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Outdoor Play UK

Wooden shelters for outdoor learning in school field

Outdoor play and learning shelters

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Over the last few months, many customers have come to us with requests for shelters ready for the summer months.

A wooden outdoor learnng shelter for childrenOutdoor learning is increasing popular with schools and nurseries as folk see the benefits it can bring to students development and overall health. Children of all ages can benefit from outdoor learning which can take many forms ranging from informal lessons in wooden shelters or outside classrooms through to trips away which combine adventure and education.

Inside the outdoor classroom for kidsAs the Institute outdoor learning institute put it, ‘Purposeful experiences in the outdoors can be a catalyst for powerful and memorable learning’ regardles of childrens age.

We offer a wide range of wooden shelters which are ideal for childrens play and learning. All of our shelters can be made bespoke to suit your needs such as adding tables, whiteboards/chalkboards, bench seating, leather roofs and bespoke sizes.

An open fronted wooden shelter for childrens schoolHere Above we have a bespoke half shelter with chalkboards and our Dartmouth Gazebo. They are great for outdoor learning, nature play and much more! All of our products are made using play grade red wood laminated timbers that come with a 20 year guarantee and provide a strong, durable and attractive finish which are friendly to children and the environment.

We offer a range of different seating types from bench seating to sets that can be set apart should you need to distance children. Aftercare and maintenance of shelters is equally  important for the long-term success as the design and installation of the shelter but with our durable materials this is kept to an absolute minimum.

Suitable for mostContact us today to get a quote for your own shelter!

An outdoor play boat in a play park

Our new play boat HMS Ipplepen sails in

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When it comes to outdoor play most children like a play boat in which to explore their imagination. When we got a call from the local childrens play park asking if we could design and install a play boat we leapt at the chance of using our new design.

Having already launched HMS Bounty and HMS Blackpool, HMS Ipplepen was now going to become the latest addition to the fleet. Built using play grade redwood timber from FSC certified forests, the new design play boat comes with a bow sprite, waves lapping the bow, seating, clear port holes for keeping an eye out for pirates and a covered aft deck where the captain and crew can shelter in high seas.

HMS Ipplepen play boat installed in alocal outdoor play park

HMS Ipplepen play boat installed in a local play area

Imaginative play is so important for the development of children’s and what better way to encourage playground fun than to provide large pieces of play equipment such as boats, planes or tractors. Once you have fueled a child’s imagination they will happily play and explore the limitless opportunities while inspiring social and dramatic interaction and play. See more of our imaginative play products here

Imaginative play equipment

Ideal for play parks, school playgrounds and holiday park play areas, play boats and other imaginative play equipment will provide hours of fun. One minute the boat is a pirate vessel allowing swashbuckling adventurers to rule the waves, the next its exploring the high seas looking for land and bounty. All it needs is a captain to helm the boat and crew to bring it back to harbour.

Play of this sort encourages role playing amongst the kids, they can embark on a voyage of exploration while developing their social and emotional skills and getting some physical exercise and fresh air as they play.

Made from durable smooth to touch sustainable timbers our playboats will last well and provide years of safe, fun play. Like all of our play equipment, our range of playboats come with our 20 year guarantee and will keep large numbers of children happy, active and engaged for a long time !

Assorted play equipment installed in a play area

The BIG Exmouth adventre trail

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During the summer we were contacted by a local school in Exmouth Devon who wanted to make better use of their play area and install some new outdoor play equipment. Following a chat and a visit to the site we created a series of drawings and a 3d model of the way we planned to use the play area and install the Fingle Woods Climber and Adventure Trail.

A zig zag play equipment in stalled at a playgroundOur handmade adventure trails are bespoke and designed with great care to make the most of the space available in each play area. Because they are modular, our adventure trails can be designed to fit and range from small school playground trails to bigger more adventurous trails in parks where more space is available.

A swing bridge and climbing ramp at a play areaSo when we got the call from Exmouth we were excited to see just how much play equipment we could deploy to keep the kids happy. Because of the abundance of space, this particular adventure trail has multiple access points to hop on the trail and is packed with fun features including adorable woodland creature engravings.

Childrens wooden play towers in playgroundEndless play equipment in one trail

Outdoor play products used in this adventure trail include a classic wooden play tower with roof, a wooden play ramp with climbing holds, a suspended rope walk, a clatter bridge, an inclined weaver, a zig zag balance beam and more.

