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Playground Playsets > Design • Safety

backyard playground Playground design, siting, and landscaping are important components to planning your backyard playground.  By designing and locating the playground carefully, you can help ensure that the playground is both enjoyable and safe.

The first thing to consider when planning your playground is the size and type of yard you have.  Keep the playground away from driveways and roads for safety, as well as hard surfaces like fences and walls that could cause injury.  You'll also want to keep the playground well away from areas, like your prize rose bushes, that you don't want disturbed!

Make sure the playground is in a visible area that you can easily monitor from your house, deck, or porch.  Also be sure to check with your zoning department to ensure that where you intend to place your playground follows property line and setback rules.

playground swing with mother and child If you have a small backyard in an urban area, you'll need to be creative with your equipment placement.  To save space try combining structures, like placing a sandbox under a clubhouse.  In most suburban yards, you'll have room for a more spread out playground, and can most likely enhance it with landscaping.  In rural yards, space may not be an issue, and you will most likely be able to include as many structures and accessories as you wish.

When designing your playground, be sure to consider all the seasons, as you'll want your children to enjoy it year-round.  Rainy or wintry climates will benefit from water-proof tenting, while areas that are blustery and windy can be helped by fencing or shrubbery.  In areas with cold and snowy winters, be sure your playground doesn't interfere with sledding hills or skating areas.  And for the comfort and safety of your children, always choose an area that is partially shaded.  If there are no shaded areas in your yard, you can create shading with tarps, tenting, and umbrellas.

Once you have designed and planned your playground, before digging or banging the first nail, be sure to call all local utility companies to ensure that you are not building over any water, gas, or electric lines.

Related Playground Design Website

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    This quarterly playground industry magazine focuses on playground design, construction, and safety issues as well as play equipment.

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