The New Essentials Range - Delivering Outstanding AND Affordable Pentagon Products to Your Classroom
Is your school feeling the pinch too?
You’re not alone.
We’re all concerned about the rising costs of pretty much everything, and many of us are actively looking for ways to make our budgets stretch even further than we could imagine possible - even by Stretch Armstrong standards!
It’s such a challenge for educators. Financial pressures are affecting classroom budgets right across the UK, and we have seen the struggle that so many schools are up against: how can they possibly keep on delivering the curriculum to the standards they aspire to, without sufficient funds to pay for the essential, the essential, staff, support, facilities and resources needed?
As a business, we understand, and we see it too. Rising costs of materials and the continuous increase in production costs are a worry across the board. As ever though, we’re doing our best to get creative and to find solutions - and we’re pleased to tell you that we do have some much-needed good news for you!
Essential. That’s the word we keep coming back to in all of this. What can we do as a business to help schools to deliver the essentials - especially in the Early Years where varied and purposeful play is such a hugely important part of everyday living and learning?
So our Product Design team have been hard at work with a brief to create a new, Essentials range of indoor and outdoor classroom products for schools and nurseries, that are budget-friendly and affordable but still carry the same traditional Pentagon high quality and guarantees. No pressure then team!
Of course they’re brilliant (we might be a bit biased) and they’ve achieved it and then some! We’re delighted to introduce to you our brand new Pentagon Essentials range, which is arriving in our Online Shop this month!
What’s In Store?
To begin with, we have taken 3 of our most popular EYFS products and recreated them in ‘essentials’ form.
Our new Essentials Mud Kitchen, Water Channel Hooks, and Tuff Spot Table with Channels have been tried and tested by our partner schools to great success - it’s exciting to see how much the children have been able to get out of them, and how they’ve been able to unleash their young imaginations with wonderfully creative ideas for play.
So what’s the difference with the Essentials products? Certainly not the quality, before you ask!
We use exactly the same top quality materials and thoughtful design process that we use to make our other ranges, just with simpler feature details and no need for a Pentagon playground design or professional installation - they’re only available to buy from our Online Shop. Each of the Essentials products are delivered to your school or nursery in flat-pack form or readily assembled on a small pallet. This means reduced overall manufacturing costs for us - and a saving we can pass on to you
AND we won’t be stopping here - we’re already preparing for more new Pentagon Essentials resources to arrive in our Online Shop at the end of the month - we’ll keep you posted!
Let’s have a proper look at our first 3 Essentials…
The Essentials Mud Kitchen
A Mud Kitchen is a brilliantly versatile, ever-essential piece of equipment for the EYFS playground, that forms a solid go-to base for enriching exploratory play activities across all 7 of the EYFS Areas of Learning.
For cognitive and creative development during a child’s Early Years, developing fine motor skills through manipulating materials, mark-making, developing early numeracy skills and scientific understanding of the world, improving their language and communication as they play together, and boosting their imagination and creativity - the Essentials Mud Kitchen encourages children to use each of their senses as they play and learn. It’s a great resource for children to learn to work together and develop important social skills such as turn-taking and sharing, building their self confidence.
This Mud Kitchen is built on a frame made from our beautiful and sustainably sourced, treated, redwood timber, that carries a 15 year guarantee - so you know it can cope with a whole manner of muddy interactions!
Delivered on a pallet fully assembled, all you need to do is decide where you want to put it! It can accommodate small groups of children playing together, with a serving hatch at the back promoting conversation and role play. The removable, washable sink provides a space for children to get their hands in mixing and mashing, while the etched hob surface with side control knobs is the place to cook up their concoctions!
There’s a lovely big Chalkboard ‘menu’ on both sides, front and back of the Mud Kitchen, and a smaller table-top Chalkboard for mark-making recipe notes too. A long shelf along the top offers an accessible area for presenting delightful dishes, and an additional pan-storage shelf along the bottom makes plenty of room for resting pots, pans and plates. We’ve even added some holes along the side for hanging kitchen-essential utensils!
Water Wall Channels and Hooks
DIY Water Walls are a staple feature in many Nursery and Reception outdoor environments. Our Essential Water Channel Hooks is designed to help you build yours with cost-effective sturdy components that can stand up to heavy use, without blowing the budget!
Ready to hang on your playground fence, this is a fully self-configurable Water Wall package that children will love to plan, plot and position for themselves - putting those problem-solving skills to the test! You’ll get 12 hooks, 8 transparent water channels, and a bunch of cable ties for additional security if needed in windy areas, to use as you and your children choose.
Each hook has 3 separate grooves for holding the water channels at different angles, so numerous different channel configurations are possible.
This Water Wall is ideal for fun, creative, essential STEAM activities that will allow your young learners to work together and get to know the wonders of water. Supply them with a bucket and a watering can and see their imaginations spring into action as they pour in the water and watch it begin to flow! Where will it go?!
Of course they don’t have to be limited to just water - small balls and toy cars are good for rolling, and it’s a versatile and extremely easy-clean outdoor space for setting up a simple but effective sensory discovery station!
Tuff Spot Table
We love this new Tuff Spot Table design - it has some fantastically unique features for an Essentials range and we can’t wait to show it to you!
For multi-sensory learning through discovery, small world activities, sorting and counting, shapes, colours and numbers, messy play and themed interactive displays - a Tuff Spot table really is an essential that the EYFS classroom cannot be without, and there is just so much that you can do with this one!
This easy self-assembly Tuff Spot Table is delivered to you as a flat-pack. You will get 2 wooden Tuff Spot base sides, each with slots for a simple crossover join. Slot side B onto side A to make the basic frame. The Tuff Spot table top sits on top and locks into place, and that’s it for the basic structure - thankfully no screws required!
Now you can get creative! The Essentials Tuff Spot Table comes with a set of feeder channels and a versatile, interchangeable sorting activity too!
The large central cog divider sits flat in the centre of the table top, to which you can join your selection of 4 long dividers and 4 short dividers to make up to 8 different sections for sorting.
Place the dividers upright into the slots on each side of the Tuff Spot Table to create holders for the channels. One end of a channel will sit perfectly in the carved-out groove end of the divider, while the other rests on the table for children to roll items down into the centre.
Then, if you lift the table top off, the base frame has groove cut-outs as an additional place to rest the channels. This is a truly flexible learning resource, offering numerous different positioning opportunities for children to explore activities from different angles and perspectives. Use the table top on the floor if you have lots of children joining in and need to create a wider inclusive space for collaborative play - further building on those super social and communication skills.
The added bonus is that all of the surfaces on this Tuff Spot Table package can be wiped down, so whatever they throw at it, it’s easy to keep clean - until the next time at least!
Retailing at just £395 in our Online Shop, the Essential Tuff Spot Table is infinitely worth its salt as an open-ended Early Years classroom favourite.
Download our Tuff Spot Lesson Plan - Land of the Dinosaurs!
Watch this space for news of our next new Essentials arrivals…..we’ll let you know when they’re ready to go! We’re taking enquiries on all of our Essentials range now, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to know more.