Backyard Playset Landscaping Ideas - Backyard Boss
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Backyard Playset Landscaping Ideas

Playgrounds provide amazing fun for children of all ages, but they can be a bit frustrating from a landscaping perspective. Kids run around, jump, and skid all over the place, often wearing down healthy grass and leaving muddy fall over the place. 

To keep your backyard looking clean, using clever landscaping materials and ideas will be a huge help. For an easier time, here are the best backyard playset landscaping ideas that you can try out in your yard.

Backyard Boss Top 5 Backyard Playset Landscaping Ideas for 2021

Playsafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets - Backyard Playset Landscaping IdeasPlaysafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets
  • Material: Recycled Tires
  • Available Quantity: up to 2,000 Pounds
  • Weather Resistant: Yes
Check The Price!
Petgrow Synthetic Grass Turf - Backyard Playset Landscaping IdeasPetgrow Synthetic Grass Turf
  • Material: Synthetic Grass
  • Available Quantity: 5 x 8 Feet
  • Weather Resistant: Yes
Check The Price!
MIGHTY109 Pea Gravel - Backyard Playset Landscaping IdeasMIGHTY109 Pea Gravel
  • Material: Pea Gravel
  • Available Quantity: 40 Pounds
  • Weather Resistant: Yes
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Palmetto Play Sand - Backyard Playset Landscaping IdeasPalmetto Play Sand
  • Material: Play Sand
  • Available Quantity: 50 Pounds
  • Weather Resistant: No
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Rubber-Cal Eco-Sport Interlocking Tiles - Backyard Playset Landscaping IdeasRubber-Cal Eco-Sport Interlocking Tiles
  • Material: Recycled Rubber
  • Available Quantity: Pack of 5
  • Weather Resistant: Yes
Check The Price!

Why You Can Trust Us

We’re a part of the rare breed of people who enjoy playing around with landscaping, and we wanted to make this list of landscaping ideas and surfacing recommendations for people similar to us. We’ve had our fair share of landscaping around a playset and want to share our experience to help you out with this challenge.

While making this article, we also enlisted the help of experts and other consumers in finding the best surfacing materials for your backyard playset. This article is backed up by a lot of research, in all of which have been linked here for full transparency.

Best Mulch

Playsafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets
    This colorful mulch helps make backyard playsets inviting for kids and incredibly safe for all kinds of activities.



Why We Like It: This long-lasting recycled rubber mulch is a fantastic option for your playset landscaping.

They’re made specifically for children’s spaces since they’re non-toxic, colorful, and very shock-absorbent. These mulch nuggets are also weatherproof and prevent dust build-up, mold growth, and mud compaction in your backyard. It’s low-maintenance, easy to install, great for soil health, and is even IPEMA-certified and ADA-approved.

Who Should Buy It: This would be a fantastic option for those with clumsy kids who trip a lot.

Best Turf

Petgrow Synthetic Grass Turf
    This is an easy solution to the muddy landscaping issues, leaving bright green lawns in places with lots of foot traffic.



Why We Like It: This synthetic turf keeps your backyard looking fresh and clean, even with children running all over it. 

It enhances a backyard playset and gives you one of the best yards on the block. This outdoor rug is built with drainage holes and premium polypropylene grass blades to make it feel real on the skin, and prevent any puddling on the surface. As a bonus, it’s also easy to clean and safe for pets, making it perfect for harmless playtime.

Who Should Buy It: This would be great for those who want the natural grass look but aren’t fans of muddy tracks from kids.

Best Gravel

MIGHTY109 Pea Gravel
    Pea gravel promotes soil health and keeps play areas clean for children to safely play in.



Why We Like It: Pea gravel is a great landscaping material for high-traffic areas like a backyard playset. 

These help your soil retain moisture, stop weed growth, prevent mud compaction, and discourage waste from any wild and stray animals. These also tend to be long-lasting and will need refreshing less often. They’re also shock-absorbent, making them great for swing sets and see-saws that tend to get muddy without the right surfacing.

Who Should Buy It: This would be great for those with older children who enjoy swing sets and see-saws.

Best Sand

Palmetto Play Sand
    This is incredibly safe landscaping sand that gives young kids a soft surface to play on without risking their health.



Why We Like It: When using sand for a backyard playground, it has to be refined, filtered, and pressure-washed child-safe sand. 

Putting sand through this process prevents bacterial growth in the mixture and softens the particles to avoid leaving micro-abrasions on sensitive skin. This PlaySand is specifically made for playground safety. It’s also formulated to be quick-drying, easy to install, and, although this sand is fine and soft, it’s not dusty at all!

Who Should Buy It: This is great for parents of young children who enjoy sandboxes.

Best Mats

Rubber-Cal Eco-Sport Interlocking Tiles
    These are great for keeping children safe in risky playground areas where kids can jump from or fall off of.



