I love spending a good portion of our summer days outside. Now that we have this, even more so.
Last fall, my brother-in-law had a neighbour who was passing on their old playset so he picked it up and brought it up for us, soon after we moved. With unpacking and getting settled in we didn’t have a chance to assemble it before the snow came. So this spring, the kids were so excited to get their playset put together and I was so excited to turn the pile of wood by our backdoor into something useful and fun.
We decided to place it in the back corner of our lot as it can be seen from anywhere in the back yard there, as well as from our big side yard and back french doors where we hope to have a deck someday. It was a bit of a puzzle at first as Dan spread it all out and figured out what went where and what wood we might still need. He ended up buying four pressure treated 4 x 4 posts for the supports and then we were ready to start assembling.
We worked on it off and on in the evenings, first digging the holes for the posts and getting them in the ground. The platform was all in one piece so we just had to attach it to the posts using spare wood as cross pieces and some heavy duty lag bolts to anchor them. Next we added the railing, which was already in three sections so we played around with them a bit and cut them to size so we could attach them between the posts.
Then we were ready to put the ladder and slide on the front. I freshened up the slide by spray painting it with Krylon’s Fusion for Plastic in a bright yellow. It took three bottles to do two good coats and although it didn’t have perfect coverage, it did really help brighten it up so it doesn’t look so faded anymore.
The kids were so happy about this step because it meant that they could finally start playing on it! That slide got a lot of use and Brendan loved being able to look out and wave from the top. Emma loved it so much she asked if she could sleep out there at night (which is really saying something coming from the girl who doesn’t like to sleep alone at night).
When we had a free Saturday morning, Dan added the monkey bars and swing set under them, which came together pretty fast compared to the first part. The pieces were all there and we didn’t have to do much fiddling around to get it to fit together, which was nice.
At this point we debated between leaving it as it was as more of a fort, or adding a roof for more of a house look and a little shade from the sun. We were both leaning more towards adding a roof so we decided to go for it. Dan built the frame with leftover wood and I held it up as he attached it to the posts.
This proved a whole lot harder then it sounds as that thing was heavy and a little awkward. It also got a little cockeyed during the first installation so we had to take it down, secure it better and then get it back up there again. Our wood clamps ended up saving the day for us as they helped me hold it in place as Dan secured it and we finally got it up there and looking good. Dan bought fence boards for the roof and nailed them on the frame the next evening, overlapping the ends.
The roof is my favourite part. It makes we want to play house and make some mud pies (am I the only one who did that?). The kids have spent hours out here. They love it! Emma has learned how to pump all by herself on the swing and Brendan loves climbing all over it.
Emma and I have great plans for adding some kind of flag and I’d love to stain it someday to unify the old and new wood, but I’ll have to wait until at least the fall so the new pressure treated wood can weather first. We’re also looking forward to adding a sandbox to the mix!
Do you have a play area in your yard for your kids? Where was your favourite place to play as a child?