Planning a new playground for school or daycare?

Creating a top-notch schoolyard or daycare playground is essential for children’s development. Let’s face it, children spend a lot of time at daycare, school, and the playground, and it’s where they can let loose, play together, discover, and grow. The schoolyard is where children learn valuable life skills, like conflict resolution and resilience. As such, it plays a crucial role in shaping children’s social, emotional, educational, and physical development.

Bringing educational learning environments outdoors

Children who don’t get enough exercise at a young age may struggle with being overweight and having underdeveloped motor skills. This puts them at a higher risk of getting chronic health issues. Socially, these children may have trouble keeping up with their peers during playtime and be left out of sports or games.

When children are in a learning environment that is both challenging and supportive, they benefit in multiple ways. Their social, emotional, cognitive, and motor skills all improve. To achieve this, school playground equipment should focus on play values rather than just play functions.

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Optimal learning environment

  1. Safety first: Make sure the playground is safe for children and follows proper safety standards. 
  2. Accessibility for all: Make sure the entire outdoor area is easily accessible for all learners. This promotes equality and inclusion.  
  3. Adaptability is key: Make sure the outdoor space can be used flexibly and is adaptable to different activities.
  4. Increase curiosity: Include interesting elements such as gardens, natural playground equipment like large rocks, or other fun features. 
  5. Comfortable and inviting: Provide chairs, tables, and shade so pupils can feel comfortable between active sessions.   

Lappset offers a variety of ready-made concepts for inspiring outdoor classrooms that can be tailored to specific needs and areas. The Lappset Memo Outdoor Classroom concept takes things to the next level by incorporating interactive learning equipment. 

Aurora schoolyard in Espoo, Finland

Aurora schoolyard in Espoo, Finland

Apple Red Finno school playground in Australia

Apple Red Finno school playground in Australia

Motoric tracks and activity towers

Motoric tracks and activity towers provide endless play (=pleasurable exercise!), encouraging them to do lap after lap. The skill to cross the assumed centre line of the body is a prerequisite for a child to learn how to read and write. This allows a child to create handedness and the ability to perform everyday activities such as cutting with scissors. That’s why climbing is the most effective activity during school breaks.

But motoric tracks aren’t just for kids! With their cool and edgy designs, they’re street credible enough to appeal to teenagers as well. The benefits of climbing structures go way beyond just having fun – they can also help prepare children for facing challenges in real life. By testing their abilities and skills on a climbing structure, they naturally learn how to avoid potential hazards and danger. Plus, it's a great way to build confidence and stay safe!

Parkour for schoolyards

Parkour is proving to be very successful in education. The exercise intensity and the movement variation in a parkour area are unprecedentedly high. Unlike conventional sports, parkour is not competitive, rather the challenge lies in improving one’s abilities. This is a strength, as every child moves at their level and pushes their limits.

The teacher avoids telling children how to perform a parkour exercise, but rather allows them to discover it themselves. It has been scientifically proven that children develop at lightning speed if there is no standard but if they can explore and push their limits themselves. It is the teacher’s responsibility to create a challenging environment for self-discovery and self-improvement.

Cloxx parkour schoolyard in Breda, The Netherlands

Cloxx parkour schoolyard in Breda, The Netherlands

Flora Grasshopper, spring bouncer

Nature play in the schoolyard

A schoolyard that embraces nature offers children a sense of challenge and adventure. Our nature playground is expertly designed to suit every environment and enhances the natural surroundings of any schoolyard. For example, our Flora playground equipment is based on natural organic shapes, such as the roofing sections that resemble tree leaves. The climbing holds resemble tree branches highlighting the random nature of a forest.

Wood is an environmentally friendly and renewable natural resource used in our playground and sports equipment. No matter what the conditions, our northern pine always endures. From frostbite to sun scorch and everything in between – this sturdy yet soft material ensures a pleasant experience regardless of the weather. Not only is it resilient, but with its eco-friendly carbon footprint, you can rest assured that these products contribute to the preservation of the environment for generations to come!

