01803 814523info@outdoorplayuk.co.uk

Play areas for holiday homes

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Here at Outdoorplay UK we get requests for new play areas from all sorts of sectors including parks, schools and nurseries, sports clubs, camp sites and holiday homes here in in the South West.

At the end of last year we were approached by the operators of the holiday cottages in Devon who were looking to provide more in the way of outdoor play equipment for their visitors. With an abundance of land that borders Dartmoor National Park we went to see what scope there was for their new outdoor play area.

Holiday cottages play area in DevonSpring is on its way now and the play area installation is complete, with lots of new challenges for the children who visit this season. The main attraction is the twin tower play house which is installed over safety surfacing and includes a number of play features including a traditional slide, a swing bridge and a wooden climbing ramp.

The play towers encourage imaginative play for children and can be made to any size to suit the space you have available. Popular in school playgrounds, the play towers also come in themed designs such as play boats and play planes.

A traditional wooden swing in the play areaIn addition to the twin towers, a traditional double flat swing was installed, again over rubber safety flooring. Most of the play equipment we provide is made from responsibly sourced pressure treated timber and comes with our 20 year guarantee.

Also requested was the ever popular pole climber, which again can be designed and built to any size to fit within the play space you have available. Installed over safety surfacing, the pole climbers encourage children to climb and scramble from one pole to another while keeping off the ground.

A wooden pole climberThe assorted wooden spars are arranged at various angles and rope guides are overhead to help with balance and stability. Kids can spend hours playing on pole climbers and the benefit to their core muscles is enormous as they climb, swing and scramble from pole to pole.

With South Devon being such a popular holiday destination more holiday parks and homes are upgrading their play equipment to offer more outdoor play opportunity for their guests.

If you are interested in installing some new play equipment at your premises we would love to come and see what space you have and provide you with a competitive quote to build , supply and install. Whether you’re a fun park, holiday park or any other leisure facility we can provide your commercial playground equipment.

Holywell School playhouse den

A wooden play house for Holywell School in North Devon

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Most children love to have a den to play in where they can retreat and have their own space. Whether it’s up a tree, in the garden or anywhere, dens are cool.

We got a call from Holywell primary school who wanted something different to the usual outdoor play equipment and also had some wooded land within the school grounds where they wanted to encourage the kids to play.

So we visited the school in North Devon to view their play facilities and to see the woodland space then returned to base to get our thinking caps on. Before long, we and came up with some ideas for a wooden playhouse which could be nestled in to the wooded area along with some other play equipment such as a traditional slide or a climbing ramp.

Wooden playhouse den at local schoolAs with all quotes for the installation of new play equipment, we prepared a visual of the proposed den design and how it would look in situ and had a follow-up meeting with the school to see what they thought about the wooden play house design.

It wasn’t long before we got the go ahead to build and install the new play equipment complete with den. We used FSC pressure treated redwood timber to create the play house and the supporting structure. The front of the den is clad with cedar shingles and has two look out port holes that allow the kids to look out from the den.

With both a pull up rope and a climbing ramp to gain access to the den there are a number of ways to get in then when its time to leave, the slide provides a speedy return to the ground. The finished den fits in to the wooded area nicely and provides some shelter from the sun or rain for the children when they play.

To see more of our selection of wooden shelters and classrooms you can click here

More fitness equipment for Appledore Primary School

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In May 2018 we completed the play equipment installation at Appledore Primary School here in Devon. We have returned to the school to inspect the play area on several occasions and are often reminded how much the children like the play boat and musical play instruments. The biggest attractions have been the physical play equipment including the monkey bars and net and rope play products which apparently are swarmed every break time.

It’s now 2019 and the school wants to invest more in its play areas as it recognises the benefit that the outdoor play is having on the kids and in particular the parallel bars monkey bars climbing trees and zig zag ropes.

Climbing poles zig zag ropes and monkey bars

An array of wooden fitness equipment for the kids at Appledore

 

So after a consultation with the staff at the school we came back to the workshop to see how we could improve the playground facilities and provide more of the play equipment that was proving so popular.

Fitness equipment for primary schools

Fitness equipment seems to be the key at this school so we set about designing a double run of monkey bars at different heights that allow a greater range of height of children to use them. We added block steps to help the children to reach up to the higher bars.

We also designed a range of climbing poles that encourage kids to use their upper body strength to clamber from one pole to another before stepping over to the zigzag ropes.

We prepared some drawings showing how the play equipment would appear on site and showed them to the school. We soon got the go ahead to start the second phase and build the various wooden play equipment ready for the installation.

The area where we were to carry out the play equipment installation already had some old dilapidated kit in place which we had to remove. We then prepared the ground so that it was suitable for the safety surfacing to be applied. Next came the installation of the parallel bars, monkey bars and other wooden fitness equipment.

