Themed Adventure Play for Special Needs School

Linden Lodge is a school that caters to children and young individuals, aged 2-19, who have visual and multi-sensory impairments. They are dedicated to providing a comprehensive education and fostering the overall development of each student. Working in collaboration with parents, caregivers, and families, they strive to support every individual in achieving their full potential.


The school's mission is to inspire and educate children and young people with sensory impairments. They aim to meet the diverse learning needs of their students in a positive and supportive environment through a departmental model and personalised curriculum pathways. Their interdisciplinary curriculum is robust, ambitious, and well-balanced, focusing on skill progression and consolidation of learning through multi-sensory and contextualised opportunities. They celebrate all successes, regardless of size.

In early 2022, Linden Lodge School approached eibe Play for assistance in redesigning their outdoor play area. The existing play space had become outdated and unstimulating for the school children. During the wetter winter months, it was partially unusable and lacked play value.

eibe Play embarked on the design process with a focus on play value and accessibility. They aimed to create a play area where all the equipment could be used throughout the year and be suitable for children of all abilities and ages. Additionally, the school requested the inclusion of sensory items, such as play panels, that provide sound and challenges. Considering that the school children often rode bikes and scooters in the play area, creating their own tracks with cones, eibe Play designed a road section where the children could practice bike skills and road safety. This road section included a wet pour cycle track with road signs and crossings to ensure the children's safety.

After presenting their initial design concepts and making a few minor adjustments in collaboration with the school, eibe Play was commissioned to carry out the project. The final design featured popular play items such as the Wheelchair Accessible Roundabout, Wheelchair Swing, and Inclusive Trampoline. To enhance the sensory experience, eibe Play included a variety of natural Sensory Play Panels that promoted touch, puzzle-solving, and sound. Role-play elements were also incorporated to support the children's learning process. For example, the Ship Wreck Bounty included a wheelchair-accessible Construction Unit, allowing the children to pretend they were the captain sailing the ship on the Thames or around the school. Themed insect carvings, such as a Spider and Grasshopper, were placed around the trees at the back of the play space, providing climbing opportunities while adding to the theme and role-play elements. A stage area in the centre of the play space was included for school shows, outdoor learning, and relaxation or lunch breaks. Braille signs were placed on several play items to assist children with sight problems in identifying the equipment and making their choices.

The installation work began in late August, with some challenges due to the wet weather in September and early October. Once completed, the school underwent maintenance training provided by eibe Play, and the play area was opened for the school children to enjoy. A grand opening ceremony was held in the spring of 2023, attended by school governors, trustees, and the school children, who celebrated the beautiful weather and officially inaugurated the play area. Representatives from eibe Play were present, providing cakes and treats for the school children and staff to enjoy. eibe Play takes great pride in this play space and looks forward to continuing its collaboration with Linden Lodge School to ensure its success for years to come.