Carrfield Primary Academy in South Yorkshire wanted to create a playground for their foundation stage children that was not focused on equipment, but one that afforded a variety of experiential play opportunities, more suited for free and imaginative play. They decided to utilise the specialist Landscape Architect service from Playgarden to assist them in formulating their ideas into a cohesive design. Playgarden worked closely with the school, recognising what qualities the existing space had and exploiting these into the design for the new outdoor play space.
The outdoor space incorporates the best elements of natural play with extensive sand and water play. The design intertwines these two, so that the water runs into the sand, providing opportunities for children to experiment with both wet and dry materials, understand their comparative properties , sharpen their scientific knowledge and develop their building skills. A playground pump provides a water source, easily manipulated by small hands. The children work together to control the flow through channels, around natural boulders and over a pebble playscape, until the water flows through to the sand.
Playgarden added landform to the area by creating a large mound which offers several climbing opportunities including a naturalistic boulder climbing feature, sleeper steps and a climbing rope, challenging the children whilst helping them develop their motor skills. Alongside these, a wide slide nurtures the need for active, social play, accommodating several children at any one time.
The play environment sought to capture the importance, freedom and flexibility from mud play with a delightful mud digging area. This is enhanced further with the setting’s existing mud kitchen, where mud pie creations and concoctions can be served. Children are free to get messy with mud, mixing, pouring and cooking in their very own rustic mud digging pit.
To see more of Playgarden’s installations please take a look at the many case studies on our website.