If you run a children’s nursery, a well-equipped outdoor play area is essential. It is a place where children can have lots of fun, play freely and learn new skills while having the daily dose of physical activity their young bodies need. When it comes to deciding which playground equipment to install, it is important to consider the different benefits children get from playing outdoors, so that you can choose apparatus that gives them those opportunities. With this in mind, here we look at some of the most popular nursery playground equipment available today.
Messy play equipment
Water, sand and soil are magical ingredients for children. With them, they can dig holes, build castles, create mud pies, make landscapes, splash around and invent countless other things. It’s not only great fun; it can be immensely beneficial for their development. Messy play is a sociable activity that involves working with and communicating with others, it presents challenges, requires problem-solving and teaches children about the properties of different materials and how they interact. It also involves some degree of responsibility, with children needing to ensure they play in a safe way.
Our outdoor water and sand play equipment is ideal for nursery-aged children, featuring pieces such as mud kitchens, creation stations, magnetic water walls, water ball shoots and modular sand and water systems. We’ve also taken the staff into account too, making sure that these are designed to reduce mess and minimise the amount of cleaning up needed.
Role play equipment
Nursery-age kids are naturally inclined to take part in role play and when they do, their imaginations have no limits. This form of activity is fundamental in helping children mentally explore and learn about the world they live in and their relationships with others, while also enabling them to hone their cognitive, communication and social skills.
Role play is best encouraged and supported by providing children with a variety of stimuli. While this can include minor items, like dressing-up clothes and props, providing apparatus that inspires them to greater adventures is far more fun and offers more developmental value.
There are many role play inspiring pieces of equipment available today and some of the most popular choices for nurseries include our play towers. Featuring rope nets and climbing walls, bridges and tunnels, ramps, slides and poles, and embellished with turrets, flags, drawbridges and pitched roofed dens, they transport children into a world of imagination and adventure.
Another favourite among nursery schools is our Wild Wood collection. Made from sturdy, durable and sustainable natural materials, this collection can give any outdoor space, regardless of how urban, a woodland feel. In this new environment, kids can have adventures crawling through tunnels, climbing up hills and mastering tree trail obstacles, or they can make up stories in play huts, dens and wigwams. In addition, you can also choose pirate-inspired play boats, wooden trains and carriages.
Our wide range of playground markings provides nurseries with an affordable way to add fun activities that also serve an educational purpose. The most elaborate of these is the Roadway, a large and detailed road system which can be used as a course on which to ride trikes and other pedalled vehicles. Aside from offering thrill after thrill, the marking has many of the features that a real roadway has, including dual direction roads, zebra crossings, junctions, roundabouts, traffic lights, parking bays and even a petrol station. Not only do these features make the Roadway realistic; they are also very useful in teaching road safety.
The many other markings available include pitches for sports like football, rounders and netball, and stepping games, like hopscotch. Many of the stepping games also include designs that help children learn basic numbers, letters and phonics sounds.
Whilst most nursery-aged children aren’t musical prodigies, they do love making sounds and the easiest way to do this at a young age is through banging. Today, there are outdoor percussion instruments that are specially designed for children, including musical chimes, drainpipe drums, drum tables, washboards, rain sound makers and xylophones. Designed for heavy use and ease of play, each instrument makes its own unique sound, enabling children to explore different rhythms, patterns and sounds, both on their own and with friends. There’s also a sound-altering talking tube through which kids sing and talk to each other.
As you can see, nursery leaders wanting to create a well-resourced outdoor play area have a myriad of options to choose from. The wide range available gives children many fun and exciting free play activities to do, while also providing numerous opportunities to learn and develop essential skills.
For more information, check out our Early Years page.