Nets for Outdoor Play, Display and Learning

21 August 2011 · 4 comments

in Early Years Outdoors, Outdoor Play, Play Resources

Nets are a forgotten resource that have tremendous value in education and play settings. Here’s a few examples to show you why…

Firstly, remember the fun to be had, clambering under a cargo net as part of home-made assault courses…



The children at the school below adore the nets that are part of their Scrapstore Playpod. They make dens and homemade hammocks and traps with them in a wee woodland area…

Netting is essential for keeping birds away from fruit crops such as raspberries and blackcurrants. Below, the netting area is tall enough for children to walk into and use as a den as well… shelter and food together!

Camouflage nets are popular for making dens. However, if pulled the wrong way or if they snag on a branch, they do rip apart very quickly, so care is needed. Extra camouflage is possible if long grass, ferns or other plant material is woven into any sort of net.

Children love being able to peek out through all the holes. It’s a good cover for a birdwatching hide, owing to the colour and visibility of the people inside. At the Cowgate Centre, it is used to provide a darker place. CD ROMs also hang down. Light objects can easily be attached to these and other nets.

Nets can be used as a storage system. Here the fishing nets keep a pile of junk in one place!

At Inverallochy School, the P6 and 7 children made the fishing net below under guidance from a local fisherman and turned it into this beautiful outdoor display…

In the Czech Republic lots of schools used nets indoors to display work too. Below is work inspired by a series of weekly visits to local woods by a nursery class. As you can see, the paper is pegged to the net.

Below is a jute net that was used for display in a shell shop. I haggled with the shop keeper over a price and managed to buy it off him! The pegs below have miniature blackboards attached. I just feel these will work nicely for instructions and wee messages for children to read outside or in…

And in a little art shop in Fife, I spotted this net in a window. Again, indoors or out, interesting items can be added to nets by children. This could make a good memory net of a trip to the seaside or a visit elsewhere…

Nets come in all shapes, sizes, colours and contrasts. A worthwhile investment for learning, play or display! How do you use yours?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Debi August 21, 2011 at 20:31

We haven’t spent nearly enough time exploring with nets. I’d like to take ours to a nearby pond or other urban water source to see what we can dredge up. Lots of unnatural elements, I’m sure!

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Juliet Robertson August 21, 2011 at 20:40

Actually I forgot to mention the joys of fishing nets!

Some people put nets over ponds to prevent leaves falling in. Trouble with this measure is that animals can’t get in or out so easily. I once had to fish a dead frog out of one such pond.

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