Design Ideas: Outdoor Learning Areas

Design Ideas: Outdoor Learning Areas

When it comes to designing an outdoor area first thing you need to think about is what you want from the outdoor area and what activities you plan to hold within it. Always keep in the back of your mind the reason you decided to update your outdoor space. Remember that it will have an impact on your pupils when they return to the classroom after lunch, and it will have a huge impact on behaviours, engagement, progress and attainment.

First off, I would recommend researching outdoor areas that other schools have created and maybe visiting nearby schools explaining that you are thinking of revamping your outdoor learning space and would like ideas to know what works well and what doesn’t. This helps you to spend your money much more wisely and to ensure you and your pupils get the most from your new outdoor teaching space.

Then once you have your ideas together, the next step would be to plan what goes where and to plan costs to ensure you have enough funds to cover the revamp. You can download our free funding guide where you can apply for grants or visit our fundraising pages for ideas of how to raise funds.

Below are a few ideas of what you could incorporate into your outside space to motivate and engage children and to teach cooperative play within your school grounds.

Mud Kitchensseptember-mud-kitchens-for-schools-ablecanopies
Word on the block is that Mud Kitchens are really popular (to be fair. I wouldn’t mind having a mud kitchen in my back garden and I meant for me not the kids!). What child doesn’t love getting dirty, playing mum and dad making scrumptious mud pies for their favourite teacher or best friend? This one win’s hands down, just remember to supply aprons…

Giant Looms
These are not something you hear about every day yet I think they’re a great idea and will gets children minds working whilst being creative and focusing. It also gives you beautiful pieces of artwork that you can either display within the school, your classroom or the children can take them home for their parents.

Guttering sounds boring but if you have plain wall that needs brightening up on a budget then a combination of old guttering pipes and paint is your answer. You can create beautiful rainwater guttering walls where children can watch the rain fall from gutter to gutter and they can play with the water too or watch it fall into a water butt and use it to water the plants. You can paint the pipes and paint the wall – getting creative painting clouds and the sunshine or for the more artistic, pretty scenes.

Get Parents and Grandparents Involved

Round up all green fingered parents and grandparents to get them involved and maintain any planted garden areas, this is also a nice way to engage the community too and give parents and grandparents an opportunity to socialise and make additional friends whilst doing something they enjoy that also benefits their children/grandchildren.

Have these ideas inspired you? What have you included in your outdoor area that you’d love to recommend to others.

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Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures
at schools, nurseries and educational settings to enable year-round
Free Flow Outdoor Play and Outdoor Learning.
For more information please contact us

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