Fun In The Sun Is Great, But Gimme Shelter, Too!

Depending on where you live in the great state of Texas, you have more than your share of sunlight. In fact, the state average is 2850 total hours of sunlight each year and 135 clear days.

But the range of total sunlight and clear days goes from over 290 sunny days in El Paso down to only 204 day of sun in Houston and Victoria, Texas. And the average high temperatures range from the mid-70s to the high 80s. 

Why does all this matter? Because if you’re a kid at a playground – or a parent or grandparent watching a kid – this means it can be hot and most of the time!

Playing Outside Doesn’t Have to Mean No Shade

Kids love to play and playing outdoors at a playground park often means hours in the direct sun. In addition to sunscreen and ample water to keep sufficiently hydrated, kids need to be able to cool down periodically. And having a source of shade makes a significant difference.

According to an article from WTOP News in Washington D.C.,

“Getting out of the direct sun can cut about 15 degrees off the skin temperature of a person,” said Paul Stark, vice president of properties and facilities at the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.

A child’s body surface area makes up a larger proportion of their overall weight than that of adults, which makes them sweat relatively more. That also means they lose more electrolytes and become more at risk for dehydration.

And, because kids may not recognize the early signs of heat illness, they are far less likely to act appropriately by getting in some shade and drinking fluids. These factors help to put them at high risk for suffering from heat-related illness.

This is why shelters that create shade are so important.

At a playground, outdoor shade can range from simple sails and umbrellas to covered entries, pergolas, and large, open-sided shelters. The ultimate purpose is to make the outdoor play experience a cool time for everyone.

Looking at Playground Shelters

There are a wide variety of structures that can be added to a playground of any size to provide a place for kids to get in the shade for a cool-down, and for adults to sit in relative comfort while minding the children.

A pergola can be a beautiful and attractive focal point in a playground setting, while offering a modicum of shade depending on the angle and time of day. The addition of high-strength fabric sails can bolster the shade provided by these structures.

Mini-shelters can often be more than sufficient though they typically only cover the space required for a few park benches. Hip roof shelters and gazebo style shade structures provide more coverage and, when designed well, can add a tremendous amount of visual appeal to a play area.

A particular style of hip roof shelters are those designed for covering bleachers. These are really nice for little league ballparks and other facilities that make use of outdoor bleacher-style seating.

Outdoor shelters can add tremendous value to your park, school, church playground and other outdoor recreational settings! These attractive, durable, and well-designed coverings can create a versatile space for visitors to relax, have picnics or outdoor parties, and more.

Our larger structures such as gable end shelters and the stunning double-tiered gable end shelters can be filled with picnic tables, café-style seating, or simply shaded open space.

All our steel shelters are weather-resistant, wind-resistant, and exceptionally durable to provide attractive and substantial covered areas your visitors can appreciate.

Beyond the Shade: Benefits of Playground Shelters

It’s one thing for adults and others to realize that having a playground shelter can mean a shaded place to sit while watching their kids play. But there are several other benefits to having a well-placed playground structure installed:

  • Provides protection from prolonged UV ray exposure
  • Helps protect playground equipment or benches
  • Offers protection during unexpected weather changes
  • Creates a multi-functional space for activities and events
  • Allows for more play time by being out of the sun

While it may be a bit more of a subjective thing, there is also the benefit of having a playground facility that is far more inviting and visually appealing when it is fitted with a variety of shelter structures throughout the facility.

The variety and utility of playground structures, combined with the functionality and practical benefits of providing shade and weather cover, means that they can be a real plus for every playground design.

Playground Shelters for Every Environment

From rocky terrains to tight budgets and unique age groups, we provide outstanding customer service and professional knowledge to all our clients.

We’ll help you plan, design, and install your school or church playground equipment, and all for an affordable price. We would be happy to visit your site and give suggestions on ways to create a safer play environment.

Playgrounds Etc. is proudly in compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Guidelines, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.


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