Part of having a kid-friendly backyard is creating a safe, fun play area for the little ones to enjoy. While there are plenty of already made playground sets to install, a DIY playground gives you a little more wiggle room to design a space that works for your yard and fits your kids’ personalities. Follow these tips for a successful backyard playground project.
- Plan It Out
Even though you’re completing a DIY project, it could be helpful to enlist an experienced landscaping contractor to assist with the planning part. They’ll know how to take the right measurements and help you determine the best placement for your playground area based on the landscape.
If you want to go it alone, map the area and your design idea before doing anything else. This “blueprint” can help with measurements and making your ideas come to life.
Be sure to take measurements of the area multiple times for accuracy. Also, spend time determining how much of each material you’ll need, and plan on buying extras, just in case you need some spares.
- Avoid Messing Up the Landscape
Before renting construction equipment to dig up parts of your yard or move in dirt or playground covering, consider using outdoor construction mats, such as composite crane mats, to avoid harming the rest of your yard.
Composite construction mats are lightweight, portable mats that create a makeshift road for construction equipment to roll along safely. You can also use them for walking back and forth across the yard with playground materials to avoid wear and tear on your landscaping.
- Prepare the Site
Next, it’s time to prepare the site for the playground installation. First and foremost, kids need a safe area to play. Therefore, it’s crucial to fill holes and even out the ground to avoid potential trips and falls. Plus, doing so allows you to build the playground area on even footing, making pieces of equipment safer.
Then, consider preparing the site for easy maintenance. Installing weed barriers is an excellent way to keep weeds from taking over the playground. Lay your playground covering, like rubber mulch or playground tiles, atop the weed barrier.
- Choose Long-Lasting Materials
Finally, consider spending more to get quality materials that will last for years to come. If you’re building a wooden playset, be sure to get strong, durable lumber, like western red cedar lumber that can withstand temperature and weather changes. Pressure-treated, rot-resistant, and insect-repelling wood are also excellent options that are worth the cost.
When building anything with plastic, make sure that the plastic is also resistant to temperatures and can withstand heavy weights to avoid dangers to playing kids, like cracks, splits, and snags. Check with a representative at your local home improvement store for material suggestions.
Time to Play!
You’re now ready to get started with planning your kid-friendly DIY backyard playground! Check out some Pinterest ideas for inspiration as you decide what to add to your creation. Consider the practical tips above as you design and start building your kids’ dream playground to keep them—and your landscape—safe.