William Hogarth School
A natural play environment for children to explore, including Den Making, a Mud Kitchen and Water Play!
About the Project
The teachers at William Hogarth School were seeking to transform an area which had been unused for many years and needed to be regenerated into a more inviting and interactive space.
We conceptualised a new vision for the space, and after presenting our design to the school, they enthusiastically chose to proceed with our plan. Leveraging the presence of mature trees in the area, the school had expressed a clear preference for maintaining a natural ambiance. Given the fortunate existence of green space on their central London site, our design aimed to seamlessly integrate with the surroundings while enhancing the overall appeal of the EYFS area.
We began by totally clearing the area and addressed some unevenness and divots in the landscape and reinstated the grass by laying new turf throughout the space. We cultivated a vast and captivating wooded area with loose bark surfacing, incorporating landscape log retention and Picket Fencing . This transformation led to the establishment of dedicated natural play spaces, including a Messy Play Area, featuring essential elements such as our Mud Kitchen, Mud Store, Scales, Sandpit, Chalk Board, and Mushroom Table with Seats. This designated space serves as a catalyst for children’s curiosity and encourages child-led learning experiences. The Mud Kitchen promotes collaborative efforts, enhancing language skills as children articulate their diverse processes and recipes. Engaging with various kitchen tools and weighing scales aids in the development of fine motor skills and basic math abilities. The chalkboard provides an expressive outlet for children, fostering both creativity and handwriting skills. The Mushroom Table and Seats, besides being a socialisation hub, offer a platform for displaying the culinary creations conjured up in the kitchen.
We introduced a Den Making Posts & Kit equipped with fixings, camouflage nets, and tarps to facilitate the construction of dens amid the trees. This not only provides an area for imaginative play but also serves as a space for team-building exercises and the nurturing of self-esteem. Our comprehensive Den Making Kits include Natural Manilla Rope, Camouflaged Net, and a Tarpaulin sheet, empowering children to unleash their creativity and hone their problem-solving skills while constructing unique den structures.
Furthermore, we incorporated large digging pits within the play area, fostering messy play and creating opportunities for planting. These activities enable children to develop essential fine motor skills, deepen their understanding of the world around them, and instill a sense of responsibility as they engage in hands-on exploration and cultivation.
We introduced a Sandpit featuring play Sand Infill, a Play Platform, a Bucket and Rope Pulley system, and a Tyre sand Store. This addition aims to enhance fine motor skills and provide children with an exploratory experience to learn more about natural elements. Additionally, a Construction Zone was incorporated, complete with Loose Shingle Infill, an Activity Table with a Belfast Sink, a Builder’s Yard material store, sandboxes with a backboard, and a Bucket and Rope Pulley System and Themed Signage. The inclusion of a Construction Zone fosters role-playing opportunities, encouraging creativity and critical thinking among the children.
Transforming the space into a captivating water play haven involved the installation of our modular Water Play Unit with playgrade sleeper retention and infilling with Scottish cobbles. This engaging structure encompasses platforms with troughs and tables strategically arranged at different heights, providing a dynamic experience. As the water gracefully cascades down, children not only enjoy the sensory aspect but also gain a deeper understanding of water dynamics. The experience is further enriched with a variety of accessories, empowering children to explore and manipulate the flowing water in endless ways.
We introduced our sought-after EYFS low-level Galloway Clamber Stack, creating an environment that encourages natural play for children to navigate, enhancing their balance, strength, and coordination. The Clamber Stack seamlessly blends into any natural play setting, boasting a free-form, nondescript design that allows children’s imaginations to soar freely—transforming it into a ship one day and a mountain to conquer the next.
- Timber picket fence around the perimeter to create a safe compound.
- Treated log retention to create clear play zones but keep an natural feel.
- Sand Play Area with play sand infill, decking platforms and rope pulley system.
- Messy Play Area with bark infill, mud kitchen, mud store, post mounted chalkboard and mushroom table & chairs.
- Digging Boxes
- Den making area with camouflage net canopy strung between the existing trees with mushroom seats and cobble ‘fire pit’.
- Construction zone with shingle infill, activity table with Belfast sink, builders yard material store and sand stores with rope pulley system.
- Water Play area with sleeper retention, Scottish cobble infill and connected water trays and troughs.
- Galloway Clamber Stack installed for physical play.
- New turf laid throughout.
Blackshaw Primary School
“Both playgrounds look so different! The children love it and are having a great time exploring their new equipment”
Handcross Park School
“It has now had two terms of busy use and still every day it makes me smile – and the children too. It is such a magical space with so much opportunity”
The Peterborough School
“The design, equipment and overall service was of a very high standard.”
Batley Grammar School
“I can’t tell you how happy we are with the work and how the plans have come to fruition, thank you to you and all the team at Playground Imagineering.”
The Cathedral School
“Great value and a quick turnaround, the playground was transformed in just 3 days.”
Beaumont Primary School
“It was the best design and most competitively priced quotation… they really brought our ideas to life!”
Hindley Junior and Infant School
“The design and finished installation was exactly what we had in mind…the children love it!”
Holy Trinity Primary School
“We love the bridge over the tunnel and more importantly, so do the children… it’s been a great success.”
Urmston Infant School
“Playground Imagineering’s bespoke climbing structure was the perfect solution to utilise an awkward space.”
Rupert House School
“Playground Imagineering’s initial design was excellent and they were happy to make the few tweaks we asked for to ensure we got exactly what we wanted. Not only did they deliver the design they also did it on time and to a very high standard. I have no hesitation in recommending their services.”
Avondale Primary School
“It was difficult to envisage what could be achieved with our long, narrow outdoor area. Playground Imagineering’s choice of equipment and well thought out design has completely transformed transformed the playground and utilised the space perfectly.”
St John’s Primary School
“We have used Playground Imagineering for a number of projects and they have always exceeded our expectations.”
St. Thomas’s Primary School
“A professional approach was taken throughout and our pupils are delighted with the new equipment.”
St. Michael’s Primary School
“The new play areas have greatly enhanced our provision and provided our pupils with many hours of enjoyable learning and development opportunities. For much of the work, the children’s ideas have also been carefully incorporated by the Playground Imagineering team into the equipment and areas they have provided. The attention to detail has been greatly valued.”
St. Hugh of Lincoln Primary School
“After obtaining three quotes for our playground project, we decided to go with Playground Imagineering for the following reasons: I was very impressed with their presentation and proposal as they planned the project with our needs in mind and I felt I was receiving a bespoke service rather than an off the peg solution. As a result the product matches our needs and that of the site perfectly. They were always professional, responsive and when changes were requested, they were dealt with smoothly and without question. I would have no hesitation in recommending Playground Imagineering.”