Schools and nurseries love to get involved in all of the big holidays! And the children get really excited about their favourite times of year too.
Often around the holidays teachers already make plans to get crafty and create cards for parents, decorations for the classroom and other brilliant interactive activities.
However, what about play?
Playgrounds can and should be customised at different times of year to allow children to experience their favourite holiday.
So in this blog we’re going to look at how you can enhance your existing Hand Made Places play apparatus, to suit some different exciting holidays… Starting with Summer Carnival Season.
Summer Carnival Themed Playgrounds.
We often think of the holidays as being traditional, things like Valentines or Easter, but they aren’t the only holiday seasons!
Summer is the ultimate holiday season, and many schools and nurseries mark this great time with a summer fate or a carnival.
And here at Hand Made Places we want to give you some handy tips and ideas on how you can create a holiday themed playground which celebrates summer!
Build Your Own Beach!
No Summer Holiday themed playground would be complete without its own beach.
And you can create one with just a Hand Made Places sandpit and a little imagination.
At Hand Made Places we design, manufacture and install a wide range of sandpits. These sandpits are so much fun for children of all ages.
Children can craft small deck chairs from lollipop sticks and cardboard. Or cut rectangular “towels” from felt. You can even used small “Cocktail Umbrellas” to add to your imaginary beach for some fun and inventive imagination play.
Name that … Bear?
A classic summer festival game is ‘Guess the name of the teddy’ but we have come up with a Hand Made Places twist!
Using your pre-existing playground equipment why don’t you guess the name of one of your animal totems, or play sculptures.
This allows you and the children to get really creative.
You can get children to come up with a name for their ‘Fox‘ or ‘Horse‘ and vote on their favourite.
If each year group gets a different animal it could be a really fun way to get the whole school involved.
But just to make it even more interesting, why not get the parents to guess at your yearly summer fate!
Just note that teachers may need to get a little creative with the prize for this one!
Get Creative in the Garden.
Nothing says summer like lovely floral displays.
So why not get planting in the spring in order to have full beautiful planters when it comes to the summer season.
Children will love getting their hands dirty. Playing and planting is lots of fun for children of all ages, and as children get older its a great opportunity for learning too!
Not only is gardening a great opportunity for learning and development, it is also great for promoting positive social, and emotional relationships.
Gardening is a calming activity which when done with a peer can help to encourage conversation – thus improving overall well-being.
Craft Your Own Bunting.
No summer playground, or summer fate would be complete without bunting!
And instead of buying some, crafting your own is a great art project which allows children to showcase their skills in different ways.
The best part is, bunting is so easy to make!
All you need is different coloured card, and some string.
Simply cut out triangles, assemble along a string in a pattern of your choosing, and staple the card down!
It really is as easy as that!
Why not give each year group a different set of colours, this way you can have a wide variety of different colours, combinations and patterns.
Meaning that your summer themed playground really will be the talk of the town!
Easter Themed Playgrounds.
Easter often marks the beginning of spring, and is the perfect holiday to encourage outdoor play.
Children will love getting involved in outdoor Easter activities.
So here at Hand Made Places we have detailed some fun Easter ideas using our favourite products.
Take a look below for all of our brilliant Easter themed playground activities:
Easter ‘Egg’ Hunt:
Easter Egg hunts have become a tradition amongst children at this time of year. The Easter Bunny will hide eggs around the child’s house or garden and they will have to look and find them.
Why not re-create this at school? However, to ensure we’re sticking to healthy eating guidelines we have come up with some crafty ideas on how you can use an ‘egg’ substitute: Pebbles.
Smooth pebbles can be painted and decorated using a wide array of materials to make them look like the shiny Easter Eggs that you can find in the shops. BUT… with none of the sugar!
And they can have fun helping to decorate them too!
Children can look for these decorated pebbles, as a type of scavenger hunt. Pupils will then get rewarded depending on the amount of ‘Eggs’ they collect.
Easter Bonnet Parade:
Easter is all about getting crafty and an Easter Bonnet Parade is a staple for any school or nursery.
Children will enjoy crafting their bonnets then parading them in from of their peers.
Pupils can parade their creations using one of our ‘Star Stages’ to ensure that when it’s their turn, the spotlight truly is on them!
Animal Face Totem – Rabbit.
On top of all of these crafty creations pupils can use their imagination to play alongside the Easter bunny himself.
At Hand Made Places we have the Rabbit Animal Face totem which can be placed in any school garden to help embody that Easter feeling.
Plant flowers, and plenty of carrots around the Rabbit face to create your very own Easter garden.
You can even use the Easter Bunny himself to hide some of your ‘Eggs’ in your Easter Egg hunt.