Monkey ladder play equioment

Wooden play equipment and safety surfacing installed at primary school in Devon

 

Once installed, we were able to lay the safety flooring and complete the job by adding perimeter fencing to the play area to finish things off.

In addition to the new playground equipment we were asked to provide a wooden shelter to give protection from rain and shine so we also installed a fantastic huge wooden gazebo with its own entrance ramp that provides the children with somewhere to shelter when they are not using the fitness area. With an overhanging roof and half open sides this shelter keeps the rain and wind out but allows an all-round view of the school grounds. When tired from playing there is wooden bench seating all around the gazebo.

A beautiful wooden gazebo for school children

A wooden gazebo shelter complete with bench seating

Before and after the playground installation

What a difference, with the play equipment installed, the school play area has been transformed and now provides some new challenges for the school children in their outdoor play area.

Before and after photo of playground installation

Before and after photo of the playground installation at Appeldore Primary School

 

All of the wooden fitness and exercise equipment comes with our new 20 year warranty that provides real peace of mind for schools and owners of other play areas. If you are looking to replace or repair your play equipment then please don’t hesitate to call us on 01803 814523 so that we can visit your school, holiday park or other play area to discuss your options.

We install a new feature castle in the school play area over the Christmas break

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We were contacted late last year by the primary school who wanted to have some more outdoor play equipment installed at their play area. We promptly visited the school where we talked about the options for the play castle that they had in mind.

When we got back to base we set about designing the play castle complete with fun extras including the dungeon den, traditional slide, rock holds ramp, scramble net, fireman’s pole and rope bridge. As with all of our play equipment quotes we then created a drawing to demonstrate the proposed design and how it would be constructed using timber from a sustainable source.

A themed castle for childrens play area

A fantastic theme castle for the kids play area at school

Within a week or two, the school gave us the go ahead and we were able to agree a date while the school was closed for the installation of the new play equipment.

Fortunately, the play area already had some very suitable bark flooring so our first job was to create a chunky wooden frame using laminated redwood timbers that come with our 20 year guarantee against rot. This was ideal and saved the school some budget as we didn’t have to lay any safety surface such as rubber mulch surfacing.

Most of the play castle and was constructed using solid wooden timbers which provides a nice natural finish and a very safe and durable solution. The wooden ramp was fitted with rock holds which help the kids to scramble to the top where they can enter the first castle tower. A rope walk bridge then allows them to cross from one tower to the next where they can use the slide to get back down and access the castle’s dungeon den !

Play equipment installed over Christmas holiday goes down a treat

A play castle complete with rope walk, traditional slide and climbing ramp

 

With the installation complete and the castle looking good we tidied the play area and left it ready for the big surprise that the children would have when they returned to school after the Christmas break.

If you are interested in a similar themed play area such as a castle, boat or plane then please feel free to call us and we can come and see how we can spruce up your park or playground.

Play areas big and small

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When it comes to installing playground equipment no job is too small for us here at Outdoor Play UK. Although we install play areas up and down the country, we also carry out a lot of work at local schools and play parks here in Devon and this summer has been no exception with all manner of work at schools, Academies, holiday parks and local attractions right here on our doorstep.

We love taking on new projects where we provide both the design of play areas for children but also the manufacture of play equipment. Whether it’s making the timeless classics like wooden climbing frames and adventure trails or installing more specific things like musical play equipment it is always good to be involved in a new play area installation.

A wooden play tower for children

A wooden tower for children is great for imaginative play

Much of the wooden play equipment that we supply is made here in our workshops by skilled craftsmen. We enjoy working with wood and timber built play products remain very popular, offering a nice natural and safe solution for children’s play areas. Swings, sandboxes, play towers and climbing frames are some of the most popular playground products favoured by schools and nurseries.

We were pleased to supply this play tower to a local school earlier this month which was installed on mulch and safety surfacing. Within minutes of us completing the work and opening the play area there were plenty of smiley children clambering about on the wooden spas and making their way to the lookout tower. Once up the tower the quickest way is down using the slide before moving on to the next activity.

Wooden play tower with slide

Clamber up and slide down from the wooden play tower

This type of theme play is important for children’s development so we are always looking for new designs for play boats , planes, towers and even castles that provide lots of fun and gets the kids imagination working overtime. At nursery and primary school ages, playtime is a particularly rewarding part of the day for kids as they get the opportunity to use their imagination and burn off some energy.

At Outdoor Play UK we know how to produce play areas that inspire imagination look great and fit in to their environment. All our play equipment is designed to address children’s needs for physical emotional and learning requirements. We use our experience to ensure that we supply and install play equipment that suits the target age group, their abilities and is inclusive so that there is something for everyone. More and more reports are confirming that good play equipment is proven to have positive benefits on pupil attainment.

