Playtop & Nike Grind: Paving the Way for Sustainable Playgrounds

In an era where environmental consciousness is not just a choice but a responsibility, businesses across sectors are taking strides towards sustainable practices. Playtop, with its 40 years of legacy in playground solutions, is no exception. Always ahead of the curve, we are immensely proud of our partnership with Nike Grind. It epitomizes our commitment to innovation, quality, and most importantly, the environment. How are Playtop and Nike Grind are redefining the future of playgrounds.

What is Nike Grind?

Nike Grind is an initiative by the global sportswear giant, Nike, aiming to reduce waste in its production process. By recycling worn-out athletic shoes and surplus manufacturing scraps, Nike Grind creates a portfolio of premium materials. These repurposed materials find their way into various products, ranging from sport surfaces to apparel.

The Playtop & Nike Grind Partnership: A Match Made in Sustainability Heaven

Eco-Friendly Playgrounds: Playtop has always believed that playgrounds are places where future generations learn, play, and grow. With Nike Grind, we ensure that these spaces not only provide joy and learning but also instil the values of sustainability. By using Nike Grind materials in our playground surfaces, we are literally laying the groundwork for a greener future.

Unmatched Quality: Sustainability doesn’t mean compromising on quality. The repurposed materials from Nike Grind are of premium quality, ensuring that our playground surfaces are durable, resilient, and safe. Our surfaces are tested for performance, ensuring that they can handle the energetic hustle and bustle of playful children.

Vibrant & Customizable: One of the striking features of our Nike Grind infused surfaces is their vibrant appearance. Available in a range of colours, they add a visual appeal to any playground. Plus, the flexibility of the material allows for custom designs, ensuring that every playground is as unique as the community it serves.

A Circular Economy Model: The collaboration is a perfect example of a circular economy in action. Old athletic shoes that would have ended up in landfills are now finding a new purpose, reducing waste and promoting sustainable consumer behaviour.

Why This Matters?

Playgrounds are more than just spaces for fun. They are microcosms where children develop essential life skills, forge friendships, and create lasting memories. When these playgrounds echo the values of sustainability and environmental care, they serve as a subtle yet powerful lesson for the young minds.

Every child playing on a Playtop surface embedded with Nike Grind material learns the value of recycling, repurposing, and responsibility towards our planet. It’s a holistic learning experience, blending play with crucial life lessons.

Looking Ahead

As proud as we are of our partnership with Nike Grind, this is just the beginning. At Playtop, we are continually exploring new avenues to reduce our environmental footprint. This collaboration serves as a testament to our commitment and a precursor to more innovative, eco-friendly solutions in the future.

In conclusion, the future of play is not just about innovative equipment or interactive designs. It’s about sustainability, responsibility, and creating spaces that resonate with the ethos of the new generation. Playtop, in collaboration with Nike Grind, is not just building playgrounds; we are shaping the future.

If you are as passionate about the future as we are, and you want your next playground, sports court, or any surface to echo these values, get in touch. Let’s craft spaces that not only entertain but educate and inspire. Join us in our journey towards sustainable play.

Unlocking The Magic of Playtop Sports Surfacing

As a leader in the playground and sports surfacing industry, Playtop has always been dedicated to bringing innovation, safety, and style to outdoor spaces. Today, we take a closer look at one of our offerings: the Playtop Sports Surfacing.

1. The Evolution of Sports Surfacing

The world of sports has changed dramatically over the years. And with it, the demand for better, safer, and more adaptable sports surfaces has grown. Recognising this need, Playtop has a surfacing solution that not only meets the rigorous demands of modern sports but also keeps players safe.

2. Features of Playtop Sports Surfacing

Durability: Playtop’s sports surfaces are constructed with longevity in mind. They can withstand heavy use and harsh weather conditions, ensuring that your investment stands the test of time.

Safety First: Our surfaces have excellent shock absorption properties, reducing the risk of injuries. Whether it’s for children at play or athletes in a competitive game, safety remains our top priority.

Versatility: Playtop Sports Surfacing is adaptable for multiple sports, from basketball and tennis to volleyball and more. Its versatile nature makes it ideal for multi-use games areas.

