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  #1  
Old 03-25-2010, 10:13 AM
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Default Playground Question

What do you use under your playground equirment? Wood chips, bark mulch, grass or dirt, sand etc.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:58 PM
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Rubber Mulch is another alternative: http://rubberecycle.com/
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2010, 06:14 AM
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My former center had pea gravel but I am sure there are better options are there
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:23 AM
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I started out having my Little Tykes climber and castle on the grass. The grass got wore down to mudd, we had to move it everytime we mowed. it was a pain in the butt. Then I took over my husbands garden area. I used landscape timbers and edged the area off. I put down a weed barrier, then I went to Menards and for under $100 I bought the green outdoor carpet (it is recycled plastic so will last forever) and landscape U shaped things to hold it down. So, my playarea is covered with outdoor carpet. It works abosolutely great. When it rains, it dries faster than the grass, the water just seeps through. If it needs clean, I can sweep it with a broom or hose it off. It is no different than playing on the real grass, only without all the destruction and mess. It has went thru 2 winters and it is in the same condition as when I put it down.

I originally started out with mulch, and after spending about $75 in mulch the first year and it breaking down and needing much more the 2nd year, I came up with this. Not to count how many times I had to clean mulch out of my yard because they threw it all over the grass.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:44 AM
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I started out having my Little Tykes climber and castle on the grass. The grass got wore down to mudd, we had to move it everytime we mowed. it was a pain in the butt. Then I took over my husbands garden area. I used landscape timbers and edged the area off. I put down a weed barrier, then I went to Menards and for under $100 I bought the green outdoor carpet (it is recycled plastic so will last forever) and landscape U shaped things to hold it down. So, my playarea is covered with outdoor carpet. It works abosolutely great. When it rains, it dries faster than the grass, the water just seeps through. If it needs clean, I can sweep it with a broom or hose it off. It is no different than playing on the real grass, only without all the destruction and mess. It has went thru 2 winters and it is in the same condition as when I put it down.

I originally started out with mulch, and after spending about $75 in mulch the first year and it breaking down and needing much more the 2nd year, I came up with this. Not to count how many times I had to clean mulch out of my yard because they threw it all over the grass.
I HEAR YOU MAC 60! Right now we have our play structure on the grass. I pull it around to different areas of the yard when the grass starts to wear down to mud. Not to mention the pain of moving it EVERY time we mow! This summer I plan to redo the play area and am really wondering what to do for the surface under it. I too dont want wood chips all over the grass but that is what I was planning on buying. How would you prevent this from happening?!? Do you have any pictures of your fake grass area? I am interested in exploring this option but would love to see what it looks like first.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:18 AM
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original kat....send your email to my private message and I will email you a pic.
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2010, 08:59 AM
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I started out having my Little Tykes climber and castle on the grass. The grass got wore down to mudd, we had to move it everytime we mowed. it was a pain in the butt. Then I took over my husbands garden area. I used landscape timbers and edged the area off. I put down a weed barrier, then I went to Menards and for under $100 I bought the green outdoor carpet (it is recycled plastic so will last forever) and landscape U shaped things to hold it down. So, my playarea is covered with outdoor carpet. It works abosolutely great. When it rains, it dries faster than the grass, the water just seeps through. If it needs clean, I can sweep it with a broom or hose it off. It is no different than playing on the real grass, only without all the destruction and mess. It has went thru 2 winters and it is in the same condition as when I put it down.

