If you've got small children, having some sort of play structure in your backyard will provide them with hours of entertainment.  One of the hardest decisions about the play structure is deciding what to put underneath it.  A contractor can help you decide what the best type of ground cover is for your backyard, but it doesn't hurt to do some research ahead of time.  The following are some options when it comes to ground covering for play structures.

Rubber Mulch

This is a relatively newer method of covering a playground area.  People like the fact that it cushions the falls of children.  It is also low maintenance since it acts as a weed repellent.  One potential downside is that it is generally made from recycled material which means it could contain contaminants.  It is wise to buy it from a trusted source.  If the rubber is new, it may smell when it is hot outside.

Poured Rubber

Many playgrounds now use this ground cover method.  It is springy and slip resistant.  In addition, the rubber comes in many colors making it easy to match to other landscaping ideas.  Poured rubber provides an even surface for playing and drains well.  The downside is the cost.  Many homeowners find that this type of ground cover is not in their backyard budget.


Many backyards are landscaped with grass and so it is an obvious choice to put under a play structure.  Some of the downsides of this option are the high maintenance costs associated with it.  Grass has to be watered, mowed and weeded.  In addition, grass creates a friendly environment for critters that can bite little ones.  The play surface is also more likely to be uneven.


Sand has also been a popular choice for play structures over the years.  It is affordable and also cushions the falls of children as long as it is deep enough.  One of the biggest nuisances with sand is that it is easy to track everywhere.  This means that if kids are playing outside and then immediately come inside, you will likely end up with sand all over your house.

Other Considerations

You will want to make sure that the ground cover is significantly larger than the play equipment, so that any falls happen on the cover.  You will also want a border to make sure that the ground cover you choose stays where it belongs.  Also, you will want to make sure that the play structure will be placed in an area that is easily supervised by adults.

Of course the overall look of your backyard is an important factor to keep in mind when choosing a ground cover for a play area.  A contractor (such as one from Gibson Construction Of Nevada Inc) can help you make a safe, affordable and attractive choice for landscaping a play area.