Why Adding Some Shade to Your Playground Makes Good Sense This SpringWhy Adding Some Shade to Your Playground Makes Good Sense This Spring
Shade Structures Mar 31, 2022

Why Adding Some Shade to Your Playground Makes Good Sense This Spring

Keep It Made in the Shade This Spring!

The days are getting longer, the weather’s finally getting a little warmer, and everyone is catching that itch to get back outside again – especially children. There are really lots of things to like about spring, but there are other things to be mindful of, too. Longer days and more direct rays of sunshine mean more UV exposure, and it’s helpful to have some reliable shade in place to help protect children, adults, play features, and other equipment.

Open-air recreational facilities like playgrounds are great for bringing children, families, and school groups together, and provide many benefits in terms of fun, physical health, entertainment, improved social skills, educational applications & opportunities, and more. But no matter the layout of your outdoor facility, everybody likes to have it made in the shade. To that end, there’s one essential outdoor amenity you really can’t afford to ignore: shade.

Benefits of Adding a Shade Structure to Your Playground or Other Recreational Area

Whether by means of installing a shade sail, fabric shade, playground canopy, or some other type of commercial shade structure, shade matters. It doesn’t just provide immediate protection from the effects of sun and precipitation; the proper shade solution will help to keep your equipment – and your visitors – a bit cooler too. Here are a few specific benefits worth considering:

  • Reduced exposure to harmful UV rays – One primary reason for installing a shade structure is to help prevent harmful UV exposure. Even when it’s on the cool or cloudy side, UV rays still penetrate the clouds, and they will do damage over time if not properly filtered. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation accelerates the risk of skin cancer and other harmful skin conditions.
  • Protection from other elements, too – Engineered shade structures are designed to help deliver UV protection, but they’re useful in other ways as well. The impact of elements like wind, dust, rain, and snow can be minimized by a well-made, well-installed shade feature. For example, fabric shade products have been shown to provide effective water runoff protection of 60-70%, or more!
  • Cooler air temps – Fabric shade structures and outdoor covered shelters are made to allow air to pass freely underneath, which means the protected areas will be kept cooler than areas with no overhead coverage. Fabric shades have been proven to cool the ambient air temperature anywhere from 20°-30°F below what it would normally be in full sun conditions.
  • Allows for longer outdoor play time – Whenever it’s hot out, it can be much harder to motivate young people to stay outside and play for any length of time. Having the right shade solution installed means you can keep the environment cooler and more pleasant not just for children and students, but also for teachers and adult leaders. Ultimately, the time you budget for outdoor group recreation or recess will be much more productive with a shade structure in place.
  • Protects your equipment from weathering – Looking for more tangible ROI when it comes to considering engineered shade installation? If so, you need look no further than at the value of your installed playground and recreational equipment. Commercial-grade playgrounds and recreational equipment aren’t cheap, and you probably want your equipment to last as long as possible. Well, a shade structure doesn’t just protect people; it helps to protect your equipment from weathering, too. The cost of having a fabric shade or other shade structure installed can literally pay for itself over time, as it will extend the longevity of any covered play features or recreational equipment.
  • Improves the level of comfort level for adult visitors – Playgrounds are about kids, but you also want to be mindful of the other people that playground activity typically involves: teachers, parents, guests, and other adult visitors. To make a relevant comparison: there’s a reason that hospitals make sure their parking lots are covered, as much as possible. Nobody likes returning to a hot car whenever their hospital visit is over! The same principle applies to school playground environments, too. Nobody likes having to endure the sun’s blazing rays when they don’t have to. For this reason, it doesn’t just make sense to install shade over playgrounds; it’s also a good idea to place some needed shade over ALL of your outdoor passageways and sitting areas.

Specific Outdoor Shade Options for Playground Areas

What might the right type and amount of shade coverage look like for your playground? Here are some examples of shade solutions which are practical, flexible, and customizable to suit your specific needs:

• Sail shade structures

A sail shade arrangement can be installed over your entire outdoor play area if you like, and you can choose from a number of attractive geometric shapes and patterns. Shade sails come in many sizes, shapes, and colors, so there’s really no limit to the possibilities. Shade sails can also be partially overlapped to provide even broader coverage for key outdoor spaces.

• Integrated shade canopies

Looking for a more affordable option for your playground? You might consider taking advantage of a modular shade solution. With modular shade, the canopy can be integrated right into the existing support posts of a playground structure. This is easy to include with a new playground installation project, but can also be added on to an existing playground facility without a lot of fuss.

• Swing set canopies

Speaking of integrated shade, a shade canopy can be mounted over a freestanding swing set as well. Some swing frames are even designed for easy incorporation of an overhead shade canopy. These swing set canopies have proven to be very popular for schools, preschools, daycares, and local parks across the country.

• Shade for individual play areas

Smaller play areas like freestanding climbers, musical features, and other play centers benefit from having protected shade, too. You might consider going with a single-post umbrella or cantilever umbrella shade installation. The single-post support unit can be an attractive solution if you’re looking to maximize usable play space around your installed play features.

• Shade solutions for sitting areas

And don’t forget about your benches or other sitting areas – people prefer to sit in the shade versus being fully exposed in direct sunlight. There are shade mounts which can be installed right on the back of an individual standard park bench, along with some of the other shade options mentioned above.

Trust Carolina Recreation & Design for Your Shade Structure & Outdoor Structure Needs

As you may guess from our name, Carolina Recreation & Design is in the business of installing commercial playgrounds and outdoor recreational equipment – but we do offer much more than just that. We can help ensure that your outdoor play space is made in the shade, both for your child participants and for your adult observers. Plus, we can take care of all your site design, site preparation, and site amenity needs in NC, SC, VA, and TN!

Carolina Recreation & Design isn’t just a vendor or a dealer; we’re really a complete outdoor solution provider! In addition to the items listed above, we can also install everything from play features, to fitness features, to safety surfacing, to picnic shelters, to gazebos, to standalone restrooms and concession facilities. We’re happy to partner with local schools, preschools, daycares, churches & faith centers, hospitals, parks, HOAs, community centers, businesses, municipalities, and more across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee.

Got some questions? Ready to get started? Connect with us through this simple form, or for a faster response just give us a call at (704) 664-1833 today! Carolina Recreation & Design has all your commercial playground, recreation equipment, site development, and shade solution needs covered!