If you are a handy individual, the idea of building your child a custom outdoor jungle gym might sound like a lot of fun. Not only will the play structure give your children a reason to ditch the video games and play outside, but you can also involve the children in the construction process and teach them some valuable life lessons. As you construct your child’s playground, you must make sure that the final product is both safe and fun. Here are some valuable tips to ensure that your do-it-yourself structure is safe:
The act of play aids in child development in all stages of early life. You need to make sure your child have a safe environment to play in. There are safety standards set by the American Academy of Pediatrics that you should know about when you decide to build your own home playground. As the association recommends, you should only construct equipment that has been approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics. These products have been tested and follow all of the standards set by the American Academy Pediatrics. Simply buying 2 x 4′s and building your own apparatus is not recommended if you want equipment that has been designed to minimize some of the inevitable dangers that exist.
You can choose between several different jungle gym kits or look up blueprints that will tell you the proper heights and supplies needed to build a safe structure. Once you decide on a design with age-appropriate play features, it is time to prepare for your weekend project. While the supplies and tools you need may vary based on the size of the playground you are building, these tips are relevant regardless of size or features:
1. Quick Grip Clamps
Anyone who has build a play structure knows how frustrating it can be to keep the frame together before you drill each piece together. Quick grip clamps will become your best friend when you want to keep the beams and the boards in place as you are fitting them together. With 2 or 4 clamps, you can shorten the amount of time it takes to complete your project.
2. Electric Drills and Saws
You should always have the tools you need on standby. Electric drills are essential to drive the large construction bolts you will be using into the wood. Also be sure that you have a saw handy to cut down pieces that you may have not measured just right.
If you are laying down a play surface, you should lay down the membrane, then put up the frame, and then lay the final surface. If you will be building on grass, be sure to mow the grass where you are installing the frame to make for easier concreting and anchoring.
Choose the right play structures, the right play equipment materials, and the right features for your children to encourage safe play. Playgrounds are fun and they will help your child be creative and social in their youth. These skills will pay off later when your child grows into an adult. Invest in their future and take time to construct a safe playground they will remember for the rest of their lives.
Paula Kurlich is a freelance home improvement blogger. For her next home renovation task, she plans on using Deck Lumber from Bayou City Lumber to get her backyard ready for summer.