We’ve been promised that the weather is about to warm up… just in time for everyone to return from the Easter holidays… and that means it’s even more perfect than ever to take lessons outside, enjoy some fresh air and outdoor learning.
You might already have seen our fabulous new nature-inspired products:
Squirrel feeder - This wooden feeder can be mounted on a tree or post, not only providing food for squirrels but a great way for your children to watch them climb, jump and nibble away!
Insect study centre - A smaller version of our popular Mini-Beast Habitat, this is ideal for mounting on a tree, wall or post, so you can see how mini-beasts live. You could even set the children challenges to draw what they can see as well as learning to identify the creepy crawlies!
Petal Bird Feeder - A simple, pretty bird feeder to put in flower beds and pathways. The perfect way to attract wild birds (and probably the odd squirrel too) so your children can watch them feed and learn how to identify different types.
And don’t forget our existing range of planters as well as our popular Water World Discovery Pond.
But what about our top products for taking lessons and group activities outside? We think every school and setting could benefit from an outdoor classroom as an extension of indoor space. And they’re not only great for lessons - they’re a fantastic space for lunchtime or smaller groups of children seeking out quieter areas during break times.
Here are our top outdoor shelters and classrooms:
3mW x 6mL Timber Rectangular Shelter Polycarbonate Roof - This customisable timber shelter (available in other sizes as well) includes waterproof roof blocks to ensure virtually all UV radiation while keeping good light transmission.
Hexagonal Shelter with Timber Roof and 5x 1mH Panels & 5x Benches - For a more enclosed feel this outdoor classroom can be built with a selection of panels and wooden benches.
Octagonal Shelter with Timber Roof and 7x 1mH Panels, 7x Benches & 7x Inner Benches - This 5m diameter sanded timber shelter seats 35 children, ensuring that it can be used as an outdoor classroom as well as providing shelter for break times and after school.
Square Shelter with Timber Roof - An alternative to the hexagonal and octagonal shelters, our square shelters provide spaces for outdoor learning and to shelter from the elements.
And don’t worry… if space is limited we’ve got two fantastic ideas suitable for smaller outdoor areas:
Hang-out Hut - The circular formation of the seating in this timber shelter encourages face-to-face interaction, as well as being ideal for storytelling and other group activities.
2m Timber Play Cabin - This large timber play cabin is a great addition to any naturally-designed play space, providing a break-out area as well as shelter for small groups.
If you’re looking for inspiration on how to use an outdoor classroom in your playground, here are some of our favourite case studies:
All Saints Primary School, Warwickshire - The new playground at All Saints Primary School is a space where the staff and children can enjoy safe outdoor learning and educational play. “Our Outdoor Classroom has provided the pupils with a space amongst nature where they can learn and also makes the perfect story-telling spot.”
Bedenham Primary School, Gosport - Bedenham Primary School, in Gosport, wanted to be able to take learning and play outdoors. They contacted Playforce with a request for an outdoor classroom. “We are seeing a difference in how the children are using the outdoor space and how keen they are to take previously ‘indoors’ activities outside. For example it’s become a popular place to eat lunch and, within the tables and seats a whole class can eat together in there.”
Christ Church CE Primary School, Derbyshire - The children at Christ Church CE Primary School are enjoying playing and learning outdoors whatever the weather. “Ofsted had identified that a development of the outdoor space was something that we needed to do. Adding outdoor cushions to the Tipi has made it into a magical space for group work, story telling, teaching and a shelter away from the weather.”