The more we engage, the better we remember. And creating fantastic memories is what a Hand Made Places playground is all about. Sensory-rich play areas are among our specialities, with creative design and attention to detail opening up a variety of new experiences for children. From spaces large to small, our team can build a playground packed with activities that children will want to revisit time and again.
What is a sensory playground?
A sensory playground is an area which focuses on stimulating the senses – what visitors see, smell, touch, hear and even taste. It can be therapeutic, educational, or interactive, encouraging young people to explore and get involved in their surroundings. At Hand Made Places, we have come up with a wide range of equipment which supports these aims. Most importantly the products inspire children to have fun along the way. With hands-on sensory play, children from different backgrounds and peer groups are brought together on a shared adventure. A sensory playground is great for generating inclusive play opportunities, while our designers can factor in access and layout to welcome children and families of all ages and abilities.
Sand and water play
Good times are always had when there is a sand pit or water table to play with. And for a tactile learner, sand and water play is a fantastic way to get to grips with the basics of science and concepts like volume. Touching and doing helps children to remember more easily, while handling different materials benefits coordination and communication. As well as sand pits and water play, Hand Made Places manufactures timber mud kitchens. Through messy play youngsters get used to different textures and consistencies, while a mud kitchen is perfect for make believe and imaginative play.
Installing outdoor musical instruments in a sensory play area is a simple but effective way to bring an environment to life. They allow children the freedom to make noise, express their emotions and understand their feelings. Musical instruments can be incorporated into arts lessons, inspiring discussion and movement and helping children to feel less inhibited. Our collection includes chimes and bells, drums, xylophones and metallophones, enabling our clients to create a trail of music for youngsters to follow.
Activity panels from Hand Made Places incorporate many sensory elements. Our mirrors give children the chance to view their reflection from a different perspective, challenging the truth of what they see. Our finger mazes test problem solving skills and nurture talents such as how to work through trials, and find new approaches to overcoming obstacles. These timber activity panels feature different surfaces and images to touch, track and view. We also provide chalk boards, dry wipe and tracing boards which encourage creativity and enhance outdoor classroom sessions.
A story corner is a brilliant way to help children engage and develop their listening and responding skills. Our playground furniture range includes the popular Storyteller’s Chair, for adults and children, and engraved stools and benches where young people can listen, enjoy and even perform their own stories, rhymes and poems. Handcrafted totems from Hand Made Places support this interaction. Based on sensory themes, they are designed to provoke the imagination and foster interpretation skills.
How does your sensory garden grow?
To deliver a full range of sensory experiences, creating a garden area is a good idea. Growing plants like herbs and scented flowers will make the play area smell amazing, while fruits and vegetables support healthy eating. Our Growing, Planting and Nature section features a wide range of planters and equipment to promote gardening for children. This includes the Minibeast HQ and Compost Cottage while our Play Sculptures complement the hands-on element of children’s gardening. A sensory play area not only includes learning activities, it also builds understanding of the world and enriches lives. To discuss your plans, get in touch with our team.