It’s that time of year again. Students are headed back to school to learn, socialize and hopefully have a little fun while they’re at it. And while a school’s top priority is a good education, places of learning know that playing, exercising and social interaction are important, too. Recess and after-school activities are highlights for children, especially when they get the chance to spend them outdoors. Does your school have the proper outdoor equipment and furniture to keep your students active, engaged, and comfortable? To know for sure, we suggest spending time watching the students while they’re outside to see what equipment they like, find out what they don’t use, and determine what additional supplies they may need.
As the expert in commercial outdoor furniture for schools, universities, parks, and other outdoor venues, Picnic Furniture has a complete line of industrial-grade outdoor furniture, play equipment, and accessories to fully equip your school property. We’ve been furnishing commercial businesses, schools, parks, and organizations for 20 years and know what our customers need for their applications and spaces.
To make sure your school is properly outfitted this school year, we’ve put together this handy checklist of essential outdoor furniture and questions to consider:
BACK TO SCHOOL OUTDOOR FURNITURE CHECKLIST
□ Is your equipment age-appropriate? For safety and suitability, make sure your playground equipment is suitable to your students' age range. We provide the appropriate age range for all our playground equipment products so you can be sure you’re buying play equipment that’s safe, comfortable, and applicable for students.
□ Do you offer a variety of equipment for all skill levels? If your school accommodates a range of ages and physical capabilities, make sure you have something for everyone. For more physically inclined children, consider more challenging playground climbers, and for less strenuous play, try a Ladder Toss Game or an oversized Connect Four Game Board.
□ Is your main play area properly shaded? Exposed play areas can be dangerous if children are outside in the sun for an extended period. Consider a canopy, oversized sail shades or other shade structures to protect children while on your play equipment.
□ Do you have a shady spot for students who want to get out of the sun? Sometimes children just want refuge from the sun on those blistery hot days. A great option is to install a surface-mounted mini shelter for shade and cover.
BENCHES AND PICNIC TABLES
□ Do students have a place to sit when they’re not playing? Not everyone wants to play during recess. For those who want to socialize with friends, read a book, or do their homework, make sure you have an allotment of picnic tables and seating options. Picnic tables come in a myriad of designs and sizes, and are made of multiple durable materials to fit your needs. Don’t forget to offer ADA-approved wheelchair-accessible picnic tables as well.
□ Are your benches out in the open and exposed to the sun? While not all your benches need to be shaded, consider installing a bench with an integrated shade structure as an option to offer some protected seating from the elements.
□ Do you have enough trash cans outside? To prevent a litter problem and encourage environmental responsibility, place at least one trash can outside every door of the school. Add additional trash receptacles near picnic tables to make it convenient for students to dispose of their trash. Any area where you repeatedly find litter may warrant an additional trash can as well.
□ Are your current trash cans damaged, rusted or vandalized? Replace old trash cans that are damaged or look unsightly with commercial-grade, plastic-coated steel trash cans that stand up to the harsh outdoor elements and daily wear and tear. Their durable, thermoplastic coating adds a protective layer that resists rust and corrosion. Our trash cans come in a variety of colors and some can even be customized with your school logo.
□ Do you have a sufficient number of bike racks near your school entrances? If your school is located in a residential area and has a number of children riding their bicycles to school, confirm you have enough bike racks to accommodate them. If you notice any bikes lying on the ground or leaning up against the building, you should install additional racks. Space-saving and budget-friendly, bicycle racks are a great amenity to offer students, plus it encourages them to exercise by traveling by bike!
It's a good idea to assess your outdoor furniture on an annual basis to ensure you can accommodate students while also keeping them safe and happy. If you have additional questions or are unsure what types of outdoor equipment would be best for your school, consult one of our friendly customer service staff. They know our products inside and out and can offer the perfect solutions for your needs. Contact us Monday through Friday between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST at 1-800-775-8409.