Sandpit with sun awning or sunshade? Sunshade variants for the outdoor area.

28. May 2019

From parasols to sandboxes with sun sails – when it comes to sun protection, there are numerous ways to protect children’s delicate skin from intense sunlight. While parents can prevent sunburn conventionally with sunscreen, protective clothing and hats, educational institutions are faced with the challenging task of taking external protective measures that spare their offspring from sunburn and overheating. But what shading options are there for kindergartens, daycare centres and the like? We have done some research!

Table of contents

Sunshade options for outdoor use

  • Sunshades
  • Sun sails
  • Sandpit covers with sun protection function
  • Pavilions/tents
  • Awnings
  • Cottages (treehouse, willow cottage)
  • Artistic sun protection elements (e.g. life-size wooden leaf)
  • Natural elements (tall bushes and trees)

The good old parasol

Parasols are probably the cheapest solution to protect children from overheating and sunburn while playing. In addition, they are incredibly flexible and can be moved and used outdoors as needed. However, this only applies to commercially available models, which tend to have their place in the home garden. For more than a handful of children to fit under the umbrella, it must be of a specific size. An unfixed base is somewhat unfavourable for large models, as they can fall over in windy conditions. Especially large umbrellas should therefore be anchored to the ground. High UV protection is recommended.

Sandpit with a sun sail? The flexible sun protection solution

A sun sail is suitable for large-scale sun protection. A sandbox with a sun sail offers protection. The sails can also be stretched over entire play areas, for example. There are different models – individually adaptable to the respective outdoor area. Educational institutions can choose between fixed and flexible solutions that can be adjusted to the position of the sun. A fixed awning is extremely easy to maintain and can be used all year round. Flexible variants can be extended manually – via a cable pull with a rubber winch – or operated electrically. Sun sails are usually made of very robust material that not only provides shade but also protects against wind and weather. The material should have a very high sun protection factor, as this is the only way to protect children from dangerous UV radiation. During assembly, it is important to ensure that the air can circulate well under the sail. Otherwise, there is a risk of heat accumulation.

2-in-1: Sandpit cover with sun protection function

Another sun protection option that is primarily limited to the sandpit area is the sandpit cover: a clever combination solution of cover and sun protection. The highlight: the construction consists of four steel posts arranged around the sandbox, on which the sun protection net can be easily pulled up and down via elastic handlebars. In contrast to a sandbox with a sun sail, this type of sun protection has a dual function. During the day, the net offers protection from intense sunlight, and at night, when it is lowered, it protects against contamination by animal secretions and leaves – so carefree play is possible at all times.

We at eibe can make sandpit combination protection solutions for you in many shapes and sizes.

Pavilions and awnings

Awnings are a good solution, especially on terraces, and can also protect indoor areas from overheating. They can be extended and adjusted to the position of the sun. However, most awnings are mounted on the building. For open areas in the garden, a stand-up awning can be used – although a sun sail is often the more elegant solution for this purpose.

Pavilions or tents are suitable as temporary sun protection but cannot be permanently installed. This requires solutions made of wood, which protect very well from the sun and look nice but cannot be planned and used as flexibly as sandpit covers or awnings. In addition, such a variant is rather challenging to combine with other playground equipment, but it can certainly be helpful as an independent recreation area for outdoor group activities.

Little houses, natural and artistic elements

Elements such as tree houses, small huts or huts made of wickerwork can provide just as good protection from the sun. However, these tend to be selective solutions that are themselves more like “play equipment”. They are therefore not suitable for large-scale protection from intense sunlight. The same applies to artistic elements. A life-size leaf made of wood is a beautiful decorative element, but again, it only protects a certain spot from heat and radiation at a certain position of the sun. A large tree with a dense canopy is even more useful as sun protection for a larger area. However, here too, you are tied to a specific location. Not every outdoor area has bushes and trees of the necessary size. So these sunshade variants look very nice. However, sun sails, sandpit covers and the like are much more flexible and safer.

Conclusion: Sandpit cover or sun sail? Let us advise you!

The easiest way to find out which sun protection option is the right one for the respective outdoor area of the kindergarten, daycare centre and co. is to get professional advice. Our eibe expert advisors will quickly see which variant appears to be the most sensible for a particular outdoor area and optimally protects playing children from the sun. In addition, we support you from planning to installation and maintenance.

Bild: pixdeluxe / Signature Collection /

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