5 Tips for Natural Play with Safe, Sustainable Flooring

A Playground should be a safe and engaging safe to play for all children. You can promote healthy inclusive play with sustainable play design incorporating nature into your playground. This is because natural play environments and sustainable play design enhance learning, playing, and socialisation in the great outdoors.

Natural play involves surfaces and equipment that create a connection with nature in daily play on the playground. Therefore, we highly recommend natural play design. Our top recommendations for natural play are:

  • Hybrid grass
  • Rubber matting that does not impede grass growth
  • Iintegrating plant life into playground design
  • Using only the best sustainable flooring options.

1. The Importance of Natural Play for Childhood Development

PlaySmart are experts in the outdoor play sector with over 20 years in playground surface installation. Therefore, we are passionate about instilling a lifelong appreciation for the natural world among young people. Getting kids out to enjoy the fresh air and sun is important for nurturing future stewards of your local environment.

Spending time outdoors in a space full of natural playground ideas is important for children’s creative development. This can also, encourage physical activity, sensory development, and overall emotional well-being. A space to play that uses natural playground design is ideal for children to engage with the natural world.

Natural play can involve a range of different engagements with nature and the environment imagined and real. Den-building activities or forest education are increasingly popular in the UK. This form of play makes great use of slip-resistant and accessible pathways in wooded areas. Smart natural design therefore can provide increased inclusivity in these activities.

We recommend a nature-themed playground, colour, design, and character across a cohesive site. This is because it can inspire unstructured play. Aniamla in the natural world can capture children’s imaginations as they play in the correct environment. Therefore, natural play design can encourage new forms of fun and exploration.

2. Rubber Grass Protection Mats Work with your Lawn Surface

In spaces with high playground equipment, safety concerns often overshadow protecting the grass the need to protect the grass underneath. For example in school fields or private garden developments. However, these 2 aspects can coexist. This is because grass protection mats provide critical fall height protection while not impeding grass growth. Ultimately this allows for natural growth to show through and create a more natural-looking play area.

EcoSmart rubber grass mats utilize recycled rubber in a honeycomb structure with a perforated design. This structure creates gaps for grass to grow through, providing greater shock absorption than solid plastic safety tiles. Recycled rubber grass matting is a sustainable flooring option. It also provides a safe space to play, protecting children using playground equipment. However, it also reduces the risks of erosion and puddling even in wet or muddy sites.

Our team can install grass protection mats over a solid grass base. This requires very little groundwork, limiting disruption to your grass health and soil. However, if your ground quality to low for your critical fall height, we recommend SmartPlay shock pad underlay installation. This extra layer of protection can stabilise soil and enhance grass growth.

Once we install SmartPlay shock pad underlays, EcoSmart rubber grass mats with seed and soil layers underneath can be applied. This process of seeded matting for grass growth enhancement aids in the recovery of the natural grass. Therefore, this protects the grass, creating lush lawns for longer.

Rubber Grass mats with grass growing through the holes under a tall piles of rocks
3. Hybrid Grass Flooring Mats Solving Artificial Grass Problems

As an alternative to AstroTurf grass rolls, Hybrid Grass provides a solution to many of the problems with artificial grass. Also, Hybrid Grass provides a 24/7 natural grass look with real, natural grass woven into the structure of the mat. This structure creates a durable, soft, and low-maintenance artificial grass solution.

This Hybrid Grass option is a smart grass mat solution for sustainable play design. This surface requires less groundwork prep for artificial grass installation than purely synthetic grass mats. The netted backing of Hybrid Grass mats allows natural grass growth. This incorporates nature into the structure of a lawn that remains green in all weathers.

PlaySmart recommends Hybrid Grass mats for areas with patchy natural grass or poorer quality soil. This is because it can create a more consistent green look without losing the real natural grass of your lawn.

4. Sustainable Play Design Ideas for any Site

Are you looking for natural, sustainable playground design ideas? But do you also have a need for great quality critical fall height, slip resistance, and durability? PlaySmart provides multiple options for you.

Natural cork flooring options like Corkeen is a sustainable flooring solution. Therefore, it is a great environmentally friendly solution for pathways, playgrounds, and any leisure or recreational areas. Cork is a renewable resource that is naturally antimicrobial and shock-absorbent. Therefore, you don’t need to sacrifice functionality to work with natural, sustainable flooring on your playground site!

Recycled rubber is also a more sustainable flooring material than many alternatives. PlaySmart uses a unique natural blend of recycled rubber and organic rubber mulch. Also, the colour pigments contain no toxins or contaminants such as metals and fibres. The impact absorption, slip resistance, and use incorporating nature of JungleMulch Bonded Rubber mulch are unparalleled. Therefore, this is one of the best, most cost-effective sustainable playground idea.

By choosing these sustainable flooring materials, you not only create a nature-inspired playground but also contribute to the preservation of the environment.

5. Nature and Plant Life Incorporated into Playground Design
Brown and red JungleMulch Rubber mulch underneath tree and vegetation growth at the side of a pathway

Rubber mulch solutions such as JungleMulch as very flexible in their use as part of playground design, working with nature to provide the best natural play environment. The rubber play bark eco-chipping or bonded rubber mulch options for JungleMulch effectively protect embankments or around areas of vegetation and the tree line. This is because it provides a secure, shock-absorbent layer of protection for nature and children on the playground.

Additionally, this enables you to incorporate natural elements such as logs, trees, and tree stumps as active play elements. This enhances the natural playground ideas you are pursuing through varied playground designs. We install JungleMulch with minimal groundwork anywhere you require. Notably, we can install this over tree roots or around natural features. Therefore, children can climb and play on these spacesse spaces safely. Because the rubber mulch provides fall and trip protection.

JungleMulch comes in a range of natural colour blends or vibrant options and designs. Therefore, your playground project can further promote natural play to blend in with the environment. Also, Rubber Bark and Rubber Mulch maintenance is simple and easy. Additionally, it poses minimal disruption to your natural features. This is because the weed-resistant sub-base and permeable surfaces do not impact the growth of desired plant life. It can also help to protect nature in the long term while staying flat and useable.

Are you looking for Natural Playground Ideas?

Our sustainable play designs and high-quality playground surface options come with a lot of flexibility. Therefore, we work with you to design for your specific site to improve sustainability. Additionally, we strive to include nature in new ways.

Contact our expert team of playground surface installers today to find out how we can help! Fill in our handy contact form at the top of this page to get in touch. Additionally, you can email us at info@playsmartuk.co.uk, or give us a call on 01564 742811.

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