Keeping the playground safe in the winter can be a difficult task. With icy surfaces, cold outside weather, and strong winds, keeping students safe and happy in outdoor play requires special attention to playground design.
Keeping Kids Warm
Stay up and active
Active play with plenty of opportunities to run, jump, skip, and clamber on the playground encourages kids to get out into the fresh air even in the winter season. Getting moving with sports equipment or outdoor gym stations specially designed for full body movement with rowing, cycling, and tai-chi actions in a combined multigym circuit.
Even a simple running track can help keep away the cold and get the blood pumping. Make your daily mile track more exciting with playground markings giving instructions at certain intervals to change up their running with a skipping section, hopping stretch, or a freestyle area for kids to have fun with silly walks while still getting exercise.
Wearing winter clothing is an obvious way to keep kids healthy and happy when playing. Gloves, hats, and scarves are essential for break times over the next few months, and ensuring kids are able to access these and reminded to wrap up warm is a crucial job for the school.
Outdoor storage or pegs installed in your outdoor classroom are a great way to ensure kids are able to keep track of their cold-weather accessories. Another good idea is to also provide extra warm clothing and blankets in outdoor storage areas for kids to keep warm when reading or listening to a story in the outdoor reading area.
Weatherproof Gazebos and Outdoor Classrooms
Children can take a break from the cold outside with an enclosed gazebo or playground shelter. With the School Playground Company, you can customise the size, materials, and type of school shelter to suit your needs. Whether you need a storage space for toys with space to play, or an outdoor classroom space complete with inbuilt seating and whiteboard in fill side panelling.
An outdoor classroom shouldn’t feel just like any other classroom that blocks out the great outdoors. Even fully enclosed outdoor shelter spaces let plenty of sunlight in with windows and coloured translucent or clear Perspex canopies and provide access and views of the outside space for kids to enjoy fresh air and nature. You can even replace the flooring of your outdoor classroom with artificial grass to give the feel of outdoor play while the weatherproof canopies provide protection from rain and snow (if we get any this year!)
Issues with Playground Surfacing
Cold weather and frost can make soil more solid, which can lead to more harm if falls occur, especially from higher up play equipment. An extra layer of protection with safety flooring products like rubber grassmats that give your students the safety they need to play freely without worry. Safety matting for outdoor play areas is an effective way to protect kids all year round, but in Winter this becomes all more apparent, so why not invest in the best protection you can?
Heavily used areas of playground fields should be given extra care to protect kids as worn areas of grass face even greater frost effects in the Winter. Artificial grass can also be placed in these areas to create a safe play carpet that provides additional safety and reduces the chance of injuries from falls.
Frosty, slippery surfaces are traditionally cured by salting pathways, but this is only a short-term solution. Improve the traction and safety of your surfaces with our playground flooring options such as rubberised mulch and Conipave playground pathway materials.
These surfaces are a great way to provide extra grip due to their rubber shred or rubber chippings for play area safety. These materials provide texture perfect for walking and running, but also are fully accessible to wheelchairs and buggies. Rubber materials also provide a great level of shock absorption so if falls do occur, your students are kept safe.
There are also plenty of options for fun patterns and vibrant colours to add a spark of personality to your playground. Brighten up your outdoor space to push back the winter gloom and keep kids playing.
Prepare your School Playground for Winter Weather with the School Playground Company
If any of these issues is affecting your school this winter, get in touch with our playground experts. We can provide you with the expertise and services you need to keep your students safe and happy on your playground.
Get in touch by booking an appointment or getting a quick quote from our contact page.