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How To Create a Play Area

This new play area is padded with rubber mulch and outlined with plants. Edging keeps the rubber mulch out of the new sod.

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  • Time


  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Clear and Define the Area

Pick away any plant material and start fresh. Remove any large rocks or roots. This space needs a clear line separating it from the rest of the yard. Measure and spray paint a line that marks the area. Dig a thin trench along the painted line with a pick. Install bender board along trench line, secure with stakes. Along the bender board border, plant boxwoods or other hedge plants to clearly define the area.

Step 2: Lay Down the Landscape Fabric

Using large landscape staples and a few rolls of landscape fabric, begin laying down a layer of fabric to prevent weeds. Overlap landscape fabric and then secure down with staples for a stronger barrier.

Step 3: Apply the Mulch

Kids need a soft surface to play on. Cedar mulch or other bark chips work fine, but a rubber mulch is even better. Made from recycled tires, the rubber bark is a spongy surface for kids to play on and still allows water to penetrate to plants. Choose from several different colors. Apply the mulch about three inches thick. Do the math for the square footage: For a three-inch depth, one 40-lb. bag should cover about six square feet. Hang a tree swing, create a fort and get creative.

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