From kindergarten age on up, your children are bound to enjoy endless hours at the playground, backyard playset, or swing set.

Do you have your own backyard? Great! If you do not, this article is still important because one day you will. Buying a backyard playset or swing set may be absolutely worthwhile for you to consider. The way my wife and I put it, it allows your children to have a place they can go to let off steam without having to trek across town to the nearest park or playground.

Installing a backyard playset or swing set is big addition to your backyard, so it is very important to consider the material that is going to be put under the playset or swing set. The safety of your children comes first and foremost.

If you choose to put a fall surface under a swing set, it can help eliminate the impact of the fall. This precaution can reduce the bruising or soreness.

There are several types of ground surfaces that you should consider to go under your swing sets or playset.

Should I Use Sand Under My Swing Set?

Choosing a suitable material for to put under and around your playset or swing set is absolutely important. As soon as the assembly of your backyard swing set is complete, your kids will “chomping at the bit” to try it out.

To compensate for the impact energy in the event of a fall from the play tower, The area around and under your swings set should be soft and cushion as much as possible. That will ensure best outcome possible if an event occurs.

Sand: Most Common Material To Put Under A Swing Set

When it comes to backyard swing sets, sand provides a natural appearance that is often associated with wonderful early childhood experiences. The texture of sand is soft and gentle. For those of us who have been living under a rock, sand is a granular sediment that typically is beige or brown. Typically, sand results from the erosion or rocks. not all sand should be used as playground sand.

Did You Know: Sand has been used in children play areas since the 1800s!

Dad Tip: Keep the sand clean.

Since cats in particular like to use the sand as a toilet, it is important to check the sand from time to time and keep it clean. It is basically impossible to keep children from occasionally getting grains of sand in their mouths, hair, etc.

Sand is available in both fine and coarse grains. We recommend that you use coarse grained playground sand. Fine grain sand can easily blow about and get into the eyes and lungs.


Having sand can be a great material for under and around your backyard playset or swing set, but you will need a lot of it for it to protect against falls. The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) both consider sand to be an appropriate material to go under and around playgrounds as long as it is deep enough. Just exactly how deep does the sand have to be? It depends mainly on the potential fall height and thickness of the sand. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and American Society of Testing And Materials, sand needs to be 9 inches deep for a fall height of 4 feet. Or 12 inches of sand is needed for a six-foot drop.
That’s a lot of sand.

You also should know that sand does not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards. Navigating a wheelchair in sand can be difficult.


Sand is one of the least expensive materials for the base and surrounding area of your backyard playground or swing set. However, over the life of your swing set, the costs may begin to increase. Let’s take a look at it!
Playground sand is usually around $1.50 to $3.00 USD per square foot. You can find it at any and every home improvement store.

Hiring a professional to bring the sand to your home is more expensive, but streamlines the entire process. From my experience, it took a half-day to set it up. That’s it!
That being said, it certainly is possible to install by yourself if you are looking to cut costs.
Expect to have to change the sand once a year in the areas that get the most use. In order for you to maintain your backyard playground sand , expect to replenish at least 25% of the sand each year, which works out to about $1,500+ for a 3,000 square foot playground.