Guest Blogger: Creating the Ideal Backyard Play Area for Kids
Setting aside some space in your backyard to create a play area for the kids is a great way to make use of your outdoor areas. When you can’t find the time in your busy days to make trips to the parks and playgrounds in town with your kids, they still need some kind of outlet for their energy. In addition, every kid loves being the king or queen of their own castle. A private play area can be a great place for them to play and exercise, with friends or by themselves. Start planning a backyard play area for your kids today and the project will shape up in no time.
Image via: Houzz
Assess how much space you have
How much space can you afford to dedicate for your children’s play area? If you rarely use your backyard space, then you might consider giving them the majority of yard space, or even all of it. If you have outdoor gardens, however, or frequently use the backyard for barbecues, hosting friends, or simply passing the time, you’ll want to keep some space for yourself. When you decide on an area to set aside for the kids, mark the boundaries with plastic edging. Dig around the border of the play area, install the edging material, and fill in the ditch with dirt to hold the marker in place.
Now that the play area boundaries have been decided, start thinking about what kind of play equipment you can fill it with. Choose things that the kids will enjoy now, and for years to come. A sandbox is a classic favorite, and easy to construct as well. An area for backyard games like horseshoes, badminton or croquet may also be a good option. Most kids love a swing set, but these tend to require a lot of space. Swings are a good option for those who have plenty of room in the play area, but putting them too close to other play equipment can get dangerous.
Deciding on the right play equipment
Decide on your play equipment choices and draw up a blueprint based on the dimensions of your play area. Proper planning is the key to success, so consider every detail. If you’re planning on installing a trampoline, climbing frames, or any other such apparatus, be sure to give it enough room. A trampoline can easily take up the entirety of some play areas, so be conscious of space. Allow a buffer zone of at least three feet between the different pieces of equipment in the play area, so that kids in different areas don’t risk crashing into each other.
Image via: Briggs Freeman
Constructing your play area
Constructing your play area is usually not as difficult as it sounds. Dig out an area for a sandbox and install a rectangular frame built from lumber to fill up. Make sure there are no protruding nails that the kids can hurt themselves on, and be sure to sand and finish all wood. Swing sets and trampolines are relatively easy to set up–just make sure they’re on level ground and well rooted before opening them for play. Make sure that safety is held as a priority, and your children will have fun for years to come.
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