What Makes a Complete Playground?

What Makes a Complete Playground?

Direct Rubber Mulch is here to meet a growing need. Communities of all sizes are growing with little ones, and those kiddos need a place to play. Playground safety was discussed a couple of months ago, but do you know what all goes into a playground for your kids?

brown-playground-mulch-2While kids may view the playground’s main purpose as a place for fun, adults know there is more to it than that. A stay-at-home mom or dad may view the playground as a break from the constant questions from their curious ones. Educators may view it as a place for developing friendships. Scientists, however, view playgrounds as a brain stimulator and encourager of developing motor skills and relationships between shapes, colors and purposes.

Duerr Evaluation Resources (DER) paired up with Imagination Playground to evaluate just what children learn at the playground. We at Direct Rubber Mulch want to share how our products tie in to their findings. The research[1] conducted by DUR summarizes that playing for children stimulates their brain development because, depending on the circumstance and provisions, it trains their brains on repetitiveness or problem solving challenges. Children interacting with different playground equipment learn how to explore their different functions and may even attempt to test the boundaries or extent of movement.

Lauren Hufnagl from Apartment Therapy joins in agreement of these findings when approaching the color debate for child nurseries. Her article[2] included a quote from both Health First and Enfamil encouraging parents to create stimulating environments to assist children reaching their developmental milestones at a quicker pace. She also noted that too many colors, especially reds and oranges, could be over-stimulating. How does this apply to playgrounds though? Most playgrounds boast several colors from their equipment to the play surface.

Most playgrounds go with a neutral tone or the dominating playground equipment color when choosing appropriate playground surfacing materials. Playground rubber mulch or mats are some of the options recommended for child’s play because it is a cushiony surface and will not harm children like wood mulch or sand can. Sand, after all, is fine rock grinded down, and wood mulch can still give children uncomfortable splinters. At Direct Rubber Mulch, we offer six colors:

  • Painted or unpainted black
  • Brown
  • Redwood (red)
  • Caribbean Blue
  • Forest Green


It also does not get messy or soggy like sand and wood mulch can get after a downpour. There is nothing worse than having to take disappointed children home because the playground is unprepared for child’s play after a rainy day. Rubber mulch allows the water to seep through and get down to the main surface quicker and becomes drier on the surface faster.

If you are going to go with loose playground surfacing materials, then you will definitely need to use rubber borders to contain them. Rubber borders allow more flexibility for contours and creating fun shapes with playgrounds.

Make your playground complete by additionally including rubber mats under swings and slides where loose surface materials can become easily displaced. Per Federal law, it is also recommended to have wide enough walkways and ADA-compliant ramps for any inclines or declines. Direct Rubber Mulch has you covered on those materials too! Simply put, we know what makes a complete playground, and we know how to help keep your kids safe. Consider us the experts on playgrounds and get in touch to learn more!

[1]Duerr Evaluation Resources (DER). “Research Paper: The Benefits of Playgrounds for Children Aged 0-5.” 2002. Shasta Children and Families First Commission and Imaginationplayground.com. Retrieved March 5, 2014 from < http://www.imaginationplayground.com/images/content/2/9/2999/The-Benefits-of-Playgrounds-for-Children-Aged-0-5.pdf>.

[2]Hufnagl, Lauren. “Soothing Neutrals vs. Stimulating Color: What’s the Right Choice for a Nursery?” 3 September, 2013. Apartment Therapy. Retrieved March 5, 2014 from <http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/soothing-neutrals-or-stimulating-color-whats-the-right-choice-for-a-nursery-194209>.


  1. Why Children Should Play | Direct Rubber Mulch - July 21, 2014

    […] Direct Rubber Mulch is a rubber mulch landscape-surfacing distributor, and we want to take the time to recognize some of our biggest beneficiaries: children. Given that we endeavor to see a playground from a child’s point of view, our previous blog posts have specifically talked about playground safety and creating a complete playground. […]

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