Building a playground border for your kids doesn’t have to be pricey and complicated.
There are affordable and easy-to-build border ideas you can try on your own instead of having to spend on a professional woodworker or a landscape artist.
An ideal playground border type is the one that can serve your main reason for building it.
The playground is a family-friendly outdoor area for children and the other members to enjoy.
Since fun can be spontaneous at times, safety should be a primary concern to avoid injuries and other potential risks.
A playground border is an essential installment for such an area to ensure safety, contain the ground cover, and define a play space.
Affordable DIY Playground Border Ideas
Playground Landscape Timber Border
Commonly used to make planter boxes and raised beds gardening, landscape timbers can also be applied to playgrounds as borders.
Landscape timbers offer a variety of colors and materials that you can choose from to bring your creative idea to life.
Closely similar to wood planks, landscape timbers are fairly distinctive as their top and bottom features are flat and fit for stacking purposes.
Before you’re set for a border installment, you need to pick a specific landscape timber type. The two available options would be synthetic or natural landscape timbers.
When you choose synthetic timber, it means you will be using timbers made of recycled plastic. It is considered an ideal option if you are looking for a long-lasting and affordable border composition.
Synthetic timbers are also one of the popular preferences of most households because of such perks.
Natural landscape timbers, on the other hand, come in two types of treatment methods: treated or untreated.
Treated natural landscape types are the ones that are processed to last at least seven years before replacement.
Untreated timbers are good for short-term usage and more likely to break down earlier than planned.
Plastic Playground Bordering
The advantage of a plastic-made playground borders works for most daycares, schools, parks, and households.
But while plastics are known for their durability, you must consider using ones that are made to be heavy-duty and of high quality.
Plastic playground borders are composed of malleable timber with rounded edges.
Compared to wood borders, plastic playground border types are found to be safer, more attractive, and efficient alternatives in building a secured barrier for the kids’ play area.
Plastic playground borders are easily installed with the use of fine galvanized spikes. This option is also ideal when you are planning to attach and install extensions to the interlocking border system such as ADA ramps.
If the budget is on your priority list, then choosing plastic playground borders is the best decision. It is very affordable and user-friendly.
Plastic playground borders also come with a manufacturer’s warranty and require minimal maintenance.
Recycled Tire Playground Border
Another cost-effective option for playground borders would be recycled tires. Creating a barrier for a play space does not have to be extravagant nor have to empty your pockets.
You may start decluttering the back of your house, bring out your old tires, and transform them to another valuable purpose.
After collecting enough tires, you’ll realize building a suitable barrier for your kids’ playground just costs you zero.
For households who do not have old tires, you can look for cheap bargain used ones from a local tire shop.
Some shops offer recyclable tires at lower prices just for crafters or people like you who badly need them for a DIY barrier.
You can also try asking your neighbors if they have old tires they can spare.
Most of the time, you’ll be in luck because people will likely offer it for free instead of stacking it in a bin just to end up in and harm the landfills.
The rubber composition in the tire serves as a great pincushion alternative in case the kids fall or slip during playtime.
It also introduces a fun and unique element on the ground as the little ones can jump in and out or walk on the holes.
Rubber Playground Barrier
Complement the play space and contain the ground cover with a rubber playground barrier.
Rubber playground barriers support the mulch on the ground and prevent them from spilling out into the grass or outside the border.
Aside from containing the ground cover, a rubber playground barrier has a round top design that can act as another element for safety to reduce risks.
Rubber timbers are an eco-friendly alternative since they are usually made from recycled rubbers.
Aside from being a budget-wise and ecological option, rubber timbers can bend and conform to any shape you desire for the playground.
Their flexibility is often the reason why most people prefer them to be barriers and flower beds.
Furthermore, rubber timbers also serve as excellent drainage ports. It keeps the landscape area free from stagnant water as it ensures uninterrupted flow.
Rubber playground barriers, like plastic-made types, are trouble-free to install with just three spikes to be held down into the surface of the area.
The most common barrier option for a playground is building a concrete pathway around the playing area.
It securely covers the ground cover materials and separates the playing area with an allocated space for a wide walkway.
Such border types are usually seen in public playgrounds or kids’ areas in a particular community, but you can still apply a similar method in your home.
Building a concrete pathway starts with high-quality flagstones. They are to be cut in rectangular or square shapes and used to complement the whole landscape.
Materials used for flagstones are just adaptable to projects other than playground barriers. Flagstones can also be made into small retaining walls, fences, floors, and patios.
Concrete pathways are acid-resistant playground borders and can complement any area.
The process of making concrete pathways can be done in these few steps:
- Smoothening the texture of the soil
- Putting the stones
- Leaving the surface out
- Stuffing the gaps, and
- Assembling all the pieces.
Wood Logs for Raised Play Area
If you want to create a leveled play area for your kids, you can start working with the borders and use wood logs to establish a raised playing space.
Although a raised play area is not a good idea for families that have little children who are still learning to take steps, wood logs add a unique elevation element and consequently keep the mulch altogether without spilling out.
Wood is a versatile material that can adapt to any type of landscaping. Its minimalistic approach will beautifully blend into the design of any playground.
