Creating Inspirational Playscapes for School and Nursery Settings

Since 1989 Playtime by Fawns have helped Schools and Nurseries improve their outdoor play and sport provision UK wide. Working in consultation with key stakeholders – from parent groups, student councils and school management teams – Fawns take time to understand the specific needs of each setting before creating realistic 3D designs and detailed quotations illustrating the finished look of your outdoor space.  Their highly experienced Play Experts offer advice on the most appropriate equipment and surfacing solutions, taking into account budgets, space available and the unique requirements for each setting and their pupil’s.

Sustainable and Low Maintenance

Playtime by Fawns select only the most resilient materials to create long-lasting play and sports areas which require little on-going maintenance. Timbers are slow grown in sustainable forests, pressure treated and machine rounded to make them the least susceptible to rot and air cracking than other materials used within the industry. HDPE plastic - resistant to vandalism and over enthusiastic usage - add colour and versatility to designs: ropes made in-house with steel cores ensure minimal down-time for repairs and maintenance. A multitude of surfacing solutions are available, chosen to meet the specific needs of each setting. All the materials come with comprehensive guarantees offering long-term peace of mind ensuring the play space is kept in tip-top condition all year round whatever the weather conditions.

The Fawns’ Philosophy and Ethos

Playtime by Fawns look to nurture long-term relationships with customers – over 50% of their yearly turnover is generated from existing customers or as a direct result of a recommendation – with a consultation based approach. Time is taken to understand the particular needs of the setting including an appreciation of the dynamics of their outside space, as well as the ethos of the school in relation to play. Fawns look to make the whole process as smooth as possible with an emphasis on good communication from initial contact, keeping the customer informed of progress and making sure the installation minimises disruption to school life. All staff are DBS checked, and most installs carried out by Fawns own installation teams with surfacing carried out by specialist surfacing partners.

In terms of design philosophy Fawns look to design innovative playscapes which offer children the chance to play and learn about the world around them, experience challenge and develop social, emotional, physical and creative skills through independent, unstructured and unpredictable play in a space free from unacceptable risks.

Product Range

Playtime by Fawns have one of the most comprehensive product portfolios within the industry built up over 30 years through recognising the evolving nature of play in educational settings. Product development is driven by their customers – the children – but also taking into account established guidelines for play equipment and safer surfacing (EN1176 and EN1177) to ensure that while challenging and innovative, the equipment is free from unacceptable risk. The differing abilities of children are taken into account and while looking to enhance their confidence through risk taking the equipment is designed to be inclusive to allow children with a whole range of abilities to play alongside their peers. For Early Years in particular three key areas of learning and development are taken into account when both designing new equipment but also when designing specific play areas; Communication and language development; physical development; and personal, social and emotional development. For KS1 and KS2 the focus is more directed to physical development but with an understanding that role play and the opportunity for children to play together, building relationships and developing team based skills are equally important.

Early Years

Creating an environment conducive to learning through play is, as we all know, particularly important in early years settings. Playtime by Fawns have a wealth of experience in designing, supplying and installing playscapes for Nursery and Reception age children that facilitates learning through play in a sustainable low-maintenance space that allows play all-year round whatever the weather. From sand and water play, to role play and creative spaces along with plenty of climbing and swinging opportunities to help build confidence and encourage peer interaction.

Activity & Role Play

In addition to sand and water play, Fawns also have an extensive range of play huts, play boats, trains and cars to prompt imagination for children from the age of three upwards. A colourful collection of activity panels which offer both fun and educational elements helping children learn about the world around them are available in durable and colourful HDPE and a range of outdoor musical instruments which have been especially designed to deal with all that the playground can throw at them.

Action & Imagination

Climbing and balancing – improving upper body strength while increasing hand to eye coordination are crucially important to a child’s developing body. Improved motor-neurone skills are proved to contribute to the improvements in hand writing and cognitive development. At Fawns they have a range of open-ended child led climbing and traversing structures suited to all ages from early years upwards. As well as aiding physical development these units also actively encourage team work, communication and improved social skills through role play.

Fitness & Adventure

Playtime by Fawns offer the largest selection of play trails within the sector. They offer specific trails designed to meet the budget and space of any setting, as well as offering a bespoke design service to create the specific combination of equipment to unique needs of specific settings. All manufactured from FSC machine rounded timber that come with a comprehensive 15-year guarantee, steelwork treated with a zinc metal thermal spray followed by an electrostatically applied power coating with a 25-year structural guarantee and 7-year paint guarantee, the equipment offers low maintenance peace of mind designed to provide fun and exercise for many years.

Sports & Games

From individual outdoor gym components especially designed for KS2 children, to Multi-Use-Games-Areas and Mile-A-Day tracks suitable for use all-year round, Fawns individually tailors Sports and Games areas to enhance the outdoor provision of any setting. Stand-alone goal ends, again scaled specifically for primary aged children and enhance any playground providing sports opportunities not just for break and lunch times but also for curriculum activities.  

Shade & Shelter

Ensuring space is available for outdoor play and learning all year round – whatever the weather – is an essential part of any settings outdoor provision – especially so at EYFS. Fawns’ offers a range of solutions not just offering protection from the rain, but also from the harmful UV rays of the sun. From outdoor classrooms, Lean-To shelters and giant umbrellas to funky Sail-Away Sun Canopies that take just minutes to erect and can come complete with thermometers and barometers to encourage pupils to observe the changing climate around them.   

Outdoor Furniture

The opportunity for time out, the chance to chat with friends or make new friends or even to settle down and listen to a story should be part of daily school life. Fawns range of outdoor furniture includes traditional picnic tables and GameBoard tables to imaginative story telling chairs, a “Listening Bench” that encourages children to talk to each other through speaker tubes, a range of magical mushroom seats and a collection of robust benches and seats manufactured from recycled milk cartons. All extremely robust with comprehensive guarantees and requiring little or no maintenance.  


Maximising space within school grounds for all-weather all year round use is increasingly important, especially in settings looking to expand their intake and to encourage pupils to get out in and exercise in inclement weather. Safer surfacing is also a requirement for higher level equipment to protect against head injuries from any falls. Fawns specialise in the design and installation of all types of surfacing – from 5th Generation artificial grass offering a robust tactile surface to bonded mulch to more traditional Wetpour (spongy tarmac). Within all of the surfaces they can incorporate bright and colourful designs, enhancing the play area and encouraging role play. They also offer a huge range of line markings which can enhance playgrounds cost effectively while keeping them open as flexible spaces.

Free of Charge, No Obligation Design Service

Call Playtime by Fawns now to arrange a free consultation of how to get the most out of your settings outdoor space – Fawns can create a playscape that offers open ended play opportunities all year round. All meetings and designs are created free of charge with no obligation, with  advice on fundraising including assistance in the completion of complicated funding applications.

For further details see our website, email or call to arrange for a no obligation site consultation with a play expert.

01252 515199