Creating a play space for Early Years is a delicate process. You need to be sure children will have a playground that stimulates them, helping them to grow. We have seen many spaces that need rejuvenating in order to provide this kind of solution and we want to share with you our 5 Top Tips to avoid the stress of building or revamping your Early Years Play Space.
1. Making Space For Your Playground
Managing space itself is always a hurdle to overcome. In order to begin visualising what you can make of your playground, you may want that space prepared, and it can be very frustrating getting past that first stage. To help get started it is good to identify precisely what it is you want your playground to achieve. Understanding what your pupils will gain from the playground will give you an insight into what equipment you might want, and therefore visualising what you want to see in your playground already becomes that much easier.
Depending on the current surface of your ground, it is always worth considering whether this needs replacing or improving. Remember, if you want to dedicate your space to a specific play type such as active play, safety surfacing is always a great place to start. There are so many options, and Wetpour is the safe and colourful option that allows you to personalise and structure your play space from the ground up.
2. Utilising Your Play Space
You want to make the most of the space you have worked hard to create. It is all well and good having the room, but now it’s time to think about ensuring you use every inch to it’s potential. Every space, no matter how small, can become a well rounded, exciting playground.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better. If it is a wide, active play space you are planning for then climbing frames and Track Ways are a great addition to the playground. Be mindful though, when trying to work the 7 Areas of Learning into a playground it can be beneficial to go for pieces of equipment that serve more than one purpose.
Dedicating a single space to serve one purpose will also help. Creating a Sensory zone, for example, gives children the opportunity to use that area solely for learning more about Nature and the World. Each part of the space can be concentrated on different aspects of Nature Play, giving full focus to the topic of play.
3. Getting The Best Value From Your Play Space
You want your playground to have a purpose. Ensuring Early Years pupils are having their needs fulfilled is important, and that will be achieved by choosing the most relevant equipment to them. Play equipment is always carefully designed with the children’s needs in mind, therefore, you will find that Early Years specific equipment will be well within their abilities.
What we aim to achieve with every project that we complete is that the children can learn something from their playtime. Selecting equipment for your playground based on what a child can learn through using it is a great way to ensure you are getting the best value.
4. The Revolution Of Freestanding Equipment
It’s great finally having that space that you want to build on. But one problem that many face is the final layout. Is it going to serve the purpose you hoped for? Will it be successful?
If these doubts are clouding your view on what could be, take a step back and consider all of your options. A playground with permanently installed equipment, when planned and built with care, will always be a success with the children. But for those situations where space may be limited or you wish to change between play types, we have seen great success in the use of Freestanding play equipment.
By moving your equipment around as you see fit, you are removing the worry of being stuck with one strict layout throughout your playground. Products such as those in our Little Movers range have been designed so they are easy to lift and relocate within your playground. This option gives you the chance to be more creative and design your own trails to suit how children want to play. They can even help design the layout with you, allowing them to be creative and think about structure.
5. You Are Not Alone
We have worked with many schools, academies and nurseries that have been stuck at the first hurdle. Just remember how many pupils you are building this space for, and what you want them to get out of it. Whether you know what it is you want or are still struggling to figure it out, you can always get further advice from our team.
We want you to achieve your goals, and so with our understanding of curriculum needs, we welcome any questions you might have. Send us an email or give us a call and we will try to help you in the right direction in order for you to find your way to the playground you and your pupils deserve.