5 Best Mulch For Children’s Playground (Wood, Pine Bark, Synthetic Turf, Rubber, Natural Grass)

Creating a playground in your garden would be an absolute dream for your children.

Swings, slides and monkey bars are just some of the fun apparatus you could have in your garden for your family to enjoy.

Although this may seem like complete fun and games, parents can be in a complete state of worry in regards to their child’s safety whilst using the apparatus.

So what can be done to ensure your children are as safe as possible?

To protect your children, if they happen to fall off the apparatus, you need to purchase the correct material to avoid any sort of injury.

You may be puzzled as to what material is the best value for money and which one will ultimately keep your child safe.

This guide will show you 5 of the best mulches for a children’s playground to answer the question for you as to what sort of material will suit your garden and children.


Rubber mulch is a great playground material. It is durable and takes time to deteriorate, so it lasts for a long time. It’s also bouncy and softer than most mulches.

Depending on the size of the apparatus that you are looking to purchase, it is more than likely that if your child falls off the playground then it will be a height that the child will most likely get injured from.

Although none of the materials on this list offer 100% protection, rubber provides a cushioned landing with an even surface area that will give your child sufficient protection if he is to fall.

Rubber as a mulch is also easy to maintain as it does not flake and it is unlikely to get stuck in with your shoes. Your child will not be tracking this material into the house if that is what you are thinking!

The only negative side to purchasing rubber is that it can be quite expensive compared to the other materials on this list.

You should bear this in mind if the playground you’re looking to build is going to cover a large surface area as this will increase the amount of rubber that you will need to purchase.

Pine Bark

Bark from pine trees is shredded and made into this material. There are some mulches made entirely of pine bark, but some variants also include fir and spruce bark.

The form and texture of pine bark mulches varies as well since you can have small, finely shredded pieces of bark or relatively large chunks of bark – also known as pine nuggets.

We recommend the pine nuggets because they do not decompose as quickly as the double-processed type.

If you choose finely shredded bark mulch, you won’t have to replace them for quite some time since bark mulch, along with its reddish color, lasts longer than nearly all other organic mulches. Pine bark also inhibits the spread of soil-borne diseases around nearby plants.

Pine bark has the disadvantage of being lightweight. If it is windy or if it rains heavily, the materials could easily be moved.

Synthetic Turf

Synthetic turf is labeled as one of the best fall surfaces currently available for purchase. In addition, it requires no maintenance while still allowing for a cushioned landing in case of a fall.

Synthetic turf doesn’t become messy and will not deteriorate quickly so therefore it will be able to last a very long time in your garden.

In addition, synthetic turf complements natural surroundings rather than rubber or sand, which would be incongruous at the back of your garden.

Despite artificial grass being quite expensive, it is worth the investment because of its aesthetic appeal within your garden as well as its safety aspect since it offers a cushioned landing for your children.


Common in most outdoor playgrounds across the country, wood chips are widely used for their cheap price and durability.

Despite being the more affordable mulch for your playground, wood chips can be slightly uncomfortable and can create mess around young children.

Landing on wood chips can sometimes result in injury from cuts and splinters which would not be the safest material around high playground apparatus.

If you do decide to choose wood chips as your preferred mulch for your playground, it is important to constantly remind yourself about the safety instead of being concerned about the price.

Natural Grass

Natural grass is another option you can choose as your playground surface. Choosing natural grass has not only benefits for children but also for your family as well.

It is one of the few plants that naturally absorb carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen for fresh air for everyone.

In addition, organisms that can process organic and inorganic substances thrive in the topsoil and in natural grass.

Grass is also effective for if it rains as it will filter the incoming rain water. Furthermore, if you have natural grass on your playground soil erosion will be greatly reduced.

Additionally, natural grass can be seen to have a better visual appearance than the majority of mulch’s on this list and everyone is a fan of the smell freshly cut grass gives off which you simply won’t get with synthetic turf.

However, as a landing, natural grass will not be the softest compared to that of rubber or pine wood.

This is because the short grass will not offer a sufficient cushion over the mud below it which in the cold can become almost solid.

As natural grass requires only limited maintenance through watering, this means it is very cost effective and you will not need to call anyone out to maintain the grass around your playground.


All of these mulch’s will provide a sufficient material that will work well around the playground apparatus.

Choosing which one that you wish to purchase all depends on your budget, how you want it to look and what will suit your needs with the amount of children you have e.t.c.

If you have an extensive budget, then the synthetic turf would be an ideal choice and then if you have a limited budget you should look to purchase the wood chips to surround your playground.


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