30 August 2011

Take learning outdoors with playground equipment for schools

Vertical planters are great for playgrounds
with limited space
The choice of playground equipment for schools is endless – gone are the days when children had to rely on their imagination, a skipping rope and hopskotch graphics for play – now there’s a whole range of equipment developed specifically with schools in mind.

From musical instruments, to adventure trails, and sand, water and eco play – there’s countless configurations of playground equipment for schools to take the curriculum outside.


For pupils that like to clamber and crawl over challenging play items, there’s a selection of climbing structures available to challenge and excite them – the Jungle Climbers: Little Monkeys range is perfect for the school playground and their abstract appearance encourages freeflow play as children interpret the best way to cross the structures.


Encourage creative pupils to utilise playground equipment for schools too, with the installation of play stages, den poles and roleplay items – use these products in outdoor lessons for interactive learning experiences. Reading aloud comes alive when acted out on stage, while learning about road safety is much more fun with traffic lights and road traffic signs!


For the livelier pupils looking to expel that excess energy, the all-time favourite has to be the adventure trail – with more than 50 items available; pupils can even get involved and help to design their very own trail which can help to develop co-ordination, balance, agility and strength.  

There are so many products to choose from, whether for inner city locations with limited amounts of space, or countryside schools with acres, there is a range of playground equipment for schools of any size. And with specialist funding advice available, the only limit is your imagination!

19 August 2011

Adventurous play with the aerial runway

Parallel aerial runways at Wallace Park, Lisburn

The aerial runway consistently tops children’s wishlists for new playground equipment –and it’s not hard to see why!
An exhilarating thrill ride in your local playground, the aerial runway is a scaled-down version of the daring zip wires seen at some of the top outdoor leisure facilities and adventure parks across the country.  It offers a new dynamic moving element to any playground and is never without a queue of adventurous children waiting for their turn!
When we completed our largest site to date, at Lisburn’s Wallace Park last year, the aerial runway was such a popular choice that we installed two runways, side by side, so eager children could race against their friends.
At Playdale, we have two aerial runways available; one in laminated timber and another in stainless steel – the latter was launched especially to deal with the demand for this popular product and offers customers who prefer our city range an urban alternative to our traditional timber runway.  Our runways are also available in a range of 10 lengths, so those with limited space can take advantage of the shorter lengths, while larger sites looking for the ultimate thrill can install the 40m runway.
Along with the obvious fun factor, the aerial runway offers some great benefits to children too – teaching them about weight and gravity (as they learn the best way to launch themselves from the platform, and how to maintain speed), while also offering an element of risk-taking for younger children (we recommend aerial runways primarily for the 6-12 years age group).
Get in touch to find out where your nearest aerial runway is!

16 August 2011

Childhood obesity? Forgotten traditional play? Who wants to live to 100?!

As new research shows that a girl born this year has a one-in-three chance of reaching their 100th birthday (and boys a one-in-four chance), one has to question what lies ahead.

Figures, based on predictions by the Office for National Statistics, suggest that in 2066 there will be at least half a million people aged over 100 living in the UK – but what of their state of health and mind, if persistent worries over childhood obesity are set to continue? With an aging population reliant upon technology and unfamiliar with exercise and the great outdoors – 2066 looks a rather bleak place to be, unless we act now.

Children living in today’s society seem reluctant to choose traditional methods of play, favouring games consoles over playgrounds and childhood games. Social interaction has been replaced by digital technologies, with children communicating via a computer screen or mobile device – there is no longer any need to leave the house!

Traditional values need to be rediscovered – even as a twenty-something, the developments I have witnessed in my life already are hugely significant, and while I am not denying the positive effects they will have on a younger generation – it saddens me that children today already have such a different existence to that of myself and my peers at their age.

Children do need to be protected (to a certain extent), and encouraged to utilise the technological marvels available to them – but they also need time to be children too and just…play. And by playing I mean getting outdoors, meeting other children and picking their selves back up when they fall down.

Surely I’m not alone in my thoughts?

4 August 2011

Going for gold with i.play!

Olympic gold medallist Mark Hunter was on hand to try out our newest i.play installation, at a playground opening in Dorney, Buckinghamshire last weekend.

i.play was installed alongside a selection of dynamic moving equipment; forming the final phase of the expansive play area, which already featured an aerial runway, jungle climber, tower unit and adventure trail, amongst other playground equipment.

The playground, built over two years, was partly Playbuilder-funded and sits just a few hundred metres from Dorney Lakes where the Olympic Rowing Regatta will take place next year. After having so much fun on the i.play, we're hoping Mark will drop by with his crewmates for some pre-Olympic training!

(photograph courtesy of Scott A. McNealy www.noboundaryphotography.co.uk )