DIY playgrounds for kids is one way that you can keep your young ones entertained for many hours at a time and not have to spend a fortune doing it. It is easy to find lots of pre-made outdoor playground equipment, but it is not so easy coming up with the money needed to buy it. Besides, you can make many of these home playground projects a family affair, which really adds to the fun of it all.
While there are some good projects here to choose from, you can also expand these ideas to make them unique to you. Always remember when you are building anything for the kids the safety factor has got to be the priority over and above the potential fun that comes with these outdoor venues.
If you starting with a fresh backyard that as yet has no playground designated then you want to do some planning. Depending on the size of your yard you may not want to designate all of it to the kids. Here are a few things to consider in your planning stage:
1. You want it to be situated where you will be able to see the children when you are indoors. This of course will depend on their age, but most moms like the thought of being able to keep a watchful eye on the kids no matter what their age.
2. The type of playground equipment that you are building is going to play an important role in how much space you need. You want to make sure that any of the equipment is away from fences and trees if possible. This is especially important for slides and swings.
3. Keep the playground away from other yard activity segments. For example, you don’t want it too close to the patio, or pool area. Plus you don’t want it too near to the garden walkways or the garden itself.
4. If possible you want it to be in a partly sunny and partly shady area, unless you have the option for creating shade.
5. You also need to consider the ages of the children that the playground is being built for. Ideally you want to build it in such a way that you will be able to modify it as the children grow. Gender is going to be important, but also remember that no doubt with a brand new playground the kids will want to invite their friends over that will no doubt be both genders.
The next thing to consider during the planning stage is what is going to be most appealing for the kids:
As parents we know that kids love to swing, they love to slide, they love to climb and they love to hide. So there you have a simple and easy format to follow for what the kids love doing best. So lets look at a few projects that are going to meet the kiddie needs.
Image source: livedan330
If you have some older kids in the house then chances are you have a few too many skateboards laying around too. The younger kids always love to be able to use something that once belonged to their brothers and sisters and skateboards are no exception. The little ones may be too small to put this item to its intended use, but boy it sure makes for a great swing.
This is a relatively easy project that should only take a couple of hours to do once you have assembled the materials.
Old Skateboard – You can find these at garage sales, flea markets, used sporting goods stores or maybe in your own garage. Garage sales are the cheapest maybe $5 or less. Used sporting goods store prices start at $20.
Good outdoor rope – This is available at your local hardware store or the big box stores. We found 100 feet of rope packaged for $9.95. Be sure to get enough rope. Even if you plan on adding this swing to an existing swingset you will need 50 feet or more.
Dowel rods – You need two pieces about a foot long each. These should be a minimum of an inch and a half in diameter. You need this size to drill holes for the rope and if you are building a swing for bigger kids this will make it strong enough.
Drill – make sure you have a drill bit slightly larger than the diameter of the rope.
Saw – For cutting your dowel rod
Please visit livedan330 for the full and very well put together easy to read instructions for this nifty swing.
For the Toddlers:
Our tiny ones love to swing from the time they are born. Keeping them safe as a toddler takes some extra planning. This is a great DIY project that you can do for much less cost then if you were going to buy a manufactured version.
Here is what you will need to make this swing….
So I gathered up my supplies:
1 inch oak dowels
25 ft nylon/poly blend braided 5/16″ rope
about 1 yard of outdoor canvas
Some tools: sewing machine, hammer, pliers, saw, drill press
Sturdy tree branch (still attached to the tree, thank you.)
Please visit the one sassy housewife for the wonderful instructions
You can add to the pleasure of the swing by building it around a theme. This is a wonderful example as the plane fits in so aptly with the flying high pleasure that swinging brings.
Image source: Whitney’s Workshop
Here is what you will need…
1- 2x4x81- 1x8x81- 1x6x101″ dowel, 6-8 inches longBox of 2″ Outdoor screwsA handful of 1 1/4″ outdoor screws1- 3″ lag screw for prop (plus a few washers)20′ +/- rope1- 3″ eye screw4- 3″ long eye lag bolts, plus washers. (mine were 5″ and way too long)2 rope clips (like these)Plus finishing materials like sandpaper, glue, and paint.Then for a rough idea of all the cuts, see below. I found it very nice/easy to mark out most of my cuts before I started, including most of the curves. I so wish I knew how to use SketchUp so that I could share more details with you.