Before you decide to take that old play ground set out, check out these awesome playground hacks. I guarantee you will change your mind and may even look to take one off your neighbor’s hands.
Our two older boys, Jack (8) and Beau (7) love to play in the the woods with the neighbor kids. They love to build forts with what ever they can find. They will use any pieces of scrap wood from any of the “Honey Do projects” that I am completing around the home. So that one of a kind, custom playground hacks set in the back yard, just wasn’t “cool” to them anymore. This is just another sign that they are just getting older.
So the big question my wife had for me was… “Do we just throw it out?” My answer is… Nope! Instead, look at ways to up-cycle as much of it as you can. Thats what we did. Since the boys love to play in the woods and are always looking for cool new things, I used several of the play ground pieces and added them as obstacle courses in the woods.
Now our back yard is full of all different size trees, so I used that to my advantage for this project in may different ways. One of the things they loved to play on was the monkey bars. So I used the old monkey bars and attached them between some trees. With a little 2 X 4 step on each side. These were easily attached with some 3 inch decking screws. Now remember the best part is that it does not have to be exactly level. You can have one side higher and it gives them more of a challenge.
I also used some of the old pressure treated 4 X 4’s and made a “Z” patterned balance beam. I attached each side to another 4 X 4 base to help stablize the beam. Remember if you are going to do this make sure to have enough room on the sides with out any trees… just in case they fall off. All fun will be over with a trip to the emergency room!
Here is a good tip to help keep the beams from blending in the the back drop of the woods and from getting slippery. Use some old paint (doesn’t matter what color) and mix it with some playground sand. You can have the kids do the painting on this one. Trust me they will love painting in the woods and making a mess. a few of our trees got a nice “smiley face” 🙂
I also used the old baby swing and did the same as the monkey bars. I just attached a 2 X 4 between some larger trees and hung it there. Our little girl, Allie (2), still loves to sit there and be pushed by her Dad. Plus she gets to watch her big brothers run through the woods.
My favorite play ground hack it what to do with the old slide. We have a small hill and only one way up and down to get into the woods. I decided to have the slide as another exit area for them. I simply used an old wood pallet as a base at the top of the hill. I made some 2 X 4 stakes (from the old lumber) and I drove them in the ground on all four (outside) corners of the pallet. Then I secured the pallet and the stakes with some decking screws. After, I simply attached it with my decking screws attached the slide.
Tip: make are the stakes are flush with the top of the pallet. You do not want your kids tripping over them and go tumbling down the hill. It happened to me, so I made that adjustment.
There are so many things that you can do. Be creative and let your kids help you in the new design. Remember, they are the ones using it… well at least most of the the time.