outstanding outdoor spaces

Rain or shine, shelter or shade - seeking cover in outdoor space this summer

20 August 2018

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We’ve had a scorching summer, intermingled with some epic storms and rain days. It’s hard to know what’s coming next. But not to worry… with our Outdoor Classrooms and Shelters, children of all age can carry on learning and playing outside, whatever the weather… and that can start right from EYFS!


Here are five reasons to consider designing shelter or shade into your outdoor space:

  1. Taking indoor time outside - This might seem like a bit of an obvious one but we’re always amazed how many Early Years practitioners complain about having too little space and forget that their outdoor space can be used as ‘indoor’ space. Our timber rectangular shelters with polycarbonate roofs create extra space, linked to your building, meaning that play and learning can spill out in a wonderful free-flow way. Best of all the roofs let in light, creating a bright, engaging space. For those with a bit more space, though, considering building a standalone shelter creates a totally separate ‘building’. Our Extended Octagonal Shelter can seat up to 55 children, providing a wonderful space for specially tailored sessions, parties, picnics and performances - as well as lots and lots of play! Most importantly, in all of these spaces you’ll have extra space for storage, as well as new play equipment!
  2. A space for parents - We know that the drop-off and pick-up can be a challenge for any setting… and having somewhere safe and comfortable (whether it’s hot or raining) shows you care about your parents as much as their children. It might just be a Shade Sail… or perhaps a Waterproof Parasol. We have something to fit every size of space.
  3. Helping to develop social and communication skills - We don’t need to tell you that learning about social boundaries, communication and friendship starts early - and forms valuable foundations for later life. Quiet, comfortable space outside can help with this, encouraging children to talk and play together. Several of our shelters include benches - like our wooden hexagonal shelter - but if space is a problem, we also have lots of options for benches, designed to fit into pretty much any sheltered or shaded spot.
  4. Taking lunchtime outside - We think one of the best ways to use your outdoor space is to take lunchtime outside. Come on… who doesn’t like a picnic? Our metal rectangular shelter is not only really roomy but can be installed alongside your building, available with a totally clear or multi coloured roof. It’s a wonderfully bright outdoor space to have your sandwiches in. But don’t worry, if you’re worried you can’t have a picnic in the rain… we’ve got you covered… literally. Our Hexagonal Shelter with Timber Roof and Detachable Roll-Down Panels is weatherproof and keeps your sarnies dry!
  5. Small groups and storytime - When lunchtime is over and everyone is quietening down for the afternoon, one of the most magical uses of outdoor space is to drag the cushions out under the shelter and listen to a story. But for those with a bit more space, we even do a shelter with benches built in - why not consider our Octagonal Shelter with panels and two rows of benches? It really is designed with storytime in mind!

If you’re looking for some inspiration why not have a look at this case study from Templars Infant and Nursery School in Essex. No shade in the playground was resulting in wilting children after lunchtimes. They tried using gazebos but they’d blow away in the wind! They came to us because they wanted to create a solution that would double up as a shady space for break times and an outdoor classroom for up to 30 children. The staff, pupils and parents can now all take advantage of their new multi-purpose outdoor shelter. Read more here.


Or how about Holt Pre-School in Wiltshire? Following our relocation from the village hall, they wanted to enhance their outdoor area to give the children somewhere to play in all seasons, regardless of the weather. They also wanted to provide an environment where the children could learn outdoors when the weather is nice. Read more here.


For more information about this or any other ways in which you might want to redesign your outdoor space, contact us today.



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