Assorted play equipment installed in a play areaAt the other end of the trail, there is fun to be had on the swinging log steps, the net walk connects a climbing ramp with another tower. To exit the tower a fireman’s pole can be used or there are climbing notches to get back to earth. There are a couple of hiding areas below the play towers each with a clear dome to keep an eye on things.

Play equipment on safety surfacingAll of the wooden play equipment is guaranteed for 20 years and is made from responsibly sourced timbers that offer a safe play environment.

Wooden play equipment installed outdoors at a schoolOnce the play equipment was installed, the entire play area was covered in a bonded rubber mulch safety surfacing which prevents injuries from falls while giving a rustic feel and is made from recycled materials making it environmentally friendly.

Wooden play equipment for childrenWith plenty of scope for a wide range of ages, this adventure trail has it all and has proven to be a huge success keeping the children happy and busy while they enjoy the fresh Devon air.

An adventure trail built in a play area

If you are looking to expand or update your outdoor play equipment or are considering installing an adventure trail they why not give us a call so that we can arrange to visit your school, play area or holiday park and provide you with a competitive quote and 3d proposal.

FREE site visit complete with FREE 3D Proposal

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Here at Outdoorplay UK, we are offer FREE site visits to look at your play equipment requirements and the space that you have available. But now, we are also offerring FREE 3D Proposals ! Following the visit we will then provide you with a FREE 3D Proposal that will show how your new play equipment will look once it has been installed.

A 3d image of proposed play equipment

Our in house designers create amazing visuals that help convey a realistic vision of what your play equipment will look like in your play area. The visuals include views from all angles plus a plan view looking down on the play equipment to give you a true impression of what the finished project will look like.

A visual impression of our play equipment installed in your play area

Here at Outdoor Play UK we love to receive positive feedback about our designs and it’s nice to see the finished product progress from being a concept into the real thing.

To book in your FREE site visit and FREE 3D Proposal today, call us on 01803 814523 or drop us an email on

Ashill village outdoor play area gets a zip wire

Ashill play area gets a zip wire

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Ashill village is serious about outdoor play for children and have a fantastic range of play equipment including a lovely traditional wooden see saw, a birds nest swing a series of rope walk equipment, springies and climbing bars. The one thing that the children were missing was a zip wire and a wooden play tower.

So we got to work to build them a Knowle Castle tower with a variety of different activities with a central platform, including a slide, a climbing ramp with ropes, net and a fireman’s pole on each side. Built to last these wooden play towers come in all shapes and sizes and all come with our 20 year guarantee.

We then designed and built the wooden supports that are required to hold the zip line. In some parks zip lines use existing structures often trees to anchor the zip wires. At Outdoor Play we use substantial wooden A frames that are cross braced to ensure they are structurally sound and strong enough for even the biggest kids ! Built using sustainably sourced treated timbers the zip line A frame supports are then sunk in to the ground to provide a very strong frame.

Play equipment installations across the UK

At the starting end a launch ramp is installed to give the children some height to ensure they travel the whole length of the ride and make it to the other end. Below the zip wire we installed the safety surfacing which protects children from injury should they jump off but also protects the grass below preventing it from becoming worn and water logged in the winter months.

With the finished support frames in place, the zip wire threaded and tensioners adjusted, we fitted the pommel style seat and then gave it many test runs which went very well.

Zip wires are great fun for children of all ages and indeed some adults and are present in play areas across the country. Whether you have a village play area, a holiday park or country park a zip wire is a great addition to your play equipment.

Outdoor play climbing wall with safety surfacing below

Time to climb and have some fun

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This week we completed the installation of a double sided zig zag climbing wall for a learning centre in West Sussex.

Traversing walls otherwise known as climbing walls are popular pieces of outdoor play equipment right across the age span from infants through to adult. Whether free standing and double sided or a single sided span, climbing walls encourage active play and provoke critical thought as children work out the best way to move from hold to hold.

A zig zag climbing wall installed over safety surfacingTraversing walls add a new dimension to an outdoor play area and are often used in imaginative play as children conjure up scenarios that require escape or rescue. The wooden walls have strategically placed molded plastic hand grips that provide support as you climb the length of the wall. The spacing of the holds is key to a successful and challenging climbing wall. If they’re too close then the wall can be too easy, spaced too far and the wall can become non passable. Our plans factor in the age and ability of the users of the play equipment.

With older children, more challenging traversing walls can provide part of physical education lessons as they promote development of core strength, balance and agility. Good upper body strength particularly in the hands, arms and shoulders is also required to complete some of the more arduous walls.

