Product Focus

How Outdoor Learning and Wooden Playground Equipment Can Benefit Children

  • How Outdoor Learning and Wooden Playground Equipment Can Benefit Children

We at Red Monkey love natural learning. We believe that wooden playground equipment adds a new dimension to natural play. Helping children learn through this method can help them mature into intelligent and well-rounded individuals.

So, how does using wooden playground equipment at your school help with this? When natural play area designs utilise natural woodland structures, they provide children with a connection to nature.

This is because children can interact with a natural structure, and they are exposed to materials that they may not usually play on with their friends, keeping children in touch with the great outdoors.

Developing a sense of exploration and creativity is vital for children and their development. Having an area which encourages unstructured play, like a wooden playground area, will give them the perfect platform to develop this. Skills they can develop include:

  • Promoting creativity and imagination, problem-solving and higher IQ scores, and emotional and social development.
  • Engendering a sense of self and a sense of place, allowing children to recognise both their independence and interdependence.
  • Fostering cognitive, emotional, and moral development, especially in outdoor settings.
  • Improving such motor skills as balance, coordination, and agility, critical for growing bodies.

Helping children to develop gross motor skills and sociability skills, playgrounds aim to get the most out of young children when they are learning – promoting cooperation and problem-solving.

With a wooden playground design, children can experience sensory development. By interacting with natural shapes and materials means they can learn about their own natural environments while they are having fun.

Incorporating all the natural elements of play, wooden playgrounds can include sandy areas, water channels or a rocky area.

So what can your school/nursery do to encourage natural learning with your wooden playground equipment?

One method that teaching staff can use is the ‘hummingbird’ method. We like to affectionately call it ‘helicoptering’ at Red Monkey Play, looming over the child constantly.

Becoming a hummingbird means giving kids space and autonomy to take risks, staying on the periphery sipping nectar most of the time and zooming in only when necessary.

The goal should not be to eliminate risk. Children need to learn how to deal with risky circumstances or face much larger consequences as inexperienced adolescents and adults.

This means allowing children to climb wooden playground structures, not stopping them from exploring verticality and other dimensions.

Being a hummingbird allows you to be on hand to stop a disaster, but gives them a sense of independence.

Encourage kids to create their own imaginative games and activities, preferably using readily available natural elements – loose parts like water, sticks, dirt, and rocks.

Wooden playground equipment provides a great interesting structure for them to explore. This is essential for unstructured play as some children need a physical framework to facilitate their exploration.

Use Wooden Playground Equipment So Children Engage With Nature

Engaging with natural materials is something children sadly are being exposed to less and less. Too often these days, a child’s encounters with nature are dominated by a look-but-don’t-touch directive. Parents fear they must protect their kids from nature at all cost and often do far more harm than good.

This means schools now have a role to play in exposing children to natural materials and nature itself. Rather than saying “no” every time a child wants to pick up a stick, throw a rock, climb a tree, or jump into the mud, take a deep breath and cheer them on instead. Remember, clothes can be washed, and cuts heal.

Let Our Wooden Playground Equipment Help Your Children

We here at Red Monkey Play pride ourselves in crafting unique and engaging sensory playground equipment and environments for children which are vital in developing crucial skills, encouraging learning and reaching goals.

With imagination at the heart of everything, we have been capturing the attention of school children for over 20 years – whilst always maintaining the use of safe and environmentally friendly playground equipment in the process. 

All of our beautiful wooden playground equipment is made by hand in our Leicestershire workshop. We use pre-treated high-quality and low-maintenance play-grade timber from sustainable sources, backed with a 10-year guarantee. We also supply into leading educational catalogues including ESPO, Findel, TTS and YPO.

What customers say

You will find case studies on our website some featuring short videos and testimonials from many of our customers.  Here is just one example:

“We absolutely love our new Outdoor Learning Area at Dunchurch Nursery! Working with Red Monkey Play was efficient and enjoyable. We had a clear vision of what we wanted to include and achieve in the garden; an area for risky climbing, messy imaginative play, exploration of the natural world and bags of creativity!”

Natalie Herbert – Nursery Manager
Dunchurch Infant School & Nursery

Get in touch

We work with schools and nurseries across the UK to create stunning bespoke playgrounds – and we’d love to work with you too.

Discover more and explore our wide range of sensory playground equipment: get in touch today to find out how we can restore the fun into your playground.

Do you want to provide outstanding learning in the outdoors?
Download TEY’s free iPDF report here.