How To Build the Perfect Playground in Your Backyard

The kids are restless. You’ve got the space out back, so why not build them a play area? Here’s how to build the perfect playground in your backyard.

It's been a long winter, and it’s time to consider how to get the kids out of the house and keep them active! If you’re looking for a project that keeps you busy while bringing joy to the little ones, consider setting up a playground in your own backyard. The kids can run themselves ragged in perfect safety without being too far out of your sight. It’s also possible to put one together with upcycled materials and other items. Here’s how to build the perfect playground in your backyard.

Prep the Location

Of course, you can buy a kit and install it yourself. But first, select a specific area for the playground and measure its perimeter. Keep space and safety in mind. Ensure you can observe the area easily from the doors and windows in the back part of your house. Make sure you have space set aside around the perimeter of the set, accounting for extra distances needed for swings, slides, and other play areas. Look up and down! Are there tree branches, overhead wiring, roofs, or other objects that might cause injuries? If you dig, will you hit any gas lines, cables, or the like? Level the ground and leave space for a protective mat or layer of spongey ground cover.

All Tired Out?

Tires are a handy and cheap way to create a slew of playground pastimes. Tires also remain a safe and fun source of material. If you replace your tires, save the old ones (most dealers will return them to you if you ask). Make sure they don’t have any exposed areas with loose bits of metal from the belts sticking out. Otherwise, the rubber protects small bodies from injuries, doesn’t get too hot in the sun, and lends itself to painting and other creative treatments. Use them to build tunnels, obstacle courses, jungle gyms, tire domes, and, of course, tire swings.

Blend in With the Surroundings!

Don’t let a tree or shed or similar object be an obstacle to your playground. You might be able to make it part of the fun! Traditional treehouses are always a hit. Make the tree the centerpiece of the set, incorporating steps or a ladder as part of the design. Sheds and fences can be used to creatively hang fun things, like blackboards and dry erase boards. If you have limited space in your backyard, think outside of the box, so to speak.

Storage and Extra Playthings

When considering how to build the perfect playground in your backyard, remember the number of places and spaces that can be used for storage. Outside toys, sports equipment, and the like can be tucked away in different places. A bench can be used for sitting and storing, while a playhouse can contain shelves and perhaps a loft overhead. And think about little extras that can be added and removed easily, like tracks for die-cast car races, a PVC pipe music machine, and more—the options are limitless.

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