Playgrounds offer hours of fun and natural exercise for kids. With Georgia’s second highest ranking for childhood obesity in the United States according to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, a playground allows for active fun without much work to get there. If you’re thinking of putting in a playground, consider tackling the project with your kids’ help, but make it fun. This approach will build memories that the kids will carry with them long after outgrowing swings, slides and even forts.
1. How to incorporate the kids: How your kids can help when building a playground will depend somewhat on their age, along with whether or not you’re putting together a kit or creating something unique from scratch. The key to having fun and fostering cherished memories is to remember the project is about the children even more than it is about the playground. With this in mind, make sure the project you plan matches your skill level and is appropriate for age levels.
2. Choose your ground cover: Before you lay your desired ground cover within the perimeter of the playground, you’ll want to dig up the grass and top soil to a depth of about 10 to 12 inches. This is one of the hardest parts of the project. For the most part, you won’t think it’s fun and neither will your kids. However, laying down mulch can be fun for kids as they help spread it around the area. Using interconnecting mats is another option and works like a giant puzzle to solve, a puzzle that is cushy and fun to jump on.
3. Consider your options: Choosing your type of playground can be a challenging part of the process. Luckily, there are a lot of options out there that have already been thought up for you. As you follow the instructions, you can have the playground of your dreams. Quality playground kits and accessories are available locally throughout the Atlanta area.
4. Take time to play: Don’t let the work of putting together a play set strip you of the fun and precious memories waiting to be made. Let kids fasten nuts and bolts, but go back and tighten them later to ensure safety. If your play set has a clubhouse, help decorate it. Let the kids come up with their own ideas while you work as their helper. For toddlers, let them assist in digging a hole to anchor the set, or spread the mulch or other ground surface materials designed to help reduce injuries. Add a special touch by creating stepping stones leading to the area, each with a set of handprints, date and name. Be sure to make one for yourself and not just for the kids.
136 Walker St.
Atlanta, GA 30313
Hours: Mon to Fri – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat and Sun – Closed
Phunzone is an Atlanta-based company that provides playground jungle gym kits compatible for both indoors and outdoors.
King of Swings
5182 Brook Hollow Pkwy
Norcross, GA 30071
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
King of Swings is known for creating durable, safe, hand-crafted wooden play sets with all kinds of fun accessories. Modular play sets are available in kits that can be delivered to your home.
190 Etowah Industrial Court
Canton, GA 30114
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Gorilla PlaySets sells all the accessories needed to create a custom play set. For example, add a ship’s wheel to any playhouse and your kid can be captain of the boat.
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Donna Sundblad lives in Calhoun Georgia northwest of Atlanta. She has worked in corporate America, owned small businesses and enjoyed a career in real estate. Ten years ago she decided to follow her dream to become a writer, and for the last seven years, she has earned a living as a writer, editor and author. Her book The Inheritance has been nominated for an Epic E-book Award. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.