I originally started out with mulch, and after spending about $75 in mulch the first year and it breaking down and needing much more the 2nd year, I came up with this. Not to count how many times I had to clean mulch out of my yard because they threw it all over the grass.
What do you put under that carpet,?I use wooden chips now and it is a pain,I have to add more chips every year and for my assessments it is never enough,All I know it should be 4 inches deep. So,how it will work with that carpet.Can you please send me a picture too???I will send you my e-mail.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:31 AM
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Mac60 I like the idea of your grass carpet! I don't see why I can't use it right over the mulch. I use engineered mulch, I can't stand the pea gravel it gets tracked in or the babies are always eating the stones. I checked into the rubber mulch but it is exorbitant in price plus I worry about the babies eating it too. I guess I'd rather have them eat a tree rather than rubber, lol. I have 12 inches of mulch under the play structure which is conforming with the federal guidelines concerning the height of the fall zones for my equipment.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:38 AM
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I used these lawn fabric U shaped things that are made for using on landscape fabric around the outside edges to keep it in place. They worked great.
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:01 AM
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I will try to post a pic. I did it. The trick is you have to resize your picture to a much smaller size. I do pull the teeter totter and picnic table out into the grass each day to spread out the activities.
This looks awesome!! Your puppies are cute as well!!
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  #11  
Old 03-26-2010, 10:07 AM
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This looks awesome!! Your puppies are cute as well!!
It certainly beats the mulch mess, and it beats moving everything around when mowing, and it drains and dries off quickly.
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:59 AM
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Mac60 I like the idea of your grass carpet! I don't see why I can't use it right over the mulch. I use engineered mulch, I can't stand the pea gravel it gets tracked in or the babies are always eating the stones. I checked into the rubber mulch but it is exorbitant in price plus I worry about the babies eating it too. I guess I'd rather have them eat a tree rather than rubber, lol. I have 12 inches of mulch under the play structure which is conforming with the federal guidelines concerning the height of the fall zones for my equipment.
12 inches deep?? how big is your playground? mine about 32 X 22 feet if I put 12 inches deep it is going to be a lot of money.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:32 AM
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Liliya, Play area is 20x33. We used the federal guidelines to determine the size and the mulch depth but your state might not be as picky. It has to do with the height of the equipment. I received a grant from my state for $3500 dollars to make my daycare more inclusive and we went with the feds rather than the state requirements because we wanted it to "look" good and it is much safer. Insurance and liability were also factored in. We do refresh it every two years and the mulch is engineered which costs a little more.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:24 PM
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You know what...I REALLY like this! It looks so neat and tidy. I know my dog would also lay on that warm fake grass as well. So mulch, no mess. In my state it says we can have grass under our play equipment as long as it is not "worn" so I dont see why I couldnt lay this right over my grass and be within regulation. Hmmm...thanks I will really have to look into this.
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  #15  
Old 04-30-2010, 10:07 AM
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Default Green Carpet

I have a FCCH and I am too interested in placing the green carpet down for my play area. Having a mixture of children especially toddlers, I want them to be safe and be able to explore.
Do you have pictures and the process in how you did your play area?
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  #16  
Old 05-01-2010, 08:32 AM
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Just grass here. I don't want woodchips or mulch all over my grass.
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  #17  
Old 05-01-2010, 10:07 AM
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Waaah! Looks like you may have posted the pic, then deleted it??? (There is a quote that won't direct link now)

I so wanted to see the pic, could you pretty please post it again?
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  #18  
Old 05-01-2010, 12:34 PM
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Sand...it is a bit of a mess but the kids love it...
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  #19  
Old 05-02-2010, 01:06 PM
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Yes, Mac 60 I wish I could still see the picture of your play area too. On a side note...I think we are going to go the artificial grass direction under our new playset but in a natural brown fleck color. I hope it works out!! I am going to Lowes to pick it up now. I will post a picture when it is completed.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for posting that again! I've been thinking about this post all week; it's been muddy under our swings this week and I was trying to figure out how I could use the grass carpet. The picture really helps! I love the castle!
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  #21  
Old 05-02-2010, 04:42 PM
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I bought it a Menards for like .19 per foot, my area is about 15 x 25. In our Menards ad the grass carpet was on sale in the flyer.
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Old 05-02-2010, 04:47 PM
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Thanks Mac 60! We are getting ours this evening. I hope our works as well as yours has. I will keep you posted.
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:54 PM
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Well phooey! It won't let me see! I'm new, so I'm guessing I need more posts?

I know...I should probably read the forum rules, huh?