Not only are our climbing walls functional but they can also incorporate designs to fit in with your play area to ensure that they look good also. Design and function will ensure the success of the new wall at your school, park or play area.

Wooden traversing wall for childrens outdoor play timeMade using sustainably sourced timber with a guarantee for 20 years our traversing walls can be designed and installed at your play area. Our range of safety surfacing compliments the climbing walls well providing a safe soft surface below the wall to cope with the odd tumble ensuring that all outdoor play remains safe and fun for children of all ages.

Safety surfacing for climbing walls comes in many forms which can both look good and perform well. Wet pour surfacing provides good protection against falls and knocks. It also comes in a range of fantastic colours so can become part of the overall design for your new traversing wall.

Call us today if you are looking for any outdoor play equipment for your school, park or other play area.


Dogs enjoying the wooden play equipment

Outdoor play for pooches

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So what can you do when you’re socially distancing and not allowed on most school or park premises ? This Spring the enquiries for new play equipment kept on coming in but with the restrictions in place we were unable to follow-up on many but were able to focus on one or two of the more unusual requests.

Wooden play equipment installed in a field

A dog daycare centre approached us asking whether we could create some wooden play equipment for their canine visitors. Once the owner had described what he wanted for the dogs we thought of just the right piece of play equipment which with a little adaptation would be ideal for the playing pooches.

A wooden play tower with ramps and tiled roof

In our play tower range we produce many different designs which include a range of activities for the children including connecting climbers, sand pits, climbing ramps and ropes. One particular outdoor play tower, The Wishing Mine incorporates climbing ramps on both sides which we thought would be ideal for dogs.

We decided to make the ramp a little wider so that 2 or 3 dogs could climb the tower at the same time and sure enough it proved a great success. We incorporated some rubber matting at the base of the play ramps to help protect the grass.

A childrens play tower being enjoyed

The wooden structure is made from sustainably sourced timber which comes with a 20 year guarantee. The roof of the play tower is clad with wooden tiles which make for a very environmentally friendly pooch play palace. If you are looking for outdoor play equipment for your school, nursery or holiday park then why not consider our range of play towers and climbing frames. We are now able to quote for new installations of play equipment and our workshop is in full production so why not call us today so we can help you with your outdoor play requirements.

Outdoor Play & Learning for Primary School Children

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Schools are experiencing changes in the way they are able to work and play and as a result of social distancing restrictions more lessons are being held outside in the fresh air. Many schools have been in contact with us at Outdoor Play UK asking for ideas to help them make better use of their outdoor space in a safe and productive way.

Meadow bench seating for outside learning

Wooden becnh seating for school play areas

In the previous post we looked at outdoor shelters and classrooms and now we are exploring open sided structures such as the gazebo below and less formal settings such as bench seating in natural meadow settings where children can learn about all things natural as well as benefit from social and emotional skills in the great outdoors.

Playing and learning outside are a great way to help children of all ages to appreciate and respect nature which is going to play an increasingly important role in their lifetimes with increasing environmental awareness. Outdoor learning helps children to understand the interdependence of humans, plants and animals. Another key benefit of outdoor learning is active movement which allows many children to focus more with faster cognitive processing which promotes better memory retention. In short, learning and playing outside works well and is ideal during the current circumstances.

Wooden planters provide outdoor learning focus

Large wooden planters for school play areasPlanters are ideal for younger children and are a useful way of softening play areas such as playgrounds. If your school is in an urban setting, planters can be used to add wildlife in to the play area while introducing an educational theme. Whether for flowers and pollinators or for vegetables and edibles, planters provide educational fun for children as well as offering a hands on lesson when it comes to caring for the plants.

Our quality wooden planters can be made to fit your play area and are made exclusively from timber from sustainable sources. Made from glued laminated timbers these planters can be made to any length, width and height to suit your play space and are guaranteed for 20 years.

Open sided shelters provide cover from sun and shine

An open sided Dartmouth gazebo shelter with wooden deckingWith distancing measures with us for some time it is essential that your outdoor seating arrangements are both compliant and comfortable for your outdoor learning activities. All of our outdoor seating is made from natural timber. We offer individual seating such as our storytime seating for the younger children or larger bench units that allow suitable separation between children.

If you are considering adapting your play area to accommodate the social distancing restrictions or are thinking of adding an outdoor learning area, then why not contact us to discuss the option you have for enjoying the great outdoors.

Classrooms banner showing a wonderful Gazebo !

