DIY Playground Guide - Build Your Kids' Backyard Adventure

DIY Playground Guide - Build Your Kids' Backyard Adventure

Have you thought about creating a DIY playground for your family? Providing a secure and stimulating environment for kids to explore and enjoy is essential in today's world. Constructing a DIY playset can offer your child a place to grow, imagine and have plenty of fun.

Your DIY backyard project can be hugely rewarding for you as well! Let your kids see you create their own DIY backyard playground out of two by fours, paint, deck screws, and dreams. Imagine the memories that they will be able to share when they embark on their own projects, or even build a DIY outdoor playset for their kids.

In this article, we’ll go through the entire process of building a DIY backyard playground, from the planning and preparation to the final finishing touches. Every step along the way, we will provide you with the tips and tools you need to avoid pitfalls and keep everyone safe.

Backyard DIY Playground Equipment

When you discuss the prospect of building a playset, we imagine that your children will probably bombard you with all sorts of exciting ideas. You’ll probably have to tailor our recommendations to accommodate their important personal preferences. However, these tips will give you a good starting point for your DIY project. Consider adding different combinations of these fun elements.

  • Slide
  • Swing
  • Sandbox
  • Set of monkey bars
  • Merry-go-round
  • Rock wall

During the planning and construction process, you will have the chance to demonstrate how to flatten the ground, dig post holes, cut lumber using a circular saw, and attach wood to one another. 

One design possibility is to create an integrated main structure that incorporates ladders, decking, netting, and other accessories with standard play equipment such as slides and monkey bars. Add a steering wheel and other decorative features to create the experience of being on a racecar, spaceship, pirate ship, and everything in between.

Place special elements of the backyard playground in locations that provide a lofty vantage point. When your children and their friends stand at a ship's wheel, observation window, house, or castle parapet, a deck made from two by four lumber can take on an entirely new life.

So, How Do You Actually Build Your Own Playground?

Planning and Design

Have a family meeting to discuss what they want to do in their new playhouse. Before you start your DIY outdoor playground project, create a material list.

Many young people love to climb, so offer them a climbing structure that lets them move from the ground to upper levels.

For many of these projects, you will need a post hole digger and a circular saw for cutting wooden planks and posts for keeping playset structures in place.

Two by fours of pressure-treated or composite wood might cost a bit extra, but you will be glad you did when your playhouse stands the test of time. Two by four deck boards and support posts that have not been pressure treated can warp and lose strength as they absorb moisture.

Preparing the Ground

If your project involves digging holes, ensure that none of the hole locations will intersect with a gas line, sewer line, electrical wire, or anything else that you might inadvertently damage by calling 811 which is the national before you dig.

Ask your town or city government if they require a local building permit to build the play structure in your backyard. You might need to provide details or schematics of the structure and have an inspection before anyone can use the play structure.

Building the Structure

The building process will be different depending on the components that you use for your DIY backyard playground.

When you anchor a playground structure to the ground, dig holes deep enough that each post reaches a depth below the frost line in your area. This increases the stability of the posts. Set posts with concrete.

After you set the first post, use two by fours to keep the space between one post and the next post consistent and to keep the post in place while the concrete sets.


You can buy a prefabricated slide and attach it to your playground. Be sure to cushion the landing area at the base of the slide and the base of the ladder on the other side of the slide in case children fall while climbing the ladder.


sandbox image

A sandbox offers hours of fun, with fairly low cost. The great thing about our sandbox collection at Frame It All is that - when your kids are grown - you can easily repurpose it into a raised garden bed for your flowers, veggies or herbs!

Monkey Bars

Monkey bars promote exercise and coordination. They can be a freestanding structure anchored to the ground with four posts.

Swing Sets

swing set image

Swing sets are a source of excitement, joy, and relaxation. A DIY swing set generally consists of two sets of poles in an A-shaped configuration and a crossbar that the swings hang from.

A Rock Climbing Wall

A rock wall can be a great way for adventure-seeking kids. Be sure to anchor the rock wall securely and provide a soft landing surface and safety equipment to prevent injuries from falls.

A Tire Swing

tyre swing set

If you already have a suitable tree in your yard, a sturdy rope and a ladder might be all you need. The two most common types of tire swings are a vertical swing, where the rope ties around the tire, and a horizontal swing, where three or four separate ropes anchor to one side of the tire.

Rest Area

Add shaded benches and other places for getting a drink or resting after intense play.

Finishing Touches

Once the main elements of the play set are in place, the next step will be to make the area safe to use and ready for inspection, if needed. Install handrails on all second-floor decking to prevent falls and any parts of the ground level that present fall risks.

Make sure that the concrete has set around every post hole. Clear away all construction equipment, such as screws, nails, power tools, and stray pieces of metal. Check each board in the playset for splinters and nails or screws that stick up.

A coat of paint or stain can give the playset a finished look and give the treated lumber an extra layer of protection. Check the swings, slide, monkey bars, and every ladder, board, and rock climbing handhold for security and stability.

Keeping Your Kids Safe on Your DIY Playground

Kids love spending time on backyard playgrounds, but a child can trip or take a tumble on even the safest playset. Responsible homeowners and parents owe it to every child in their neighbourhood to make the play area as safe as possible.

If a kid falls off while swinging, they can land far away from the set. For their safety, place cushioning material for a distance at least twice the height of the set in the front and back and six feet to the sides.

Ensure that the ground is compact and level before starting the project. A DIY playground set built on unstable ground can become dangerous.

Protect everyone who uses your DIY backyard playground from injuries by covering the playground space with a soft mulch and keep it in place with a sturdy, flexible playground border.

Kickstart Your DIY Playground With Frame It All

Frame It All provides high quality playground borders that have many advantages over the DIY backyard playground products you can find at the big box stores.

The borders in our playground border collection consist of recycled materials and sustainably produced wood fiber. They are more flexible and durable than cedar wood fibers and ideal for any DIY playground sets.

Our knowledgeable team is ready to help you with your backyard playground project. If you need some help, call us at 800-914-9835 to discuss your plans to build a DIY backyard playset that your family will love.

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