Here in the UK, we receive more than our fair share of wet, inclement weather. It’s not surprising that we all want to get outside and make the most of it when the temperature begins to rise!

Spending time outdoors allows our bodies to create vitamin D from direct sunlight, but there are times when the heat can be overbearing. So, apart from layering on the SPF 50, wearing a sun hat, and drinking plenty of water, how can teaching staff ensure that kids stay cool during the summertime at school?

Here are a few top tips to help.

5 easy ways to add shade to your playground

  1. Opt for lighter colours – if your playground surfacing is made from asphalt, like most other schools, it’s likely to be black. This is a colour that absorbs light instead of reflecting it, which means it can get hot very quickly. However, there are various types of surfacing available today – including an assortment of different colours. Choosing a lighter shade for areas that become a sun trap on hot days will help to regulate the air temperature.
  • Add some greenery – trellises and pretty planters are a brilliant way to brighten up an otherwise dull playground, whilst adding a touch of nature. Climbers and plants can provide shade to teachers, students, and parents on the school run, but also prevent surfaces from getting too hot and keep the school nice and cool.
  • Introduce water – whether it be a combined sand and water tray or a gorgeous water feature or fountain, having water in the playground can help to absorb heat from the air. It has an instant cooling and refreshing effect and brings an element of fun to the schoolyard.
  • Use gazebos and pergolas – not just great for garden parties and outdoor events, shelters like these can be a godsend on the school playground – especially those that come with seating. Pupils can sit and socialise with their mates during break time and enjoy their lunch outside, without the sun blinding them or burning their delicate skin. Furthermore, a gazebo can help to keep the children safe from sunlight during outdoor fun activities.
  • Install school canopies – perfect for outdoor lessons and shaded play, school canopies come in a wide range of designs. Although they offer protection against the sun’s glare, they also come in useful on rainy days. Entrance canopies work best at the main entrance of your school or above the classroom door – instantly grabbing the attention of visitors. Monopitch and curved-beam canopies allow teachers to take the classroom outside and block out up to 99% of UV light – keeping areas cooler for longer.

Make your playground environment safer for your pupils

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what you need to do to keep students safe on the hottest days of the school year.

If you’d like to know more about keeping children cool throughout the summer, or you’ve been thinking about updating the school playground for quite some time – either with school canopies, shelters, or exciting playground equipment – help is at hand.

Setter Play have been designing, manufacturing, and installing play equipment and canopies for more than two decades and can offer a bespoke solution to suit the needs of your school.