There are plenty of opportunities to create Easter games amongst our fun and interactive play apparatus.
These pieces of outdoor playground equipment are sold year round! Therefore, even when this holiday is over, they can still be used for hours of imaginative and active play!
Halloween Themed Playgrounds.
Halloween is the perfect opportunity for children to have fun whilst learning.
There are loads of outdoor activities for them to do and keep active at the same time. Here are a few of our favourite spooky Halloween activities for you to do in the playground…
A frightful twist on an old classic, ‘musical statues’.
Dress up in your scariest Halloween costume and then dance away to Halloween classics such as Thriller, Ghostbusters or The Monster Mash… but when the music stops…. FREEZE in your scariest monster position!
Children can play this game anywhere and at any time, but why not enhance their experience by having some of the best dancers come up on to the ‘Monster Stage’ – our Super Star Stage decorated with some spooky crafts!
Menacing Monster Hunt
Hide bloodcurdling monsters around the playground for the children to find! And whoever finds them all first wins a prize.
For this one, you might need to get a little crafty! Create your very own monsters out of toilet paper tubes, card, paint and glue!
You can make Frankenstein’s Monster or a Mummy like we have. Or why not try creating some vampires, pumpkins, or ghosts too! The possibilities are truly endless!
Download our cheat sheet for information on how to make these fabulous fiends.
Decorate your storytelling area with creepy creatures, wicked webs, vile vampires and wart ridden witches.
Then all gather together and read spooky tales such as: The Witches by Roald Dahl, Miss Smith and the Haunted Library By Michael Garland or The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald.
This will make the perfect spooky playground activity.
Children will love dressing up like ghostly pirates and scary skeletons whilst playing on board their very own deserted Ghost Ship.
And for an extra element of fun, why not create your very own treasure map and get children to hunt for where Petrifying Pirate Pete hid his loot before his untimely death!
Children will love following a map to find a treat hidden within their very own pirate play area.
These pieces of outdoor playground equipment are sold year round so even when this spooky season is over they can still be used for hours of imaginative and active play!
Christmas Themed Playgrounds.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, especially for children.
So why don’t you incorporate this great time of year into your outdoor play area!
You can create your very own Lapland themed space for children to play in, and even host a visit from Santa Claus!
You can use the playground equipment which we sell year round to create this small winter wonderland at your nursery or children’s centre.
It’s guaranteed to bring festive joy to any playground!
Santa’s Magic Train.
Children love to play on thisLog Trainall year round. However at Christmas time you can make this train much more magical!
A little imagination goes a long way and children can pretend that this is the magical train which transports gifts around Santa’s workshop.
Children can get a little crafty and make small gifts from empty shoe boxes to put in the train. Children can decorate their gifts any way they want with coloured card, glitter, feathers. Your only limit is your own imagination.
You can even put an actual small gift in their box at the end of term.
Something really exciting for younger pupils.
On top of this you could also use these fantastically made gifts to enhance play in the Vanilla Workshop too.
Children can pull their crafty presents up on the lift and post them through the small hatch, to be boarded upon the log train! A great and fun idea for children of any age!
Santa’s Magic Reindeer.
No winter wonderland would be complete without its very own reindeer.
Though Hand Made Places don’t have a specific reindeer play sculpture we do have a Fallow Stag which can look very similar. Why not attach a red nose to your play sculpture to make your very own Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer!
The children at your establishment will love to play with and interact with him! They can even pretend to feed him his very favourite food! Carrots!
Our Darell Gazebo is used year round for messy play and outdoor learning, however as we approach the Christmas season it can also be used as your main stage for many different Christmas activities.
As well as being used as your main stage for carolling, or Christmas concerts this great space can be used to play host to Santa Claus himself.
By putting in a chair and decorating it with some tinsel and fairy lights you can create a small Santa’s grotto, something that all the children will enjoy!
And once Santa has flown back to the North Pole to get ready for the big day, pupils can use the empty grotto as a space to play lots of Christmas themed games!
Games include : ‘Musical Snowmen’ – Just like the traditional game ‘Musical Statues’ but with Christmas music.
…or ‘Reindeer, Reindeer, RUDLOPH’ – Another Christmassy take on a classic. Just like ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’ this game gets children up and active chasing Rudolph back to his space in the circle.
Christmas is a great time for everyone especially children so why not enhance their play experience this festive season with Hand Made Places and a selection of our outdoor playground equipment.
These pieces of outdoor playground equipment are sold year round so even when the festive period is over they can still be used for hours of imaginative and active play!
Can you think of any other holidays which would make a great theme for a playground or play activity? Why not tweet us using the social sharing icons below with a suggestion.