How To Create An Outdoor Gym When You Don’t Have The Equipment

As childhood obesity rates show no sign of slowing down, society often looks to schools to help through educating children and promoting an active lifestyle.

Therefore many schools are investing in outdoor gym equipment that children can use both during organised classes, clubs and breaks.

Whilst the PE & Sports Premium and initiatives such as the Sugar Tax may help some schools with the cost, budgets are often tight.

So how do you create an outdoor gym when you don’t have equipment?

The simple answer is playground surfacing graphics. Let us explain…

Ladder graphics for Motor Skills


Ladder graphics are a popular graphic for gym areas as they can be used as part of circuit training and can develop a range of skills in children. For example, by jumping to the next ladder square children learn both balance and coordination.

Meanwhile running through the ladder, without touching the line markings can teach children self-discipline – especially those that just want to get through the circuit as fast as possible!

Ladder graphics for Coordination


Ladders can also be used to practise hand-eye coordination, by asking children if they can throw a beanbag/ball into certain ‘squares.’

Another popular activity includes dribbling the ball from one end to the other, with the ball only bouncing once in each square.

Ladder graphics for Team Work

Playground surfacing graphics such as ladders can also be used to help develop team work skills. For example, position the children at strategic gaps along the ladder (or on either sides) and ask them to transport an object from one end to the other, without leaving their ‘stations’.

If you have more than one ladder graphic it can be great fun to have competing teams take part.

Alternatively, split the class into two and ask each child to complete one lap of the circuit, only when every child from each team has completed the circuit can a winner be announced.

Grid & Compass Circle Playground Surfacing Graphics


Grids and Compass Circles, may look completely different but they have very similar uses – and can be used for such a huge range of activities.

Grids & Compass Circles For Cardio & Strength Activities

There are great clear markers for children when engaging in cardio style activities. For example, if you have asked pupils to run around the perimeter of the playground, you can instruct them to do five jumps when the reach the grid.

Depending on the size you choose, it may be possible for multiple children to use the grid at once, or for one child to carry out a different activity in each square.

Similarly, they can be markers for strength based activities. For example can the child keep both feet on the line whilst planking or attempting press ups?

Grids & Compass Circles For Coordination

If you are looking to help children improve their hand-eye coordination, grids and compass circle can be a great choice for graphics within your playground surfacing.

They can be used to create goals or zones that children can practise throwing balls or beanbags into for a distance.

Alternatively you can ask the children to stand within the grid/compass and ask them to throw to another student or target and increase the distance as the child’s throwing skills progress. You can also ask them to catch an object thrown by another child, without leaving their allotted square/circle.

These are just a few ideas, but with diverse playground surfacing graphics like these you can let your imagination run wild!

If you need some more inspiration, or advice our teams are on hand to help!

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