Environmental Commitment: Playtop is passionate about sustainability. We utilise recycled materials wherever possible, ensuring a lower carbon footprint and a more sustainable product.

3. The Science Behind the Surface

Beyond its striking appearance, the real magic of Playtop’s sports surfacing lies beneath. Engineered using advanced technology and materials, the surface offers a balance between firmness and flexibility. This ensures optimal ball performance while also cushioning the impacts, thus reducing the stress on player’s joints.

4. Aesthetically Pleasing and Customisable

One size doesn’t fit all, especially in the world of sports. Playtop offers a variety of colour options and design choices. Whether you’re aiming for a vibrant, lively design or something more subdued and classic, Playtop can cater to your unique aesthetic preferences.

5. Transforming Communities

More than just a surface, Playtop aims to create spaces where communities come together. Our surfaces foster social interaction, promote physical activity, and most importantly, create joyful memories.

Playtop Sports Surfacing is more than just a product – it’s a vision. A vision to provide safe, durable, and beautiful spaces for everyone to enjoy. So, whether you’re planning a community playground, a school sports facility, or a professional-grade sports arena, Playtop’s Sports Surfacing is the ideal choice for you.

Explore our range and discover the Playtop difference today!

Advantages of 2D and 3D Signs in Children’s Playground Environments: An Insight by Playtop

The playground isn’t just a place for kids to run, slide, and swing. It’s a space brimming with opportunities for learning, growth, and imagination. One key element that can elevate a playground’s design, utility, and engagement level is the inclusion of 2D and 3D signs and graphics. Playtop, a leading name in playground solutions, is at the forefront of integrating these elements into playground designs. Let’s dive deep into the advantages of 2D and 3D signs in a children’s playground environment.

1. Enhancing Play Value

Graphics in playgrounds is not just decorative elements; they are functional and can dramatically increase the play value. 2D graphics, for example, can be used to create fun and engaging games like hopscotch, mazes, or number grids. Playtop’s unique 2D designs can instantly transform a simple playground surface into an interactive game board.

On the other hand, Playtop’s 3D animals give children a tangible object to interact with, promoting imaginative play. Imagine the stories a child can create with a 3D whale or kangaroo right within their play area!

2. Educational Opportunities

An intelligently designed playground can double as an outdoor classroom. 2D graphics can be tailored to fit educational themes, be it the alphabet, numbers, or even basic geography. It’s an innovative way to combine play with learning.

3D signs, such as Playtop’s range of animals, can be used to teach children about different species, their habitats, and importance in the ecosystem. A playground can thus become a hub of informal learning.

3. Sensory Stimulation

Children learn best when multiple senses are engaged. While traditional playground elements focus on tactile and motor skills, introducing 2D and 3D elements can engage visual and even auditory senses. The vibrant colours and shapes of Playtop’s graphics and 3D installations can stimulate a child’s visual senses, enhancing their overall sensory experience.

4. Improving Accessibility and Inclusion

Playground graphics can be designed keeping in mind children with disabilities. For instance, tactile graphics or those with high contrast can be introduced for visually impaired children. 3D elements, like Playtop’s animals, can be crafted to be accessible for children with mobility challenges, ensuring that every child feels included and has an equal opportunity for fun and learning.

5. Safety and Navigation

Strategically placed 2D and 3D signs can serve as guides, directing children on safe paths or indicating zones for specific activities. This can help in efficiently organizing the play area, ensuring that younger children don’t wander into areas meant for older kids and vice versa.

6. Aesthetic Appeal

Beyond functionality, graphics enhance the overall aesthetic of the playground. A playground adorned with vibrant 2D designs and interactive 3D animals is visually more appealing and inviting than a plain one. It piques the curiosity of children and even caregivers, promising an experience that’s more than just swings and slides.

The integration of 2D and 3D signs in children’s playground environments goes beyond mere aesthetics. They play a pivotal role in enhancing play value, offering educational opportunities, stimulating the senses, ensuring inclusivity, and even aiding in safety and navigation. Playtop, with its range of innovative 2D graphics and 3D animals, has been pioneering this transformation, ensuring that playgrounds are not just places of play but hubs of holistic development.