Why We Like It: These robust rubber tiles are built for high-impact areas and can be used both indoors and outdoors. 

This recycled rubber is moisture and wear-resistant, making it great for heavy use. These are inch-thick interlocking tiles that can be used in industrial settings and weight-lifting areas, making them safe for playground landscaping. In places where kids can easily fall off, like monkey bars and rock walls, these will safely break their fall. They’re easy to install and come in many fun colors that can make the play area even more inviting to your kids!

Who Should Buy It: Homes with energetic kids that love to dangle off tall heights would find peace of mind with these tiles.

Playset Landscaping Ideas

If you don’t have a specific landscaping plan in mind, here are some great ideas you can try!

Build A Border

playground with fence
Image Credit: PhotoMIX-Company via Pixabay

Create a designated area for your playset using bricks, logs, or colorful surfacing to map out where you want your play area to be and fill it in with surfacing. A border keeps your yard neat and encourages kids to play within the area, so it’s easier to watch them.

Colorful Playland

Wetpour graphics to school play area
Image Credit: Soft Surfaces Ltd via Creative Commons

Incorporating color into your playground landscaping will help keep it fun and exciting for kids. Using different colorful mats, mulch, or sand will help stimulate their imagination and make it more inviting for them to play. Additionally, decorating it with fun drawings and pictures will add a lot of character.

Mix And Match

Kids colored bricks at playground.
Image Credit: Eric Tompkins via Unsplash

Maximize the play area’s safety and add dimension to landscaping by mixing and matching surfacing materials. Cleverly pairing up different materials for various areas is great from both an aesthetic and functional perspective. For example, using mulch for most of the play area and installing rubber mats in crawl spaces, monkey bars, and speed slides add to its overall safety.

Off The Path

kindergarten playground
Image Credit: hpgruesen via Pixabay

Many backyards have a large path intersecting them, making it difficult to designate a large playground area. Plan around this by strategically branching out of the path with different playsets. This creates a better flow for the backyard, while lessens the risk of kids tripping and slipping on uneven ground when they run out to play.

Distinct Play Areas

kids playground drone footage
Image Credit: 393942 via Pixabay

If you have multiple playsets that can be installed individually, organize your landscape by creating separate playing areas. This lessens their chances of bumping into each other and creates a fun backyard environment. Keep the surfacing consistent in each area to tie it all together.

What Materials Are Needed

You might have a clearer picture of how you want your backyard playset to look, but now the question is what other materials will you need to do the job?

If you opt to do it yourself, make sure you have reliable gardening tools for prepping the area, recommended installation accessories for the surfacing, and a wheelbarrow.

wheelbarrow is a landscaper’s best friend, especially when transporting mulch, straw, stones, and sand. Instead of lugging around huge 50-pound bags of your surfacing, a wheelbarrow will help efficiently transport the materials and pour them out however you want. It’s the perfect tool to help you landscape efficiently and is a must for every gardener!

Making The Most Of Your Yard

We’ve found that, oftentimes, the biggest obstacle in making the most of your yard are mosquitoes, feasting on you and your kids while you try to have a nice time in the yard you worked so hard on.

Mosquitoes are annoying at best and disease-carriers at worst. Even if you’ve eliminated any possible breeding grounds, have mosquito traps scattered around the yard, and always wear mosquito repellents, they’ll still show up. The most effective solution we’ve found is to use the best mosquito fogger.

Strategically using a mosquito fogger will prevent any mosquito presence in your yard. This technology uses a thermal fogger that utilizes heat to transform liquid insecticides into a thick fog. These last at least a day and isn’t harmful to anything besides insects. However, caution is always recommended. Whether you hate bugs or just want to invite guests over, a mosquito fogger will help a lot.

How We Picked

To ensure that we come with the ultimate list of backyard playset landscaping, we stuck to a strict research and testing process. We started with an investigation and looked into the different advantages and disadvantages of surfacing materials for home playgrounds, taking note of promising ones.

We also listened to input from experts and the various consumers of the different landscaping products we were eyeing. They helped us shortlist the products that had the most potential, which we tried out.

After all this, we can say that we’ve found five of the best surfacing options that can help bring your favorite backyard playset landscaping ideas to life.

Our Top Pick Of The Best Backyard Playset Landscaping Ideas

Of all five playset landscaping options, our top pick is the Playsafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets. These nuggets are low maintenance, easy to install, shock-absorbent, great for soil health and child safety, and are built to last. These also make it easy to incorporate fun landscaping designs and colors in your yard for any creative ideas you have that are difficult to execute with other materials.

That said, it’s not perfect and could be different from what you had in mind for your backyard playset landscaping. Even if that’s the case, rest assured that you’ll be able to find the best surfacing material for you on this list!