How to build an outdoor playground for your child

How to build an outdoor playground for your child

Building a playground for your child is exciting for both adults and kids.  There is no other better way to bond than to help create something your child can enjoy for years to come.  There is no limit to what you can build: you can make a slide, monkey bars, tunnels, platforms to climb, and much more. The Internet has hundreds of plans and free designs to choose from, so all you need to do is check your tool inventory and purchase the materials.

Money Saver

Usually, when buying a playground set up, they come in kits. Building your own can save you hundreds of dollars because the kits can get very expensive. You still have to put them together as you would a DIY project, so enjoy the savings of building your own. Try asking your friends or your neighbors to borrow tools you may not have and see if anyone would like to help participate in creating it with you for some additional help.

Fun for All

Choosing a plan based on your child’s age can help.  An older child will enjoy a larger playground with more room to jump, slide, swing, etc.  Smaller children need some younger mechanisms involved that they can reach and play with or on.  Creating your playground for them will also teach them to play with others.  Their siblings or friends can join them, and they can learn to socialize and have fun with other kids.

Get Started 

First, choose a design or plan from the Web for your playground model.  There are tons of free plans to pick from.  Second, line up the materials you have and will need.  It involves wood, screws, nails, stain or waterproofing, slides, swings, other miscellaneous playground parts, and tools.  You may have to order specific specialty playground parts, like swings or slides, so keep that in mind.  It is best to put down and set everything out, organize it and follow the instructions as you move from step to step. Allow some time for you to complete this. It is a big project, and it may take more than one weekend.

Watch for Splinters 

Many plans and designs call for pressure treated wood.  This wood will not only hold a lot of weight, but it also repels a lot of bugs and can stand the test of time.  However, pressure treated wood can be very rough.  Using some sealant and sanding it can smooth the areas the kids can touch and will help avoid splinters and jagged edges. Recurring stain and paint may be needed annually to keep the wood and playground in tip-top shape.

Share the Enjoyment

Kids do grow up, but until then they can thoroughly enjoy the crafted playground, sandbox, swing set, or club house that you have made for them.  Friends and siblings will have fun playing too! When your kids outgrow the playground, consider donating or selling it.  Daycares, churches, or online sales could easily find the playground a new home, or if you’re feeling generous, you could give it to charity or to another family who wanted one.

Building your playground for your kids isn’t too difficult.  Depending on the size, you will need anywhere from 100 to several hundred dollars’ worth of wood.  It beats the retail pricing of playground kits in stores that can cost up to 3,000 dollars and beyond.  Make sure you have all the tools and materials you will need, as this will help speed up the process.  Don’t be afraid to seek help if you get lost or confused.  Create something that your child will enjoy for years to come and be the talk of all the kids in the neighborhood.

sarahabout the author…Since starting The DIY Hammer, Sarah has developed a knack for spotting a DIY project a mile away. Learn more about home improvement projects on her blog!

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