With leaves on the ground and the wind whipping up we’re deep in the middle of autumn and getting ready for a spooky, scary Halloween. Hands up how many of you have already carved your pumpkins and planned your costumes?
At Playforce we love any excuse to dress up, eat sweets (and healthy snacks) and indulge our imaginations as we play. Halloween is a brilliant opportunity for this and just because it’s a bit colder it doesn’t mean that all the fun has to stay indoors! In fact, Halloween is one of our favourite things to enjoy in the playground.
It’s the perfect time for imaginative play
Every good ghost story involves a village or town, with lots of different characters. Whether you’ve got our Woodland Village, with its Adventure Outpost, Junction Bridge or Play Lodge, or a Woodland Tower with slide, log ladder and Undertower Den, there are lots of opportunity for making up stories, characters and imaginative play. But don’t worry, even the smallest, simplest play area can provide opportunities for imaginative play. Why not talk to one of our play specialists to get some Halloween ideas?
It’s never too cold for storytelling
It might be a bit chilly but that doesn’t mean, with some wrapping up, that storytime can’t be taken outside. We think there’s something rather wonderful about reading a story together outdoors… especially if it’s a Halloween tale! Our Half Maze seating is amazing for this as is, of course, our very popular Storyteller Chair. And don’t forget… if you want to spend more time learning outdoors over the next few months then it might be worth talking to us about one of our Outdoor Classrooms and Shelters. You could even decorate them with Halloween pictures and banners!
Our award-winning mud kitchen
This time of year there are lots of opportunities for role play and performance around fairy stories involving witches and cooking… and there’s nothing better than our award-winning, exclusive to Playforce Upcycled Mud Kitchen for helping with this. Made from recycled timber this two-piece Mud Kitchen includes a sink and hob. The recycled timber and tap means that each Mud Kitchen is slightly different.
Hubble bubble time!
And while we’re on the subject of stories about witches… just a quick reminder about our Potion Pot Sets. It includes potion pots, potion table, bowls and wooden spoons and is perfect for creating an outdoor mud kitchen using mud, water, twigs, leaves and any other natural materials you can think of. The table is perfect for chopping up leaves, and even twigs, fruit and vegetables to add to the potion! The bowls can be used for collecting and counting ingredients to support numeracy learning outcomes. Why not try providing children with corn flour and water or shaving foam for some lovely gloopy ingredients for messy play. You could also add in different combinations of letters or sounds for literacy activities.
Inspecting beetles, spiders and creepy crawlies
Spiders and creepy crawlies are another key part of every Halloween story! Our Mini-Beast Exploration Table is the perfect way to turn this into a learning opportunity. It includes three magnifying lenses to ensure lots of children can gather around and the rotating table top, underneath the lenses, can hold six di?erent samples. Why not get children drawing their Halloween posters and pictures having viewed things first hand?
Bobbing for apples and finding hidden treasures
It’s not all about scary stories, though… who doesn’t like bobbing for apples in our Water Play Basin or digging up hidden treasure in our Ready-to-Play Hexagonal Discovery Pit, with Staging. Little children can even get some fun learning about fossils with our Fossils Infill on one of Creativity Tables. Just cover this fossil infill panel with a thin layer of sand and let the children reveal the fossil shapes underneath!
Drawing and painting
Of course one of the best things to do outdoors, about this time of year, is drawing and mark-making. Why not collect mini-beasts for analysis or conkers that have fallen? How about making pictures from twigs and leaves? We’ve a great range of Ready-to-Play drawing and mark-making equipment - you could even use one of our Freestanding Clear Drawing Windows to get children drawing each other through the window, and putting Halloween masks on each other!
We’re always keen to hear how you’re using your playgrounds. If you’re enjoying Halloween outdoors then send us your pictures and suggestions that we can share with other schools and Early Years settings, via http://facebook.com/playforceUK
And if you’re planning your playground, or looking for ways to expand what you already have, we’d love to speak to you and help. We can even give some suggestions for fundraising and places to look for funding! You can contact us here.