Play Resources

These are the blog posts about various resources which I’ve found the children have enjoyed using when playing freely outside.

Lots of Loose Parts

It’s all about stuff!

A scrap and natural play project

It’s all about stuff! Part 2

The ins and outs of this creative lunch time play project

All I want for my reusable Christmas is

Lots of materials that can be reused outside

Come and Play

Recycling household items and unwanted clothes into toys


Very versatile resource. Lots of ideas and advice in this post

Willow Arches & Panels

I didn’t tell them to swing or rock! Great for dens too.

12 tough resources for outdoor play and learning

A run down of resources which are tough, can be left outside and withstand high amounts of use.

Ropes, Swings and Stringy Things

Big Rope Play

Ways of using a discarded climbing rope in pre-school

Reflections on Rope

Rope work ideas with children of all ages

Amazing Mazes

Give children a challenge and see where they take it.

Labyrinths, Spirals and Ropes

Creating labyrinths from rope and chalk.

A Rope Trail for Everyone

A sensory reflective experience for adults as well as children


For outdoor play, display and learning!


a resource that helps create happiness!

Making a Zip Wire

An ongoing trial and error experiment

The Magic of Masking Tape

A big play experience with the little sticky stuff.

More Masking Tape

The story behind one day in nursery


The Moveable Bench

Seats that facilitate a child’s ownership of a place

Love your load

Portable outdoor seating

How to make a felt outdoor seat

The ultimate environmentally friendly solution

Making a felt seat – a better approach

Combining ziplock bag felting into the process seems to work nicely

Portable outdoor seats

Some tried and tested examples

Eco-Guilt and Outdoor Seats

What would you do to re-use these seats?

Make your own outdoor seat

A simple homework activity

Peg loom seats

A simple way of making portable mats for sitting on, using heritage breeds of wool


Blue Tarp

How do you use yours?

Blue Tarp on a Windy Day

And this is what happened…

Transparent Tarp

A wonderful resource – a must for any pre-school or school

More about Transparent Tarp

The variety of uses continues

A Hammock Made out of a Tarp

A lovely challenge for one group of children


A Portable Water Wall

When older children made one for the nursery and P1 classes

Water Play with Blue Tarp and Tyres

Big water experience for all ages

Water Play with a Tarp

Ditch the parachute and balls for this challenging alternative

Guttering in Pre-school

An essential resource for water and other big play experiences

Skitch Those Water Walls!

Annotating photos of design ideas

Bamboo Guttering

Versatile, tactile, lightweight and suitable for all ages

The Tripod Made with Guttering

a quick way to make a den, hang things, etc

The Sensori Water Station

Take Tom Sensori Bedard’s work and making it even bigger and better outside

The Biggest Splash

Enjoy inventing water games now that summer has arrived

Other Fun Resources

Space blankets

Scrunchy crunchy man-made material

Outdoor Play with Bread Crates

A versatile resource in any outdoor space

The Forbidden Fun of Compost Bins

Repurposing a garden object

The Black Suitcase

Essential for storage and play

The Big Plastic Pipe

A big, tough piece of kit designed for years of play

The Mystery Tubes

The open-endedness of a flexible resource

How to make a kite

A simple sled kite from any old bag

The Necessity of a White Sheet

An essential item when working with natural materials outside

Magic whiteboards

A quick fix wall resource, not for the dog!


A portable storage solution

Thinking outside the box

The wonders of Wrap-n-mats

Milk Crates

Lots of “crate” ideas for outdoor play!

General Commentary

10 ideas if you can’t leave resources outside

Don’t let this stop outdoor play!

Little Essential Items

10 useful bits and pieces for outdoor play

Living in a box

Children being boxed up and in instead of being allowed out

A controversial week

A child in a tree

Love Outdoor Play Campaign

A sticker campaign launched by the Geography Collective

Creating Ongoing Dialogue with Children

Thanks to a bear called ‘Fred the Ted’

The Gift of Play

Is your school making this an unconditional right for your children?

Indoor or Wet Breaks

A dangerous idea?

This place still rocks

A childhood memory re-lived

Let’s go fly a kite

Kite flying with my son

An Unofficial Nature Play Space

The real play park around a play park

The Squelch Factor: Mud

In celebration of International Mud Day

Outdoor sandpits – ROAR!

Ways over overcoming issues around sand play outside

A tyre sandpit for playgrounds

A budget approach to creating any size of a sandpit that works in schools where digging up the tarmac is not possible

Who Says We Don’t Play!

Play workers and the love of loose parts

Fatal attraction and My latest crush is ASDA

Buying resources at sale times from supermarkets

Urban Tracking

Heads down and walk through the town to see the history of activity

Magnifying Play

The fun of magnifiers

Free Play Adventures at Broxburn OOSC

Great fun in the woods! A fantastic set up for children

A Play Strategy for Scotland

Is it good enough for our kids?

