Homebuyers who have young children are often on the lookout for a complete family setting – a great house that comes with a spacious back yard and plenty of fun things to keep their kids busy. Homes that offer not only space for children to play, but a ready-made playground will likely increase the chances of an offer being made to purchase.
Who doesn't remember the hours we spent as a child flying high on swings, hanging from monkey bars, zooming down a slide or digging through a sandbox. For families with young children, having a play set in the back yard will not only keep the kids within sight, but will be the perfect meeting place for their friends.
With so many options on the market for designing and building a playground area, parents must be diligent about looking for hazards. In recent years, the media was filled with stories about toys and play sets made in China that had lead paint finishes. Thankfully, those products were pulled from the store shelves. So what is the best way to keep kids occupied, other than painting windows on a cardboard box (which is good for several hours of temporary distraction)?
Play sets will vary depending on the size of the yards, but whether it is a single swing, a deluxe fort or a zip line from tall trees, there is something for everyone.
There are numerous kits available through every department store or home improvement retailer in the country. Online purchases also offer a wide variety of units with add-on features to please any pint-sized outdoor adventurer. These are primarily do-it-yourself projects to assemble, but with all of the additional features available, the sky's the limit when it comes to having the best back yard on the block.
Modern options include:
Fort modules: two-storey structures can have a built-in sandbox below the upper fort area. Slides, ladders and stairs make easy entry and exits.
Rock walls: rock climbing centers have been a huge hit with kids of all ages for years. From vertical ladders to handholds that can be attached to walls, the options are endless.
Crawl tubes: these connectors allow children to crawl from one deck to another with multiple structures built to add more fun.
Tarps: multi-colored weather covers can be added to fort structures to keep the sun or rain off children as they play.
It is up to parents to construct a play area that is safe for their children and other young ones joining the fun. Here are some tips to make sure everyone has a good time:
Make the landing soft. Building a play area on sand, asphalt or other hard surfaces will make the result of falls off equipment unpleasant. Try wood mulch or even the new granules made from recycled tires.
Install vertical slats for railings close together so little heads will not get stuck.
Use caution during hot weather. Plastic sections of playground equipment can get extremely hot and may cause burns to skin.
When the weather turns, children can still have a great adventure park in their own basement, space permitting, of course. Just as the outdoor play sets offer, these indoor versions have various modules that can be used alone or combined to make a play center that will provide hours of fun for children.
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