Creating the Perfect Daycare or Preschool Play Space

August 24, 2023

While you may automatically think of playgrounds as outdoors only, indoor playground installations are projected to grow 9.79% from 2021 to 2028, reaching USD 42.64 Billion.

Indoor playgrounds are a fun way for kids to be active rain or shine, so it’s no wonder they’re growing in popularity. School and daycare play areas provide a controlled and predictable environment for children to play amidst soaring temperatures and unpredictable weather. Additionally, safety is another advantage of indoor playgrounds. With a walled-in environment, there is no risk of children wandering off or getting themselves into dangerous situations.

Indoor Playground Surfacing

Whether you’re looking to create a fun and safe playground inside your school, daycare, or restaurant or are starting an indoor playground business, there are a few essential factors to consider. Before you dive in, here are some points to keep in mind to make the perfect indoor play space for young kids and their families to enjoy for years to come!

Plan Your Playground Layout

A work team replacing rubber tiles with poured rubber playground surfacing

A great playground starts with great planning! Firstly, ensure adequate space for bystanders to sit. Like outdoor play areas, parents and caregivers need a place to observe their children. Leave enough room around the perimeter of the indoor playground for seating, allowing adults a clear line of sight.

Integrating learning with play is another aspect to aim for, especially for preschools and elementary schools. Children naturally learn through play, and by incorporating learning-centric play equipment, you can enhance their educational experiences. For example, sensory panels can be included to stimulate the senses, benefiting all children, especially those on the autism spectrum.

If you work with a larger facility, don’t forget to make room for indoor sports. Incorporating sports equipment, even in a small area, can add a fun and competitive element to the playground. Future athletes can practice their skills while having a blast. Also, as space allows, encourage exercise by adding a walking or jogging path around the playground’s perimeter. Paths provide an additional play option and allow for organized relay races or other fun activities.

Estimating Area and Building Specs

Planning the size and space of an indoor playground requires a thorough analysis of the building. One important aspect to determine is the play capacity needed for your facility. Simply looking at the size of the room or gym is not enough. The number of kids you want to accommodate and the type of play activities you prefer will greatly impact your playground capacity.

The space and layout of your indoor playground are vital considerations in choosing playground equipment for children. Working with professional engineers and architects will ensure your space meets safety and accessibility standards. They can help optimize the layout, spacing, and arrangement of equipment to prevent collisions and injuries.

If you are constructing a new building, structural considerations are important for safety and stability. Work with an engineer to determine load-bearing capacity and choose lightweight yet durable materials. Proper lighting and ventilation are necessary for the comfort and safety of everyone. An engineer can help design an HVAC system and select appropriate lighting. Emergency exits are critical in ensuring a safe evacuation in case of emergencies. Finally, accessibility is important for children with disabilities. Make sure the space is wheelchair-accessible with properly-sized ramps and doorways.

Choose the Right Equipment

Age-appropriate indoor playground equipment is crucial for the safety and development of children. But it’s not just about size – it’s about designing equipment that stimulates kids at every age level. Safety guidelines and each age group’s cognitive and physical abilities should be prioritized when creating an age-appropriate indoor playground.

What challenges a 6-month-old mentally is very different from what challenges a 5-year-old. Safety is also crucial when designing an age-appropriate kids’ indoor playground. The potential fall heights for infants, toddlers, and older kids differ significantly.

Safety Surfacing Materials

At adventureTURF, we prioritize the safety of children playing on playground equipment whether outdoors or indoors. This concern focuses on installing high-quality, impact-absorbing surfacing to create a safe play environment. We offer a range of daycare flooring options, all in compliance with current ASTM International safety guidelines.

When it comes to indoor playgrounds, safety surfaces are a must-have. Our surfacing options are designed to cushion falls and ensure the safety of children playing indoors.

It’s important to note that surfacing requirements may change over time, especially if you’ve had your indoor playground for a while. Additionally, surfacing can wear down with use, so whether you’re designing a new playground or redesigning an old one, it’s crucial to consider and review your surfacing options periodically.

adventureTURF offers several indoor playground flooring solutions to choose from:

Pour-in-Place Rubber Surfacing:

Our durable, low-maintenance option offers your play space’s safest and longest-lasting solution. Also known as “wet pour rubber flooring” or “rubberized playground surfacing,” this seamless surface can be installed during construction or for existing playgrounds.

With pour-in-place rubber, you have endless customization options. Choose the depth, color, shape, and design that suits your needs. Our method allows school colors, logos, games, or geometric shapes to be permanently incorporated into the surface. Not only is it soft and safe, but it also offers a visually appealing and functional design.

Our playground surfaces can be installed in indoor playgrounds, pool decks, parks, schools, daycare centers, recreational centers, military family housing, garage floors, gyms, fitness centers, restaurants, and more!

Modular Tiles:

You may also want to consider our prefabricated rubber mat playground tiles for your indoor play area. These 24″ x 24″ square tiles are incredibly resilient and come in a wide range of colors, allowing you to unleash your creativity. They are perfect for recreational areas, playgrounds, and any space where safety is a top priority.

