The weather is starting to warm up in Sacramento and kids are heading back outside to play after being cooped up inside all winter. Now is the perfect time to put a playset in your backyard. To kids, having a playset in their own yard is like having their own personal playground. It offers hours of enjoyment and is a great way to stay active outside. But the fun doesn’t start after the playset is up. Building the playset with your kids is a great way to spend time together and provide lasting memories. Here are some things to consider when building a backyard playset and some tips for getting the most out of the experience.
1. Prepare the yard: Before you can begin, you have to prepare the yard and make sure there is enough room. Select a flat, even spot in the yard with a minimum clearance of six feet away from structures, trees and fences. Be sure to leave extra room in front of slides and swings. You’ll also want to make sure there is proper ground cover underneath the play set. Concrete and asphalt are obviously not appropriate, but grass is not considered a suitable choice either. Look for something that is resilient, drains well and does not compress over time such as rubber mulch or sand.
2. Choose a design: When your yard is ready, you can start the design process. If you are handy and like a challenge, there is a variety of plans available on the web detailing all the necessary tools and materials. Or pick up a kit that includes everything you need so all you have to do is put it together. Even the handiest of DIYers should practice caution though, as playsets have strict safety rules and guidelines. Get the kids involved by letting them pick out accessories such as ropes, sandboxes and swings, as well as the overall design–fort, castle or pirate ship. Tip: Make sure the playset can grow with your kids to ensure years of use.
3. Start building: Now that you have your kit or materials and have prepared the location, it is time to start building. Give yourself plenty of time, read through the instructions carefully before starting and make sure you have all the necessary tools. Get the kids involved by having them help with small tasks such as hammering and measuring. Take it slow, one step at a time. Approach each piece as its own project–for example, ladder assembly–rather than focusing on the set as a whole to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the time you are spending with your kids, both during the build process and the play that happens after.
Here are some local businesses that may be able to help you get started:
11497 Folsom Blvd.
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun – closed
Backyard Fun offers a wide selection of high-quality swing sets and play structures. Bring your kids to the showroom to see all the options, accessories and products.
3555 El Camino Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95821
Hours: Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat – 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For over 100 years, Emigh Hardware has been a family-owned and operated Sacramento hardware store. Pick up all the tools and building materials you’ll need for building your playset here.
6636 Lonetree Blvd.
Rocklin, CA 95765
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun – closed
R.C. Willey has a great selection of swing sets, play structures and accessories.
Related: The Best Indoor Playgrounds in Sacramento
For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSSacramento/YourHome.
Karen Boruff is a freelance writer living in Sacramento. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.