Help!
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  #24  
Old 05-02-2010, 10:43 PM
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the green carpet is a neat idea.

i just have grass because my yard is basically a field and i always thought it would look weird sectioning off one area. plus, it's never been a problem for me. the kids hardly ever even play on the friggin' equipment anyway!

i did go to a playground one time that had the rubber mulch that michael mentioned. it was really cool..it was like tires had been sent through a shredder. much better than mulch or rocks that always get stuck in your shoes!
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:35 AM
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Okay, so we finally got our playset up and we put the outdoor carpet underneath yesterday evening. I was really nervous about doing this, but I figured if we didnt end up liking it then we could always put another loose surfacing in later. We still need to edge the area with landscape ties to give it a finished look.


Here is a close-up of the outdoor carpet.

It rained and was very windy last night and the carpet did not move with all the wind and we have not even staked it down yet! Also, there were no puddles and it was nearly dry this morning. So far so good.
What do you guys think? Do you think it looks okay?
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:39 AM
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Okay, so we finally got our playset up and we put the outdoor carpet underneath yesterday evening. I was really nervous about doing this, but I figured if we didnt end up liking it then we could always put another loose surfacing in later. We still need to edge the area with landscape ties to give it a finished look.


Here is a close-up of the outdoor carpet.

It rained and was very windy last night and the carpet did not move with all the wind and we have not even staked it down yet! Also, there were no puddles and it was nearly dry this morning. So far so good.
What do you guys think? Do you think it looks okay?
We have pretty much the exact same setup except ours has the crawl tunnel over top of the swings. And ours has a deck on two sides of the house. But pretty much the same! Our kids and dck's love it! Enjoy!
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:41 AM
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I think it looks fine. We too have a heck of a lot of rain this weekend, and the kids played on our "fake grass" and it too was almost dry. While the yard is still wet this afternoon. I think you will really like it.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:24 PM
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Just wondering, what is UNDER the carpeting? There needs to be some type of cushioning to absorb the impact of a fall from the swings. Is it just grass/dirt underneath?

But, it looks really nice!
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:42 PM
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Those of you who don't have to have tremendous amounts of mulch or sand under your equipment are very lucky. We can't even have small climbers placed on grass area's. They have to be placed on surfaces. I would love to get a large play set for my DCK's but can't afford the space or materials to make it up to code.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:47 PM
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My state allows for play structures to be on the grass if you are registered. If you are licensed I think you have to have mulch or other surfacing.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:50 AM
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For me, it would not matter what the state says....I'd put in the cushioning or wouldn't have the equipment. If there is no cushioning under it, and a child falls off of the swings and hits head and gets concussion, breaks an arm, or whatever, it won't matter to the parents what the State says, they can still sue me, and I'd still feel guilty for not properly protecting children. If, as providers being paid to care for children, we choose to have swingsets or high climbers, it is our responsibility to spend the money to properly cushion the fall zone. If we do not want to spend it, we should just use smaller equipment without swings.

Yes, I have swings. I also have two areas of my backyard that we dug out the soil from and put in 8 inches of playground bark chips....it was expensive and I add a little each year, but worth the piece of mind.

