In the not-too-distant past, climbing frames were outdoor play items that were rarely seen in a domestic setting. Mostly reserved for parks and playgrounds, climbing apparatus wasn’t considered practical or affordable enough to have at home.
However, according to research published on Larger Family Life, times are changing. Domestic play equipment is becoming more common and climbing frames are now something that can be found in many gardens. This is great news for busy parents who can supervise their children from the comfort of their home while knowing that they are getting valuable outdoor exercise and improving their spatial awareness, balance and agility through climbing.
If a back-garden climbing frame is something you’re considering, you also need to think about maintaining it and keeping it safe. Safety surfacing is an important factor to consider when installing play equipment, especially climbing apparatus. What are the options and which would suit you best?
If you choose to install your climbing frame on a lawn, the grass will offer some natural protection, at least during the summer months. Although it is convenient and inexpensive, grass doesn’t last all year. During autumn and winter, there’s a good chance the ground will become boggy or hard, offering little or no protection.
Bark chippings are a cost-effective and natural product that will offer cushioning underneath a climbing frame in the event of a tumble or fall. Aesthetically they can look very appealing, especially when paired with wood climbing frames (http://www.niclimbingframes.com/climbing-frames), but as a lightweight product, they can get blown or paddled away quite easily, which may mean you’re regularly topping them up.
Used in a similar way to bark, rubber chippings are more hard-wearing, which means they may offer more protection and are less likely to blow away. They are also generally made from recycled rubber, which means they are ethical in addition to b eing practical. The only downside is that they are less aesthetically pleasing and can become sticky in hot weather.
Rubber matting is usually found in commercial parks and playgrounds because it is the most effective safety surfacing. Laid in grids, the panels lock together to provide full coverage. Over time, grass can even grow through and around them, making them less noticeable.