School Playground Design at TouchWood Play

TouchWood Play create bespoke and highly engineered natural school playgrounds for a wide range of educational environments across the UK. We’re a design and build company driven by our commitment to, and belief in, learning through play.

From early years to secondary schools, we understand your school’s play needs will be widely varied. Our primary focus is to provide playscapes that encourage outdoor learning alongside play and exercise.

Our playgrounds help children to develop an enthusiasm for outdoor learning at school and build lasting friendships with their classmates through outdoor play interactions.

We’re dedicated to creating the best, most memorable play experiences for school children across the UK. In fact, we’ve already completed dozens of school playground projects nationwide.

To learn more about our natural school playgrounds, including the finance options available, contact us today.


The design process starts when you first contact us. We’ll talk to you about your school playground space and what your play needs might be. After that we’ll start to visualise a play space that is right for you.

Using our experience and expertise, we’ll take your brief and start to design the perfect school playground for you. If you choose, we also offer the opportunity for school pupils, teachers and parents to get involved in the design process through our unique ‘Designing for Real’ workshops. This allows their opinions and ideas to influence the final design of the play area.

Through this collaborative approach, we gather all the intelligence we need to consider when designing your playground project.


Our ‘Designing for Real’ workshops enable children, parents and others who’ll use the finished play area to have a say in its design, ensuring that it meets their needs as closely as possible. Using loose parts, model making and participative play, these practical workshops aim to inspire the imagination and explore different play design ideas. Any ideas generated during the workshop can then be incorporated into the final design of the play area so that it best meets the needs of the people who use it.

 The TouchWood team led a number of practical workshops that involved year 4 pupils in preparing the timber ready for constructing, learning a vast range of skills along the journey. One of our parent helpers, who was a structural engineer was particularly impressed by the quality of work. I support their ethos of supplying locally sourced timber and engaging pupils throughout the process.
- Wheatfield Primary School

Our highly qualified and dedicated build team will manufacture and install every aspect of your new school playground. Depending on the location of your playground space, features and equipment may be built off site and then assembled onsite. Occasionally we build onsite too.


At TouchWood, we’re passionate about learning through play. Our school playgrounds are designed and built to deliver amazing and unique play experiences.

Our playground features encourage children to use their imaginations to have their own adventures, in a safe, stimulating, natural setting. Using the act of play to stimulate learning is something that Joe Cooper, TouchWood Founder, is very passionate about.

Playgrounds that are used as an extension of the classroom offer great opportunities for schools to deliver the curriculum whilst giving children a connection to the natural world. Outdoor learning at school can positively contribute to the wellbeing of the children and teachers too.

 Play is so important. I'm a firm believer in the importance of creating natural playgrounds where modern children can learn to understand what it means to take risks. Play is vital to learning as it’s through play that children are able to experience and learn about the world around them. Natural play is particularly beneficial to learning as it connects children to the natural world and teaches them about the environment, they live in.
- Joe Cooper,
Founder of TouchWood Play


Designing great play experiences for younger children requires specialist knowledge of the needs and capabilities of children in their early years.

Children’s safety is an important consideration when we build play fixtures for schools. We’ve designed and built many inspiring yet safe nursery and pre-school playgrounds using smaller play fixtures. These fixtures emphasise learning through fun with appropriate levels of challenge for younger children.


We’ve designed and built numerous playgrounds for primary schools. Our consultative approach and bespoke service ensure that, whatever the needs of your school, we’ll be able to create a play environment that’s long-lasting, special and delivers exceptional play and learning value.

From climbing frames to themed structures, to mud kitchens and multi-use activity areas, we’ll have a natural play solution to meet your needs.

To learn more about some of our favourite primary school projects, click on the case studies below:

Loose parts play can also provide a safe but stimulating alternative to fixed play structures.

The use of loose parts allows children to constantly recreate their own play landscape, offering prolonged engagement, interaction with their peers and lots of opportunities to test building skills.

Our natural den making structures are a great way of incorporating loose parts into your outdoor play provision. Permanent structures like our Hex Frame, A-Frame and Teepee den making structures are a great way of introducing flexible, creative play opportunities.

Combined with loose parts like nets, ropes and materials, children are able to use their imaginations to create their own playscapes. Temporary structures like our moveable Teepee den making structures offer similar inspiration for children’s creativity and imagination in a moveable format.

A-Frame play structure

Loose parts play

Outdoor play


For older children of secondary school age, the benefits of having opportunities for natural play and learning are just as important. We’ve worked with many secondary schools to create natural play and learning environments which enable older children to play, but also to study and socialise.

From exceptional play equipment suitable for the needs of older children, to beautiful natural canopies, shelters and study areas, we’ll have a bespoke solution for you and your secondary school community.

This natural canopy shelter was designed and built with input from pupils, teachers and parents during a 'Designing for Real' workshop. The completed shelter enables both small and large groups of pupils to study and socialise and also doubles as a performance space with a central staged area and seating.

Wyedean Secondary School
Wyedean Secondary School
Secondary School Playground



To find out more about how we could help you provide innovative and natural playground equipment for your school, contact us today. We create bespoke play installations that can be tailor made to your specific needs.

Get in Touch