Deciding what surface should cover your back yard play ground is as much important as deciding what kind of play yard accessories and equipment to buy. As always, the safety of children is a top priority. Here are pointers on how to buy play yard ground material.
- Consider a material that acts as a very effective cushion or shock absorber. No matter how strictly you keep an eye on children when they play, there are instances where you can’t predict falls or minor accidents. Children will be children and they won’t be as vigilant or as aware of safety issues when they’re only focused on enjoying themselves. As a parent or someone who cares for a child’s safety and well-being, only use play yard ground materials that double as an effective cushion or shock absorber like wood mulch, pea gravel, sand, or rubber mats. These materials lessen the potential of injury-causing or life threatening falls, as long as an adequate amount is used to fill up the play yard space.
- Get the measurements of your play yard space. Before buying anything either a fill or rubber mats, make sure to get the measurements of your play area first. Start with the length and width. Then get the area you would cover by multiplying the width and length. If you choose to use a fill (wood mulch, sand, pea gravel, etc.) you also need to get the volume of the ground covering. Allot something between 6 to 12 inches for the depth. Then multiply the width, length, and depth to get the volume in cubic feet. That’s how much filling you need to get. For a more effective shock-absorbing quality, you can also base the depth on the height of the highest accessible part of the play yard equipment and accessories. For example, if you have a swing, the pivot point may be considered the highest accessible part. For slides, the highest accessible part is the top of the slide. And for see-saws, it’s the highest point that each side of the see-saw can reach. But if you decide to use rubber mats, check the measurement of the mats available. See if they would fit within the measurements of your play yard ground.
- Visit the local hardware store or playground equipment store. Hardware stores also carry fills and rubber mats. Rubber mats may come in plain or colorful ones with interesting designs for kids. If the hardware store doesn’t have what you need, you can order from a playground equipment store. If you order online, you can have the materials delivered to you.
- Use material that matches with the play yard’s surrounding environment. For outdoor play yards, fill materials are best used. Sand and mulch in particular, go well with all the natural setting. Take note that mulch, like wood chips, is also a biodegradable material and in time, gradually sinks to the ground. If you use this, you would need to refill it at least once a year. Rubber mats are usually used for indoor play yards.
Safety of your children in the play yard should always be ensured not only by choosing sturdy, well-built equipment, but also by choosing kid-friendly materials to cover and surround the play yard. Materials that can cushion a child’s fall should be at the top of your list.