April 3, 2023

Our Primary School Playground Guide: Equipment, Funding & More

Learning shouldn't start and stop in the classroom – and there's plenty of opportunity for interactive, educational play experiences in the primary school playground too.

Providing an outdoor primary school playground for your students is so important. Not just for their educational development but their physical and mental well-being too - more now than ever.

According to The People and Nature Survey for England (2021) carried out by Natural England, 44% of children 'reported wanting more time outdoors at school' since the COVID lockdown, with six in ten children having spent less time outdoors since the start of coronavirus. By giving our children access to outdoor play time at school, we can help set them up for a healthier and happier future.

Making sure your school playgrounds are top-quality and engaging might seem like quite the task, especially if you're starting completely from scratch.

What equipment are you supposed to include? Where can you buy it? Who's going to install it? Can the school afford it?

As the UK's leading supplier of commercial playground equipment, we're here to help you out. Our teams have worked on countless primary school projects over the years, so we know exactly what it takes to build and design play equipment that your students will be excited to use.

In this guide, we'll take you through our recommended primary school play equipment, the grant schemes available to support and cover the costs, and how our simple end-to-end process works to make sure you get the very best service and value.

What Should You Include? Our Top 5 Primary School Playground Equipment

As we said, we're experts when it comes to children's playgrounds - we've worked on and completed lots of school playground development projects over the years, giving access thousands of children access to the outdoor playtime they need.

Our design team works hard to create innovative playground structures that promote all of the important elements of play – from physical activity and social interaction to imaginative exploration and problem-solving.

But what should you include? Here are our top 5 pieces of equipment for children's outdoor play equipment for primary schools:

'Tarantula' Climbing Structure

Primary School Playground Equipment

The Tarantula is a truly exciting climbing structure that will have children using their imagination and problem-solving skills in the playground. It's an impressive piece of play equipment that works well as a central focus in any school playground.

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'Slackmaster Combination 2' Course

Wooden Slackmaster

The Slackmaster Combination 2 is a fantastic square-shaped parkour course where children must balance their way around it. It's ideal for encouraging teamwork, problem-solving and cognitive development while having lots of fun!

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'Maxi Hexagon Climbing Castle'

Wooden Playground Equipment

Climbing, swinging, relaxing... whatever you're looking for, our Maxi Hexagon Climbing Castle has it all. It's an excellent piece of playground equipment to get your students using all parts of their physical and mental skills, and – most importantly – having fun whilst doing it!

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'Wobble Disk' Adventure Bridge

Wobble Disk Adventure Bridge

The Wobble Disk is great for promoting interaction and communication between your students – they can work together to reach the other side of the adventure bridge, all while coordinating and balancing skills!

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'Pirate Tower' Climbing Structure

Pirate Tower

If you're looking for a truly fun way to encourage your students to take some time out of the classroom and get active, the Pirate Tower is a fantastic option.

Shaped like the mast of a pirate boat, this structure allows students to climb and explore in an imaginative way – perfect for encouraging their problem-solving skills.

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Funding & Grants Available for Playground Equipment for Schools

One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of updating or installing new school playground equipment is funding. On many occasions, we've heard schools tell us that they just don't have the budget to cover the costs, resulting in students missing out on essential outdoor playtime.

But there's a solution to this.

There are tons of funding and grant schemes available that can supply schools with the finances they need to get started on the right track. Some of the biggest are:

  • Big Lottery Awards for All

  • ASDA Foundation

  • Tesco Community Grants


The amount of funding your school could be granted depends on the project itself, so it's important you research the specific criteria to ensure your project is eligible. For example, the ASDA Foundation has grants available from £5,000 to £10,000, whereas Tesco Bags of Help grants range from £1,000 and £4,000 – so you can see how important it is to budget your project and select the right scheme accordingly.

This list is by no means exhaustive; there are lots more funding providers out there who may be able to help with your primary school playground project.

If you're planning on getting your school playground project completed during the six-week summer holidays, we recommend applying for funding as early as possible to make sure you have everything sorted in time.

Download Funding PDF

The Importance of Building an Outdoor Primary School Playground

Your student's education shouldn't be restricted to the four walls of their classroom, particularly during the ages of four to ten. At this stage in their life, children need to be exposed to a whole range of learning experiences – both inside and outside of the classroom – to give them a complete education.

Where classrooms can provide intellectual and academic stimulation, outdoor play equipment can focus on something much more essential; physical and mental well-being.

Physical activity is a key part of children's development, helping them to build strong bones and muscles, maintain a healthy weight as well as develop coordination and confidence. Further to that, it gives children the opportunity to engage and communicate with their peers, leading to improved social skills and relationship building.

From the same survey carried out by Natural England, 'eight in ten children interviewed agreed that being in nature made them very happy', and with the right play equipment, you can help children to access that feeling on a regular basis.

Why Choose Huck Play for your School Playground Equipment

We're the UK's leading supplier of commercial children's playground equipment, so if there's anyone you can trust to provide your school with top-quality, educational play equipment – it's us.

We offer complete end-to-end service. In other words, we'll design, manufacture and install your whole primary school playground, and we'll even carry out regular maintenance and service checks to make sure everything is safe and in good condition (because safety is paramount).

How our Process Works

Our teams will work closely with you to really understand what it is you want to get out of your playground, and how we can help you achieve it. We'll consider your budget, the amount of space available, and every other important detail to ensure we get it right the first time.

Take a look at our full range of school playground equipment and pick out the pieces you want included. We'll provide you with a free, no-obligation quote so you know exactly what it's going to cost before you commit.

Or, if you already have something in mind, we can actually work on creating completely bespoke and unique playground equipment to fit your school's needs. Whether you're after a themed play area or an innovative, imaginative structure – we can help create it.

Once the designing, planning and manufacturing stages are complete, we'll install everything on-site, making sure it's up to our high standards and completed within a reasonable time frame.

If you want to find out more about how Huck Play can help you with your primary school playground, give us a call today or send us an email. We look forward to getting started on your project!



Do primary schools need a playground?

Yes! We really encourage every primary school to provide an outdoor play area for their children. An outdoor playground is essential for a child's development, providing physical, mental and social benefits that classrooms just can't match.

How do you plan a school playground?

The most important factor to consider is the size of the space you're working with. You don't want to overcrowd your playground, but you also don't want to have it looking too sparse either. Our team can work with you to get the most out of your playground, taking into consideration budget, the types of play equipment you want to include and other important factors.

What do I need to include in my primary school playground?

We recommend having one or two larger structures take centre stage, such as our Tarantula or Pirate Tower climbing structure. Incorporating smaller, individual pieces of equipment will help to break up the space and encourage more interaction between your students.

Where do I find school playground equipment?

At Huck Play, we design and manufacture our innovative playground equipment right here in the UK. We provide a full range of products and services, from planning to installation and maintenance, so you don't have to worry about a thing. Take a look at our complete range of school playground equipment.