For more information on how Playtop can elevate your playground experience, visit our website or get in touch with our team. Let’s create spaces where children can play, learn, and grow.

What are the different types of playground surfacing

There are lots of different factors that can determine what is like to be the best choice when it comes to playground surfacing. From budget to performance and safety, each will have an impact over which playground surfacing is going to work best for your space. So that you know what all your options are, here’s an overview of the different types of playground surfacing that are available.

Wet pour surfacing

This is a continuous rubber surface that gets its name from the way it is installed – being poured onto an existing surface. Wet pour has a number of advantages, including high levels of shock absorption and the fact that it’s a porous surface, which means that it won’t collect water. Wet pour also offers a way to explore many different creative aesthetics and can be designed in a range of vibrant colours.

Artificial grass surfacing

When using artificial grass you can create a natural looking playground environment that is a lot easier to maintain than real turf. A foam underlay can be useful when it comes to improving shock absorption and this type of surface is non-abrasive which means no cuts and scrapes.

Rubber tile surfacing

Using rubber tiles in a playground can be a simple way to bring colour and interest to the space. They are also quick to install and have good shock absorbing qualities.

Tarmac surfacing

You’ll often find tarmac used where there is a need for the most cost-effective solution, as it’s pretty cheap to install. It also tends to be porous which – again – helps to avoid a build up of standing water. However, tarmac doesn’t look great and it can be very abrasive and has low shock absorption, which means injuries are more likely.

Bark mulch surfacing

Another great cost-effective option for playground surfacing that is very simple to install. However, maintenance can be high, as it will need to be raked back into place regularly.

Rubber mulch surfacing

This type of playground surfacing is made from shredded recycled rubber and can be a practical option where there is a need for a more rustic aesthetic. It’s available in many different colours, including a natural brown. Installation is extremely quick and simple, as rubber mulch can be placed over just about any other type of surfacing. Although it has good shock absorbing qualities its effectiveness depends on the rubber mulch staying in place. One of the big disadvantages of this as a playground surface is that it can move a lot.

Bonded rubber mulch surfacing

With this type of surfacing, a PU binder is used to hold the rubber mulch in place, creating a solid and seamless surface. This makes it a good non-slip surface that is ideal for playgrounds that feature a lot of equipment. Because it doesn’t tend to require a sub-base bonded rubber mulch also has cost advantages compared to other types of surfacing. It can also be installed in many different colours and patterns to create a more interesting aesthetic.

Playground surfacing is available in a wide variety of options with plenty of choice when it comes to finding the right one for your project.

How coloured playgrounds impact childrens play

Today we know – thanks to numerous studies that have been conducted on the topic – that colour can have a big impact on human emotions. We are constantly absorbing the colours around us and whether that’s in a room or a playground it can have an impact on how we feel. That’s especially so for children who are always picking up cues from their environment – that’s why coloured playgrounds have the potential to impact childrens play.

How does colour impact children’s play?

Colour theory tells us that different colours can impact our emotions, either when they are experienced in isolation or when they are paired together. You don’t have to look far to find evidence of this – just see how you feel when you’re experiencing colour yourself. Note what kind of impact a colour has on you physically and emotionally, as well as what happens when you experience colours in combination.

The colour wheel and colour schemes

There are lots of ways to understand colour theory but the colour wheel is probably one of the most popular – this was developed in the 1600s but is still used today. It organises colours into primary, secondary and tertiary colours, as well as those that are considered to be ‘warm’ or ‘cool.’ Colour schemes are also important – and there are 3 main schemes to consider:

  1. Complimentary colours. These are found on opposite sides of the colour wheel to one another. They tend to have high contrast but also work well together.
  2. Analogous colours. You’ll find these colours next to each other on the colour wheel and they offer combinations that tend to be the most pleasing to the eye. They can also offer a way to accent certain features.
  3. Triadic colours. This combination of colours is found by drawing a triangle with equal sides on the colour wheel and picking the colours at the points. Triadic colours tend to be the most vibrant combinations that really stand out – but also work together.