Public Health England produced a recent report that also confirms that “Children and young people who are aerobically fit have higher academic scores”  so we make sure that the design of all pay areas includes all types of play equipment to ensure a healthy balance of physical or aerobic exercise, imaginative play, musical play and even problem solving activities. We can offer such a wide range of school play equipment that we can cater for all manner of interests and of course to ensure that a fun time is had by all !

So, if you are looking for ideas as to how to imprive the play areas at your nursery, school, Academy or play park then please feel free to call us for a chat to see how we can help.

Outdoor Play equipment for Holiday Parks

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Devon is as everyone knows a very popular holiday destination for families, with the lure of sandy beaches the moors and our infamous cream teas you can understand why. Many families choose to stay at one of the many holiday parks here in Devon and take advantage of all the on-site facilities including the vast range of outdoor play equipment which many of the holiday parks have.

When we install outdoor play equipment at schools we generally cater for primary school children however when we install at holiday parks we supply bespoke play equipment that is suitable for children of a a bigger age range to make sure there is something for all ages. We also tailor the bespoke play equipment to make sure that it is in keeping with the surrounding natural features and that it caters for kids of all ages and ability.

Prett pencil fencing for play areas

Pretty pencil fencing for play areas always goes down well with younger children

The play equipment for the younger children tends to include activities that cater for the most basic of challenges including the key experiences of swinging, rocking, sliding and general clambering around. More often than not the play areas for younger children are supervised by parents but they like to have playground fencing included to keep the kids safe. Safety surfacing is also a must to reduce the risk of injury so we often introduce colours and sometimes games such as hop scotch or letters and numbers in to the safety surfacing.

This wooden pirates play boat proves popular

Wooden play equipment including play boats are popular

Wooden outdoor play equipment is always popular and this can include adventurous play and imagintive play such as this pirate play boat.

For the slightly older children we introduce opportunities for children to take more risk through climbing, balancing and negotiating movable rope walks. See our range of adventure trails here which can combine many types of play opportunity. All of this more adventurous play helps to encourage multi users which is good for interaction where they can mix and play freely as well as actively encouraging social development.

Often when we install at holiday parks the mix includes a section for imaginative and explorative play which can take many forms. In addition there may be a separate quieter area where musical play can be enjoyed. Our range of tubular bells, chimes, drums such as the congas and xylophones all of which offers cognitive, emotional and physical play opportunities for everyone.

Musical play for younger children

Xlophones, drums and chimes are great for young children

So if you are looking for outdoor play equipent for holiday parks then give us a call and we will be very happy to visit your location to see the play space that you have and discuss the options you have available to make the holiday park play experience a true success for children of all ages.

Summertime at Outdoor Play UK

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The summertime is a busy time here at outdoor play. With the kids off for a few weeks it’s an ideal time for us to visit school play areas to prepare quotations for new play equipment while things are quiet.

With this summer having been so hot there have been lots of enquiries for playground equipment that provides some shade like our wooden shelters and imaginative play areas that provide protection from both the sun and the rain. These wooden shelters come in all shapes and sizes including the Dartmouth gazebo that can seat unto 30 children and is made from FSC pressure treated redwood timber.

We offer bespoke design for the sun shelters to ensure that it fits in nicely with other play equipment that you may have installed. These shelters offer protection all year round whether it’s from the sun’s harmful rays in the summertime or the rain and snow come the winter. Looking at the past 12 months weather a playground shelter is a must have.

A sun shelter for kids at school

A wooden shelter protects children from sun rain and snow

We have several installations going on this summer with a number of schools opting for musical play equipment which is proving very popular with the younger school children who can’t leave them alone. The chimes and conga drums seem to be the most popular for kids of primary school age and are always in use during break times and after school.

Conga drums in the school pay area

Musical play for school children includes these colourful conga drums

Easy to install and ideal for smaller play areas, musical play items can add an enchanting new dimension to play grounds while also being used for lessons and drumming and music therapy sessions.

Another play activity that has been very popular this year is our adventure trails which come in all shapes and sizes and can be tailored to suit the pay space that you have available. Adventure trails include a number of physical challenges that are strung together in sequence encouraging the kids to run, jump and scramble their way across wooden clatter bridges, along rope traverses, climb over obstacles and hang from monkey ladders or tyre walks.

Wooden adventure trails installed in school play area

Climbing, jumping leaping and hanging in the wooden adventure trail at school

Adventure trail activities promote many benefits for the kids during play time, primarily they allow children to burn off lots of energy but also promote skills such as balance and coordination while building core body strength.

We have had increased interest for play equipment installation from nurseries and preschool groups who want to add some activities to their outdoor play areas. We have a good range of activity panels all suitable for playgrounds including free standing and wall mounted panels. These range from music panels to simple sports panels where a range of simple games are on offer.

