The world is your sandbox. Well, that and other backyard playground projects you can build for your kids.
Transform your backyard into a space for play and creativity that kids of all ages can enjoy. It’s a place for outdoor playtime besides the community playground with its merry-go-round, swingset, seesaw, and other recreational equipment. It’s indeed nice to always have an accessible and safe play area on days when going to the park is not an option.
Fill your playground with all the fun and purposeful play structures that are easy to create or recreate with the help of the little ones.
As mentioned and first on the list is the simple yet versatile sandbox. It’s a staple backyard equipment where kids dig, mold, build sand castles and cities, play with their toys, and mingle with other kids. Sand is a safe playground surface and relatively easy to clean and replace for health and hygiene purposes.
It’s straightforward to make your sandbox. The process, as shown here, involves skills like cutting timber into ideal size, creating and laying the box frame, and adding the sand, which the kids can participate in. Either you’ll want to build your sandbox near a shaded area or build a roof over it.
If you have a big shade tree, it feels lacking without a tire swing. It’s that thing from your childhood that your children can experience for many summery and sunny days. The materials to build this swing are few and easy to find: basically, a repurposed tire and a strong rope.
Your kids’ safety while using that swing is and will always be the main concern. Check that the tree is suitable for the installation and healthy. The branch where you’ll hang the swing must be at least eight inches thick. Your tire must be able to support the passenger and be drilled with holes for water drainage. Also, ensure that the rope will support the weight of the tire and the user.
Hanging a wooden swing instead of the tire swing sounds great. And it’s visually appealing: the wooden swing, together with the majestic tree, creates idyllic imagery. But for kids and kids-at-heart, swinging is fun and feels like flying.
Besides conducting a proper assessment of the tree beforehand, the wooden board has to be treated and sanded. The process of installing the wooden swing involves more materials and steps than that of the tire swing. It also requires more tools, such as a miter saw and drill or drill press, which is useful in other woodworking projects. Here’s a sample swing project for reference.
There are elaborate tree houses, it’s true. Then there are simple yet still beautiful ones you can build too. The treehouse is where the imagination of your children comes to life. There they make their own world and act that out, immersing themselves in rich imaginative play.
This video takes you on a tour of a basic treehouse, which is a platform for enjoying the view and a launching pad for rappelling and adventures. You’ll definitely need to make sure that the structure is safe, stable, and structurally sound, no matter how simple it seems. Maybe you can build a treehouse that allows additions and modifications.
The trampoline is safe to use for older children and with an adult’s active supervision. At night, you can convert it into a cozy and comfortable spot for stargazing, camping, or a sleepover party. If your trampoline has a netting enclosure, you might only need to bring out its roofing, decorate, and prepare snacks for the partygoers.
Go all out on cushions, pillows, and blankets for maximum comfort. Light up the space with fairy lights. Hang sheets on the netting for aesthetic and privacy purposes. Play cards and board games, and share scary stories. Enjoy the nighttime landscape with the kids.
The thing about teepees is you and the kids can use them day or night for play and rest times when it’s too hot to do anything outside. Think about the many games and activities that can occur on its walls. No complicated setup and no need to dismantle it the next day.
Your outdoor teepee can also be made of anything and set up as you want. This project, for example, made use of dried branches as the frame and bark as an optional covering for the tent. You’ll need poles and canvas for this no-sew teepee project.
A sand table is another fun outdoor playground project for the kids. Let them dig and play in the sand with their hands. Because kids don’t have to be in it to be able to play, the sand table is easier to clean and maintain.
You can use a storage bin as a sand table that you’ll fill with sand and toys, as this mom did. This way, you can move your sand table in your yard or house and replace its lid when not in use. You can also fit this sand table inside a freestanding tabletop, which should make it easy for the bin to be removed.
Let your imagination roam and try any of the above outdoor playground ideas that would encourage your kids to go out and play in the space you’ve made just for them. Whether you go with the sandbox or table, swing, treehouse, tepee, or trampoline with a twist, these projects are to encourage the beginning DIYer. As you become a more experienced builder, you’ll find yourself making more challenging projects.
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