How does a coloured playground impact children’s play?

  • The type of colour can influence the associations that we have with it. For example, we tend to associate ‘warm’ colours with feeling energetic and invigorated, excited and happy while ‘cool’ colours are often linked to feeling more relaxed and calm. In a playground that means using those warm colours in areas designed for high activity and the cooler colours for the chill out zones.
  • There are also many common colour associations that it’s useful to note when it comes to playgrounds. For example, black, white and gray communicate a more serious feel while brighter colours tend to make somewhere seem fun and intriguing.
  • Dark shades don’t work in playgrounds. This is because they can make an area seem more run down and unappealing. They also don’t catch the eye and don’t tend to appeal in terms of drawing people in to play.

When it comes to playgrounds and children’s play these are some of the ways in which colour has an influence.

What is the best playground surface material?

Playground surfacing is arguably the most important part of any playground installation. It’s this that will determine how much use the playground gets, how it withstands that use, as well as how it performs in terms of safety. Whether you’re resurfacing an existing playground or installing a brand new one, it’s important to make sure that you know what to look for when it comes to picking the best playground surface material.

What role does playground surface material play?

It might just look like the ground but actually playground surface material has a lot more to add to how a playground is used and enjoyed. The right option will be as safe as possible – shock-absorbing, softer than something like concrete and designed to meet key safety standards. The right playground surface will also have plenty of aesthetic appeal and help to establish trust with the parents who are going to bring their children to the playground. So, what are the options and which is the best playground surface material?

  • Grass or artificial grass. The big advantage of artificial grass is that it looks just like real grass and it’s also much softer than a surface made of a material like concrete. Both grass and artificial grass can be relatively easily maintained. However, there are some disadvantages to consider with real grass, including waterlogging in water and getting dried out in summer, which means that the grass can lose a lot of its shock absorbing properties.
  • Loose fill surfacing. This type of playground surface material is, as the name suggests, made up of loose fill materials that sit on the surface of the playground. That could be something like sand, pea shingles or woodchip. Loose fill is often a great choice under equipment like slides and climbing frames and installation is very simple. It doesn’t tend to work if there is equipment in the playground that is moving, as it can then become displaced.
  • Synthetic surfacing. Although this can have the highest up front cost, synthetic surfacing is often the best long-term investment for playgrounds, which is why it’s so popular today. It is an all-purpose option that has a natural resistance to wear and tear and is also very simple to install and maintain. Synthetic surfacing is long lasting, safe and very versatile in terms of what you can do with it. There tend to be two options for synthetic surfacing:
    • Rubber mulch. Made from shredded car tyres it has very impressive safety attributes, is soft and bouncy and also has a very appealing aesthetic. Rubber mulch works in urban or rural settings and also comes in a range of different colours.
    • Wet pour rubber. Soft rubber granules are bound in polyurethane and used as a seamless safety surface for any playground environment. This type of surface is highly shock absorbent, easy to customise and also weather resistant.

The best type of playground surface material depends on your objectives in terms of cost and longevity – but synthetic surfacing has obvious advantages in any environment. Explore the extensive range of high quality Playtop surfaces for playgrounds, sports, splash parks and other recreational spaces

What are the benefits of school playground surfacing?

School playground surfacing provides a way to ensure both safety and stimulation for all those using it. From the eye-catching designs that encourage play and creativity to the features that are designed to help children play safely, there are lots of ways that school playground surfacing contributes to a better experience for kids. These are just some of the benefits of investing in school playground surfacing.

Making play areas, and equipment, safe

Whether building a new play area for children within a school, or finding ways to make existing (or new) play equipment safe, school playground surfacing provides lots of options. Choosing the right surfacing can ensure that a playground meets requirements with respect to fall height from equipment, and is able to safely absorb impact. It will ensure that all efforts have been taken to provide for the safety of children using the playground and minimise the potential for accidents or serious injury. If this is the aim then it’s vital to choose robust playground surfacing that has been designed to meet safety regulations and provide you with the peace of mind of knowing everything has been done to make play areas safe.

