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Park and Playground Shade Structures for Outdoor Fun & Safety

Posted by Fibergrate Marketing on Oct 12, 2023 8:45:00 AM

park and playground shade structures

When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, parks and playgrounds are at the top of the list for families and communities. These spaces provide opportunities for recreation, exercise, and social interaction. However, as much as we love the sun, prolonged exposure to its rays can pose risks, especially for children. Plus, playground structures can get very hot, making skin contact painful. In this blog post, we will explore some benefits of playground shade structures. 

Read on to learn about some real life examples of how fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) materials can play a part in creating shady recreational areas, offering a solution that enhances outdoor spaces while prioritizing safety and comfort.

Shade Structures

Benefits of Shade Structures in Parks and Playgrounds

Sun Protection

The dangers of prolonged sun exposure, including harmful UV radiation, are well-documented. For children and families spending time at parks and playgrounds, protecting against these risks is essential. Playground shade structures provide an effective shield against the sun's harmful rays, reducing the risk of sunburn and related health issues.


Temperature Regulation

In hot climates, outdoor play can become uncomfortable and even dangerous as temperatures soar. Shade structures for playgrounds help regulate these extreme temperatures, creating a cooler environment that encourages play and delivers a more enjoyable experience for everyone.


Extended Usage

Shade structures enable parks and playgrounds to be used during peak sunlight hours, encouraging more community engagement and social interactions. Families can gather for picnics, parties, and playdates with less discomfort from intense heat.


Safety Enhancement

Aside from sunburn, excessive heat can lead to heat-related illnesses. Playground shade structures reduce the risk of these illnesses and provide a safer haven for all. They also protect against equipment burns, ensuring that kids can enjoy carefree playtime.


Preservation of Equipment and Grounds

Prolonged sun exposure can accelerate the deterioration of playground equipment and compromise the integrity of playground surfaces. Shade structures serve as protective shields, extending the lifespan of equipment and preserving the quality of the grounds.


Types of Playground Shade Structures

Permanent Structures

Permanent shade structures for playgrounds are designed and constructed to endure the elements. They come in various architectural styles and materials, providing lasting protection and aesthetic appeal.


Temporary Structures

For added versatility, consider temporary shade solutions such as pop-up tents, umbrellas, and retractable canopies, giving you shade where and when it's needed.


Natural Shade

Trees and landscaping can also provide a viable shade option. Although, even with the aesthetic and environmental benefits, it may not always offer consistent and reliable protection from the sun.



Considerations for Installing Playground Shade Structures

Before diving into the world of playground shade structures, consider a few critical factors. From assessing the ideal location to ensuring safety standards and aesthetics align with your vision, these considerations will help you make the most of your shade structure investment.


Site Assessment

Evaluating sunlight patterns, angles, and the impact of surrounding structures and landscape is crucial to determining the most effective placement of playground shade structures.


Safety Standards

Compliance with all relevant safety standards and regulations for shade structure installation is paramount. Durability and wind-load considerations are essential to ensure the safety of users.


Aesthetics and Design

Although the primary purpose of playground shade structures is to provide cover, they should also complement the overall park or playground design. Color choices can also play a role in enhancing visual appeal. Notably, fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) grating is available in a variety of colors, allowing for customization that blends seamlessly with your space. 


Playground platformWhy FRP Can Be Effective for Playground Shade Structures

FRP is a durable and versatile material that is gaining popularity for use in shade structures for playgrounds. It offers several benefits:

  • Safety: FRP grating can offer shade from the sun, delivering the essential benefits you need from a playground shade structure. 

  • Durability: FRP is resistant to corrosion, UV radiation, and moisture, making it ideal for outdoor use. Not all FRP gratings offer the same level of UV resistance, however. Since providing shade is the primary use in this case, choosing grating materials with high UV resistance is important. 

  • Customization: FRP grating comes in various colors and can easily be cut into the desired shapes, allowing you to match it to your park or playground's aesthetic.

  • Adaptability: Beyond the playground shade benefits, FRP materials can also be used to enhance safety and even aesthetic appeal with options for handrails, stairs, and more.   


As a recreational example of FRP in action, a Toronto entertainment and seasonal amusement park known for its diverse attractions, was in the process of constructing a new platform within the "Foam Factory." FRP proved to be an excellent choice, creating a vibrant, low-maintenance structure in this children's play area. For more examples and inspiration, explore our recreational market overview.

For communities looking to enhance enjoyment and safety in their parks and playgrounds, investing in shade structures can provide numerous benefits, and FRP materials can be a cost-effective choice. We invite you to explore our design resources and reach out to our engineering team for help in bringing your playground shade structure projects to life.

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Topics: FRP, Benefits, Corrosion Resistant, Architecture, architectural, shade structure, outdoor, uv resistance, recreational, playground

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