The only problem with wood materials is that they do not guarantee a long-lasting life service as they are prone to damage when exposed to unfavorable weather conditions.
However, they can act as a good playground border for at least 20 years when properly maintained.
Wood logs for the raised play area just fall within an affordable market price and are easy to install in any space, making them an excellent choice for DIY projects.
“Frame It All” Playground Border
The Frame It All playground border is a landscape method developed by a professional designer.
It is a type of bordering system that prioritizes safe surfacing, a secured play area, and cost-effective build quality.
With sustainable wood fibers and food-grade recycled plastic, this border type is guaranteed to be durable and feasible for your playground area.
Frame It All is not only a durable barrier, but this border method also establishes a safe playing area for the children as it keeps them from splinters and chemical consumption.
It will be set as a safe isolated space specifically for playtime. Frame It All borders are designed to withstand outdoor obstructions and maintain a certain firm structure.
Simply slide each board using snap-lock buttons and install the border. Frame It All also works for garden beds, sandboxes, and other landscape types.
Like rubbers and wood timbers, Frame It All avoids ground mulch from spilling over into surfaces beyond the border.
Ground Covers for your Play Area
Mostly used for dog parks, vehicle parking zones, and playgrounds, pea gravel is a ground cover that provides an aesthetic and natural approach at the lowest price possible.
Pea gravel also helps in reducing weed growth in an area.
However, it is not the most advisable for ground cover when you have small children. This is because pea gravel does not guarantee full protection against falling or tripping.
Other red flags of pea gravel include:
- Its failure to help owners identify broken glass on the ground.
- The debris could be lodged under your shoes and destroy the flooring of your house when you happen to not know about the pieces clogging the crevices of your footwear.
- Pea gravel pieces are likewise dangerous to small children as the pieces are potential choking hazards.
Yet, if you can manage such disadvantages, pea gravel is a low-maintenance and low-cost landscaping material that will greatly save you from buying expensive ones for a DIY project.
Artificial Turf Grass
A playing surface with artificial turf glass promotes excellent drainage ports.
Installing such a grass will create an even space while displaying an ever-green lush grass that does not require a watering routine.
Artificial turf grass is more costly than planting organic plants. But since it’s low-maintenance, you’ll save your effort, money, and time in the long run.
One con for this material is that you’ll need to keep up with its occasional rinse, removing any pet waste and fluffing up the fibers.
Other than such minimal tasks, artificial turf glass will blend perfectly with any of your desired landscape designs. Plus, artificial turf grass is convenient for wheelchairs and strollers.
During hot seasons, artificial turf could feel hotter than organic ones, but you can aid it beforehand by shading the grass using canopies and umbrellas, or planting large trees.
As it becomes one of the popular ground cover options for playground barriers, rubber mulch is a shredded rubber piece that is turned into an ideal option for play areas.
People are drawn to rubber mulch’s capacity to provide a safe cushion for children in case they fall or trip while having fun in the playground.
Bouncy and comfy to step on, rubber mulch also acts as helpful barriers against the rapid growth of weeds.
Homeowners and consumers consider rubber mulch as a material with multiple uses and benefits.
Most rubber mulch in the market is constructed from reused rubber components or recycled rubber pieces.
While there’s no firm record yet of households experiencing negative circumstances from using rubber as ground mulch, it is not easy to determine whether such materials are carrying contaminants or toxic chemicals.
What you can do, however, is to check with the company where the purchased rubber mulch is manufactured.
Mulch and Wood Chips
If you prefer to add a superior curb appeal, mulch and wood chips are what you’re looking for. Mulch and wood chips can adapt and supplement any landscaping structures.
They usually arrive in different color variations and transform outdoor spaces into a fun and bright environment for playtimes.
Thus, adding them into a playground will present a friendly ambiance and attract the kids to hop in the playing area.
Unfortunately, these mulch types are somewhat dangerous as they can cover potential hazards, form mold, and harbor insects.
Small children are not advised to step into mulch and chips since they can be exposed to splinters and choking hazards.
However, mulch and wood chips are a good alternative ground cover for playing grounds for older kids.
Easy and convenient especially for those who have an already existing lawn, some owners prefer natural grass as a ground cover more than other types of materials.
You can simply install a playground or erect a timber on an available healthy lawn inside your property. But since it’s natural and organic, it requires proper maintenance from homeowners.
It needs to be watered, fertilized, mowed, and weeded. Natural grass can also harbor bacteria and insects.
If you choose natural glass as the ground cover for a playground, you have to ensure that the spots are even enough to provide soft landing or cushioning for kids.
Aside from its surface, watering the grass to keep the evergreen also means risking the playground equipment to rot or rust.
Natural grass will complement any outdoor ground surface, yet it can also bring trouble to you and your children if not properly maintained.
Observe the structure and the build of the playground and weigh the cons and pros of choosing natural grass as a groundcover.
A playground is one of the best places for your kids as it’s the area in the house where they can play and enjoy with friends and family.
Installing a playground border will set the play area and make it more secluded. More importantly, it establishes safety for the young ones.
Now you can make one in your home with these easy and affordable DIY playground border ideas.