At The Big Swing we always ensure that the children and young people get a say in what happens on site and where possible, involve them in the planning and design stages. On site at the playground we have a mixture of fixed and self-built structures which vary from being built by staff, professionals and children and young people.
Our fixed equipment includes a 50 ft zipwire, football pitch, Jumping Tower, two sunken trampolines, 14ft Slide and the biggest swing in northern England, know as ‘the big swing.’ Children also enjoy our eco friendly building, known as ‘the hobbit house.’ Inside the hobbit house are arts and crafts facilities, a pool table, indoor cooking facilities and activities for indoor play. Outside we also have an accessible mud kitchen, sand pit and life size boat. We have found that the children and young people love to explore and adapt their space, so we also have large loose parts around the site. This includes tyres, ropes, wood, wooden tunnels, nets and space for secret hideaways.
With a member of staff children and young people are able to build a fire in our outdoor fire area. Our purpose built fire area consists of a fire pit in the ground, seating areas and our outdoor kitchen. This area allows children to make fires and use them under the supervision of one of our playworkers. Children enjoy setting up the fire with paper, sticks, wood and then lighting the fire themselves using a flint and steel. We use our fires to keep warm and as a source of light during the cold dark nights. We often make delicious, healthy meals on our camp fires.
This activity is always directed by the children, thus encouraging children to understand personal boundaries and how to keep themselves safe at all times.
At The Big Swing we allow visitors to build using hammers, nails and saws. There will be a member of staff dedicated to the activity each day and who is on hand to help and supervise. The ethos of the adventure playground is that it is self-built. This means that children and young people are encouraged to build much of the playground themselves. Visitors regularly build dens, tunnels, play equipment and much more. We teach children and young people to use tools correctly in a supervised environment, whilst creating a sense of ownership throughout.
NOTE: Please find a member of staff before taking out any tools to build.
All of our equipment can be used in different ways. We encourage that whilst on the playground children take ownership and use a range of materials to develop and express themselves through play.