“Without play, learning and evolution are impossible”
– Stephen Nachmanovitch

At Earth Wrights we use 6 different play types to categorise our play offerings. These play types draw on a wealth of research in the field of play by experts such as Bob Hughes, as well as our own hands-on experience working with children and designing spaces that meet their play needs.

Exploratory Play

This happens when children decide to investigate their physical surroundings, exploring new spaces and ‘ranging’. What they require are places that provide spatial diversity and interest, opportunities to move into unknown territory and environments that stimulate their curiosity and imagination.

What we offer:

  • Structures that provide a sense of space and discovery.
  • Planting that encourages wildlife and an interest in nature.
  • Fluid boundaries between designated play area and the wider environment.

The Bewildernest.  View the project page

Parkers Way. View the project page

Physical Play

Children’s minds and bodies grow in relation to their physical environment and require experimentation and challenge to reach their full potential. Physical play helps children understand what their bodies are capable of and allows them to take the necessary risks required for healthy development.

What we offer:

  • Structures that are both safe and appropriately challenging.
  • Play spaces that cater to all abilities.

Victoria Park. View the project page

Kings Hall School View the project page

Social Play

Making friends, sharing stories, learning the rules of a new game – children are social beings and play is a perfect way to learn about yourself and other people. In social play children can explore relationship dynamics and learn how to express their needs, establish boundaries and resolve differences.

What we offer:

  • Play structures that require cooperation to operate.
  • Attractive, inviting spaces to gather in.

St Andrews Primary. View the project page

Kenton Primary. View the project page

Loose Parts Play

Banging on pots, making mud pies, building dens – these activities teach children about the physical and textural qualities of materials and how different elements fit together. Loose parts play offers sensory pleasure as well as developing hand eye coordination and problem solving skills.

What we offer:

  • Spaces that encourage children to pick up and explore objects.
  • Collections of objects that can be combined in endless variations.
  • Mud kitchens, water pumps and sand pits for messy play.

St Josephs Primary. View the project page

Imaginative Play

Playing pretend allows children to stretch their imaginations, create their own worlds and explore real life situations in ways that are manageable for their stage of development. They need flexible environments that they can adapt for their own purposes and which stimulate all the senses.

What we offer:

  • Structures that can be adapted, inspiring open ended play.
  • Planting that stimulates the imagination and offers opportunities for den building.

South Devon Railway. View the project page

Aller Park, Dartington. View the project page

Quiet Play

We all need time and space to be still and relax. For children this time is vital for integrating the many sensory impressions they encounter throughout the day. Quiet play allows them to rest, dream and refuel their brains and bodies. They need spaces that feel safe, comfortable and contained.

What we offer:

  • Areas for sitting, reading and being.
  • Planting that creates soft, natural areas for shelter.
  • Cozy structures where children can take a break from active play.

Leechwell Gardens. View the project page

Bishop Cornish. View the project page

Wondering how well your play provision meets these needs? Fill in our play audit and contact us to discuss.