Summer 2020 for Outdoor Play

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Summer 2020 for Outdoor Play

What a start to the year we keep on saying. It seems like our world has been turned upside down but there are now some positive signs of things returning to some sort of ‘normal’. Many folk are talking of the new normal because we’re unlikely to see all things quite as they were for a few months to come with social distancing playing a key part in the recovery of our nation. So our outdoor shelters are proving popular to take the strain away and prevent crowded classrooms.

Here at Outdoor Play UK we’re making the most of things and our play equipment designers continue to work coming up with new designs for play equipment for children of all ages and there are some fun looking pieces taking shape. With schools mainly closed and play areas empty it is in many ways a good time to consider installing new outdoor play equipment. With most children at home the playing fields and playgrounds are empty. This means that our installation teams can make real progress installing anything form our popular play towers and climbing frames as well as swing sets and safety surfacing.

One group of outdoor play products that is getting a lot of attraction is the range of outdoor classrooms and shelters which come in various sizes and allow children to study in well ventilated spacious wooden areas while promoting social distancing.

Outdoor shelters and classrooms

The Dartmouth gazebo is a large octagonal building with open sides. This allows lots of natural light to flood while the providing a full dose of fresh air. Built entirely from sustainable timber, the Dartmouth Gazebo can be made to fit the space you have available and with having 8 sides there is a lot of scope for seating while keeping safe distancing in place. Wooden bench seating is used along the walls and when larger units are designed additional seats can be included in the centre while still observing the 2 meter rule. There are a few options with this outdoor classroom which include waterproof blinds, so if you did encounter the odd rain shower then the blind can provide some protection to keep the place dry.

Other bespoke outdoor class room designs are on offer and they all promote large open spaces with plenty of ventilation. Ideal for field studies and nature play centres these wooden units are made to measure but can be used as extensions to the traditional class rooms to allow more school children to be taught without compromising distancing rules.

So why not consider new forms of outdoor shelter to ease things when your school, academy or nursery returns allowing you to cater for more children without imposing any risks. All of our outdoor shelters and classrooms are built using sustainable materials including FSC pressure treated redwood timber this shelter is guaranteed for 20 years.

With our workshop back in production we’re ready to make and install outdoor play equipment for your school, nursery or academy. Why not get in touch so that we can help you plan your new outdoor play facilities.

A young girl on s play swing outdoors

Spring time and Outdoor Play

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As Spring marches on and the weather improves we all want to be spending more time outside especially children. For obvious reasons this year is the exception in that we are restricted in where we can go and what we can do. However this will pass and we will soon be free to enjoy the benefits of outdoor play.

So what are the key benefits of outdoor play for children ?

Ipads, tablets, television and gaming are the norm for children these days so they can end up spending far more time indoors than previous generations. There are many studies that show that this shift of behavior has some fairly negative impacts on children’s health and development. The same research also pointed out the benefits of outdoor play:


Playing outside brings numerous health benefits which are associated with having more space in which to play which in turn means that they are more active which helps with the building of fitness levels and strengthening of bones and muscles. This more active outdoor play also allows kids to burn off more calories which helps to stave off obesity. Sunshine also has major health benefits providing our bodies with essential vitamin D which we all need.

Social Skills

The increase in available space when playing outdoors generally means a less crowded environment. This makes it less intimidating for a child and allows them to come out of their shells and be more social. When children play together they benefit in so many ways including making new friends and talking more which develops interactive skills away from adults.


Outdoor play helps children to develop their learning abilities. Give them some play equipment and they realise that learning is not simply a classroom thing and can be fun.

Our range of activity panels is a good example of how this can work.

Well being

Outdoor play comes with freedom which in turn helps them to feel happier and calmer. It is known that vitamin D improves moods and happiness which in turn assists with having a positive mental attitude. Outdoor play combined with exercise also helps kids to burn built up energy especially for those children who can get fidgety when they’re sitting in a class environment for long periods. When these children get to burn up some of this excess energy then they can return to a classroom environment with better focus and concentration.


Being outside helps to stimulate imagination as the array of play objects provide inspiration and creativity. Our range of outdoor play products are made predominantly from wood to provide more of a natural experience for children offering them a more natural environment that is beneficial in many ways.

In the UK we have a reasonable climate that allows a good deal of scope for outdoor play. So encouraging a young child to try the slide for the first time or move on to some more challenging adventure trails brings a wealth of benefit as you can see. Outdoor play equipment helps kids to develop confidence and stretch their boundaries making them stronger both mentally and physically. Playing outside helps them to develop skills without adult interference by trying new things and gaining confidence as they go.