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Nursery outdoor play equipment your EYFS children will love!

Nursery outdoor play equipment your EYFS children will love!

Whether you’re looking to refresh sections of your EYFS outdoor provision or want a total playground transformation, choosing the best EYFS-suitable outdoor play equipment for your nursery can be overwhelming.

We got advice from our playground design experts to collate EYFS outdoor play equipment your nursery children will love!

Why is outdoor play equipment beneficial for early years?

The benefits of outdoor play are well-known:

  • Children’s mental health improves, and feelings of depression and anxiety lessen
  • Creativity and imagination are channelled through play
  • Social skills are developed (including sharing and turn-taking)
  • Physical activity levels are boosted, reducing risks of obesity in children
  • Inclusive play helps all children to enjoy their time at nursery


EYFS-specialised outdoor play equipment helps children to develop across all seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).


It can be easier to look at EYFS outdoor play equipment options in sections, we split our expert suggestions into:

Imaginative and creative outdoor play equipment for EYFS

Children develop language, communication skills, confidence, and friendships when engaging in free-flow play. The beauty of the early years is that everything can inspire a game.

We have narrowed our outdoor play equipment selection to mark-making, musical activities, and communication and cognition games.

Mark-making equipment for EYFS

Mark-making can include traditional resources like paintbrushes, pens, and pencils or some messier strategies like finger painting and chalk and whiteboard pens. Our mark-making collection provides something for everyone, including covered activity boxes, mark-making easels, and freestanding, fitted, or wall-mounted mark-making walls.

Musical play equipment for early years

Sound is one of the first senses babies recognise. Encourage your toddlers to make music using our musical instrument collections. The chimes are a firm favourite in nurseries; children can experiment with different pitches and volumes. Or looking for something with more of a beat? The drummer tree is perfect for testing the impact a harder touch has on the sound.

Communication and cognition games for EYFS

Activity panels prompt discussion and build children’s vocabulary. They are especially helpful in supporting children with Speech, Language, and Communication Needs (SLCN). Activity panels can include well-known games like Noughts and Crosses, 3 in a row, and even be subject-specific, like the Science weather panel.

EYFS sensory play equipment for nurseries

Sensory play is a crucial part of the early years. You aim to understand and support the development of all eight sensory systems through play, using outdoor play equipment to help you.

It is tough to select only a few products that support sensory development. We have split the choices into water play, sand play, and messy play.

Water play in the early years

Water play can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors, in tuff trays or purpose-built equipment. Water tables and accompanying resources help children develop their scientific thinking while offering sensory feedback. Children can play with the magnetic water channels or splash around with the Archimedes water table.

Sandpits for nurseries

Sand is an excellent (and affordable) sensory material that is so versatile! Having a fixed or movable sandpit in your nursery provision can help children experience new textures and strengthen hand and wrist muscles by moulding shapes. Our design experts recommend a sandpit with sliding lids for practitioner ease when tidying, and weighing scales are a must-have add-on, giving children fun comparison opportunities.

Messy play in EYFS

Messy play can involve paints, natural materials or even foam. Our messy play kitchen set combines the making, cooking and cleaning needed for a messy play masterpiece. Available separately, too, the children can explore different textures, make natural perfumes and potions, and let their imaginations run wild.


EYFS outdoor play equipment to promote active play

There are life-long benefits to engaging children with physical activity from a young age. The obesity rates for children entering reception are currently at 1:5. The need to encourage children to participate in sports and exercise begins in the early years.

Active play is a broad category of outdoor play equipment, from trim trails to single balance-focused pieces. We break our active play choices to balance, EYFS trim trails, and climbing frames.

EYFS outdoor equipment for balance

Developing balance and coordination comes naturally when children are exposed to play equipment that varies in height and stability. Ensuring all EYFS outdoor play equipment has a safe free-fall height, our balancing equipment helps children build core strength while challenging their friends and even satisfying the vestibular sensory system.

EYFS trim trails

Trim trails are a firm favourite for schools and nurseries looking to transform their playground, and with good reason! Our trim trails can be tailored to include the components you think your children will best enjoy. Offering sensory circuit ideas for schools and nurseries, the different push, pull, balance and swing elements to trim trails make them so exciting.

Our mini trim trail is designed with EYFS in mind, with a low free-fall height and just enough challenge for budding climbers.

Early years climbing frames

If you’re looking for something a little larger, our climbing frame sets have something for every child. The Ventura-themed tower includes a slide, balancing rope bridge, climbing net and rounded bar climb (all with a low free-fall height of 0.9m).

Our pick-up sticks range (particularly the pick-up sticks 2 sets) is designed to give children the physical challenge they love.

EYFS physical development outdoor play equipment

A toddler’s physical development changes quickly; outdoor play helps build strength, balance, and coordination, which are needed to tackle finer tasks like holding a pencil, eating, and even getting dressed.

We have split our physical development EYFS equipment suggestions into freestanding physical development, climbing activities and hills and mounds.

EYFS physical development blocks

One of our current trending EYFS products is the physical development blocks. Available in a set of 9, 12, or 15, your early years children can hop from one obstacle to the other with a friend or independently. Ideal for those children a little nervous about exploring at a higher height, the physical development blocks help build the children’s physical fitness and strength.

Want to learn how to spend your Sports Premium Funding on equipment similar to this? Check out our blog on all things PE and Sport Funding.

Climbing activities for early years

Made in the UK with the highest quality timber, our cabin climber play equipment allows EYFS children to explore risk in a controlled way. It has a free-fall height of 1.6m, and the climbing frame has thick beams to give children additional support.

Hills and mounds for EYFS

Want to add some dimension to your EYFS outdoor area? Hills and mounds are a gentle way to increase terrain challenges for your toddlers. The solar tunnel mound allows children to climb to the top of the hill and the peaceful safety of the tunnel below. Or the smaller freestanding EYFS tunnel mound option can help to build positional language when playing with their friends!

It is a favourite for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The sensory-calming design can help children with emotional regulation.

How Fawns can help

Our expert design and installation team helps you from start to finish (and afterwards, too!). We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and do all we can to achieve our company mission, ‘To help every child to have a healthy, active life’.

To see our full range of products, request a free brochure or contact one of our sales team to get some ideas and advice to transform your EYFS space.

More like this:

How to spend your sports premium funding in 2024.

Benefits of a term-time playground installation.

How does play support social development?