Not everyone lives within walking distance of a safe, modern playground. If you’re a caregiver for kids, grandkids, nieces, or nephews, this can limit your options. Luckily, a DIY enthusiast can take matters into her own hands. Making an at-home playground is easier—and cheaper—than many people realize.
- Choosing an Appropriate Play Theme
Every playground needs a theme! When choosing an ideal theme, it’s okay to consider your tastes. However, the age of your kids is quite important. Whichever theme you settle for, choose something that can be exciting for different age groups. Some popular play themes include:
- Analyze the Designated Playground Area
Analyzing the potential play area will make your work easier. While indoor home entertainment typically involves games and screens, focus on nature for an outdoor playground. You’ll be looking at the existing elements and working in harmony instead of working against them.
For example, do you have a large backyard tree to hang a swing from? Do you have spare lumber from another project that could turn into a sandbox?
Safety considerations will also come to play. Essential questions to ask yourself include:
- Is the area prone to direct sunlight and strong wind?
- Is the soil ideal for the installation of play equipment?
- What does the drainage look like?
- Can you incorporate existing vegetation into your design, or will you have to eliminate it?
- Gather the Necessary Tools
The available space determines the size and the number of items that’ll go into your home park. That directly affects the number of materials you’ll require, and it goes hand in hand with your budget.
Further, it determines the final layout, meaning it is wise to read each item’s dimensions and specifications in advance. You’ll be able to establish how far one item will be placed from the other. So, make sure to measure your outdoor space to avoid disappointments along the way.
- Protective gear like masks
- Some helping hands
- Prep the Playground Space
If there are some items in the designated space, it’s time to declutter. You’ll also want to get rid of the weeds. Think about where toys will go for both easy access and so they won’t get lost. A chest, old trash can, or even some playroom storage options can help your space stay organized.
- Choosing the Equipment
When creating your own playground, the kids’ age is a pretty critical factor. For instance, toddlers will really enjoy a treehouse climber. You can also fetch a mini jungle gym for them. A swing and slide set will be a happy place for a wider range of age groups. Many families outgrow these structures and then don’t know what to do with them. Check Facebook Marketplace and thrift shops before buying new.
Meanwhile, giant slides, climbing rocks, swings, and ladders are great options for older kids. Remember to check the weight capacity, depth, and size when shopping around. It’s also important to consider the number of kids your playground will be hosting. That’ll enable you to decide on the number of balls to buy and other essentials like trash cans.
If you happen to live in a more urban area or you have a hard concrete patio, get creative with some playground turf. It’s soft and absorbs the impact arising from accidental falls. Plus, it looks more sophisticated than concrete.
- Build A Wall
While a wall isn’t really a must-have, it’s great for aesthetics. Remember, you’re also looking to upgrade your outdoor space. So, erecting a beautiful wall will help you achieve precisely that. A fence also provides an additional layer of safety by preventing strangers from accessing your homemade park.
The recommended height is 3″, and timber is the better option. It would be best to choose weather-resistant, low-maintenance woods like redwood or cedar.
- Additional Creativity Won’t Hurt
At this point, you’ll need to summon your creative capabilities to create the best playground. Safety is still another essential consideration at this stage. Look at what you can add, remove, or change to enhance safety within the home park. For instance, you can set up picnic tables and benches for the kids. Parents who’d like to watch over their children can also use them.
Now you’ve done it! Get outside and enjoy your new play space.
Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.