An Incredible Multi-Purpose Outdoor Learning Environment For EYFS
“Have a look at our fabulous new outdoor area!” invites Selby Community Primary School’s Twitter feed…. “It’s amazing! We’re very lucky! The children love it!” say the parents.
It’s such a pleasure for us to work with schools like this - to be a part of something so exciting, that will completely transform the way they can use their outdoor environment to facilitate outdoor learning and play all year round.
At Selby Community Primary in North Yorkshire, we were tasked with clearing out all of the old playground equipment which was no longer fit for use, and replacing it with a new, large-scale, multi-purpose outdoor learning area for their EYFS pupils.
Playground dreams are now a reality for EYFS...
It’s a huge space, so one of the first things we considered was how we could maintain the lovely, open feel of the area, while breaking it up into clearly defined zones for the children to choose between.
We used a selection of our different Playground Surfacing types to achieve this effect.
Our beautiful Playturf Artificial Grass is designed specifically for schools. It’s an all-weather surface that we laid throughout most of the new playground at Selby, with our free-draining and impact-absorbing Sports Baseworks.
It’s ideal for heavy use areas as it’s easy to maintain and doesn’t become muddy and dirty, and it helps to reduce injuries from the inevitable slips and falls that young children experience.
We created a series of pathways and fun, colourful “splashes” through the Artificial Grass with our Playbond and Wetpour Safety Surfacing to break the space up into clearly designated zones.
We then used our Thermoplastic Markings to map out a “real life” roadway with numbered parking bays for the children to enjoy racing around on their vehicles, practicing their skills and even learning about road safety through role play.
At one end of the playground, we laid out a Playbond pathway to mark out an open space for the children to run around and play active games.
We put a set of our popular Get Set, Go! Blocks in here for the children to create their own obstacle courses - perfect for little Parkour fans at Selby who are developing their gross motor skills and balance and enjoying some high-energy exercise as they play!
Get creative in the Messy Play Zone
In front of this, we used our Dig Pit Sleeper Sides and Weaving Panels to create a fabulous messy play zone, featuring a mega Mud Kitchen for mucky creations, a Rope and Pulley Materials Mover for some heavy-work activities, and a Mud Box for a ready supply of resources!
A large Covered Sand Box for sensory development and physical literacy in the playground is big enough to accommodate a group of children playing and learning together at once. It’s a firm favourite, and because the lid splits in two, it doubles up as extra seating for the children to perch while they play.
Every great EYFS area needs water play! On the other side of the pathway from the messy play zone the children have a brand new Water Table, complete with a set of Water Channel Stands to allow them to direct the flow of water around the area. It’s an amazing zone for STEM learning and certainly a popular feature with the children here.
The STEM learning area is tucked behind one of our Mini Performance Stages with Chalkboard - a fantastic forum for children to experiment with expressive arts and enjoy putting on performances or engaging in role play with their friends.
Pathways leading to the centre of the playground meet at a “roundabout” with a giant blue “puddle” sitting in the middle of it, and a Pinnacle Hill Climber standing proudly on top!
Active challenges to promote safe risk taking
This entry-level log and rope climbing frame makes a great centerpiece for the children to climb up and survey their surroundings. It’s open-ended and has flexible entry and exit points so they can climb to different levels as their confidence grows.
A Net Traverse, a Clatter Bridge and some landscaped Playground Mounds alongside the roundabout transform this area into a larger physical development zone - a space where the children can have fun improving their core stability, balance and coordination, and both their gross and fine motor skills as they grab the ropes and pull themselves along.
A space for role play and den-making
Along the edges of the playground, we created some calmer zones for creative and imaginative play. A timber Wigwam and a Giant Playhouse with Walls, Chalkboard and Benches are really alluring features in an EYFS playground, and the children at Selby Community School love using them for creative den-building.
They’re ideal resources for PSED as safe spaces for the children to experiment with role play, explore “real-life” situations and their responses to them, and form new relationships both with peers and adults.
An Easel Table adds further mark-making opportunities in the outdoor environment, while a selection of Straight Planters can be used for gardening activities, growing a range of sensory plants and flowers and encouraging some wildlife to the area.
Would you like a new outdoor learning area at your school? Whether you are looking to completely redevelop your outdoor space, or just make a few adjustments to your current offering, we can help you. You can visit our dedicated EYFS Page for inspiration and suitable products to add to your wish list. You can also see more examples of our EYFS Projects here.
We have developed new ways to conduct playground consultations safely in these difficult times. Please do Contact Us Here for more information, or to book a visit, and we will work around you.