Outdoor learning is one of the most fun and engaging things you can do with children. They benefit so much from the fresh air, from letting off a bit of steam and from learning all about the many joys that nature has to offer. When planning an outdoor learning area, it’s easy to focus on the toys, equipment and shelter in the area. But don’t forget about the seating! At Landscapes 4 Learning we are often asked what types of seating work best in an outdoor play environment. Read on to find out…
A ring circle to congregate together
Outdoor learning is largely about allowing kids more freedom to move about than they are used to. However, there will still be times when you need to bring them together, perhaps to discuss a new activity or to give them a safety briefing. Congregating in a seated area is an important function of an outdoor learning space, so it’s a good idea to give this some thought when planning your area.
Outdoor ring circles are a brilliant way to bring a group together to discuss and learn. They also offer you the opportunity to build a small fire in the middle for toasting marshmallows and warming hot chocolate. This is a great place for children to rest, sit quietly by the fire and listen to a story.
Picnic benches for communal eating
When children get hungry, they get cranky! Having plenty of seating in your outdoor area means that when it’s time to eat you can bring the kids together in a seated area for food. That means they won’t be sitting on the damp ground to eat their lunch, and keeping their clothes dry for the afternoon session.
A picnic bench is a great idea as it provides a table and seating in one go. Bear in mind though that if you have disabled children to accommodate, you’ll need to provide a picnic bench solution for them too. This one offers a space for a wheelchair to pull up. You could also consider an outdoor gazebo, which provides shelter as well as seating. This can be used for mealtimes and lesson times, so it serves plenty of different purposes.
A comfy chair for the storyteller!
Children may be happy sitting on logs or benches, but for the adults it’s good to remember that they might require a little more comfort! Adult seating is an important consideration – check out this amazing teacher’s storytelling chair for an example of how to keep the adults comfortable too. Providing adult seating that is bigger and comfier will ensure all your grown-up helpers feel looked after, too.
If you’re not sure what type of seating is best for your outdoor learning area, then at Landscapes 4 Learning we’re here to help! We’ll discuss your particular requirements with you and advise you on the best outdoor seating solution for you. Get in touch today!