Are you looking to install equipment in your school’s playground? If you are, it’s a daunting position to be in. What do you need to order? What preparation needs to be done? Is playground equipment a good investment?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It is challenging, especially because there is so much riding on you making the best decisions. The equipment has to be safe, beneficial for the pupils, look great, and be long-lasting, especially as schools aren’t known for having a huge budget for these kinds of things. Ticking all these boxes is a lot to ask!
In this guide we are going to take you through all the basics of getting the best playground equipment for your school. Read on for a handy starting point to help you get closer to a well-equipped outdoor educational space:
Why Choose Playground Equipment For The School?
There are multiple reasons that playground equipment is a good idea, and here are just a few of them:
- Outdoor Time – Children get a huge range of benefits from outdoor play including; healing time in nature, exercise, time to relax, ability to explore and be creative. Play equipment actively encourages children to spend more time outdoors, and to make the most of their time in nature.
- Social Skills – Children learn a lot of social skills when they need to share equipment and toys with other children. It also helps them to learn how to play imaginary games with others, to build confidence and to make friends.
- Learning Without Knowing – Children learn so much when they use playground markings and playground equipment. Social skills, counting, recognising colours and numbers – equipment enhances play and gives it extra benefits without it feeling like a learning session.
- Aiding Development – Playground equipment that is age-appropriate helps boost cognitive development, spatial awareness and fine motor skills.
Playground equipment in a playground enhances a beneficial outdoor space for children, helping them to grow and develop both emotionally and physically every school day. It’s a savvy investment for any school that wants children to get the most out of the school grounds.
What Preparation Needs To Be Done For Playground Equipment Installation?
The preparation that you need to do for playground equipment installation depends on the current state of the grounds you want to work with. Sometimes there is minimal laying of concrete or tarmac needed before equipment can be placed. Sometimes, there needs to be a lot of work done to the grounds before equipment can be placed, whether that is levelling out, removing old concrete, or some level of landscaping – the renovation of an area can be extensive.
It also depends on the equipment that you have chosen. Some items, like a ball pit, can simply be placed on the ground and not much else needs to be done. Other items, like a full play tower, may well require full installation to make sure it is safe and won’t topple.
The good news is that a really good playground equipment company will discuss your setting first, before recommending any equipment. They will then explain what can be done before any equipment is installed, including transparent timelines and costs.
What Equipment Should You Install In A Nursery Playground?
Nursery playgrounds require early years equipment that is specifically designed for little learners. Building blocks, sandpits, imagination shelters and balancing logs are all popular nursery playground pieces. Blocks in the playground, in particular, are highly valuable to the development of under 5’s. This is because the blocks boost various areas of early years development such as; understanding sound, language learning, sorting, counting, cause and effect, and object weight understanding. One study even suggested that children who play better with blocks before the age of five are predicted to do better in maths later down the line.
The most important thing to do when you consider nursery playground additions is to choose equipment that is age-appropriate so that the children are not only safe, but fully able to make the most out of their playing space.
What Equipment Should You Install In A Primary School Playground?
Primary school children benefit a lot from playground markings, which help them develop their physical, emotional and cognitive skills. It’s a brilliant way to enhance an outdoor space with longevity and impact in mind.
The most modern way to add playground markings is with thermoplastic markings, because they are more eco-friendly than paint. They also last more like 5-10 years plus, compared to as little as one heavy winter season with paint markings before they fade. Lastly, they are incredibly vibrant, so you will get a truly exceptional aesthetic boost to your outdoor space with this kind of playground change, which is ready for children to enjoy in as little as 30 minutes after installation.
Primary children also benefit from playground equipment like full sized play towers, which encourage more movement and physical activity.
Integral to primary school playgrounds, though, and also a great fit for secondary schools, is outdoor school furniture. Playground benches and tables, planter boxes and other seating styles provide structure, aesthetic appeal and natural social areas for children to gravitate towards. Teachers can also utilise these kinds of features for lessons outdoors.
How Do You Choose The Best Company For Playground Equipment?
The best thing to do is choose a trusted and experienced team who are transparent about costs and who are happy to answer all your questions. You should also look around for quotes and timescales from multiple companies for comparison, and always check independent reviews before you sign any contracts. The investment your school is making in this company is huge, you owe it to your budget, children and school board to choose the right people and products for the job.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
The preparation you are doing to ensure your school gets the best possible playground equipment is important. The budget needed for this kind of investment is not small, and so, the equipment and installation has to be right.
Do your research, consider all your options, and ask questions. With the right planning and by choosing an exceptional company, you will get playground equipment that transforms your school’s outdoor space, enhancing the lives of the pupils who are with you day to day in multiple valuable ways.