How to Create Your Own Backyard Playground for Kids? An Ultimate DIY Guide
Parents love doing things for their kids. One fun DIY project is a playground that you can set up in your backyard, which is both fun for your kids and lets you keep a steady eye on them. Many parents fear that if their kids become hurt at the local park or playground while not being watched over, something bad could happen. With your playground firmly in your backyard, you can make sure the space is custom-built for them and safe to your standards. Properly installed backyard playgrounds can also be a boon to the overall value of your home.
If you have some basic tools, some funds, and a little know-how, you might be able to take on this challenge!
The best way to go about this is to level out an area and install a playground kit. These can feature forts, climbing walls, swings, and sandboxes. When creating your playground, make sure to pick wood that is naturally insect repelling, as well as woods that have eliminated chemical threats and will not easily splinter. Even if you’re not building your playground from scratch, there are steps you can take to maintain that it is an overall safe and fun play area, especially when they aren’t being watched over or if their friends come over.
Things You Will Need:
- Playground Kit
- Landscape Timbers, the size of which will depend on the dimensions of your playground
- Framing Square
- 7” Pole Barn Nails For Your Boards
- 5” Wood Screws
- Cordless Drill
- Weed Barrier
- Utility Knife
- DIY playground material (chipped wood, recycled rubber)
How To Set Up Your Home Playground
1. Choose Your Site, and the DIY Size
The first and most important thing you need to do is select your site. Once you know the location and proper size, you can procure your materials list. Make sure you choose a good site that can accommodate whatever playset you decide to go with. You don’t want the kids flying off the swing into a tree, for instance. Choose a nice, flat site for the playground, or do additional prep work to make sure the location is good.
2. Prep Your DIY Playground Site
If the location you choose isn’t flat enough or you need to do some extra work to make it serviceable, you may need to spend a decent amount of time leveling the space. You can make anything work, but if you level the playset and prep the timbers beforehand it can save on headaches when you’re trying to finalize the pieces.
3. Position Your Playset
Don’t be a bullheaded parent, make sure you do your work on steps 1 and 2 long before you even attempt to build the playset. This makes things easier as you can then build the playground right from the start. In this case, you can build your playset or playground pieces and just maneuver them into the location that you set up. You will probably need help with this step, otherwise, you might need to use a tractor and chain to gently slide pieces of your playground into position.
4. Lay The Ground Contact Timbers
For your next step, lay timbers in place to define the perimeter of your playground. Make certain you’re happy with the overall position and squareness and that the timbers aren’t low enough to trip on but not so high that they get in the way of your kiddos trying to have fun. You can use a square to hit those perfect 90-degree angles, but your kids won’t complain if you just eyeball the perimeter. Nail the timbers into the ground with 7” pole barn nails so that they keep in place and serve for years to come.
5. Build Some Walls
You can build some weed barriers or give some backing to your playground in addition to framing the playground or sandbox. Install walls in a safe space behind the playground or sandbox, which also gives some required dimension to the entire play area. This can be much easier if you already have fencing up and are building the playground near that.
6. Lay Down Your Weed Barrier
You can cut, roll out and install a weed barrier beneath the playground or sandbox to keep unwanted vegetation from growing over the kiddo’s fun. Use your utility knife to cut the rows of weed barriers to their correct length, cutting in strips that fit into any obstacles of the playground, such as legs or poles. After you roll it out you can then easily cover it.
7. Fill In With Playground Covering
Fill in the playground space of your DIY backyard that you’ve just framed by covering it with playground covering. This is a soft, vegetative material that will keep things safe for your playground and your kids and help the entire area last longer.
8. Watch the Kids Enjoy Themselves
All of these steps will help you plan out and install your play area, but make sure you are also paying attention to any additional instructions that come with your play kit. Since this project is DIY, check yourself every step of the way and make sure your play area isn’t just fun, but that it’s safe for your kids. The more stable you build your playground, the longer it will last over the years.
With a little time, money, and energy, you can design the playground of your kids’ dreams, and one that is both safe and intuitive. A properly built playground can last for years and will be something that multiple generations can enjoy. If you maintain your space and upkeep the wood and area, the playground can also be something that helps drive up the overall worth of your home. While it’s not possible to watch over your kids all the time, this can ease your mind when it comes to safety, especially with the more rambunctious kids. Worse comes to worse, if your kid takes a nasty spill and needs to be rushed off to their dentist, having an accident in the backyard is a lot closer than having one at the local park.
Alison Brown is the Marketing Strategist at Children’s Dental Fun Zone. She has been inclined towards oral care since her childhood as she comes from a family of dental background. She loves spending time with kids and contributes her insights by writing and promoting informative blogs for families to help them adapt to their new homes and localities without any hurdles.