outstanding outdoor spaces

Designing a tree-friendly playground

03 December 2015


Trees have so many benefits including social, communal, economic and environmental. They provide the very air we breathe, make us feel calmer, improve the landscape and improve the value of property.

At Playforce we believe trees are the way forward to a happier, healthier school. Designing a tree friendly playground is a fantastic starting point - so we’re here to give you a few tips!

Put Yourself in the Children’s Shoes

Outdoor play is, after all, for the children of the school - so you’ll have to put yourself in their shoes and think like a child (which is pretty fun!). Get the children to write their ideas down for the new playground and see if you can incorporate their ideas with the educational advantages of outdoor play. This balance will ensure the children have fun as well as learn and develop new skills. A great idea would be to get the children to draw their dream playground - expect things like large green areas, tunnels, climbing frames, bridges and even vegetable gardens! You may be surprised at what they come up with.

Different Trees for Different Areas

When designing a tree friendly playground you’ll need to take into account the different tree species required for various areas. For example, a Quiet Zone would benefit from ferns for a gentle ambient atmosphere, whereas an adventure area would need a jungley look with exotic plants and trees such as bamboo and mini palm trees.

Keep it Seasonal and Sensory

Seasonal flowers and trees are perfect for introducing children to nature. They can learn about how trees change throughout the seasons and why. Trees attract all sorts of wildlife throughout the year - which is another amazing perk of seasonal trees and flowers. Of course, you can mix this in with some scented evergreen - studies have shown that the smell of certain trees can evoke positivity and motivation in children! Get the children involved in planting some of the trees if you can. Not only is it fun, it’s a brilliant learning tool.  

Layering and Versatility

Trees and plants don’t have to be planted directly into the ground. You can use planters to root down young saplings. The beauty of planters is you can place them just about anywhere in your playground - making for a much more versatile area. Why not opt for some climber plants and potted plants, we as the traditional grounded trees? The diverse range of plants and flowers will have the children asking questions and learning all sorts about nature and wildlife!

Ready to prioritise outdoor education? Call us today on 01225 792660.

Have you seen our amazing website yet? Take a look at www.playforce.co.uk today!

Don’t forget to download our outdoor play brochure.

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