Due to COVID-19, many schools have closed and parents have found themselves taking on the role of teachers. From textbooks to online resources and daily PE lessons with Joe Wicks, they’re doing all they can to make lessons fun, but have held their hands up and admitted, it has not been easy. And it’s not just taking its toll on the grown-ups either!

Kid’s too are starting to miss their classmates and lacking the motivation to do their schoolwork from home. So, why not make learning fun for your pupils when you get the go-ahead to reopen? There are many ways you can do this; investing in brand new school playground equipment is just one example.

Here at Setter Play, we have been designing, manufacturing, and supplying playground equipment for schools in Hertfordshire, and the surrounding areas, for more than 22 years. It’s fair to say, we know what works and what doesn’t.

We have plenty of inspiration and ideas to help you to make outdoor learning as effective as possible. That’s why, in this blog, we’re sharing our top tips on how to make playtimes more enjoyable.

  1. Make the most of your space

Sometimes, you need to take a step back and look again at the space you’re using. It may be that you could transform the small forgotten parts of the playground into a storytelling corner? Or a secret sensory garden where children can grow their own crops and flowers?

Often the best ideas come from children themselves. So, although you might not be able to ask them face-to-face right now, perhaps send an email, text message, or a letter home to their parents, asking for their thoughts and suggestions.

  1. Accommodate for all weathers

There is plenty that you can do to make sure the weather doesn’t stop play. It’s just a case of being prepared.

Consider installing canopies and shelters against the school building. Not only will these allow teachers to take lessons outside, but they will also provide a sheltered spot for outdoor reading and enable students to get a breath of fresh air – even if it’s raining.

It may seem like a no brainer, but make sure that your students have the appropriate clothing to play outdoors all year round. Ask parents if they can send their children with a waterproof coat, a pair of wellies and hat, scarf, and gloves (especially during the winter). Whilst a sun hat, sun cream and bottle of water always come in handy in the summer months.

  1. Get the parents on board

Often, children are too worried about what their parents will say if they come home with muddy knees or scuffed shoes, that they choose to sit and watch their peers, rather than getting involved. If children are to enjoy playing outside, you really need to get the backing of their parents.

A paragraph in the school newsletter about the benefits outdoor play can have on child development is a great idea. You can also ask that they send children into school dressed appropriately for the weather too.

  1. Offer a variety

Does your school playground offer something suitable for students of all ages and abilities? Are they able to play creatively and to use it how they wish?

The best playtimes are the ones where everyone is included – regardless of their ability. To make your playtimes inclusive, you need school playground equipment that serves different purposes and encourages children to interact and play together.

Our range of play equipment, here at Setter Play, is designed with the needs of your students in mind. So, whether you’re looking for challenging climbing frames, playground classics, or benches and seating, you’ve come to the right place. We can even create bespoke units and wooden playground equipment to suit the requirements of your school. So, what are you waiting for?

  1. Provide a designated quiet area

Playgrounds are supposed to be oodles of fun, of course. But children can easily get overwhelmed and worn out, so having somewhere for them to get some peace and quiet – away from the buzz of the playground – is ideal.

We supply a wide range of gazebos and pergolas – perfect for when pupils want to have a rest from playing with playground equipment. They can also be used as a social area for kids to gather with their friends, or as a space for outdoor lessons.

If you have your own ideas about making playtime fun, we’d love to hear about them! Alternatively, if you’d like a little more inspiration and advice on the best playground equipment for your pupils, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can either call us on 01462 817 538 or drop us an email at [email protected].