It is our mission to provide children in Scotland with more opportunities for unstructured, imaginative play using loose parts and scrap materials. Through Play in a Pod, we offer a programme of training and guidance to schools and community groups interested in setting up loose parts play projects.

Play in a Pod is a unique programme for schools and communities in Scotland who care about play. It often takes the form of a secure storage unit filled with loose parts and scrap items. The ‘pod’ is the container in which the scrap resources are stored, and the play is the activities that children create using those resources! However, you don’t need to have a ‘pod’ as long as you have some space to safely store scrap resources.

Play in a Pod complements the Curriculum for Excellence and the Curriculum for Outdoor Learning.

We support groups to set up and run eco, free play, loose parts projects. We want our groups to:

Start Smart: By taking up training and consultation to ensure they offer play experiences which are innovative, high quality and sustainable.

Think Play: And provide children with the tools necessary for self-directed, imaginative free play using loose parts which evolve with a child’s imagination and through the stages of development.

Go Green: To reduce waste by reusing scrap and junk items as resources and taking play outdoors- teaching children to care for their environment.


From innovation to implementation our team is here to support you every step of the way.
The Play in a Pod programme is divided into three different stages, learn more about the process we follow and support we offer below.

The total cost of the Play in a Pod package is £2,000. Please contact us if we are already engaging with you through another project, as we may be able to offer you a discount. This price doesn't include the purchase of the container. Extensive travel will be costed independently.

Get in touch if you are interested in implementing Play in a Pod in your school or community.


  • Initial discussion: to evaluate your needs according to current situation, resources and budget.

  • Site visit and consultation.

  • Identifying and sourcing the container.

  • Staff and pupils survey.

Smart Play Network is a charity registered in Scotland (SC042505) and a company limited by guarantee (SC401334).
Registered office: Unit 40, Castlebrae Business Centre, Peffer Place, Edinburgh EH16 4BB | Telephone Number: 0131 554 2620

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