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Physical Play

Natural Playground Design for EYFS - Hillcrest Early Years Academy, Gainsborough

Here we have it, the first natural playground design project of 2022 is complete!

Thanks to our amazing site team, the children of Hillcrest now having the playground of dreams.

Incorporated into this scheme is every possible play category that you could imagine. Natural, sensory, messy, construction, water, imaginative, you name it - it will definitely be in this early years environment!

Physical Play

Keeping children active is extremely important, and to do so whilst outside is even better! Throughout the time designing this scheme, physical play was the priority focus.

The children can test their physical ability as they clamber to the top of the rock-climbing wall using the red and yellow hand grips to find a balance, building their upper body strength along the way.

Adaptable and customisable, an adventure trail was included in this EYFS area. The pupils at Hillcrest can create unique pathways and boost their social skills in the playground. Developing independence and physical fitness, teachers can watch as the children construct their very own structures using the adventure trail!

Not forgetting to mention the balance beam, situated next to the adventure trail. Allowing the children to learn and gain control over their bodies as they focus on keeping balanced.

Playground Safety Surfacing

The staff at Hillcrest wanted to brighten up the area using a variety of surfacing options. So together, we decided to incorporate block paving and artificial grass into the design. Newby Leisure are specialists when it comes to safety surfacing, we know how important it is to have to correct surfacing for your school playground, ensuring safety for children.

The visual appearance of this brand-new natural playground design is enhanced by the colours of the surfacing options. The artificial grass adds natural and sensory values to the development due to its realistic look and feel. Whereas the block paving consists of a mixture of colours and shapes, accomplishing a captivating play zone.

As well as choosing attractive surfacing options, Hillcrest was also in need of ground that is durable and hard-wearing; as this play space is somewhere that will be used frequently. Especially now!

NASH Shelter & Outdoor Classroom

A NASH shelter was attached to the side of the school property, creating an indoor/outdoor play space. Making outdoor play suitable, regardless of the weather, so children can gain fresh air all-year-round! What’s not to love about that?

The polycarbonate roof installed will protect the children from harmful rays, but still let in natural light! It adds great sensory value to this EYFS learning space.

Now this early year’s academy has an outdoor classroom, lesson time can be fulfilled without leaving school grounds and can be integrated into the school curriculum. It will provide pupils with a cool environment to learn during the spring and summer months.

Natural Play Tunnel

Filling this playground design with lots of fun, children will love to clamber through the natural play tunnel. Blended into the surroundings using artificial grass, this tunnel looks and feels natural.

This will definitely be a new favourite hiding spot for the toddlers and children!

Timber Play Resources

Making sure that there was something for every child to enjoy took priority when designing this project alongside the teachers. To do this, together we decided that it would be fantastic to include a variety of timber play resources to offer different categories of play.

Imaginative and creative play was considered to allow innovative minds to spring into action. To do this, we included a drawing table so the little ones could paint and create whatever their imagination decides!

Construction play is a huge part of this entertaining area. It is beneficial in early years development as it sharpens crucial skills and stimulates creativity. A builder’s yard, construction pit and bespoke sandpit became a part of this scheme, granting children the opportunity to build until their hearts content.

Messy play also plays a part in this outdoor learning environment as a messy corner kitchen is situated in the bark area; suggesting that the children can generate mess all day long. Mud pies coming your way!

We couldn’t miss out nature play, so it was decided that a mini bug hotel and nature table would be the perfect solution to fulfill this category of play.

Last but certainly not least, is water play. The H shaped water wall will get the school kids thinking about different levels of fluidity and measures. Excellent for early years advancement as they pump water through the channels and watch as it flows down to the bottom of the wall.

The above is just a handful of products that have settled into their new home at Hillcrest; the children will definitely be kept busy during play time!

Bespoke Fencing and School Storage

We understand that safeguarding is a priority for any school, so we included suitable fencing for the safety of the children at Hillcrest. 

The fencing is not only safe, but it also creates an attractive, natural backstop to the area.

When it comes to outdoor storage for schools, you simply can not get enough! What school doesn't need more storage?

In this playground, there is now a three-tier storage unit and a trike & buggy store. Ensuring that there is plenty of space to store playground equipment, and even bikes.

A tidy playground is a happy playground!

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If you're looking for a playground design similar to Hillcrest Early Years Academy, call the team today!

Tel: 01472 230022

Email: [email protected]

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