Colourful and imaginative designs

There are so many options when it comes to school playground surfacing and the aesthetic can be designed specifically for individual need. That could be something neutral that blends in with surroundings or it might be vibrant and colourful playground surfacing that encourages children to be creative and play.

Versatile solutions for any space

School playground surfacing can be designed to suit any area, no matter what the limits or the current features of that space are. Playgrounds and play areas may have many challenges but the right surfacing can help to overcome this and ensure that the space is fit for use by anyone and at any time of year. For example, school playground surfacing can be used in environments where there are slopes or hilly areas, as well as to improve safety in spaces that can get muddy or might be prone to being waterlogged. It’s also a great way to improve sports court surfaces that require more than just concrete and can be effective protection for children in areas that have steps. There are lots of different options when it comes to school playground surfacing and a range of ways to achieve desired outcomes for any space, whether that is safety or inspiration.

Weather resistant options

School playground surfacing, such as wet pour, is completely waterproof and installing it will make play areas available all year round. It allows for drainage on any surface, which means that playgrounds are usable all year round and won’t become inaccessible due to flooding. This can also be vital during colder weather, as it will ensure water drains away to prevent dangerous ice forming on top.

From improving safety to ensuring weather resistance and encouraging creative play, these are just some of the benefits of installing school playground surfacing.

How we sustainably create play surfaces through Nike Grind

Sustainability has been a key part of the Playtop mission since the business was first established. Working in partnership with the giant sports brand Nike to create sustainable play surfaces through Nike Grind has created opportunities for delivering sustainable solutions wherever a high performance, robust play surface is required. Today, Playtop is a leader in the world of environmentally friendly, innovative high quality surfacing for play and recreational spaces – and Nike Grind has been a key part of making this happen.

What is Nike Grind?

It is a type of recycled rubber surfacing that is made from unused materials and unused sports shoes. Nike Grind is incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide range of different environments, including outdoors, indoors, on sports courts and for walkways. It has many characteristics that make it ideal as a robust play surface, from being incredibly durable and long lasting to the creativity it can accommodate when it comes to playground design. It is also a fully tested safety surface that meets the requirements for even the strictest environmental and performance-based standards.

How is Nike Grind created?

Nike Grind surfacing is a unique product that is created from worn out sports shoes that are incorporated into Playtop surfacing, rather than ending up in landfill. It is the only product of its kind that incorporates Nike Grind rubber and which has been developed in partnership with Nike. For every square metre of Playtop with Nike Grind surfacing that is installed, the rubber equivalent of 28 worn out sports shoes is repurposed. This not only creates a reliable form of high quality, safe play surfaces but also contributes to a circular economy and minimises waste in the retail process.

Innovating for sustainability

Given the focus on sustainability at Playtop, it’s no surprise that the business is continuously innovating to help identify more ways to minimise the impact that enterprises can have on the planet. Playtop with Nike Grind takes the sustainable and high performance rubber elements from recycled materials and puts them to good use in play surfaces. This provides a simple opportunity to support improved play area design with creativity in a way that is good for the planet too.

The benefits of Nike Grind

Playtop with Nike Grind surfacing is not just great for the planet – it also has many benefits when it comes to creating inspiring and effective play surfaces that will better support development. Some of these benefits include:

  • Playtop with Nike Grind has been fully tested
  • It is a safe and reliable play surface
  • It is a highly durable surfacing type that ensures long term return on investment
  • Playtop with Nike Grind is impact absorbing and effective
  • The opportunities for creative playground design are endless
  • Can be used indoors or out – it is low maintenance and water permeable
  • Environmentally friendly and micro plastic free

Sustainably producing play surfaces through Nike Grind means the team at Playtop can help deliver exceptional environmentally friendly surfacing that also creates great results.

Why you should choose a rubber playground surface

Surfacing is a key component in playgrounds. The ideal surfacing will be as safe as possible while also providing the best environment for play and physical freedom. If your goal is to create a very well designed playground with an engaging aesthetic that can safely host children who are exploring their world then rubber playground surfacing is the ideal choice.

