Outdoor furniture and tips for designing outdoor areas for the oldest students
When designing outdoor areas for the oldest classes in primary schools, young people in secondary schools and after-school clubs, we focus on their need to have and create communities. Young people want a nice place to sit together – both in larger groups and in smaller communities. There should also be some cosy green areas where they can retreat and be themselves.
Exercise and a healthy lifestyle also matter to young people. So, fitness bars, parkour and ball nets are also good elements that can provide exercise during break times. With a little creativity, outdoor furniture can have several functions.
We see a school’s outdoor area as both a sanctuary and a learning space for use in teaching. Find inspiration in Elverdal's outdoor furniture.
Great places to hang out or take a break
Seating, room dividers, plant boxes, creative elements and functions for training and movement. These are all elements you can incorporate in the design of your school's outdoor areas for young people.
It is also worth thinking about planting greenery that can act as room dividers and can shield without sealing off – e.g. pergolas, green fences with slats, round seating spots under trees that provide shade, and shrubs that can create cosy nooks.
Outdoor furniture for creating communities and professional and creative activities
With platforms, benches, seating steps, seating or stage platforms, you can create varied seating environments where young people can hang out during breaks and after school. The seating areas can also be used in lessons and serve as outdoor learning environments for joint classroom teaching and group work.
If the school has many creative or social activities, wooden platforms, step seating and small stages can all serve to bring the activities outside.
- Think room formation - create flexible rooms
- Good seating opportunities for learning environments outside
- Light and interactive elements - e.g. LED lights can be installed in e.g. benches, seating furniture,
pillars and trampolines, to provide light in the outdoor areas during the darker months. The light is activated by movement. Or a sound system with Bluetooth receiver can be installed
- Green environments - plant boxes, pergolas, hedges, trees that provide shade
- Outdoor furniture that creates hang-out places - hammocks, flat triangular nets, wooden benches, HangOut benches, tables and seating
- Canopy - is well over the seating area, providing shielding from the sun so that students can sit
outside and work on their laptops
- Tools for spontaneous play or ball games
Pupils in school move the least during the school day - according to the University of Southern Denmark study 'Movement in school day 2020'
Use your body
The outdoor areas for the oldest students must signal something other than play.
The oldest year groups are the groups of students who, according to studies, get the least movement during the school day. Since they don't really play anymore but want to go out and move during break times, it's more ball games, table tennis, fitness gear, parkour and balance tracks that will appeal to them.
Ideas for equipment that appeals to young people and how many can be included
- The pylon carousel, where there can be more than one person at a time and which can really gain momentum. The pylon carousel can also be used to hang out and sit up in without spinning
- Large bird's nest swing
- Fitness bars or rods can be used for strength training and sitting on
- Parkour racks in different sizes. Low parkour elements, which are used for jumps or seats
- Targets for throwing balls up on
- Basketball net
- Ball net
- PingOut table tennis tables
- Thermoplastics - cool motifs or words
Workshop to put words and images to needs and desires
We would be delighted to set up a workshop with you to engage the students in how the outdoor areas should be decorated, what equipment to include, etc. The workshop can also be a recurring activity, to help the school continue working with outdoor areas