understand the different types of playground equipment available and how to select the best options and make the right choices for your school children.

Choosing Playground Equipment

When choosing new school playground equipment, it is important to consider the age of your children and the type of activity you want them to be able to do.

You should also consider the size of your playground and the budget you have to work with.

Once you have considered these factors, you will be able to narrow down your choices and select the best playground equipment and play structures for your school.

Let’s have a look at some of the play equipment that can help to create fun play spaces and encourage physical development in each child…


Outdoor Gym Equipment

Outdoor gym equipment is a great way to encourage kids to be active and can be used by kids of all ages.

It is also a cost-effective way to provide a range of different activities in one space.

We offer a selection of metal outdoor gym equipment, that includes a children’s double sit up bench, pull-up bars and waist trainer.

We also offer timber outdoor gym equipment such as jump boxes, parallel bars and chin up bars.

Within our outdoor gym equipment category, there are many pieces of equipment that can be used together to create a fun and challenging circuit for children.

Take a look at our exciting school playground Outdoor Gym Equipment page for more information.

Sports Target Panels

Target panels are ideal for encouraging a child to be more active and improve their aim, hand-eye coordination, and motor skills.

They can be used for a variety of different sports such as football, basketball, netball, hockey and more!

We offer a range of different sports target panels, including our Football Kicker Target Panel, Basketball Target Net and our Hockey Pitch Target Panel.

Range of the week: Target Panels

Planters & Growing Equipment

Planters and growing equipment are a way to get kids involved in gardening and growing their own fruit, vegetables and flowers.

They are also a fantastic method to educate them about healthy eating and where food comes from.

Take a look through our selection of different planters and growing equipment, including our Wooden Planter Boxes, Grow Your Own Salad Kit and our Strawberry Planters.

Water Play

Water play can be a fun and educational activity for kids of all ages and a way for them to cool down on hot summer days, all whilst encouraging each child to use their imagination and stay active.

We offer a range of different water play equipment, including our Water Wall, Water Play Tray and Water Table.

Find out more about our sensory playground equipment.

Sand Play

Sand play helps kids to explore their senses, use their imagination and helps to develop their fine motor skills.

Browse our range of sensory play equipment which includes our Sand & Water Tables, Sand Pits and Sand Box.

Activity Playboards

Activity playboards encourage children to be active and use their imagination.

Activity Playboards encourage a child’s development in areas such as imagination, hand eye coordination and communication, through painting, drawing, writing and more!

Our popular choices include Magnetic Whiteboard, Drawing Board and our Chalkboard.

Picnic Benches

Installing Picnic benches in your school playground is a fun way for several children to socialise, eat their snacks and dinner outdoors whilst enjoying the fresh air.

Our range of picnic benches includes our Wooden Picnic Bench, Folding Picnic Bench and our Plastic Picnic Bench.

Canopies & Shelters

If you are looking to provide shade on hot summer days and protect a child from the sun, canopies and shelters have got you covered!

We offer a range of different canopies and shelters, including our Octavia Canopy and Hipped Roof Shelter.

Playground Markings

Adding playground markings such as hopscotch, snakes and ladders and target games, attract kids of different age groups allowing children to socialise and keep each other active, all whilst having fun.

Why not browse our range of classic playground markings.

Performance Areas

Performance areas can be installed to provide children with a variety of different role play activities such as singing, dancing, acting and more!

We offer a range of different performance areas so why not take a look.

Climbing Frames

Climbing frames are a popular addition and choice for many school playgrounds and are each designed with various age groups in mind.

From Rope Net Pyramids to our Arun Climbing Frame, there are plenty of ways in which kids can enjoy safe play outdoors, whilst promoting cognitive development and communication skills within each child.


If you’re searching for a way to make your playground more unique, our collection of castles is just what you need.

Our Alnwick castle will undoubtedly encourage fundamental movement skill development and role playing on many levels.

Our Castles provide a safe and fun environment for children to play and explore in, with the added bonus of being great for imaginative play too!

Linear Dee Climbing Frame Round

Adventure Trails

Our adventure trails offer a fun platform for physical activity that can be enjoyed in an exciting way, with the element of an adventure path, and a way to provide kids with a chance to learn and develop a variety of physical abilities as they traverse each stage of the trail.


Multi-Use Games Areas are a popular and fantastic method to save space and provide multiple games in one area.

From football to netball and everything in between, MUGAs are a versatile solution for your school playground.

Trim Trails

If you are looking to create an exciting environment that will encourage kids to spend time outdoors, build up their self confidence and promote imaginative play, Trim Trails is the perfect piece of playground equipment.

For example, our Potomac Trail is a genuine test and an excellent opportunity for kids to get in shape while having fun. 

