Guide to Building A Play Area Using Mulch

If you have a large garden and you have young children, it can be a great idea to create a safe play area for them using mulch. A mulched play area can help to save your lawn from becoming irreparably damaged and also means that your kids can have friends round to play, without you having to take them to the park.

Create a mulched play area

Before you order your mulch from a local mulch supplier, choose a suitable site in your backyard in which to site the play area. The ground should be level and well-draining and the site should be well away from a busy road. You will also need to allow plenty of room to build a gated fence around the site to keep pets out and to stop younger kids from running out and getting into mischief in other areas of the garden.

Prepare the ground

The first thing you will need to do is to remove any old turf, topsoil or rubble from the proposed play area. As the area is likely to be quite large, the best way to do this is to hire a suitable tool from a local tool hire shop. You may also need to hire a skip in which to store unwanted wasted material.

Excavate the area to a depth of around half a metre. Remove any sharp stones or tree roots so that the base you have created is flat and smooth. Roll the soil to compact it, again using a suitable tool hired from a local tool hire shop.

Use reclaimed railway sleepers placed around the perimeter of the site to form a barrier that will prevent the filling from creeping out into the garden.

Fill the bottom few centimetres of the base with sharp sand, available from a building supplies or DIY store. The sand will ensure that the play area drains properly after heavy rain and will prevent the mulch from becoming waterlogged and rotting. If you live in an area with a very dry climate, you will not need to add quite so much sand, as your drainage will naturally be better.

Finally, fill the remainder of the space in the play area with mulch. The best type of mulch for this project is soft, shredded bark mulch. Soft mulch will provide a safe landing surface and prevent injury. Fine bark shreds are also less likely to cause splinters or bruising if a child was to fall onto the surface.