How to Prepare Your Yard for a Play Set

Kathryn Hatter

A backyard with a play set can keep children happily occupied for many hours. Whether your play set features only a couple of swings or your set is more elaborate with slides and climbing structures, the yard must be properly prepared prior to installing the play set. Examine your yard carefully and choose the best spot for the play set -- generally, a level area with some shade will provide the best play area for your children.

A play set in a yard will provide hours of amusement for children.

Step 1

Choose a level area for the play set. Know the dimensions of your play set and add 6 feet to each side to find the free area you must have for the play set. Choose an area away from cement sidewalks and driveways, fences and property lines for best results. Look up to ensure that any tree branches overhead will not interfere with the height of the play set.

Step 2

Determine whether an area is level enough by setting a 10-foot-long board spanning the area from the highest point of a slope to the lowest point. Place the level on top of the center point of the board and begin raising the end of the board up from the lowest point until the level registers that the board is level. Measure the distance from the ground below the low end of the board up to the bottom of the leveled board with the tape measure. If the distance is more than 2 inches, the ground is not sufficiently level.

Step 3

Fix any leveling issues that you discovered in Step 2 by digging the soil and redistributing the dirt. Rake the soil smooth and pack down the dirt as much as possible. Check the area’s level again using the same technique. Continue leveling the area and checking it until the distance is 2 inches or less.

Step 4

Remove any large rocks from the play area and relocate them to another area.