The line of equipment has been created to work with your current equipment to help and fulfil Ofsted’s requirements for physical education. 

It’s intended to provide kids with a variety of challenges they can overcome. Alternatively, you may use our pre-made trails as a template to help you create your own Trail.


Seesaws are a fantastic way to engage children in outdoor play.

Standing Seesaws and Straight Seesaws are popular playground features that are included in our Swings, Springs and Spinners category.

When choosing play equipment for your school environment, school field or school playground, it is important to choose the right equipment that is appropriate for the age of your kids, as some sets are designed for older kids while others are better suited for children of a young age.

Updating School Playground Equipment

Most playgrounds with correct installation and maintenance last between 15-30 years, however this is severely reduced when the playground is not properly maintained.

If inclusive playground equipment has been installed for over 10 years, or if it shows signs of wear or deterioration, you should carry out thorough safety tests.

If once inspected and the decision has been made to install new equipment, you should contact our design team here at Creative Play.

We can arrange for a free consultation from specialists with years of expertise in the playground equipment sector who can assist you in selecting new play equipment that will provide the greatest value for money, while also ensuring that you and the kids get the most out of your investment.

Creating The Perfect Playground

When it comes to deciding what play equipment to add in your playground, consider the basics first.

Playground Surface

A playgrounds surface is the most important aspect to consider as it can influence the safety of your play space as well as the type of equipment you can install.

There are many different types of surfaces available, each with their own unique benefits.

Here at Creative Play, we offer a wide range of different playground surfaces to choose from such as Artificial Grass and Wet pour Safety Surfacing.

Age Appropriate Equipment

With over 600 products, we have something for all ages and abilities.

When choosing play equipment for your school playground, it is important to take into account the age range of the kids who will be using the equipment.

This will ensure that you select the right type of equipment that is age appropriate and safe for them to use.

Consider The Space Available

Before making any final decisions on what type of play equipment to install in your playground, you should first consider the amount of space you have available.

Some sets such as MUGAs and trim trails can be quite large and require a lot of space, while other items such as swings and seesaws are much smaller and can easily fit into tighter spaces.

It is important to make sure that you measure the space available and take into account any obstacles such as trees or bushes that might be in the way before making your final decision.

Pinfold Street Primary School

Consider The Needs Of Children

We at Creative Play understand that children with special needs require specialised playground equipment and have a variety of options available.

Creative Play can manufacture goods to satisfy particular needs or modify existing goods to meet special demands, such as picnic benches that are accessible to wheelchairs. We also have a collection currently prepared to fulfil the demands of all ages and capabilities.

Our specialists are sensitive to the demands and needs of children with special needs, so we may provide specialised equipment that is suited to your unique specifications, so please contact us today by phone or email if you want to discuss any particular requirements in this area.

Before we move on, let’s take a look at just some of the SEN playground equipment that we are able to provide, here at Creative Play.

Basket Swing Round


Our inclusive wheelchair roundabout is the ideal addition to any outside play area for children of all ages and abilities, providing them with the delightful sensation of spinning.

This roundabout is designed to accommodate a centrally positioned wheelchair and has a two-user seat to allow for additional passengers and caregivers. 


Disabled Tai Chi Discs

The Tai Chi Discs Wheelchair Accessible Edition is a seated version of the popular Tai Chi Discs exercise program.

It enables users of all abilities to improve their flexibility and mobility in their upper body, while also stimulating mental agility from the seated position.

The Tai Chi Discs allows for a soothing arm and shoulder workout while promoting social interaction amongst two participants at once.

Picnic Table

The sturdy, rustic design of this Wheelchair Picnic Table makes it ideal for all types of weather. 

It can serve as a quiet spot in the playground or a social zone where everyone may join together to make an outdoor learning area. 

As well as providing an interesting place to sit, relax, and play with friends.

What Makes A Good School Playground?

A good school playground should be used all year round!

The usage of slip-resistant and self-draining playground surfacing might make your outside space safe and usable in wet and chilly weather.

 Artificial grass can be utilised all year round and grass matting prevents natural lawns from becoming too damp.

Have a look through our playground surface materials to see which one would best suit your needs.

Designing Your Playground

Consider your own design when planning a playground. 

Are you interested in drawing more families to the school, boosting student attention and achievement, or creating a more pleasant environment for kids to release their inhibitions and use their imaginations?

Think about how many playgrounds you are looking to build, what kind of equipment you’ll have, and whether you’ll include sensory or specialist equipment within your space(s). 

In most situations, an outdoor playground is created after consulting with a play equipment supplier, so if you are stuck or feeling overwhelmed with choices, our team of consultants are ready to help.