BTW, I am only referring to the space with swings and high climbing equipment.....the climbers Mac has are low enough to not have to worry to much about the fall zone.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:55 AM
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Original kat-
It looks just like cement underneath it from the picture. What is it exactly under it? maybe you can get a closer picture or something.
Thanks!!
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:34 AM
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I have landscape fabric, then rubber mats under fall zones in my main play area, with wood chip mulch on top covering it to meet requirements. I do replace a little mulch each year- and it the kid-dye safe wood mulch- environmentally friendly etc- but I don't mind. I think it looks nice, it is biodegradeable, provides good cushion for falls, not really that expensive, and more edible than many other options. I like the natural look,and having a specific playground area with fall factor is not only required, it helps me designate play areas, thus enabling me to protect the rest of the yard from excessive wear & tear. I have a second separate play area under my huge maple tree with a 6x8 sandbox, cabin playhouse etc that I have small jigsaw mats for the one toddler slide- and as a floor to my playhouse. I scatter a light layer of mulch here just to cut down on dirt & so I dont have to mow. My pics of my yard are on my cell, which is a lame one without internet lol, so I'm going to message them to my hubby who can upload them to my FB/email via Blackberry when he wakes up this afternoon.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:51 AM
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I think it looks great! We have a much older playset, but it's similar to yours. My kids love it. I really like the outdoor carpet idea. That must really help with the grass cutting. It takes me forever to move all of our play equipment off the grass and then to mow and weed-eat around the big 'ol playset and then move everything back... Makes me tired to think about it! lol
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:02 PM
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I have landscape fabric, then rubber mats under fall zones in my main play area, with wood chip mulch on top covering it to meet requirements. I do replace a little mulch each year- and it the kid-dye safe wood mulch- environmentally friendly etc- but I don't mind. I think it looks nice, it is biodegradeable, provides good cushion for falls, not really that expensive, and more edible than many other options. I like the natural look,and having a specific playground area with fall factor is not only required, it helps me designate play areas, thus enabling me to protect the rest of the yard from excessive wear & tear. I have a second separate play area under my huge maple tree with a 6x8 sandbox, cabin playhouse etc that I have small jigsaw mats for the one toddler slide- and as a floor to my playhouse. I scatter a light layer of mulch here just to cut down on dirt & so I dont have to mow. My pics of my yard are on my cell, which is a lame one without internet lol, so I'm going to message them to my hubby who can upload them to my FB/email via Blackberry when he wakes up this afternoon.
I would love to see the pictures Carole.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:52 PM
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what do you use under your playground equirment? Wood chips, bark mulch, grass or dirt, sand etc.
i'm trying to open up a daycare and need to know what i need to do
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:20 PM
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i'm trying to open up a daycare and need to know what i need to do
This is off topic. But start here:

You state's requirements and contact numbers located at:
http://www.daycare.com/states.html

Daycare Startup Guide Kit:
http://daycare.com/starting_a_daycare/index.html

Accredited Daycare Classes:
http://www.pennfoster.edu/urm.php?so...cro/index.html
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:49 PM
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Im a contractor to a good sized daycare in Pennsylvania. I'm looking for a 24' x 24' outdoor carpet for a playground we built. We have been using a fake grass outdoor carpet we purchased from lowes. But the largest width size is 12' or 15' so we had a seam. It always tends to separate and fray which gets us written up in inspections. Is there any way to special order the size I need?
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:11 PM
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Contact companies that do golf domes and indoor sports arenas would work, just google it. We used commercial outdoor carpet used for boats that we picked up used from a craigslist ad and it hasn't frayed or shown any wear in three years. Love It!.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:39 PM
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can anyone post some more recent pics of your outdoor carpet? I just completed my back yard up to regs with the mulch but the small part that is left where grass should be looks horrible.

I am really considering the fake grass carpet....

Do you put anything underneth it to prevent mold, mud or anything else?
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:39 AM
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http://www.daycare.com/forum/showthr...ght=playground
This thread probably will answer all your questions and has lots of photos too.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:52 AM
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I just purchased a very large outdoor structure.

My licensor informed me that here infants/toddlers are not allowed up higher than about 2 feet (because standing at the top of the slide makes it more like 3-4 feet fall if they fell.

As for the older kids, same deal (if structure landing is 4 feet up they are more like 6-7 feet fall if they tumble over.

She suggested sand or pea gravel, as that will increase the age range for use on the structure. I'm hesitant about sand (because of animals/cats in the neighborhood) and the pea gravel to me just screams "eat me" to the littles, because I'm battling the putting stuff in the mouth right now.

I'm thinking I'll likely look into the rubber chips and see how much they will cost here.

