Over the seven years that a pupil attends your school, they’ll spend around 1,200 hours in the playground. That’s a long time. It’s no wonder, therefore, that so many schools are looking for ways to make their outdoor spaces better. And there are countless things you can do.
1.Improve your playground surface
The foundation of any good playground is the surface that the children play on. This feature of your outdoor space has several functions to fulfil. It needs to be safe, durable, great to play on, easy to maintain and be suitable for any equipment you want to install.
Whilst asphalt and tarmac were the standard surfaces for many decades, today they are not seen as the ideal solution for a good playground. They are expensive to maintain and their hard surface can cause injury if children fall or scrape themselves. Also, they are not really suitable for putting underneath the climbing equipment that many playgrounds now have installed.
Instead, there is a variety of more modern playground surfacing that you can choose, depending on your requirements. This includes the very popular wetpour surfacing that provides a safe, cushioned surface that is perfect for laying under climbing equipment and ideal for all forms of physical activities. There is also artificial grass, rubber mulch, grass matting, block paving and, if you want a better hard surface, you can always opt for resin bound gravel.
2.Give children places to sit and shelter.
Our second tip is to provide pupils with somewhere to sit and shelter. Not every child wants to run around during breaktimes and when it’s cold or very hot, shelter and shade provide some comfort from the weather.
To provide playground seating, consider installing wooden benches. These come in a range of designs including amphitheatre and hexagonal shapes which enable groups of friends to sit together. Alternatively, you can install picnic benches which are also useful for helping those with packed lunches find somewhere to eat outside.
3.Add some grennery
Every playground should provide a sense of the outdoors and this wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of greenery. Whilst some schools are lucky enough to have this in abundance, others have to have a more creative approach. Here at ESP Play, our nature and garden selection of products can help you do this.
With a range of planters, trellises and growing boxes to choose from you can grow everything from small trees and shrubs to colourful flower displays. Trellises are also a great way to turn drab walls into vibrant green areas.