Garden Play – Top Tips

Here are Caledonia Play’s Top tips for our garden play range to help you choose the equipment that’s right for your garden.

High quality outdoor play equipment can enhance your garden and prove to be an excellent long-term asset for your home.

1. Make sure the equipment fits your size of garden. This may seem obvious but you need to plan the location so there is at least 1-2m safe space around the equipment. Avoid fences and leave plenty of room for someone to swing back and forward unhindered. A good supplier should be able to supply you with a footprint or area to help plan the positioning in your garden.

2. If your ground is uneven, don’t worry. Play equipment can still be safely installed and should not require a concrete base or foundations.

3. It is OK to place the equipment on grass but we recommend the use of EN1177 approved grass safety mats. These provide protection from slipping and also prevent grass being worn away under swings or at the base of a slide.

4. Avoid bark as it restricts you to a single permanent location, needs maintenance and can attract cats and foxes. Moreover if it requires a wooden box frame this can be a potential safety hazard.

5. Choose free standing equipment where possible as it can be taken with when you move and does not count as a permanent fixture.

6. Do not position the equipment too far from the house as children are more likely to use it if it can be seen from the house. In addition, from a safety point of view it makes sense to be able to see the children playing should they have a mishap.

Children also don’t really want to play in a shady space as much as a nice sunny area so don’t tuck their play equipment away under trees in order to make it less visible – they might not use it as much.

The timbers are much less likely to go green if they get a good regular dose of sunshine to kill off any algea. By placing your play equipment in a shady area under trees it will not only be less attractive to play on but may also not last quite as long as if it was in a nice sunny place.

7. Pick an ‘open’ design where you can see through the structure as this is more pleasing to the eye.

8. Make sure the equipment is suitable for use by the big kids as well – parents and grandparents, neighbours and friends, aunts and uncles! Our swing frame top poles can take a maximun load of 200kg and our swing seats are tested to take 70kg, So it’s a good idea to consider the weight of the adult using our products before using.

9. Don’t be too prescriptive in choosing ‘girls or boys’ play equipment. That play fort can equally be Rapunzel’s fairy tower or Colonel Custer’s last stand! Also choose equipment which will have a decent life span and does not restrict you to a specific age range. Modular equipment is ideal as it can be added to as the family grows and budgets permit.

10. The last of our top tips but by no means the least important…think of play equipment as a long term investment which the whole family can enjoy. It makes the ideal present – unlike some toys it is not forgotten about in a few days. Why not get relatives to club together to buy something which will give many years of enjoyment and fun.

These are Caledonia Play’s top tips – if you still have any questions call us on 01577 840570 or email