Kids love playing outside–just mention the park and their eyes light up. Unfortunately, most of the backyards in Las Vegas are small with brick walls and barren desert landscaping, making them not-so-ideal places for a playground. Luckily, there a few easy ways to spruce up your space and make a play area for your children.
1. Create a surface for your play area. You may want to consider options besides grass and concrete patios. If your backyard is large enough for playground equipment, you have to consider what type of surface you want under the equipment. Wood chips can be messy and sand could be a litter box to unwanted critters. Rubber mulch is great option. Made from recycled rubber tires, it covers well and does not degrade. For a smooth surface, try Play Fall Safety Tiles. These easy to install tiles are non-toxic and similar to the rubber surfaces you find at commercial playgrounds.
Another option is to create a small play area with synthetic or stone landscape pavers or artificial turf. You can find do-it-yourself guides and books at almost any home improvement store. Store personnel can tell you how much material you will need based on your yard measurements. Then your kids can help prepare the area. Getting the children involved is a great way to create family time and they will love to be a part of the construction process.
2. Do your homework. Play structures come in kits ready to be assembled by you. Prices range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Some bargain kits do not include lumber, so if you are not confident in your woodworking skills you may want to skip it. You can buy kits at home improvement stores, toy stores and online. You can can find add-ons like telescopes and zip lines to make your structure unique. Playground Warehouse has a local showroom where you can see kits assembled and get a better idea of what would work in your yard.
3. Spruce it up with potted plants and children’s garden furniture. Smaller children will delight in a small plastic playhouse or slide. Teach your kids how to garden at Star Nursery’s Kids Garden Club. The free classes are held year round every other Saturday.
4. Don’t be afraid to budget shop. If you are on a tight budget, consider looking at garage sales, classifieds and children’s consignment stores. Kids outgrow playground equipment and you can pick up them up for little or nothing.
These two local businesses may be able to help you get started:
3110 Ponderosa, Suite A
Las Vegas, NV 89118
Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs to Sat – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wed – Closed
Playground Warehouse is a local company that sells residential and commercial playground equipment. They have a large indoor showroom where you can see many of the kits assembled.
9480 West Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89147
Hours: Mon to Sat – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Star Nursery is a local landscape and plant supplier. They sell every garden related item including plants, trees, decorative rock and flagstone. Kids can learn how to garden at free year round Kids Club gardening classes.
For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSLasVegas.com/YourHome.
Christa Emmer is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in broadcast journalism. She has experience as a news writer, editor and producer in television news. Christa has been a Las Vegas resident for more than 20 years. Follow her on twitter @ChristaEmmer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.