What is a rubber playground surface?

Most types of rubber playground surface have been created from shredded or granulated rubber that has been bound together using polyurethane. It’s a very versatile option for playground surfacing and also has lots of advantages when it comes to being durable, shock absorbent and resistant to all kinds of impacts and conditions. There are two main types of rubber playground surface:

  1. Wet pour surfacing. This is composed of small pieces of rubber that are bound in polyurethane and is laid on a pre-existing bed of tarmac or stone. This type of surfacing cannot go on top of something soft like grass. It’s incredibly resistant to wear and tear and impact and can be created in a whole range of impactful, colourful and creative designs. It’s also very shock absorbent and safe.
  2. Rubber mulch surfacing. Shredded tyres bound in polyurethane tend to make up rubber mulch surfacing, which is very low maintenance and durable and is ideal for any type of playground environment. It’s also very simple to install, as it can be laid on top of any type of terrain, whether that’s concrete or grass.

What are the benefits of rubber playground surfacing?

  • Flexibility. You can create safe, effective and aesthetically pleasing playground surfacing anywhere you choose with a rubber playground surface. Whether you opt for rubber mulch over a grass terrain or wet pour over concrete, there are options for every location, need and design. This type of surface can be laid under playground equipment, such as swings and slides, too.
  • Long-term investment. Rubber playground surfacing makes a lot of sense for the long term. That’s because it’s incredibly durable and built to last. It also requires very little maintenance, which means that your investment will last for many years without much additional expense. This is in contrast to many other types of surfacing, such as gravel or grass, that don’t tend to last, which can be displaced and which may require constant upkeep.
  • Safety and peace of mind. Safety is a top priority for a playground surface – and rubber surfacing options are the ideal choice. These not only meet required industry standards but are also very shock absorbent and soft.
  • Aesthetics. Playgrounds are used more when they look good and engage children and that’s another benefit of rubber playground surfacing. This type of surfacing can be used to create just about any design, including in vibrant colours and across many different gradients too.

From the safety aspects to the lack of maintenance and the creative expression available, these are just some of the reasons why you should choose a rubber playground surface.

How can playground designs benefit schools

Investing in playground design can be transformative for any school. There are many different ways to build a safe and stimulating playground space today, one where children can learn, play and thrive. Outdoor play has been found to have many benefits for children’s health, physically and emotionally, and the range of playground equipment available today contributes to the experience. But what are the main benefits of playground designs in schools?

Helping children to develop cognitive skills

Playground spaces that are designed to support cognitive skills provide children with the opportunity to develop problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. These are spaces where there is the freedom for children to make up their own rules and delve deep into their own imaginations when it comes to playtime. Playground equipment can also have a key role to play here, as it provides a testing zone where children can start to learn more about cause and effect and how their bodies work, as well as what they’re physically capable of.

Nurturing social skills

Playground design also has a key role to play when it comes to social skills, as this is the space in which children are likely to interact most freely. Spending time with peers, playing together and working things out together can encourage important social skills like communication and cooperation. There may be lots of opportunities for conflict resolution and navigating difficult conversations, as children learn how to share spaces and communicate their ideas, wants and needs to others who aren’t their own family. There may be negotiations over who uses the equipment first and children may need to work together to make their games better – or to get the most out of the space. Playgrounds are often somewhere that children start to build social confidence and gain a sense of how to get on with others.

Staying physically healthy

Playgrounds are ultimately a physical space and this can have many benefits for schools. There are lots of opportunities in a well designed playground for kids to run around and let off some steam so that they return to the classroom much calmer and better prepared to concentrate. Physical health is also well supported by playground environments, as there are so many ways to get the heart rate up and burn off energy. This is a space where children can start to learn how their bodies work and what they are really capable of, as well as the sheer joy that can be the result of physical movement. Part of the physical element of playgrounds in schools is helping children to develop and refine motor skills. Everything, from balance to agility and coordination can be supported by the right playground design and equipment that helps children to become more physically fit and capable – and have fun while they are doing it.

Playground design gives schools the opportunity to enhance learning in the classroom and engage children in another type of development that is equally as key.