Different Types Of School Playground Equipment

School playground equipment plays a vital role in the educational, social, emotional and physical development of our children. Play is an important source of learning particularly for children in the early years. The Early Years Foundation Stage incorporates different types of play into the curriculum with a particular emphasis on outdoor play.

Outdoor play gives children the opportunity to benefit from the fresh air and nature while learning about the world around them. Playing outside is less restricted than the classroom enabling children to move their bodies while they are learning. Being outside allows children to be messier, noisier and more excitable than in the classroom which makes their learning experience much more fun.

Playground equipment plays two roles in a school. The first is as a learning tool for teachers who plan activities relating to the school playground equipment. Secondly, all children are able to play on the equipment during playtimes giving them a break from the classroom. There are many opportunities for different types of play that are either structured or free play.

Educational school playground equipment

School playground equipment tends to be both educational and for physical play making them very exciting places indeed. There is a huge variety of equipment available for schools which provides many play and learning opportunities. Below is a range of school playground ideas:

Play panels for schools

Play panels provide a great opportunity for teachers to plan role-play activities relating to the curriculum. There are sixteen different panels available which you install either individually or in modules. Their compact size means that they fit into playgrounds without taking up too much space.

Panels include; fire engine combo, interactive panels, campervan combo, mirror panels, clock panels, weather station, bubble, shop counter, whiteboard, games panel and drawing window.

Physical play

Children need to be able to access playground equipment such as trim trails for schools to develop physically. Physical activity during playtime helps children to relax and settle to learn. Stretching, climbing and balancing improve body strength, spatial awareness and writing.

In order for children to write well, they need to have a strong back, arms and honed fine motor skills.

School playground equipment helps to provide a holistic approach to educating young children. Young children need to have their minds and bodies programmed with learning and thinking strategies so that they can become efficient learners.

Environmental play

There is no better way to learn how to look after plants than growing them yourself. Environmental play equipment not only looks good it provides the perfect opportunity for children to plant and cultivate vegetables and flowers. There is also a composter, worm villa, eco inspection table and bird feeders for children to look at.

Children learn about the relationship between the sun, water, dark and plant growth as well as the lifecycle of plants. They also learn about the contribution earthworms make to the garden and how compost helps new plants to grow.


Children love being the centre of attention and enjoy performing in front of their friends. Captivating an audience and remaining calm under pressure helps to build up confidence and develop speaking and listening skills. The main stage and square stage provide the perfect setting for impromptu performances and improvisation.

Playing a role in a play gives children the opportunity to become someone else and see the world from a different perspective. Shy children find their voice and divas in the making learn to share the limelight.

Mud kitchens

Mud kitchens are probably the most versatile and popular pieces of school playground equipment ever. The play and learning possibilities are endless. Teachers are able to incorporate maths, science and literacy lessons into play sessions. Children develop social, emotional, cognitive and imaginative skills while thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Sand & water play

No early years classroom is complete without a sand and water play area. Children learn how to create imaginary worlds using the sand which in turn develops communication and storytelling skills. They find can count how many buckets of sand it takes to fill a larger container and how much water is required to build perfect sand castles. Most importantly they learn how to share equipment and how to take it in turns to use it.

Water play involves measuring and understanding that some containers can hold more water than others. They can learn about floating and sinking as well as which shape makes the best boat.

Musical play

Being able to hear sounds is extremely important as it helps children to speak and read more effectively. Early years children are actively encouraged to use their voices so that they can learn all of the sounds necessary to talk. This also helps them to grasp phonics quickly and become prolific readers.

Musical school playground equipment gives children the opportunity to be musically creative in the great outdoors. They can learn to play the instruments together to either produce a musical representation of nature or as a backing track for a song they have written. Learning can continue during playtimes because children will be able to access them easily.

If you would like to find out more about our range of school playground equipment contact us and we would be happy to offer advice.

Related articles

The Ultimate Guide to Environmental Play
Wednesday, 24th April 2024

Environmental play Through environmental play, children can learn and grow by engaging with the elements of nature, fostering creativity, curiosity, and sensory experiences. This hands-on experience with the world around them stimulates cognitive development, physical activity, emotional well-being, and social skills, providing a holistic approach to childhood development that’s both fun and educational. What is […]

The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Classrooms
Wednesday, 20th March 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, schools are constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance the outdoor learning experience for students. One approach gaining popularity is the concept of taking lessons outdoors and the outdoor classrooms. What is an outdoor classroom? An outdoor classroom provides primary schools and nurseries with practical, covered spaces for outdoor learning, […]

New Woodland Eco Towers: Where Nature Meets Play
Thursday, 18th January 2024

 Explore the enchanting realm of our Woodland Eco Towers range, where the thrill of multi-level adventures meets the joy of diverse climbing and sliding experiences. Immerse yourself in the perfect fusion of sustainability and natural play with a selection of twelve units. Designed for ages 5-12, children of all ages can experience a magical […]