Only the best parts of the tree are used in the play equipment. We can also deliver all our wooden playground equipment and fitness equipment non-painted.

Inclusion offers possibilities for everyone

Incorporating inclusive practices in school playgrounds contributes to achieving a more equitable and cooperative learning environment for all pupils. By breaking down arbitrary divisions between different learners, inclusive practices can help create a sense of belonging and community in the school playground and beyond.

Everyone gets to benefit from inclusiveness because of the unique perspectives that each pupil brings. Through this approach, they also become part of diverse groups, leading to enriched conversations while building tolerance and understanding throughout the school community. Occasionally, minor modifications to a ‘normal’ school playground are sufficient to make an inclusive space and one that can even serve as an outdoor classroom. Lappset’s inclusive design takes into account everyone with an impairment. Our approach is based on the belief that all children deserve the chance to play and learn together on school breaks and during lessons, without being segregated into separate groups.

Read more about our inclusive solutions here

Children during music therapy at Tyltylcenter De Witte Vogel ‘The White Bird’ – The Hague, The Netherlands

Children during music therapy at Tyltylcenter De Witte Vogel ‘The White Bird’ – The Hague, The Netherlands

Memo play pillars offer endless fun while learning new things!

Memo play pillars offer endless fun while learning new things!

Education and Interactive Play

Exercise promotes new brain cell growth, allowing children to grasp and retain information more effectively. These developments can be observed in both traditional and interactive play equipment.

However, there are a few advantages to interactive devices:

  • Fun interactive games that remain challenging
  • Various difficulty levels for all grades
  • Fun, exercise, and learning in one playset
  • Inclusive for all ages and abilities!

Lappset offers a variety of ready-made concepts for inspiring outdoor classrooms that can be tailored to specific needs and areas. The Lappset Memo Outdoor Classroom concept takes things to the next level by incorporating interactive learning equipment.  

Read more about the Lappset Outdoor Classroom

Sports and games

Promoting a healthy lifestyle is gaining traction in schools. As a result, more attention is now being paid to sports and exercise. Outdoor spaces can quickly fill up with children competing for their turn on the playground equipment or the sports field. This is why it's important to maximise every square inch of outdoor space and ensure everyone enjoys outdoor sports, no matter how small the area is.

Sporty additions such as multi-functional or interactive sports arenas provide even more activity in the schoolyard. Lappset’s sports arenas have been developed in line with current trends. Scarce outdoor space, the importance of a healthy lifestyle, meeting in the schoolyard, and playing together can all be incorporated into multi-functional sports arenas. When adding nets, baskets, or goals (also interactive) to arenas, other sports besides soccer can be played on the field, such as handball, hockey, tennis, or volleyball. This efficient utilisation of outdoor space ensures everyone gets ample outdoor playtime and a chance to participate in outdoor sports.

The Toro Interactive sports arena is a colourful multipurpose playground

The Toro Interactive sports arena is a colourful multipurpose playground

Colourful outdoor fitness park in Dobele, Latvia

Colourful outdoor fitness park in Dobele, Latvia

Other outdoor exercise equipment for schoolyards

Other Lappset outdoor sports equipment ranges are also suitable for schoolyards. Wouldn't it be great to offer outdoor gym equipment for the children in school and the wider community? It would be a refreshing way for people of all ages, sizes and fitness levels to work out together in the outdoor gym after school hours.

  • Signe Siklander is a learning researcher Associate Professor, and Docent at the University of Oulu, Finland
    Playing and learning go hand in hand

    "Playing promotes learning by stimulating the entire body and leaving a memory of the learning experience in the nervous system. The physical activity involved in playing boosts memory and teaches creative thinking."

    - Signe Siklander

Girls playing in Flora

The Importance of Physical Play for a Child’s Development

Are you looking to create engaging play spaces that foster the development of children?

At Lappset, we understand the importance of physical play in a child's development and have the expertise to help you design the perfect play environment. Download our study and discover how Lappset can help you create a transformative play environment that will inspire children to learn, grow, and thrive.

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