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Ferns Primary Academy’s EYFS Playground

An Amazing Cross-Curricular Playground For EYFS 


Our playground consultant, Paul Bayliss, first worked with The Ferns Primary Academy at the start of 2019, installing an excellent Climbing Frame to promote active play in their KS2 Playground.

The Principle of the Bolton primary academy, James Howard, was delighted with the outcome and quality of our work during our first project with them, which is why they decided they wanted our help to transform their Early Years Playground, too. We couldn’t wait to begin this exciting new project!

Before our development, the early years playground had become quite tired with equipment that was no longer stimulating to the children and didn’t promote learning through play.

We started by removing all of the old equipment and surfacing, creating a blank canvas for ourselves to work with. We wanted to establish a learning zone by installing a wonderful selection of school playground equipment, contributing towards the curriculum outdoors.

School Playground Surfacing

Active Play


One of the key areas the school wanted to target outdoors was physical development - and our Get Set, Go! Blocks are perfect for this!

Bringing open-ended play value to the area, the children can step, climb, jump and balance through each challenges as they tackle the obstacle course set out - improving their gross motor skills, lower body strength and coordination along the way.

School Trim Trail Equipment

The young children at the Ferns love heading out to playtime to complete a new quest each day as the blocks are moved around to create new, exciting obstacle courses. It’s inspired imaginative play too - the children come up with new creative games with one another using the active play equipment as a focal point for their games.

Active Playground Equipment For EYFS

Messy Play


Of course, mud, sand and water play equipment is a must have for any EYFS school playground!

In the messy play zone, we installed a huge selection of play equipment including one of our fantastic Water and Damming Play Environment Packages, featuring plenty of water play resources to inspire inquisitive minds.

Messy Play Equipment For Schools

The young scientists of EYFS are able to explore how gravity works as they climb to the top of the steps and pour water from the table down the tubes.

Building their own routes for the water to travel and creating amazing dams to stop the water flow enables young learners to investigate numerous scientific concepts as they practise their engineering and problem solving skills in the playground.

Playground Water Walls

Opposite the other side of the water wall, we have also created a space for young chefs attending the Ferns to cook and bake to their hearts content by providing them with their very own MasterChef kitchen.

Our market-leading Mud Kitchen has been connected to the mud box with a Rope and Pulley Materials mover, ensuring there is always enough ingredients for everyone. Alongside this, we also included a set Weighing Scales, adding further play value to the area.

The children can put on their chef’s hats, gather and weigh their ingredients before cooking up delicious meals for their customers to enjoy.

EYFS Playground Mud Kitchen

Role Play


To provide the children with multiple opportunities to express themselves and develop inventive games, we installed a fantastic selection of imaginative and creative playground equipment in different areas of the outdoor environment. Perfect for targeting the EYFS curriculum while promoting socialisation, co-operation, communication and language development outdoors.

Within one area, located under an existing tree, we created a bespoke Outdoor Performance Stage to suit the corner space and maximise the playground.

The hexagonal performance stage features den making posts to ensure the children can create their own backdrops for their plays and games, promoting den making and fine motor skills development, too.

Playground Performance Stages For Schools

Climbing up onto the vibrant stage and singing, dancing and performing in front of one another is fantastic for developing children’s voice projection, self-esteem and spoken language development. 

Dressing up in a range of different costumes, the children love taking on a new role as they explore the character and participate in co-operative, imaginative games with one another: further developing their understanding of the world.

Playground Performance Stages

In another area, we installed one of our magnificent Giant Playhouse with a chalkboard to provide children with a base for their inventive play. They can transform the playhouse into anything they imagine as they set up role play worlds from shops to travel agents - enhancing their understanding of the world.

Serving breakfast at breaktime or selling items they’ve bakes in the mud kitchen in their shop, the new playhouse is a big hit with the children!

Playhouses for EYFS Playgrounds

Additionally, teachers can also create areas for their games and enable children to participate in adult-led games, too.

Around the other side of the building, the children have a dedicated construction zone. Threading materials though the designated holes in the posts to build dens using our Den Making Posts takes patience and teamwork, but the children love it!

By throwing cargo nets over the top and wrapping them around the posts, the children have been creating their own secret spy den as they hide underneath and plan their super-secret mission.

Den Making Posts for Schools



Literacy is being promoted throughout the playground as the children improve their communication and language skills through play. The school, however, also wanted to provide the children with plenty of opportunities to mark make and share a story with one another outdoors.

Our excellent Easel Tables encourage the children to sit down together and create fabulous masterpieces in the playground as they take a break from play. We’ve placed the easel tables on a splash of plain tarmac, which enables the children to expand their canvas as they take to the ground with chalk.

School Playground Equipment

Alongside mark making, we also installed a fantastic triple storytelling chair and a Freestanding Storytelling Chair to ensure the children had a storytelling area, where they can sit and read stories and fairy tales with one another.

The children are always eager to get upon the giant chairs and read selections of a book out loud to one another: this encourages reading, self-confidence and spoken language in the playground.

Teachers in the school can take a full class of children outdoors for story time as they sit down and listen to the tale, watching the characters dance around them.

School Playground Seating

Playground Surfacing


Throughout the new playground development, we surfaced the space with a selection of our school playground surfacing to create an excellent, aesthetically pleasing outdoor learning environment for the children to learn through play within. All of the surfacing we have installed is porous, which means it allows rain water to seep through, preventing puddles and a slippery surface.

Additionally, the new surfaces are also impact absorbing, ensuring children can take safe risks and run around the space without the risk of injuries and scraped knees.

Playground Surfacing for Primary Schools

We created a journey path throughout the new area with our Earth Blend Wet Pour surfacing to separate the zones and create a roadway space for the children to race their bikes and trikes along. The children love using the pathway in their games as they walk through the jungle, taking in the views and stare through the overgrown Artificial Grass.

Finally, within the centre of the space, we placed Saferturf Splashes to enable teachers to set up loose play activities. The red, blue and yellow surfacing are fantastic for inspiring imaginative play, too!

Artificial Grass for Schools

Free Flow Play Environment


As the new playground wraps around the school building and enables children to access the space throughout all-weathers, thanks to the playground surfacing, the school wanted the children to enjoy free flow play.

With an existing canopy on one side of the school building, we installed another 8m x 4m Timber Canopy the other side.

Playground Equipment For Schools

The children can now run straight out the classroom doors and into their new environment or simply sit underneath the canopy and listen to the pitter patter of rain on the polycarbonate roof providing both shelter and shade.  

Additionally, the school have been using the canopy as an added storage space for loose play resource to stay dry without having to bring them back into the classroom.

Timber Canopies

The fantastic outdoor learning and play environment at The Ferns Academy has created an inspiring play space that targets the curriculum outdoors, and the children and teachers love it alike!

If you’re looking to further develop your outdoor learning environment with a wonderful selection of EYFS Playground Equipment, please Contact Us. We’d love to help transform your playground dreams into reality, too!

Messy Playground Equipment for EYFS