How to Build a Playground For Kids

Building an outdoor playground is an excellent way to get your children away from the electronics that seem to dominate the world today.

Safety is the most important consideration when building an outdoor playground.Safety is the most important consideration when building an outdoor playground.
It encourages them to get some fresh air and play outside. Building the playground can be a difficult and rewarding experience at the same time. It's something the whole family can take part in. The most important thing to remember when building a playground is to make it as safe as possible.

Prepare the site. Decide where you want the playground to be built. Take into account what you have room for and where different pieces of equipment will fit. Before you buy the lumber or the plans, have an appropriate spot measured out and sectioned off. Level the ground if necessary and remove any rocks or debris.

Purchase a kit that has everything included, or, if you'd prefer, the plans alone. Consider your budget, your construction skills and the type of equipment that is age-appropriate for your children. You should be able to buy kits or plans at any major home improvement store.

There are many different activities that you can include on your playground. Slides, swings, walking bridges and bars are all popular choices. If you're at a loss on what activities your playground should include, try taking your child to the park and see what he has the most fun with. If he sticks to the slide, for instance, you'll know to put in an awe-inspiring slide.

Read all the instructions and ensure that you have all materials on hand. It may be helpful to cut your lumber and drill all your holes before beginning construction. Once you get into the build, it may be difficult to measure and attach unprepared equipment. By preparing all your materials, you'll save yourself a major headache. If you purchased a complete kit, this should be done for you.

Anchor your posts securely in cement to keep them secure. Using the post hole digger, dig your holes for the main posts and pour in cement. Place the main posts in the cement and use wire and stakes to hold them in place while they dry. Be sure they are completely dry before moving on. You should wait at least 4 hours before putting any weight on the posts.

Attach all equipment securely to the support posts according to the directions that came with your kit. Include plenty of handrails for the kids to hold on to while climbing or sliding. Sand all wood pieces thoroughly.

Finish the playground equipment with stain and sealer or brightly colored paint. Make it a family activity and let the kids help paint.

Spread appropriate ground covering. Options include mulch, shredded rubber, pea gravel or grass. Each has benefits; it's mostly just personal preference.

Things You Will Need

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Sander
  • Saw horses
  • Post hole digger
  • Cement
  • Lumber
  • Screws
  • Paint or stain
  • Playground equipment

Tip

  • Be sure to follow the directions for the plans exactly.

Warning

  • Check the codes in your area to be sure there are no restrictions on building.

About the Author

Casey Campbell has been writing professionally since 2005, contributing to various websites. Campbell is a certified nurse's aide and has worked in a nursing home. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in education at the University of Southern Indiana.