Saturday 20th March was the first day of spring… did you know? We spent all weekend outdoors and loved every moment of the sunshine. And with the clocks changing on 28th March the longer days will soon be here. While everyone might be tempted to reflect on the past year, as we also see the first anniversary of Lockdown #1, we’re excited to see the bulbs coming up, hear the birds singing (and watch some of them building their nests) and look forward to the summer and spending more time outdoors.
But with the weather still a little chilly, from time to time, it can be hard to think too hard about outdoor play. Added to which, we know that a lot of schools are still restricted in the ways children can use outdoor space, as well as whether they can access playground equipment.
That’s why we thought we’d share some case studies to get you thinking about your outdoor grounds, ways to get them ready for the summer months and also things to consider if you’re planning to develop them and improve your playground space and equipment. In short, we wanted to show you the perfect spring playground!
First up is GEMS Didcot Primary Academy in Oxfordshire
. They wanted to help their children learn to be resilient and creative, and to learn that challenge is a vital part of the learning process. In particular they wanted the children to have hands-on experiences designed to foster their natural curiosity into a life-long love of learning. Improving their outdoor space seemed like the perfect way to do it!
If you’re thinking about developing your outdoor space - perhaps thinking of ways to encourage outdoor learning and play while also adhering to the current restrictions and social distancing, how about considering some of the following:
Outdoor classrooms and shelters
- at this time of year, as the weather is getting warmer, having an outdoor space that you can use for lessons (or even lunchtimes) is a wonderful idea.
Den’s huts, and houses
- although you might think that dens and huts are impossible to use with the current restrictions in place, many of our dens, huts and houses are designed in such a way that they support social distancing, while maintaining fun and learning!
Sand and Water
- who doesn’t love a bit of sand and water play when the sun is out? It’s the perfect way to learn all sorts of things and is easy to disinfect and keep clean, too.
Discovery and Grow
- of course the big change that’s coming is that plants are waking up and the keen gardeners are starting to plant out vegetables. Many children have been working on this at home, over the lockdown, so why not continue the learning and get them growing their own lunches?!
If you’d like to talk to one of our school grounds consultants about your outdoor space and how you can get it ready for spring and summer, you can contact us today, here