Children learn and develop quicker in their early years than any other time in their lives, so it is crucial that they are given an environment that allows them to grow and flourish. Children of all ages learn through exploration, experimentation, listening and play. Maria Montessori, the Italian physician and educator, said “Play is the Work of the Child”, which has strongly influenced UK education and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. The EYFS curriculum sets standards for the learning and development during this period, which is mostly learnt through games and play.
School playground equipment tends to be both educational and designed for physical play, making playgrounds very exciting places indeed. There is a huge variety of EYFS equipment available for schools, providing many play and learning opportunities. By choosing the most appropriate outdoor playground equipment, children have access to resources that cater for all areas of the EYFS framework:
Creating an outdoor playground complete with EFYS equipment creates an exciting environment, where children can build their communication and language skills. This can be done through storytelling, role play activities and performance helping them to develop their own narratives, and show awareness of the needs of others around them.
As children begin to develop their literacy skills and begin to read, their imaginations run wild with stories of princesses, dragons, pirates, jungle adventures and more. By taking learning outdoors and away from the classroom, it can further open their minds.
Creating a dedicated outdoor storytelling area with mushroom seating and story-telling chairs is not just a great place to read stories, but to talk about them too, increasing active participation and improving listening skills.
A recent survey from Sports England has highlighted that 31.3% of children and young people do less than an average of 30 minutes exercise per day. The UK Government recommends embedding physical activity into the school day by having active playgrounds and installing permanent, long-lasting sports and fitness equipment. EYFS equipment in the form of Adventure Trails is one of the best ways to promote children’s physical development.
Primary schools across the country have access to funding to make improvements to the quality of their physical education (PE), physical activity and sport. Find out more about the PE & Sports Premium funding by clicking here.
Outdoor playground equipment, whether used in lessons or playtime, actively encourages personal, social, and emotional development in children. Creating positive relationships with other children and understanding behaviour in groups are important skills to learn. The playground is an excellent place to put these skills into practice. Children practice cooperative behaviours in the playground, learning how to share and take turns.
Sharing and interacting socially in the playground can be difficult for some children. Providing a quiet area of the playground where children can go and relax and reduce stress can make them feel more comfortable during play. Providing an area with seating and educational play panels such as the Mirror Play Panel or White Board Panel will allow children to play in a quiet and safe space away from the main playground during break time.
While being outside, children can discover and get actively involved in curriculum-based education without even knowing they are learning. Musical play equipment not only encourages children to express themselves creatively, it may help to improve maths skills. Learning how to play a musical instrument has many positive benefits for children including improved problem-solving skills, the ability to apply logic and identify patterns in music.
There is no better way to understand how the world works than engaging with its raw materials. Environmental play equipment not only looks good, but it also provides the perfect opportunity for to explain the ‘why’ questions. This EYFS equipment allows children to learn about the relationship between the sun, water, dark and plant growth as well as the lifecycle of plants. Composters, worm villas, eco inspection tables and Mud Kitchens allow children to get their hands dirty and experiment with the consistency, texture and the anatomy of insects, developing their awareness of the world around them, and at the same time having fun!
Expressive art and design allows children to develop in many different ways; real life skills such as experimentation, social skills, empathy, cultural understanding, self-expression, self-awareness, creativity and imagination. For example, role play EYFS equipment such as outdoor performance stages offer the opportunity for children to build on experiences of the real world, transforming them into something new and imaginative.
Our themed panels for educational playgrounds are the perfect thing to inspire children’s imaginations and to get them engaging with each other. Designed to encourage creativity and roleplay, play panels are perfect for an educational setting as they are designed to work alongside the school curriculum.
Having a mixture of EYFS outdoor equipment is a great way to promote outdoor learning. For even more inspiration for your outdoor area why not request a copy of our virtual ‘Playground Inspiration for Schools and Nurseries’ catalogue today!
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