Many elementary schools are catching onto buddy benches quickly. Buddy benches help foster friendship in a playground setting and are designated for finding playmates. If you wanted someone to play with, you could simply sit on the bench, which let other children know you wanted to play.
The idea was very successful from the beginning and encouraged children to include others who were feeling left out while making new friends. As word of the buddy bench spread, more and more schools began to install them on their playground. If you’re looking for a buddy bench for your playground, consider these buddy bench designs.
Built for Two
The majority of buddy benches are built small, intending to seat only about two children. Since the buddy bench is intended to help kids find someone to play with, the idea is that once there is a second child on the bench, both have found a playmate. Thus, a very large buddy bench is generally unnecessary. Of course, you could choose to install something larger in your playground, but for the most part, buddy benches will be smaller than usual park benches.
It’s important that your buddy bench be clearly labeled so that kids can differentiate it from playground benches that are simply there to provide seating. You might look for a bench that has the words “Buddy Bench” cut out of the back of the seat as part of the bench’s design. Or, you could look for a “Buddy Bench” plaque or sign to attach to the back of an existing bench. Whichever you choose, just make sure all students can tell that anyone sitting on this bench is in need of a friend.
Try a Different Color
Many schools choose to have their buddy bench be a different color from any other benches on the playground. This is yet another way to differentiate these special benches from other seating around the area. It also helps any students who may not have yet mastered reading to spot the buddy benches easily while they’re outside.
Arms or No Arms
Another stylistic choice you can make with your buddy bench is whether or not you would like it to have arms on the ends. This is entirely up to you. Arms give the bench more of an upscale feel, mimicking those you might find at a nice public park. Just keep this option in mind when choosing a bench that has the right style and vibe for your school.
Slats or Perforations
You can also choose whether you want your buddy bench to be a standard perforated bench or one designed with metal slats forming the surfaces of the seat and back. Again, this is more of a stylistic choice, and one option is not any better than the other. Most playground benches are perforated, so if you would like your buddy bench to match the others in this regard, then a perforated buddy bench is the better choice. However, if you want to help it stand out in yet another way, a slatted bench could be a better choice.
For buddy benches and other outdoor school furniture, check out Outdoor School Furniture.