Imaginative play is an integral part of a child’s development, and one of the biggest considerations to make when looking for new equipment. It allows much more flexibility than standard playground equipment such as swings and slides as its limitations are determined entirely by the children using it. St Leonard’s Primary school realised this when they asked us to make improvements to their playground.
First and foremost as with most of our projects, the biggest change to be made was to resurface the area. To keep a natural look we opted for artificial grass, ensuring an easily maintained and all-weather finish so that the area could be properly utilised all year round.
In regards to equipment, less was more in this case. A child’s imagination is the most powerful form of entertainment that they have at their disposal, and with the right equipment they can be encouraged to form their own amazing fun. First and foremost we added our Hobbit House and a rowing boat, two items that provide an endless amount of roleplaying fun for young children. Under the boat we added blue artificial grass for an extra bit of realism to spur the children on.
Finally we built a deck stage and seating area, backed with a large chalkboard. These make excellent additions to any playground that requires their equipment to be multi-functional. With this single addition the children can perform, practice their handwriting and drawing, and be the focal point of their own adventure. Or even better, be the audience for their peers. Not only is it a flexible tool for the pupils, but it is also a great teaching aid for the staff, allowing them to take lessons to the outdoors.