One of my favorite memories as a child was swinging on my swing set with my dog Tosca sitting watch. It was a simple swing set with just a swing, a monkey bar, and a slide but I didn’t need much more as I was an only child and didn’t have any close friends and no family that was close to my age around. As I grew up I knew that I wanted to have the same thing for my kids.
When my hubby and I first took Connor to the park he was a little scared of everything and HATED the swings. We went back a couple of more times and still HATED the swings but the slide and climbing stuff became fun. I started to get a little excited about having a swing set/play area in our back yard. When I had Amelia, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to take Connor to the park anymore because dealing with 2 kids at the park when one of them isn’t walking/climbing yet is like trying to put socks on a rooster!
That is when I decided that this would be the summer that we did something fun in our back yard.
After some talking, we decided to go for it. First things first though, I wanted to make something for the hubby and I to sit on back there so we weren’t always standing. We had made some cinder block benches for our fire pit patio so I figured that would be the ticket. I’ll do a post of this bench and the little tic-tac-toe table I made in another post!
Due to Connor’s aforementioned hatred of the swings, I knew that we needed to have other things aside from the swings. I didn’t want to not have swings completely because Amelia seemed to like it the few times that she was on them. After scouring the internet for the prefect set, I finally did. Then came the hard part. Figuring the rest of it out…more fun things to play with, sand box, climbing things, and a table to eat at because I can’t just do something simple – it has to be complicated!
When the swing set in the mail and it came in like 100 pieces…Although it wasn’t that hard to put together.
I decided since we have Evil Kenevil for a child, I would find something to put down like they had in the park playgrounds to keep him safe. This kid will literally climb anything. I was going to make the play area about 20×24 and put 4x4s around the edge to keep in whatever I decided to put down. So lets talk about those 4x4s. I knew that I needed to find some way to keep the 4x4s in place. After talking to my dad about it, we decided to drill holes in the 4×4 use ribar to anchor them to the ground. Sounds easy right? WRONG! Have you ever tried to drill a hole into a 4×4? I have a battery operated drill and I got the right bit and it was like I was drilling into the hardest substance on earth. I mean the drill bit was SMOKING!! So, after another call to my dad, we figured that my drill wasn’t strong enough to handle it. I went back to Lowe’s and got a corded drill. With a little bit of weight and pushing, that did the trick – I had finally drilled a hole in the 4×4! Only 19 more to go! I got all the holes drilled with the hubby helping with the a couple when my arms were giving out. Putting the rectangle together with the barrier under was fairly easy. Driving the ribar in was the hardest part, but only because I was using a 4lb sledge hammer and I had just drilled those crazy holes – my arms were tired!
Now came what to put in it to keep the daredevil safe. Rubber mulch was the first thing I thought of, but it is VERY expensive. So, I found a local company that will deliver the playground mulch that most of the playgrounds around use. They are made from real wood and have no dyes or bad stuff in them. So if Amelia eats some, its just extra fiber 🙂 So I had it delivered.
HOLY CRAP! It was a lot of mulch. I knew in my head that I didn’t order too much, by my eyes didn’t believe my head! I mean the pile was as tall as me! (the rubber pavers are there to cover the posts I had to saw off as this was originally a dog cage – that is a whole other story) We moved the swing set, trampoline, and picnic table in place. And it was time to spread out the mulch…o boy! It took us about 3 hours to get it done – the hubby had to help here too. It was quite the workout! As I was spreading it, I was pretty happy with what I was seeing – it looked like the picture I had in my mind…woohoo!
As I was standing back admiring my work, I realized that we didn’t have anything for him to climb on. So going back to Pinterest searching for inexpensive climbing things for toddlers, I saw a lot made of tires. So – fate smiled upon me and I found tires and made a little climbing structure. I’ll put a post together about that – it was both fun and gross. We moved his sandbox back to cover a small concrete area and that was truly the finishing touch. I think that it looks pretty cool! If I was a toddler I’d be pretty happy. What do you think?
Haas family play area in the back yard – DONE!