These fun and durable playground panels are fun and provide a new way to play and learn new skills and are ideal for nursery children as they are safe and are ideal for play areas with limited space as they can be attached to walls leaving more playground space.

A new outdoor play area for a Dartmoor primary school

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Bridestowe Primary School is on the edge of Dartmoor here in Devon. We recently completed the installation of a new outdoor play area to give the children some new facilities to enjoy during their play breaks.

Play equipment installed over safety surfacing

Lots to do at this Primary School outdoor play area

 

The play area at the school is of a good size and has a mix of grass and now some nice new safety surfacing that uses a mix of colours and is made using rubber mulch which provides a very safe surface for kids to play on.

Wooden monkey bars over safet surfacing

Monkey bars are a favourite piece of play equipment

 

We installed the play equipment which is made predominantly of wood and comes with a 10 year guarantee, conforming to EN1176 standard, meaning that it is from sustainable sources.

The wooden play equipment includes the centre piece pole climber complete with slide which is always a winner with primary school aged children. On the top of the slide tower there is a clear Perspex viewing dome to peer through and a flag pole that encourages more imaginative play. On the side of the tower there is a climbing ramp providing alternative access to the slide.

A suspended clatter bridge

The clatter bridge helps to improve balance and confidence

Wooden play equipment for schools

Once you’ve slid off the slide you move on to the monkey bars which are great for improving kids upper body strength and overall coordination.

Once the monkey bars have been conquered the trail goes on to the clatter bridge which is suspended so helps to improve balance skills when you cross it.

Climbing ramp with rope net return

The Climbing ramp with rope net return provides a challenge and somewhere to hide !

 

Next up is the ramp and net which also combines a den underneath giving a small space for kids to hide when playing. Climbing grips assist the climb up the wooden ramp and then there is the rope net on the other side taking you back down to ground level.

Finally the zig zag beams are great training for improving your balance as you get to the end of the trail. If you are looking for play equipment for your local park or school then we would love to come and see what space you have and help plan the best play area possible. We’re happy to provide you with quotations and visual representationd of how the new play installation would look like.

 

Inclusive play – a checklist for getting it right

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Inclusive play – a checklist for getting it right

If you are looking to build a new inclusive play area we have set out some tips below which could help you to address the points that matter when designing outdoor play areas that provide the most for children.

It can be quite a daunting task to try to design a play area from scratch so we thought we could provide you with some ideas that help incorporate inclusion and cater for all the different needs and abilities of the kids who are likely to use the play space.

So whether you’re looking to start afresh or update your existing play equipment here is a list of things to consider:

  • Inclusive water and sand play equipment as this is fun and engaging for younger kids of all abilities and can easily be made accessible by using a hard standing
  • Create some high points if possible. These might be earth mounds of they might be the top of some accessible play equipment
  • Create two or more clear routes through the playground as this generates the interest to move about within the space
  • Introduce sensory play and use visual sound and tactile objects to stimulate the children senses
  • Make sure some of the dynamic play equipment is accessible. This might be a ground flush round about or other slower moving play activity
  • Place the dynamic play equipment near the entrance points to elicit interest early on
  • Provide good access to all play equipment so that children can feel engaged with what is going on even if they chose not to fully participate
  • Create a quite zone where possible so that children have somewhere to get away to. Include some gentle sensory experiences here that might include sound touch and even smell

A play area for all

Remember for a play area to be truly inclusive it needs to provide a challenge to all children who need it. Some kids find it easier than others to engage in play areas at school or in the local park so make sure that you consider what a wheelchair user is faced with when designing your play area. Similarly you can consider the needs of an infant with autism who might prefer some quieter space away from the busy play kit with bright colours and lots of noise.

If you bare all of this in mind then between us we can create the perfect inclusive play are for all the children who use the school or park facility.

Inclusive play with wheelchair friendly sand pits

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It’s great to see that many local councils are now making more effort to provide for those with disabilities at their local play areas. Inclusive play as it is often referred to is more of a hot topic and as a result many play areas are being adapted to ensure that the play equipment includes a selection if not all that can be used by those with disabilities and that includes wheelchairs.

A wheelchair friendly sand pit

Inclusive play catering for children with disabilities

When designing inclusive play areas for children there are many considerations more to consider than just access into a space. Here at Outdoor Play UK we are working on a number of pieces of play equipment that will cater inclusive play areas. One of the more popular items that we are in the process of making is the wheelchair accessible sand pit complete with covers.

Inclusive play with wheelchair friendly instruments

Inclusive play with wheelchair friendly instruments

 

Providing play activities that engage all is vital. The easy access sand pit is designed to allow a children’s wheelchair to pull up at the sand pit so that the sand and associated toys are easily within reach. This means that the wheelchair arm pads will need to fit under the lowest part of the sand pit to ensure easy access to the fun. Musical play is another engaging and popular part on inclusive play equipment.