Play With The Kids By Building A Playground In Seattle

May 2, 2012 3:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

In this day and age, our children’s idea of “playing” usually involves an electronic device of some sort. Many families get too busy to spend quality time together. Remedy this by building your own playground this spring. Outdoor playgrounds allow the family to partake in some family-bonding and create lasting memories. Luckily, you don’t have to be a certified carpenter to create an amazing playground that is safe and durable for your children. Seattle has all of the supplies necessary for getting your family’s playground up and running.

1. Measure: Take proper measurements of where you want your playground to go. Swings require sufficient room because most children compete to see who can jump the farthest. A slide will need enough clearance and cushion at the end for a safe landing. Trees with hanging branches may need to be clipped depending on how high the playground is. Measuring accurately is the best way to ensure the playground goes up without any unexpected problems.

2. Choose Your Equipment: Pick a playground that you and your children can agree on. There are various kits available to match the experience level of any do-it-yourselfer. Decide if wood, metal or recycled plastic will suit your needs best. If you choose wood, you’ll want to incorporate weather treatment into the plans or find a set that is pre-treated, especially with Seattle’s rainy conditions.

3. Choose Your Flooring: Does your kit come with playground flooring? Options include shredded rubber mulch, rubber pads and wood chips. Maybe you don’t even need flooring and just want to leave the grass as is. Either way, make sure you and your family keep the playground as safe as possible. Bear in mind that leaving the grass as is may result in mud build-up from all of the playing, quickly destroying a lawn (and your carpet).

4. Add Artwork: Add original artwork to your playground. If you choose wood, buy some wood carving tools and pick a place on the playground for your kids to put their names and the date of completion. Include some painted hand prints. This is an easy and sentimental way to remember the time your family spent together creating the set.

5. Keep the Kids Entertained: Considering a lot of the actual construction will be done by adults for safety-reasons, keep the kids involved by having them keep a scrap book of the construction. Taking pictures and chronicling the day will leave you with a scrapbook of memories around the building experience.

These local businesses may be able to help you get started:

Pacific Supply Home
1417 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 322-1717

Hours: Mon to Fri – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Pacific Supply Home has been serving the Seattle community since 1972. It will have all of your construction needs as well as a knowledgeable staff to answer any questions.

1590 NW Gilman Blvd.
Issaquah, WA 98027
(425) 427-8871

Hours: Mon to Thurs – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri and Sat – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Madscrapper is a great place to pick up whatever you need to make an amazing scrapbook of all your family’s hard work.

Compton Lumber Co.
3847 1st Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 623-5010

Hours: Mon to Fri – 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sat – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sun – Closed

If you choose to build something from scratch, Compton Lumber Co. is the best place to start. The staff will provide quality lumber for a sturdy swing set that will last for years.

Related: Seattle’s Best Indoor Playgrounds
Related: Best Arts & Craft Activities For Kids In Seattle

For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSSeattle/YourHome.

Tammy Robinson is a chef, writer and mother who resides in Puyallup, WA and has lived in the great Pacific Northwest her whole life. She has worked as everything from a grocery bagger, barista, or florist to a tournant for a catering company and a dinner cook. She now works from home as a writer, which allows her to raise her young children without missing a single step they make. Her work can be found at

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