Playground Ideas for Nurseries

Very young children such as babies and toddlers require a different type of playground than older children.

For example, they might need softer surfaces to play on and smaller, age-appropriate equipment.

Here are some ideas for nursery playgrounds:

  • Babies and toddlers can enjoy activity mats which are soft, padded mats with attached toys such as mirrors, black and white patterns and dangly objects.
  • Soft play blocks are also great for this age group as they are soft and safe for little ones to crawl over and explore.
  • Ball pits are always popular with young children and can help them to develop their motor skills.
  • Climbing frames with soft landings are perfect for adventurous toddlers who want to explore and burn off some energy.
  • Install a sandpit – This is an excellent way to encourage social skills and physical development while also providing a sensory experience.
  • Include some simple play equipment such as seesaws and swings – These help to develop gross motor skills while also being enjoyable.
  • Make sure there is enough space for running around – This helps children to stay active and burns off excess energy.
  • Provide some shade – This is important in hot weather to protect children from the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Ensure the playground is well-lit – This makes it safer for children to play in and also discourages vandalism.

If you are struggling for ideas and need some inspiration, why not view our case study page and see how others have created their perfect nursery playground.

Playground Ideas for Primary Schools

As children get older, they will want more challenges and excitement from their playground. Here are some ideas to consider for primary school playgrounds:

  • Include a climbing frame or climbing tower – This helps kids to develop strength, coordination and problem-solving skills.
  • Add in some monkey bars – These are great for upper body strength and also promote teamwork as kids help each other to cross from one platform to another.
  • Install a zip line – This is sure to be a hit with children of all ages and can help them to build confidence as they zip across the playground.
  • Consider a ropes course – This is perfect for developing balance and coordination, as well as encouraging team building and communication.

For ideas, inspiration and ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle, view our case study page and see how other primary schools have created their perfect school playground.

Playground Ideas for Secondary Schools

As children enter their teenage years, they will want to push themselves both physically and mentally. Here are some ideas to consider for secondary school playgrounds:

  • Include a climbing wall – This is a great way to encourage children to challenge themselves and can also be used as a team building activity.
  • Add in some agility equipment – This helps children to develop coordination, balance and speed, and can also be used for sports training.
  • Install a basketball hoop – This is perfect for encouraging physical activity and can also be used for friendly competitions between classes.
  • Consider a table tennis table – This is a great way to promote healthy competition and can also be used for lunchtime recreation.

Visit our secondary school case study page to learn how others have incorporated playground equipment materials and play structures within their educational environment and created their perfect school playground.

Bringing The Community Together

We offer customised playground designs for the leisure industry, local governments, community groups, parish councils and town councils who are wanting to add a unique play space to their area.

We also provide free installation services to ensure the safety of kids and the equipment’s long-term durability!

Community Groups

Playgrounds are an excellent approach to improve community spirit, promote health and fitness, and encourage engagement among young people.

If you’re searching for low-cost playground equipment, this is the place to go. 

Playground equipment may be costly for community organisations on a budget with little resources, but it does not have to be! Many local groups can get excellent quality playground equipment at a fair price here at Creative Play.

Before you buy, ask yourself who will be using the equipment (particularly little children and toddlers). We provide playground equipment that is durable, long-lasting, and of high quality for youngsters of all ages to use in their community.

Have a look at our Community Group case study page for inspiration!

Town Councils

We understand that playground equipment may be a significant expense for any municipal council, which is why we provide a variety of playground solutions to fit a wide range of budgets. 

Climbing structures, swings, seesaws, spring riders, aerial runways, and MUGA’S are just a few of the components found in our playgrounds.

Our equipment is of exceptional quality, and we work with clients to ensure they receive playground equipment that meets their unique requirements.

We understand the importance of a playground for a community, and our playground development solutions are tailored to benefit everyone who uses them by encouraging healthy play and exploration. 

We can also help with children’s physical and social competence through playground equipment and games.

Take a look at our Town Council Playground case study page for more information!

Coleford Town Council

Parish Councils

We are able to provide a variety of high-quality playground equipment alternatives for parish councils across Great Britain.

Our playground equipment includes jigsaw towers, MUGAs, jungle climbers, and more; each available in different colour options to fit your needs.

In addition, we can create custom play areas that meet local demands by designing playground facilities for certain user groups and locations.

For any community groups and town or parish council looking to include a custom playground in their area, we provide personalised designs of various playground equipment.

Get in touch with our design team today to create a playground that is perfect for your needs.

Commercial Environments

We design, manufacture, and install playground equipment for commercial clients who are interested in providing a play area for their customers.

Some of our commercial clients include holiday parks, pubs, and more!

