Forty per cent of playground injuries result from a lack of supervision. Building your own playground in the backyard gives you the opportunity to supervise your kids' play time in a controlled environment. A sandbox provides a soft surface for younger children to build and create. A slide can be added to a large play set or be built along the side of a hill. Acquiring a slide that has already been moulded into the correct angle using smooth materials is the best way to ensure your child's safety. During the summer months, you can build a disposable slide to entertain older children looking for a cool down.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Four 12-inch-by-2-inch wooden planks
- 2-inch nails
- 2-inch screws
- Joint brackets
- Drill gun
- Four two-by-fours
- Garbage bags
- Super glue
Build a box for your sand. The dimensions of the box should be a 4-foot to 5- foot square. Use 12-inch-by-2-inch wooden planks for the frame. Create a flush edge by placing the edge of one plank against the long side of another plank. Nail the planks together but directing your nails through the long side of the outside plank into the edge of the other.
Root the frame into the ground. Dig a small trench around the edge of the box. Place the wooden frame into the trench and pack the dirt around the base. Lightly tap the top of the frame with a hammer to secure it in the ground.
Fill the frame with sand. Do not let the sand overflow over the frame. Leave about 1 inch to 2 inches of frame exposed.
Choose a support for your slide. A basic slide design will have a ladder leading straight to the top. You can use 6-foot or 8-foot rebar and weld the rebar to the bottom of the topmost portion of the slide. Root the rebar into the ground. Use metal brackets to attach a wooden staircase to the top of the slide. Drill holes onto the side of the slide and bolt the bracket into place. Do the same to the wood so the two are attached. The size of the bracket will depend upon the size of the joint between the slide and staircase. The staircase can be constructed of two-by-fours. Two long two-by-fours flank the steps and run at approximately a 45-degree angle. The steps will be perpendicular to the support boards and 90 degrees to your leg while standing. Place the steps close together, to prevent your child's leg from falling through. Use screws to attach the steps to the support pieces; they will be stronger. Test the staircase with your own weight.
A slide should be frictionless. The best materials are plastic and smooth metal. Wood could cause splinters and scratches.
Lay down a garbage bag slide during the summer. Cut the sides of the garbage bags and pull out to create a long strip of plastic. Lay the plastic down the hill. Spray the plastic down with a hose. This method works best on soft grass.
Attach a slide onto an inclined plane. The plane can be created by a play set clubhouse, platform or the frame of a swing set. The bottom of the slide should be secured to the ground. If the angle is too severe -- exceeds 45 degrees -- attach small legs at the bottom of the slide. Secure the legs into the ground. Bolt the top portion of the slide into the clubhouse or swing set frame using brackets. Test the slide with your own weight.
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