A Revitalised EYFS Playground That Promotes Cross-Curricular Activities
St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School, located in Bacup, contacted us after deciding they would like to encourage cross curricular activities and learning through play in their Early Years Playground.
Our playground consultant, Meg Booth, worked closely with St Mary’s on this amazing project that would see their early years playground revitalised, all while meeting the criteria they had set out and within the budget they had put aside for this exciting project.
Previously, the early years children had nothing but a tarmac play area and grassy hill to play on with loose parts scattered around the area.
The teachers felt the area limited the children’s learning as it did not provide the children with many active play activities - there are only so many rolly pollys children can do down a hill in the day!
We transformed the space into an inspiring area for learning through play by including a wonderful selection of equipment to:
- Extend the physical play opportunities
- Teach about Road safety
- Investigate Messy Play Materials
- Promote Role Playing and Den Making
The children love going outside to investigate and explore their new environment as they run, walk and bounce around the outdoor space, performing the odd roly polly down the grassy hill here and there, too!
Messy Play Equipment
As the school identified that they wanted the children to investigate a number of different textures and materials, we decided that a dedicated water and sand play area, along with an enthusiastic mud play area, were the ideal resources for the school.
The children can choose to construct sandcastles, bake mud pies or even build and destroy dams!
Made up of excellent Messy Play Resources, including our Mud Kitchen, Mud Box and Rope and Pulley materials mover, the zone enables the children to dig, manipulate and investigate mud and what they can do with it.
The children love digging in the mud box to fill the materials mover bucket before investigating the mechanism that makes it move, filling the Mud Kitchen with these delicious ingredients!
Moving the materials has transported the children onto a building site as they move bricks and sand to build their dream mansion, ‘Grand Designs’ here they come.
This amazing mud play area is located on a grass embankment surfaced with our Safer Mats, which allows the grass to grow through, but prevents slips and falls – creating a natural, safe messy play area.
In another area of the playground, we created a dedicated water play space to inspire the children to investigate scientific concepts and develop their problem solving skills through play.
Our Water Wall and Damming Play Environment has enabled the children to explore gravity as they manipulate the water channels to create routes for the water to flow, make it rain on the playground or even spin the water wheel.
The children can explore dams and problem solve as they build a structure to stop the water from flowing down the station or catch the water at the bottom, so their feet don’t get wet.
Exploring resources like measurement jugs, cups and water increases their understanding of mathematical concepts and improves their scientific knowledge as they pour, spill, scoop and experiment with the equipment.
The school wanted to target physical development in the playground in a number of different ways, so we designed and installed a fantastic roadway made up of a range of realistic Thermoplastic Markings on the tarmac.
Small, vibrant additions such as these have a big impact on the children as they race their bikes, scooters and trikes around the roadway.
Colourful ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ markings including a Zebra Crossing improves the children’s knowledge of road safety. Children learn about important rules of the road in the playground before relating them to real roads outside of school – an excellent way to teach road safety in a safe environment.
Teachers at the school have even heard the children teach others about the rules of the road and explain what they mean!
The speed limit marking is another real life sign, burnt onto the roadway, which they will see outside of school. It creates discussion as the children tell one another to slow down and speed up to meet the speed limit, as well as contributing towards their mathematic skills as they discuss miles per hour, kilometres per hour and other forms of measurement.
As well as a vibrant roadway, we also installed our open-ended, low-level Pinnacle Hill Climber. It was the perfect size to fit snug in the middle of a roadway roundabout! It enables the children to develop their key physical skills, including gross and fine motor skills.
As they swing, climb and step through the logs, plenty of muscles and skills are being improved. The children love creating adventurous imaginary games using the climbing frame as a focal point!
Underneath the climber, artificial grass surfacing has ensured safe risks can be taken as the children swing from the ropes like monkeys and climb on the logs as if it’s a tree! It has also zoned the physical development space away from the roadway and other educational activities taking place.
Role Play and Den Making Equipment
Targeting cross curricular activities, our Den Making Posts and Giant Playhouse have really enhanced the imaginative and creative play in the playground.
Our Den Making Posts, situated in the middle of the other roadway roundabout, has created a smaller quiet area within the playground. Using different materials, the children can thread and weave to assemble a cosy den for relaxation, socialisation or even chilled reading.
Constructing a den as a group has been great fun for the children as they talk with one another, solving problems and developing finer motor skills. They love sitting and talking inside the den, sharing stories with each other.
At the rear of the playground, a Giant Playhouse has been installed to create an open-ended roleplay area. Transporting themselves into a world away from their own, the children love exploring different worlds, occupations and areas…
One day, the playhouse is transformed into a vets, a hospital or even a travel agents as the children develop their understanding of the world through child-led role play. Teachers can even use the playhouse to guide their play relating to topics of learning, using the den making holes to thread and tie resources onto.
This wonderful outdoor learning environment has really enhanced the children’s ability to learn through play outdoors as they explore the many different resources the new area has to offer!
If you’d like to transform your EYFS playground to target the curriculum outdoors, please feel free to Contact Us Here for a free, no obligation consultation. You can even view our full range of Educational Playground Equipment designed specifically to benefit children’s learning through play.