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The Perfect Outside Area


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This is my first posting to the Forum. I have a question? What would you include if you could design the perfect outside area? What would be on you must have list? Do you have something now which you wouldn't be without?


The reason I am asking is that I have been asked to design the outside area at school for the the reception class. There are physical restraints which mean that the children can not have free access to the outside. Therefore I would like to make the outside area as perfect as possible for when they do go out. Any ideas?


Thank you.

Rhubarbannie :oxD

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Hi, we have just built a small garden area at our pre-school. We've gone with a 'sensory' theme and have included herbs for scent, flowers for colour, crops for taste, wind chimes for sound, etc. We are also building a small pond which we will cover with grids for safety. We're installing an outside tap (surprising what a pain it is to ferry water from inside to outside!) We don't have free flow because of safety (the children have to walk through the car park) but we're looking into some barriers to see if this might be possible. If we had more space, we'd love an area where the children could ride on toys. Good luck with your project.

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I would have lots of natural materials, different surfaces, places to 'hide', make dens, explore and investigate, places to dig, climb, raised bits, sunken bits... There's agreat website with loads of inspiring play areas like this which I'll try to remember and come back later.


Water on tap for children to access, pipes, funnels and guttering for them to explore it with.




Well tended, well stocked vegetable patch and sensory garden would also be in my dream outside area.


Oh, and, being me, obviously hollow community playthings blocks!!!


I'll come back later with some of my favourite outdoor play websites...

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Hi rhubarbannie,




I have some decking cut into small squares which the children love to use as stepping stones, seats, etc.


My daughters school have a small slightly raised deck which the children love to use as a stage. It is always in use.


A willow tunnel has lots of potential.


A place to make and play with mud.


A good range of sticks, some cut with V shapes so they can hold each other up.


A good big sunshade - I got a great Coolaroo shade sail from Ebay.


Tyres, planks of wood, logs, water containers, loads of bits and pieces to explore and investigate..... all stored where the children can self select.


An outside tap.


Have fun!

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An outside tap would be a definite. After visiting various places to look at their outdoor environment I would also say guttering, tyres, bits of wood, stones of different sizes, ropes, a digging area (mud) shaded areas, taupalin/blankets, wind chimes, painting wall, sand and water trays, balls, beanbags, bikes, scooters, building blocks.


I may think of more things later!

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Thank you all so much. I'm now brimming with ideas can't wait to get started!

All the best

Rhubarbannie :o

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