Top tips in choosing a Playground Cubby House or Fort
There are some very important choices in deciding what you are after for your children in your backyard. I have listed the top tips in choosing the right type of equipment for your backyard.
Design – Cubby House or Playground
Are you after a play area where your children can role play or imaginative play then look for a cubby house?
If your children are after a play area where they can be active and outside by running, jumping, climbing, sliding and swinging, then you need a playground. But keep in mind most playgrounds have an area or platform where they can role play or imaginative play.
Also ask your children what they want to do, do they want to role play? Or slide climb and jump?
2. Build type
Do you want a timber product, steel product or plastic?
Steel – most commercial playgrounds are made of steel and are very durable but very expensive and can rust if the steel is not protected correctly.
Plastic – plastic can be a great starting product but plastic is not very environmentally friendly and remember your children will grow fast and usually outgrow a plastic cubby house or playground over a 2 year period.
Timber – is the most used product but make sure you get the right treatment in timber. Timber is very durable product and reasonable priced but keep in mind timber does crack and split.
What climate are you in?
Hot – make sure the cubby house or playground is well ventilated and avoid tin roofs as this can be very hot to touch and on hot days you need good ventilation as it will get very hot in a cubby house with 4 walls and a tin roof. Most playgrounds are ventilated and some come with covers to protect your children from the sun. Also be careful of an enclosed cubby as all sorts on insects love the hot and humid climate.
Cold – children will avoid cold places to play so make sure the product selected is well ventilated to allow warn air from the day to warn up the play area
Remember you get what you pay for so avoid paying a cheap price for any equipment your children will be using. Also look at the size of the equipment and will your child play on this their entire childhood or will they outgrow it. Look for modular products that can be changed and added to later on to keep the cubby house or playground exciting and challenging the entire childhood. Remember what a child can do at 2 is completely different what they can do at 7.
A DIY project can be a cost effective way to give your child what they are after but always make sure you choose the correct products for durability and safety. Work out a design, cost it up and see how you go.
Installation can be organised by most cubby house or playground suppliers or why not give it a go building it yourself? It will be a great project to do over the weekend and why not get family involved and let them help you. You must look for a product that is easy to install and not complicated, you don’t want to purchase a product that is just bits of timber and you have to build every part of the cubby house or playground. Also keep in mind do you need to level the ground? What equipment do you need to build the cubby house or playground?
The Cubby house and playgrounds today are very safe with most companies using the correct timber treatments which are non toxic, the evaluations are not as high as previous years and most playgrounds that are high have safety arches and rails. Be careful of sharp edges on the tin roofs and timber and also make sure the paint or stain is child and pet friendly. Make sure cubby houses are sealed and lockable as this prevents vermin from entering or make sure the playground with a sandpit has a cover and most playgrounds are open which allows the parent or child to check for any nasties before playing.
How big does your cubbyhouse or playground need to be? Cubby hoses and playgrounds come in many sizes but in the end your child should feel comfortable with the size and remember they grow up very fast. This is very very important to remember as you don’t want to purchase 2 or 3 cubby houses playgrounds over the years. Also make sure that you can access the area and feel comfortable as it can be very exciting and rewarding to role play or swing and slide with your child.