Kids who learn to enjoy exercise tend to stay active for the rest of their lives, reports KidsHealth. Going to the playground several times a week is a great way to let your kids play, explore and get the exercise they need, but when you have a lot on your plate, you can't always get to the playground, especially if you don't live close to one. With a little research and planning, you can create a home playground that will provide a safe place for your little ones to play and exercise in the comfort and convenience of their own backyard.
Do your homework. Browse websites that sell home playground equipment specially designed for toddlers. Toddler and preschool playground sets typically have easy-to-grip hand- and foot-holds, correctly proportioned decks and posts, as well as safety coatings so your kids can play hard and stay safe. Once you have an idea of what pieces you'd like to have, make sure to note how much space you'll need for the equipment. If you plan to do your own assembly, you'll also want to make sure you know what tools and parts you should have on hand.
Find a good spot. You'll want to choose a location for your playground that is level and has enough room for everything you plan to include. Draw up a plan and refer to the notes you took when researching equipment to ensure that you allow enough space for safe play on slides and swings.
Prepare the ground. To minimize the likelihood of serious head injuries, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends installing shock-absorbing surfacing under your playground equipment. Loose-fill materials like mulch or wood chips make soft, safe landing surfaces for your toddlers if they fall while playing; rubberized matting is another option. Whatever material you choose, make sure to follow the recommendations for installation and make sure to cover the entire area. The CPSC recommends extending the playground surface 6 feet out from the play equipment on all sides.
Follow the directions and safety guidelines for putting your equipment together. Anchor all equipment to the ground, ensuring that the nearest wall or fence is at least 6 feet away. Be sure to cap off all screws and bolts -- and check them periodically for sharp parts.
Purchase easy-to-assemble, budget-friendly, moveable climbers, slides, sandboxes, crawl tubes and basketball hoops that are all geared for the younger set if you don't want to anchor pieces to the ground -- or if you want to easily expand your already existing playground. Your kids will love helping you select brightly colored play equipment!
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