Schools around the country are now realising the potential of their grounds and making a conscious effort to create outdoor spaces that support children’s learning and physical wellbeing. However, finding suitable school playground equipment can prove to be very challenging at times, especially if you’re working with a limited budget.
If you’re on the lookout for flexible play pieces that can cater to a range of ages and activities, then take a look at this guide. You’ll be surprised by how a few simple changes can help to improve your outdoor space and even boost positive behaviour amongst your pupils. Our team of playground experts are here to help you to get the most from your school playground items and make life at better for both students and teachers alike.
1. Utilise all of the space
Restricted and out-of-bounds areas tend to encourage misbehaviour on the schoolyard. You should identify any problem areas and think about how they could be turned into enjoyable child-friendly spaces. For example, a small plot of overgrown land that isn’t being used for anything could be cleared out and turned into a football pitch, a reading area or even a school garden. This way you can ensure that every area of your outdoor space has a function and that children are using it productively.
2. Combine sports areas
With childhood obesity and mental health issues at an all-time high in the UK, schools are now being urged to take a more proactive role in promoting healthy living for their pupils. Even if you’re stuck for space at your school, it’s still possible to facilitate a range of different sports without having to create a separate sports court for every activity.
Creative Play have helped many schools with smaller outdoor spaces to establish an enclosed MUGA (or multi-use games area) where children can take part in wide a range of sports during their break times and PE lessons. You can use our sports markings to create professional-looking pitches and courts, with the option to combine netball, basketball, tennis and many more sports all on the same court.
3. Have fun whatever the weather
Children in schools and nurseries are now spending less time outdoors than ever before. Try to get your pupils outside as much as possible during the school day, even on days when it’s raining. You’ll find that children are rarely phased by the weather as long as they have the correct clothing. With the right surfacing on your, you won’t have to worry about slips and falls either. Some of the best options for school playgrounds and sports courts include:
- Wet pour safety surfacing
- Artificial grass
- Rubber mulch safety surfacing
Creative Play offer a range of weather-resistant surfacing options that are designed to facilitate year-round use. All of our surfacing options are given a slip-resistant coating which makes them a lot less restrictive than grass.
4. Choose multifunctional equipment
Government cuts to school funding over the past few years have meant that a lot of schools are not in a position to invest in large and expensive pieces of school playground equipment. However, there are plenty of smaller sports items that are just as effective when it comes to engaging children and encouraging positive behaviour on the playground.
We offer a fantastic range of school sports equipment that includes everything from target panels and activity boards to outdoor gym equipment for a full workout. Take a look at our goal end with a built-in basketball net – just one item that would work perfectly in a MUGA where pupils can take part in football, netball and basketball all in the same space.
Creating specific zones for each activity has been shown to affect playground behaviour by increasing physical activity, decreasing bullying and even reducing playground injuries. If you’re revamping your schoolyard, then don’t forget to include:
- Quiet areas with sheltered seating
- Nature areas with plants and flowers for sensory play
- Active areas with grid games and play equipment such as beanbags, skipping ropes, cones and soft balls
Creative Play offer a wide selection of thermoplastic playground markings that are specifically designed to brighten up dull schoolyards with exciting games and activities. Depending on your preference for each zone, you can choose from fitness trails, hopscotch and snakes and ladders among many other grid games.
Creative Play have been designing and building school playground equipment for over 25 years. As industry-leaders, we’ve worked with hundreds of schools, colleges and nurseries around the country. If you’d like to improve the sports facilities at your school, then get in touch with our team today and we’ll book you in for a free consultation.