Playgrounds – How to Make Them Fun, Safe and Affordable

While creating your own playground will take some planning, it is for certain that your kids will exercise as they are having fun. The good part about this is that the playground does not have to be huge, and therefore expensive. A wide selection of swing and slide sets as well as towers and sandboxes can make for big memories regardless of the playground’s actual size.

First of all, you need to assess the size of the area as well as available materials for your playground. Considerations such as safety and budget constraints should also be in the mix. To get started, ask yourself these questions:

• How much space is available for a playground?
• Is the area sheltered or mostly outdoors?
• Are you willing to build the equipment from scratch or would you rather buy them as kits?
• How much money will you set aside for the project?

• What safety issues do you foresee with the playground?

One thing you should remember: bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. This is particularly so when space is limited. You just need to incorporate strategic pieces that will engage your tots. Great thing about children is that 90% of the fun they get out of playgrounds come from their own imagination. The remaining 10% you provide is just to give them something to work their minds on.

Selections for playground pieces have also corresponded to customers with the limited space and therefore have put out smaller versions of play structures like swings and slides.

Now comes the choice: Metal? Plastic? Wood? What are the pros and cons? Here is a brief run-through:

Play sets made of plastic are perfect for small children. They are light and therefore setup is easy, and it is portable as well. They can also come in a wide selection of bright colors for mini playhouses, jungle gyms, and swings. They can easily be bought either online or at your local retail stores.

Metal playground pieces should be made galvanized to prevent rust from forming. Painting also prevents rusting as well. Make sure that thick gauge steel is used for the swing set particularly for the top bar. Standard swing sets made of metal can sufficiently usually support a limit of 70 pounds for every child.

Play sets made from quality wood like redwood and cedar are more sturdy and attractive. Given proper care and maintenance, they can outlast plastic or metal sets. These can hold around 115 pounds or slightly more per child. Such wood as well as the pressure-treated variety can withstand moisture.

To buy or to build?
Metal and plastic play sets are factory-manufactured and are available in local stores or online. It is preferable to shop with the children so that you can target items of their preference as well as of their size. You are sure to find one that not only meets these criteria, but safety and prize as well.

It will be good to remember that you will need to assemble these sets yourself. This can be done in just a few hours. Also remember to include the delivery price to the retail price of the set as it can cost you significantly. In such cases, try to arrange for your own transportation to do this.

If you choose to get a wood play set you have these options:

– Save money by buying a detailed kit (except for the wood, which you need to buy yourself). You will have to spend more hours to cut and drill the wood before moving onto assembly. You will need to be prepared to do some exact measuring as well before you can bolt together the pieces.

– You can buy the kit, which includes the wood you will be working on. The wood comes pre-cut and pre-drilled and will not take as much time to assemble.

– If assembly is not really your thing, you can avail of the kit and installation services and not have to worry about a thing.

Finally, you need to go over the play set and play area thoroughly for safety issues. It is best to have a child’s mind and eye with this one. Always ask yourself “How would my child see this particular slide/swing?” Are there bars or chains that can potentially snags clothing or injure your child? If there are, remedy these immediately before you allow the child to play in the area. Also, never let a child play unsupervised – this by far, is the prime reason for serious, if not fatal accidents in the playground.

The work it takes to build a playground may be exhausting. But it is definitely time well spent. You are not only giving your child a good play set, you are also allowing him or her the opportunity to build many happy memories.

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