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Build a Backyard Playground: Six Tips for Fun & Safety

By Whirl Construction (714 words)
Posted in Commercial Playgrounds on April 13, 2020

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It’s no secret that playgrounds are an excellent way for children to have fun and stay healthy. Most parents agree that their children should spend time playing outside rather than sitting indoors watching television or playing video games. 

However, it can be hard for families to find time for community parks and playgrounds. Driving across town or fighting traffic just to get to a playground is simply not feasible for everyone. That’s why many parents choose to install a playground in the backyard. 

Backyard playgrounds help children stay active, develop motor skills, and grow their imaginations. They are a wonderful investment that can keep children engaged and entertained during their formative years. 

While playgrounds are relatively easy to put together, it’s important to have a plan in place before you assemble your play area. Here are five tips for creating a stellar backyard play area that will have your kids (and their friends) turning off the tv and running outside. 

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Set a Budget

There are many choices available for playgrounds today, and without a budget, you can easily spend thousands of dollars without having much to show for it. Before you begin, set a budget for your project. We recommend including an extra 10% for unexpected expenses. Establishing a budget will help you better identify what materials and play features you want for your backyard playground. 

Location, Location, Location

Whether you have a small backyard or plenty of room to roam, it’s important to choose a good place for your backyard playground. You’ll want a flat playing area with at least 3 feet of clear space on either side of the main play structure. In addition, you’ll need to consider where water lines and electrical wires run in your background. You may also need to look at areas that are more affected by rain or runoff - after all, you don’t want to install a swing set that sits in a giant puddle!

Choose Your Features

Once you have a budget and location, you can choose which features you want your backyard playground to have. Today’s play areas are fully customizable and can be built to suit your child’s interests and needs. Consider the current age and development levels of your children, plus how long you expect the playground to be in use. Most backyard play areas last about a decade, so you can start small and expand or upgrade the playground as your children grow. 

Include the Family 

Playgrounds aren’t just for children. As a parent, you may spend a good bit of time outside playing with or supervising your little ones. Your children may also want to have friends over to play, too. This is why it’s important to consider who will be using the play area, and how everyone can get the most use out of it. Adding picnic tables, seating areas, and shade structures are a great way to make your backyard playground a multi-use area that everyone can enjoy. 

Get Creative With Materials

Today, most families choose to include a play surface when installing a backyard playground. Play surfaces can help your children stay safe and will keep your yard cleaner. Wood chips or dirt, while initially, will wear down over time and require more maintenance. They also aren’t as good at absorbing shock from falls. This is why many families now choose to use protective surfacing such as rubber tiles or rubber mulch. These surfaces are easy to install, require less maintenance, provide a safer play area, and can keep your yard cleaner regardless of the weather. 

Plan Regular Maintenance 

No matter what size play area you choose to install, regular maintenance is a must. Inspect play structures at least once a month to ensure bolts and screws are properly tightened. Before mowing your yard, check around the play area. Last, check surfaces for cracks, ant beds, or other potential dangers. If you’re not sure what to look for, or if you’re concerned about your play structure, call a professional and get an inspection. 

Backyard playgrounds can be a fun and healthy way for families to enjoy the outdoors together. With careful planning, good installation, and regular maintenance, your backyard playground will provide enjoyment for years to come!

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