How To Design a Children’s Play Area in Your Landscape

Safety is the foremost concern when children are in the playground. It is quite normal for children to bump and fall while playing hence the need for some security measures to lessen the impact of bumps and falls and minimize injury. You see playgrounds planted with grass and include sand pits underneath mechanical playground equipment such as swings, slides, see-saws and the like. These conditions should be taken into consideration when you are planning to include a children’s play area in your landscape. Below are some tips to design one.

  • Think of the best area suitable for the children. They need supervision while they are playing, even if they are in your own back or front yard. The playground should be near the house where you can see the children and be within hearing distance from them. If the play area will be in the front yard, choose a spot that can be seen from the living room window. If your landscape design is for the backyard, the best spot for the children’s play area will be the one nearest to the kitchen window.
  • Deem to include the planting of one or two trees with sturdy branches that grow low on the trunk. Children love to climb trees and these will be very ideal for them. Later when they are older these trees can have rope ladders and swings attached to the higher branches or you can turn one of the trees into a treehouse.
  • Include a sandpit in the landscape design. With the children’s wild imagination this will be an ideal spot for them to create their scenarios and have hours of fun. Dig a deep pit and place construction liner over it before adding the sand. Build a wooden frame around the pit. Later when the children have outgrown the sandpit you can reclaim the area by removing the frame, the sand and the liner.
  • Build a fence around the play area to let the children know that this is their own playground but the rest of the garden is off limits to them when they are playing. Make sure that you also have installed a high perimeter fence, about four feet high. This is mandatory when your home is located near a busy street. Plan to plant shrubs, bushes and trees around to provide privacy and secure the children from prying eyes.
  • If you have older children who have bikes and rollerblades, it is a good idea to include a concrete path in the landscape design to designate the area where they can use their rollerblades and ride their bikes.
  • If you have a large yard and plan to include mechanical playground equipment for the children, make sure that the landscape design includes sandy areas around and underneath the equipment to act as a cushion against accidental falls. These should be shallow pits about twelve inches deep and filled with sand or bark mulch.
  • Concrete paths and other walking surfaces should be made from non-slip materials to prevent children from slipping and falling when they are running around. This precaution is particularly important especially around the pool area where the surface is constantly wet. Think of this too when you are planning to have an outdoor kitchen.

Your landscape designer will also have ideas on how to design your landscape to include a children’s play area. Discuss what you want now and what you plan to do in the future as your children grow older. This will help you to economize and make full use of the landscape design. Also check the regulations that may be enforced by your local government.


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