You may be right when thinking some parenting ideas and parenting norms have gone over the top, when you see children who are rarely allowed to go out and play or who are electronically tagged by their parents, but modern times have also brought with them some easy to install and easy to obtain playground solutions for your home patio, veranda, pergola or garage if kids play there. There are usually two types, loose fill or solid. Most solid types can be used in common areas and some are easy to move around. Here we take a look at 4 safe surface ideas for kid’s play areas…
Rubber mats. These are great shock absorbers for the feet and falls. They can be bought in many pre-made sizes, inter-locking tile formats, with a variety colours, waterproof and slip resistant qualities. Great for areas around play equipment or for areas where you may wish to place only for a short time and stored away for later use. You can always DIY custom versions, just remember to think about shock and grip, when choosing your materials. This is an excellent option for getting the kids outside and playing safe under your carport on a rainy day. Just pack them away when you are done.
Rubber mulch. Often made from recycled or pre-used materials and looks a lot like wood and bark mulch commonly used in landscaping gardens. If you DIY this one, know that the product sold in/on stores has been treated to resist mold and is coated with durable materials, lasting for a long time. This is commonly used in public places as it convenience to deliver in bags and has the ability to allow water and moisture to run away from outdoor areas. A great choice for under and around an outdoor swing set for example.
Poured rubber. This solid surface comes in 2 layers. The first layer is made with a recycled rubber mat base, and then the upper is made from a polyurethane and rubber surface layer. This material is often produced with slip resistant properties and will allow wheelchair access. As it is poured on like concrete to a site, you can create unique areas and match it with your landscaping and design requirements. Great for permanent and high traffic areas.
Fake grass. Combine this with rubber mats and you will have a great natural looking safe surface. You can also pick the weight and density of grass type you desire. Great for areas of your lawn that you wish to protect while protecting your kids. This option can be also used if you wish to replace you grass when you have maintenance issues. Choose per your own requirements.
Add to the fun. With a little creativity you could customise these products to create a very fun and attractive play area with a range of colours and surfaces so that your children never want to play anywhere but where it is safe and not where you don’t want them. Now that is smart parenting. Just remember to use safe materials and coatings and recycled materials.
The next time you are building a veranda,making modifications to your garden, take a look at the areas that could benefit from these progressive and safe surface types, whether permanently or just for safe play times. These have become the norm in many public play areas, and all are very affordable and practical enough for any home use.