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Development of Outdoor Play

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Today in 2016, we have a huge playground development industry! There are hundreds of different products available to add to outdoor play areas, to encourage children to be active and play outside! But do we ever think of what children did before playground equipment was available?


Creative Play have done some research and found out, it’s a very interesting!



‘Jack, Jack, Show the Light’

This game was played outside in the dark. One player would have either a candle or lantern and would have to show the light when other players called out.

He or She would then have to dodge or hide to prevent getting caught! This used to keep children and adults active for hours!


‘Fox and the Hounds’

This is another game that was played during the night time. There was one Fox and the rest of the players were the Hounds.

The Hounds would have to shout out to find the Fox and the Fox would have to whistle to give a clue to their whereabouts! Whoever caught the Fox would then take their place.


‘Blindfolded Wheelbarrow Races’

This game was a huge hit within communities and villages. Two players per a team, one player in the wheelbarrow and one player pushing the wheelbarrow blindfolded!

Teams would bump into each other, tipping the other players out of their wheelbarrow excluding them for the rest of the race. The streets were full of laughter!


‘Hoops and Sticks’

This was one of the most popular outdoor games for both girls and boys and has been around for thousands of years. The game was simple, each player would have a hoop (about 2ft in diameter) and hit it with a stick to keep it rolling whilst the children ran beside it. First one to the finish line would win!



There are many other games of course, but we selected the most unusual ones that not many people have heard of. Children used to also make hand-made skipping ropes to skip around with using 2 sticks and some rope, and draw hopscotch pattern on the ground with chalk to enable active play.


Children used to have just as much fun without playground equipment so why not try these games? And then jump on your local park and enjoy more fun!


Active play is very important for children to take part in each and every day to ensure they keep fit and develop fundamental skills needed to be healthy. Children playing outside has a massive positive impact on their lives and we should embrace every opportunity to get them outside!



Here are just a small amount of benefits children gain by playing outside:


  • Playing outside supports the development of healthy active life styles through physical play and promoting a sense of well-being.
  • Playing outside also helps children understand and respect nature and the environment.
  • Outdoor play supports children’s problem solving skills and nurtures their creativity, also provides an opportunity for developing their imagination.
  • It is important children are provided with an outdoor environment that can deliver space both outwards and upwards and a place where children can explore, experiment, discover and be active & healthy. Also to develop their physical capabilities.
  • When children have the opportunity to play outside they are faced with many risks to overcome, building their confidence.
  • Socialisation is paramount within the playground environment allowing children to gain social skills and build friendship.


Creative Play focus on the points made above and create playground equipment aimed at providing the development of children.


We are constantly expanding our catalogue of products and will continue to do so, allowing us to provide something for every single one of our customers!


If you are looking to update your outdoor playground and need some advice and someone to come out to visit your play area call us today on 01244 375627 or email us [email protected]


We design, manufacture and install all of our playground equipment right here in Chester, so be rest assured you will receive a great all round experience during your playground development.