Creating a perfect playground can sometimes be a huge task as many people don’t know what type of equipment to have installed or how to ensure the area is safe. Today’s blog will cover the top 5 school playground trends and why these activities and items should be focused on.
1. Daily Mile Tracks
Also known as ‘golden mile’, the Daily Mile is becoming a new sensation amongst many schools in the UK and around the world! A simple concept, the tracks are designed to get kids walking, running, skipping (or any other physical activities) a mile in an allotted time (usually around 15 minutes).
Success from the tracks has been noticed with an increase in fitness and an improvement in kids’ focus in lessons. With such results, many more schools have started to take note of the exercise and tried incorporating it for the older years to take part in.
One key thing to keep in mind is the different designs that you can choose. Some of the most popular designs that are available to be chosen include:
- Wetpour – Has great impact qualities meaning this surface can help cushion any falls/trips children may have and reduce the damage caused to the child. They can also be customised with different colours and patterns to really create a unique track.
- Rubber Mulch – Comfortable for children to run on, many schools choose this surface to have their golden mile done in. In addition, it’s durable and can withstand regular foot traffic with no problem. It’s perfect for any areas with woodland themed areas. Visit this page for more details on this particular product.
- Multisport Synthetic Turf – Being quite strong and durable, it’s an ideal surface for recreational athletics tracks. Coming in a variety of different colours, customisation is still a strong factor. Like Wetpour, the surface is also very porous meaning any water can be drained properly and stops any from creating puddles.
- Thermoplastic Markings – For any schools that already have an existing tarmac surface, thermoplastic markings are quick and easy to install. We can meet the design you want and make sure that it is installed with the utmost quality. Find out more about the designs here.
Overall, the Daily Mile is a great option for many schools who are interested in making their playground a more suitable place for children to get the exercise they need.
2. Activity Trails and Courses
Activity trails and courses can be described as a form of obstacle course. Different types of equipment are placed in a certain order to create a course in which the children must use different skills to overcome the current obstacle.
By no surprise, this activity is incredibly popular across the world due to how it combines fun and excitement with physical exercise. Knowing this, this type of activity is ideal for encouraging active behaviour during PE lessons and break times. Kids will love to get active with this piece of equipment. It’s important to help improve children’s exercise levels where possible through play.
As well as this, there is so many different pieces of equipment you can have installed to make your activity trail the way you want it. Tyre Crosses and Balance Beams are great to have as they focus on balancing skills and can actively help improve coordination.
Frame Nets and Climbing Walls are vital pieces of equipment which can help improve traversing skills and coordination abilities. Different pieces of equipment offer improvements on different skills, helping improve the person on different levels.
3. Outdoor Learning Spaces
Learning inside can sometimes be a bit of a drag and can lead to kids becoming bored incredibly quick and leading to a disruptive class forming. No one will be able to perform at their optimum whilst this is occurring and so, many schools have started to develop outdoor learning spaces.
These places are a perfect way to take learning outside and encourage children to learn about the world around them. If it’s sunny then children will get the added benefit of vitamin D, making them feel a lot happier and more motivated with the lesson. If it’s cold, then these spaces can be adapted with shelters to reduce the coldness and make it a more comfortable learning environment.
Outdoor learning spaces have been shown to increase class participation and boost imaginative play with no problem. Areas like these can include equipment like chalkboards, water/sand play items and a stage for drama and/or art. These types of equipment really do help to improve the overall attitude of the class and makes it a lot easier to teach kids a variety of topics.
4. Surface Markings and Graphics
Space on a playground can be taken up quickly especially if you have large structures and equipment installed. If this is the case, then surface markings and graphics are a great solution to add more to your playground without taking any necessary room. We can install these straight onto tarmac using thermoplastic, or they could be part of a wetpour surface design.
With the thermoplastic markings being quick and simple to install, the playground will hardly be disturbed and will allow your pupils to interact with them quickly. With so many colours being offered, your designs will be completed in great quality without any issues. Make sure to send your design ideas to our team and we will make sure that your design is bought to life.
Below is a video which shows our team installing the thermoplastic designs onto an existing school playground:
Another thing you can also have are pre-set designs made by us that are especially designed to trigger imaginative play cues to help with play. Things like traffic lights, characters etc. are things that we can create to help with the promotion of imaginative play and to really let kids escape into their minds and just have fun.
5. Diverse and Inclusive Play Equipment
Making play equipment accessible for everyone is a key way to make your pupils feel included. Playgrounds all over the world have started to include equipment which caters towards everyone regardless of their abilities or preferences. From things like seating to climbing frames, every piece of equipment can be built to match. Click here to read more about different games and activities you could incorporate to suit all children.
A great example is inclusive seating areas. Sometimes, children who have special needs can suffer from what is known as sensory overload and start to feel agitated towards certain aspects on the playground. By creating a seating area with calm and plain colours and patterns, you can help to deal with this issue and keep these children comfortable. Check out this post to learn how risk-taking can help improve children’s confidence.
Inclusive play equipment needs to take into consideration everyone and not just one group of children. Some pupils may not want or be able to take part in certain activities so it’s important to offer a variety of options. This is key when creating a fun and diverse playground. Our team can help with any questions you may have about this topic.
Overall, these top 5 school playground trends are incredibly popular and offer plenty of choice for schools looking to improve their outdoor space! Feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like more information on the different types of surfacing and play structures.