The most recent Play Resources blog posts are below

More about Transparent Tarp

14 March 2012
Transparent Tarp

My love affair with transparent tarp continues.

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Wild about this space

10 March 2012

Play spaces of exploration, discovery and challenge.

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Amazing Mazes

29 February 2012

Mazes from ropes, hoops, chalk trails and more…

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Alphabet Mirror Letters

18 February 2012
Alphabet Mirrors

What happens with the alphabet mirrors outdoors?

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Transparent Tarp

8 February 2012
Transparent Tarp

Tarps outdoors are a wonderful play and learning resource.

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How to Make a Fractal Dragon with Sticks

4 February 2012
Fractal Dragon

Now that the Chinese New Year has arrived, 2012 is officially the Year of the Dragon.

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Space blankets

25 January 2012
Space Blanket

Space blankets offer more than preventing hypothermia for explorers!

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It’s all about Stuff! Part 2

22 December 2011
Play Resources

And it continues…

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Living in a Box

17 December 2011
The Star

I have a dubious theory about all the box metaphors used in eduworld and beyond.

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It’s all about Stuff!

17 December 2011
Play Resources

Loose parts, natural materials – play resources IS all about stuff!

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Fatal Attraction

14 December 2011
The Star

End of season bargains to be snapped up.

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My latest crush is ASDA

14 December 2011
The Star

The outdoor bargains continue galore.

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All I want for a natural Christmas is…

14 December 2011

What would you wish for a natural Christmas?

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Reflections on Ropes

11 December 2011

Ropes are a useful play resource in so many ways.

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All I want for my reusable Christmas is…

8 December 2011
Boat and Child

Reusing resources for play makes for a free Christmas!

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Scrapstore PlayPods and Free Play Systems

4 December 2011
Scrapstore Playpod

Loose parts for play resources…and somewhere to keep them!

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A Portable Water Wall

16 October 2011
Portable Water Wall

Portable water walls which children could create themselves.

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The tripod made from guttering

13 October 2011
Guttering Tripod

I love how ideas can be cross-pollinated, used, changed, adapted and turned through play into all sorts of explorations.

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Water play with blue tarp and tyres

8 October 2011
Water Play

The perfect combination for interesting play.

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Outdoor learning, Eco-Guilt and Portable Seats

2 October 2011
Eco Seat

What would you do to re-use these seats?

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Nets for Outdoor Play, Display and Learning

21 August 2011

Nets are a forgotten resource that have tremendous value in education and play settings.

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The Place for Stones: Cowgate U5’s Centre

11 August 2011
Cowgate Stones

Beautiful stones in every nook and cranny!

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Using local materials and features in your playspace

31 July 2011
Local Materials

Bring local traditions and culture into the school grounds.

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Make your own outdoor seats

4 July 2011
Outdoor Seating

Outdoor seats are a necessity in most Scottish schools.

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Come and Play!

1 July 2011

Low cost, often made from recycled materials – toys!

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A rope trail for everyone

15 June 2011
Rope Trails

An old climbing rope is a wonderful resource and here it was used to good effect.

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Portable seats for outdoor learning

13 June 2011
Portable Seats

One helpful resource is comfy seating outside.

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The mystery tubes

20 April 2011
Mystery Tubes

An interesting play resource with multiple uses.

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More Masking Tape

16 March 2011
More Masking Tape

Masking tape makes me realise why learning through play is what it’s really all about.

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The Magic of Masking Tape

12 March 2011
Masking Tape

My love affair with masking tape is an exception to this self-imposed rule.

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Big Rope Play

8 March 2011
Big Rope Play

The use of a big old climbing rope was an experiment for me.

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Blue tarp on a windy day

5 March 2011
Windy Blue Tarp

Blue tarps and wind makes for an interesting play session.

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Guttering in Pre-school

2 March 2011
Guttering in Pre-School

Guttering seems to aid natural cooperation.

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Blue tarp

20 February 2011
Blue Tarp Ideas

If you have a blue tarp, how do you use yours?

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Sticks in School

2 February 2011
Sticks in School

Sticks are not a commonly used resource in most schools.

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Who Says Adults Don’t Play

30 January 2011
Adults Play

These adults know how to have fun!

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Snow stencils…and blood!

21 December 2010
Snow Stencils

Here’s what happened during my lunch break…

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Sea Glass

2 December 2010
Sea Glass

Sea glass is broken glass that has been tumbled about by the water, waves and sand.

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Reading Books Outdoors

26 September 2010
Reading Books Outdoors

Children will happily explore books outside.

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Guess what’s attached to this fence

20 June 2010
Purple Tubes

Look at these purple tubes. Anyone have any idea what their original purpose was?

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