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Outdoor Play Area Plan

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On Friday i was asked to have a plan for an outdoor area- some under a large canopy and running alongside the school.- done for Monday. Funding is now available and I am delighted but short on time so helpful suggestions from you clever people would be welcome. I will draw up a rough plan as it can always be changed.

I though, soft-surface with some markings, perhaps roadways and hopscotch, number-snail or similar. large sand pit (with cover) so that children can actually go in it. Planting area with either troughs or raised beds, seating area, climbing frame with slide, ropes etc. large log, tyres set in a pattern of some sort- storage for wheeled toys and other outdoor type equipment, water tray and a raised sand tray, outside tap. Storage for wellies and wet-weather gear.

Storage for themed play boxes, wall with whiteboard type surface for mark-making and also a chalk board. Notice board for observations, signs etc.

What else and what do pople find don't go well near each other, or do go well together?


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Lucky you! Hope you can get this sorted.

I had a picnic style table with attached bench on either side in my outdoor area which had a road way top but this wasnt really well used by the children. I suspect although I didnt investiagte that it was actually the wrong height for them and that it was not easy to interact from a seated position. (I didnt choose it by the way!)


I was in desperate need of shade in my outdoor area and shelter, we had neither, and some seating and rugs or some such for sitting/playing on.


If youve got a walk-in sand pit with retaining walls to ensure that sand does not get thrown too far, and a digging area, do you also need a raised sand tray?


Ball hoops and targets to throw balls and bean bags at could be nice.


Safety surfacing is quite expensive Jacquie and if it is marked as well I think its worse! Although they seem like good ideas and look very attractive to the adult, I actually think you can probably manage without! Do try and have safety surfacing rather than bark under any climbing apparatus as bark needs a certain amount of care in itself to maintain the correct thickness. My son actually broke his wrist very badly falling off a swing which had bark under it in a playground. the bark and been scuffed up by previous users and I had not realised until I picked him out of the hole!


Will get back to you if I think of anything else!

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Sensory areas are nice too

- different sufaces e.g slate, gravel, bark, pebbles, glass beads

- plants that are noisy in the wind, scented plants, plants to taste

- running water?

- wind chimes in different materials

- natural structures - willow tent


I'm sure there are loads more ideas on the web.

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A few more ideas:

A play house for role play


Bird tables and/or feeders

Height chart




A frames


Have fun!! :D

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