If your family’s been blessed with a spacious backyard, there’s no excuse to let the convenient outdoor space go to waste. All it takes for you to turn a shabby plot of land into the coolest playground ever is a bit of spare time, a little elbow grease, and a few smart props. The first two items are solely up to you to muster, but as for the playground design inspiration, you can help yourself to these simple yet extremely rewarding projects. Whoever said you can’t transform a derelict yard into a smart-looking play area without breaking the bank?

Clean Up Your Backyard Act

Before you stack the playground-to-be with props, make sure you’ve cleaned up your backyard act. Cart off waste materials to the local recycling plant or donate it to charity, weed the lawn, and decide where you’ll going to set up the play area. It would also be a smart idea to build a roof-covered facility such as a patio or gazebo: it’ll come in handy as both a sheltered play area and makeshift auxiliary building if need be. If you’re short on storage space, you can buy or rent out an outdoor storage unit from a specialised storage service or ask them to provide you with a free storage space cost estimate.

A Tent for Would-Be Indians

Once you’ve cleaned up your backyard, it’s time to deck it with interesting playground props. To make you little would-be Indians happy, you can build them their very own tent from sturdy branches or PVC pipes, some weatherproof fabric or tarp sheets, and a little bit of manual labour. Now, that’s a teepee every little Indian warrior will be happy to make camp in this summer!

Childhood Swinging on a Tire

Tire swings are endearing and evocative of the good, old childhood days, and they’re also super-easy to make. To build your kids the coolest swing in the neighbourhood, you’ll need an old tire, a handful of eye bolts, S-hooks, strong chains, a top attachment set, a tree, and some spare time. Bonus point: pick a large tire and tough chains, and you’ll get to ride in the swing, too!

Unleash the Wild Seesaws Fun

If you want to keep your kids safe and entertained, build them a good, old-fashioned seesaw. A cost-efficient playground prop that requires minimal technical knowledge to build, a seesaw will add fun points to your kids’ play area al fresco. To build a DIY seesaw, you’ll need a few sturdy boards, some fast-drying cement and construction adhesive, galvanised pipe and screws, marine rope, and basic power tools such as drill and whoever said riding the seesaw was boring?

Trampolines and Tumble Mats

Kids love jumping, rolling, and tumbling, but as a proud parent, you should take preventive steps to minimise the risk of injury for your little playful angel. That’s where trampolines and tumble mats come in: a simple yet efficient way to injury-proof the play area, a DIY trampoline and a couple of tumble mats will provide a perfect backdrop for kids’ wild jumping and tumbling fun al fresco.

A Ride down the Water Slide

When the summer heat hits the sizzling point, a homemade water slide will be the playground prop your kids will turn to for a much-needed dose of refreshment and entertainment. To build a water slide, grab a few tarp sheets, use garden staples to secure the slide, and throw in a few foam pool noodle buffers to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. With the slide in place, apply soap or shampoo to the slide, turn on the garden hose or sprinkler, and let wild aquatic games begin!

Zip Lining through the Yard

If you think zip lining is a sport for adults, you’re utterly mistaken: your kids, too, will rejoice at a chance to take a brave zip lining plunge across the backyard. To build a DIY zip line, you’ll need a few karabiner clips, 100-foot long dynamic rope, a rock climbing harness, a hand winch, and a ladder. For bonus convenience, you can set up the backyard zip line between two poles or trees: the stronger the supporting structure, the safer your kids will be when zip-lining across the yard.

With kids on board, every inch of outdoor space is a blessing. Turn your backyard into the coolest playground in the hood and enjoy fun and games al fresco together with your kids this summer. After all, growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.