If they fall and land on a flat surface, they can really get hurt is what I was informed. Unless you have a completely closed off fort up top, and a tube slide. But licensor told me even still, whereever they are climbing up into the fort, is a perfect place from them to fall still. OYE!
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:09 AM
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I have 9 inches of playground mulch under all my equipement, I re-did it last year got landscape timbers to build the area in I think the area was like 40'X40', pretty big, I spent $900 on mulch. I at first was considering pea gravel, but we had to wheel barrel it all from the driveway all the way around to the back, and I needed 30 yards, and gravel is sooo heavy, Mulch was just the better alternative, Rubber mulch, I had quotes would have been well into the thousands, and it never goes away, it is so nice, but if you ever want to stop, its harder to get rid of, I do like that wood chips can go right into the earth, they will have to be topped off though every other year though. To me the outdoor grass unless its cushioned makes no difference as you can still get very hurt falling. I had one girl the week before my mulch was scheduled to be put down fall off the monkey bars and land on her wrist and it had a slight fracture, I have had many falls since the mulch, and everyone is always okay. And when I had the 30 yards of mulch delivered, I had 9 people come over with wheel barrels, and we got it done very fast.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:52 AM
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http://www.daycare.com/forum/showthr...ght=playground
This thread probably will answer all your questions and has lots of photos too.
Thank you
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:32 PM
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I have 9 inches of playground mulch under all my equipement, I re-did it last year got landscape timbers to build the area in I think the area was like 40'X40', pretty big, I spent $900 on mulch. I at first was considering pea gravel, but we had to wheel barrel it all from the driveway all the way around to the back, and I needed 30 yards, and gravel is sooo heavy, Mulch was just the better alternative, Rubber mulch, I had quotes would have been well into the thousands, and it never goes away, it is so nice, but if you ever want to stop, its harder to get rid of, I do like that wood chips can go right into the earth, they will have to be topped off though every other year though. To me the outdoor grass unless its cushioned makes no difference as you can still get very hurt falling. I had one girl the week before my mulch was scheduled to be put down fall off the monkey bars and land on her wrist and it had a slight fracture, I have had many falls since the mulch, and everyone is always okay. And when I had the 30 yards of mulch delivered, I had 9 people come over with wheel barrels, and we got it done very fast.
We have 12 inches of wood chips under our carpet and haven't needed to replace/refresh yet. If we do all we have to do is pull the landscape staples, put in new chips and re-staple.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:19 AM
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Those of you who don't have to have tremendous amounts of mulch or sand under your equipment are very lucky. We can't even have small climbers placed on grass area's. They have to be placed on surfaces. I would love to get a large play set for my DCK's but can't afford the space or materials to make it up to code.
Agree! I sold my play set because I was going to need 12' of mulch 6" or more deep! So I have been looking for alternatives for my dck's... I purchased a teeter totter that they LOVE only to be told that needs 6" of mulch under it too! If their feet can leave the floor mulch (or substrate) is required now! The inspection lady said they even required it for a little tikes alligator teeter totter!!
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:31 AM
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Agree! I sold my play set because I was going to need 12' of mulch 6" or more deep! So I have been looking for alternatives for my dck's... I purchased a teeter totter that they LOVE only to be told that needs 6" of mulch under it too! If their feet can leave the floor mulch (or substrate) is required now! The inspection lady said they even required it for a little tikes alligator teeter totter!!
The information in this thread is probably still relevant but the post you are quoting is from 2010.
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:55 PM
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We're getting our ground cover in this weekend. We have to have 9" of approved material with a 6 foot fall zone surrounding any play equipment intended for climbing. We are putting in a 25' x 30' wood enclosure filled with pea gravel. It will cost about $1,000 by the time we pay for the gravel and lumber. This is all for a little tikes 8-in-1 playground climber for toddlers. Since we are going to the expense of putting in the ground cover, we will probably upgrade the little tikes toy to a big wooden playground in the near future to keep up with our competition in the area. We decided to use pea gravel instead of wood chips because pea gravel doesn't need to be topped off and maintained as often as wood chips.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:29 PM
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This post is old...but I just wanted to update my information on the outdoor carpet under the play set. I ended up putting pea gravel over the outdoor carpet (4-6 in deep). That was 3 years ago. I have never replenished it and NO weeds have grown into the rocks because of the outdoor carpet. BEST choice I could have made. I highly recommend it.
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