Our indoor playground flooring mats are made from 100% post-consumer recycled material specifically designed for fall height safety. Maintenance is simple, requiring only basic cleaning with a broom or vacuum. This surfacing option is also ideal for creating ADA-compliant ramps or surfaces. These tiles are perfect for existing locations and allow for easy maintenance or replacement if damaged.

Artificial Turf:

To create a natural outdoor feel, consider adding artificial turf. This enhances the aesthetic appeal and improves safety by reducing slips and providing a cushiony surface.

Some good points of artificial turf: Playground turf maintains a higher face weight, the amount of material used by the square yard, increasing durability and ability to withstand significant wear and tear. When considering artificial turf for your playground area, you can choose various colors, styles, densities, and heights or aim for the most natural appearance and texture. You can also use it both indoors and outdoors. The biggest bonus about synthetic turf is its natural look will bring the feel of the outdoors to your indoor playground. As long as the artificial grass is firm and a wheelchair can easily move around it, you can use synthetic grass for accessible playgrounds and ADA compliance.

Some downsides to remember with artificial turf: The loose rubber granules in the artificial grass can get stuck on clothing, skin, and shoes. They can easily be dragged around the daycare or school and be messy to clean up. These rubber pellets/beads create cushioning and must be replaced/added periodically. Also, static electricity may build on the synthetic turf, and the surfaces may need an anti-static solution. If not installed properly, the rolls of artificial grass can create visible seams, adding a tripping hazard.

No certified manufacturer guarantees artificial grass to last more than eight years. However, you can usually get 10-15 years out of it before it needs to be replaced.

Designing for All

adventureTURF believes in making recreation accessible to everyone, regardless of ability. Our mission is to provide inclusive play spaces where all children can enjoy the joys of the playground alongside their peers while prioritizing safety and inclusivity.

Our playground surfacing design and installation ensures safe access to wheelchair-accessible play components. We adhere to ADA standards by using beveled edges in our accessible playgrounds. Whether you’re looking to renovate existing indoor play areas or create a new indoor accessible playground, our professionals at adventureTURF are here to assist you every step of the way.

Safety Considerations for Your Daycare Playground

Safety is just as important for an indoor playground as an outdoor one. The fall height is important to avoid severe injury, even with inside equipment. adventureTURF will assist you in determining the appropriate fall surfacing based on the equipment in your playground. Here are some additional indoor playground safety considerations:

  • Ensure Adequate Space: Create a spacious indoor playground to accommodate the number of children who use your facility. Follow clearance requirements for pieces of playground equipment and leave enough room around each piece.
  • Choose Equipment Wisely: Buy from reputable companies that are committed to safety. Also, different ages require different types of equipment. If you work with a daycare for infants and toddlers, the equipment you choose will be different than an indoor playground for school-aged children.
  • Invest in Safety Surfacing: Opt for pour-in-place rubber surfacing or modular tiles to provide secure footing and reduce risk of injury. Pay extra attention to areas under monkey bars, slides, climbers, and swings.
  • Keep Up With Maintenance: Conduct routine checks for damage or wear and tear on surfacing and equipment and promptly repair any issues. Consult the manuals or manufacturer for guidance.
  • Be Aware of Compliance: Ensure your playground equipment follows ASTM and CPSC guidelines. Some manufacturers may not comply with these standards, so be cautious when purchasing.
  • Watch Out for Slide Safety: Beware of slides that encourage children to go headfirst into ball pools. This can pose serious risks, including head injuries.

Estimating Costs

When budgeting for a play area for your business or school, it’s crucial to understand all the costs involved. Here are the key elements to consider:

PLAY EQUIPMENT: The main component of your budget is the playground equipment itself. This can range from soft play items to interactive high-tech equipment. The quality and size of the equipment will impact the price.

SURFACING: While budgeting for playground equipment is obvious, don’t forget to incorporate the cost of surfacing. Contact adventureUTURF for a free quote on playground surfacing for your project.

TAXES AND SHIPPING: Account for taxes and shipping costs, especially for larger purchases like playground equipment. Some companies may include taxes and/or shipping in their prices, while others may not.

SITE PREPARATIONS: Consider the necessary preparations for your playground, such as renovating indoor play areas.

INSTALLATION: Hiring professionals to install your playground equipment ensures proper installation and brings your vision to life. Some companies may require professional installation for warranty purposes.

Get adventurous indoors with your friends at adventureTurf!

adventureTURF is the leading installer of indoor and outdoor safety and playground surfacing in the United States.

We only use the highest quality rubber surfacing materials. Our experienced staff will guide you in choosing the most suitable rubber flooring for your indoor playground. We are committed to delivering exceptional quality and durability that exceeds your expectations. No matter where you are in the USA, adventureTURF is here to serve you. If you need assistance designing and constructing your indoor playground, contact the playground professionals at adventureTURF. We’ll help you create a safe and enjoyable space for kids to play in the great indoors!

Indoor Playground Safety Surface Poured Rubber

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