DIY Play Structure - Ideas & Fun!

We have built a few play structures over the years, and I wanted to share a few things fun things with you.

When Xander was around 2.5yrs we decided to build our own play structure and swing set. The sets we were finding were either extremely expensive, or reasonable but made from materials that didn't seem to have a lot of longevity. We started out with one tower, and bought a hardware kit to build what we wanted.

The idea was that we could move and reconfigure the structure as he grew. Many of the accessories like different swings were received as gifts over the years.

Later when Ava was about 2yrs, we built a second play tower. This tower was a bit taller with a curved slide. We built a bridge out to one side, that had monkey bars on the underside.

This set up was amazing for many years.

We have since made some major changes to the house. We added a family room addition, and in turn needed to make some changes to our yard structure. We de-constructed both units and incorporated the components into one new large structure. Some wood was really rotted and needed to be replaced.

This all sounds kind of funny, and I have to say that on many levels we love it as much or more than the kids do. The new structure is large, and we can easily climb and play in it.

When we installed our pool we had a ton (literally) of sand left over, so we built an eight foot square sandbox. This was the start of the new structure!

We placed this box under beautiful pine and maple trees, and constructed a tower over top. Xander really wanted a tree house, and this came very close.
We were able to nestle the entire structure in amongst the branches.

It grew into this!

We reused everything that we could, and added a third longer yellow slide that we found on a local used site. 
The canopy over the 8' section is a basic utility tarp. 
We attached it with washers and screws.

Below on the right are the original towers from the old structure, with the bridge in between them. The underside of the bridge still has the monkey bars, but at a height now that has become a bit more of a challenge. This connected to the new 8' sq tower with sand box below.

Below you can see the kids standing on a wooden walkway of sorts, that is laid out around a tree. We have a barrel now holding sticks, log slices and lots of rock for free form creations.

I built a simple canopy over the sand/mud kitchen/counter/bench with outdoor fabric. 
I used 2 - 8' lengths of 1 x 2" lumber. I wrapped and stapled the bottom and top of the fabric, and made simple brackets to hold it up over the bench. 
I built the bench that you can see above supported by two posts. I used two deck board scraps screwed together to make supports, and angled the ends. I screwed them to the insides of the posts.
I used three deck boards for the top, and screwed in two lengths of 2 x 4" to support the length of the bench.
  I have to say that many meals have been created and served here!

We had some great logs left over from cutting down a tree that needed to come down for the addition (sadly), and re-used them for a small log parkour.

If you look closely below you can see some pvc piping, that we put together and attached to the structure. The kids roll balls, cars, sand and all kinds of goodies through them. 
A visiting friend had mentioned seeing this, and we decided to add them in for fun.

There is an amazing antique pulley over the bridge with rope and buckets, to pull up various loads of found materials.

We have since added some water tubing (from Home Depot), that we wrapped around one of the corner posts of the 8' section tower. We started wrapping on the second level, and have a couple of funnels to insert into the end. The kids bucket up water to pour through the tube. 
Lot's of fun!

Behind Ava below attached to the tree is a 90' zip line. We found a kit and added a disk seat to it. We bought our first 30' zip line many years ago. It was installed between trees at a lower height, and was on a slight slope. This was amazing for several years, but we definitely needed to upgrade. 
Last year we installed the one you see below. 

This is a collection of outdoor fun that has grown 
with us for many years,
 and hopefully many more to come.

I hope you are enjoying Spring!!



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I greatly appreciate your friendly comments and feedback. I love to see what others are making, so please feel free to include a links and share your site with us!!! If you have any questions regarding any of the materials we have made...I'd love to help!!! Thank you for visiting us:)



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