Holiday Parks

We offer a unique service to anybody wanting to install a bespoke play area at their holiday accommodation.

Our playground equipment and outdoor sports equipment provide an excellent method of using and improving outside space, while also providing a more pleasant vacation experience for your guests.

We’ll provide you with the best selection of play sets, swings, roundabouts, slides, and anything else you might want for your children to enjoy outside. 

We’ll make sure that the children who use your new outdoor play area have an unforgettable “WOW” experience!

We can work with your team to select the best equipment for your holiday park, since we’re skilled working with a wide range of constraints based on available money and space.

Why not have a look through our holiday park playground case studies for inspiration!

Commercial Playground Equipment


We offer a comprehensive service that covers everything from design consultation to equipment manufacturing, installation and upkeep, whether you have a little space or a large one.

Unique, thrilling playground equipment is becoming more and more popular as a way to keep youngsters occupied while parents enjoy their food and drinks in pubs. Adults may continue to enjoy their beverages while the children play in the pub garden.

A playground is more appealing to families than other pubs without such equipment. Adults will stay longer and spend more money on food and drink in your business if their children are engaged and amused during outdoor play.

We can assist you by providing excellent playground equipment for pubs.

For over 30 years, we have designed and produced innovative playground equipment for a variety of facilities, including pubs. You can count on us to deliver and install great playground equipment that will keep your consumers’ children occupied.

Customers will appreciate that you offer items to help them develop their children’s physical and mental well-being.

Add a unique selling point that will set you ahead of the competition and make your outside space both enjoyable for parents and children.

Adding a unique selling proposition to your offer will appeal to your clientele, allowing you to boost footfall.

Our Pub playground case study page has great inspirational ideas, why not take a look!

The White Horse - Chester Racecourse

Visitor Attractions

Our solid experience of working within the leisure industry has enabled us to provide safe, long-lasting and exciting playgrounds for many commercial businesses; it is also a great way of attracting more customers and improving visitor experience whilst adding value to your business.

Whatever space you have and type of recreational area you want to create, we provide a complete solution service, from design consultation, equipment manufacturing through to installation and maintenance.


Creative Play has years of experience working with many organisations and companies in the leisure industry. We also have vast experience when it comes to designing and creating fantastic playground equipment, for all settings including visitor attraction areas.

This solid experience we have acquired, enables us to supply safe, durable and exciting playground equipment. 

All our equipment is ideal for commercial businesses as they completely transform how visitors see your attraction.

If you are looking for a creative way to improve your customers’ experience, we have playground equipment that your customers will always find interesting and full of fun. This is the way to attract more customers and retain them, therefore add value to your business.

Our selection of playground equipment for visitor attractions can be a great addition to your establishment. We will help you transform your onsite playground to ensure it keeps your visitors satisfied.

We have specialists with the experience to help you elevate the stay of your long or short stay visitors. 

Our experts will provide play equipment that’ll show that you care for your customers, existing, new and potential.

With playground equipment that caters for all members of the family, any piece of equipment you purchase from us, will be worthwhile and add value to your establishment. It will serve as a competitive and unique selling point that appeals to your audience, increasing the traffic to your facility.

Whatever space you have, as well as the type of play space you have, our specialists at Creative Play are confident they’ll transform your recreational area.

Importance of Playground Design and Child Safety

On average 27,000 children are treated every year, for injuries that have occurred in the playground.

Most of these playground injuries are caused by falls, and many of them could have been prevented if the playground had been designed with safety in mind.

Here are some tips for designing a safe playground:

  • Choose the right surface – The surface should be soft and forgiving to prevent serious injuries from falls.
  • Avoid sharp edges and protrusions – play structure should be smooth and free from any sharp edges or protrusions that could cause injury.
  • Ensure that only the best material(s) are used during the design process and manufacturing process.
  • Ensure there is enough space – The playground should not be too crowded as this can increase the risk of accidents.
  • Include a variety of activities – This helps to keep children engaged, learn new skills and less likely to become bored and engage in risky behaviour.

Playground Equipment Maintenance and Inspection

Our checklist can help you evaluate playground equipment and how it’s being utilised. As a result, your kids may have a great time while learning important information in this play space.


There are many different playground equipment on the market, and it may be difficult to know where to begin when selecting equipment for your school playground, nursery or commercial property.

However, by considering the age of your children, the types of activities you want them to participate in, and the budget you have to work with, you should be able to narrow down your options and find the perfect playground equipment for your school from us here at Creative Play.

Contact Us

To find out more about our company or if you would like to book a free no obligation consultation, please contact our friendly team on Telephone: 01244 375 627, Email: [email protected] or complete our enquiry form online.