Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:21 am

Garden Playground - Help


I'm about to start building a small playground at the bottom my garden consisting of a wooden climbing frame with swings and slide, a small trampoline and possibly a sand pit. I am a complete garden DIY novice so I'm feeling a little out of my depth and would appreciate some advice/feedback on what I have planned to help avoid any silly mistakes if anyone would be so kind.

The area is approx 7m wide by 5.5m long and is fairly level in terms of not sloping but has a lot of holes and high/low areas and also some concrete and bricks just below ground level.

My plan is:-

- Remove the top layer/turf with a shovel
- remove excess soil from high areas
- turn over/break up top of soil with a fork
- level with a rake and fill low areas/holes and cover concrete with soil and/or sand (or old turf?)

- Build climbing frame and position with paving slabs under legs/tower etc and ensure level.
- Build border around area with edging
- Install membrane
- fill area with rubber playground chippings to manufactureres recommended depth (50mm) and rake to level. I will use around 50% more rubber chippings than the recommended minumum to be on the safe side.

Can anyone see any obvious mistakes/issues with this plan or suggest any improvements to make the task easier?

Thanks in advance

Full Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:22 pm
Location: North Bay Area, Ca

The only thing I would recommend is to not install a sand box if there are any cats in your area. I have been doing some landscaping and I had a pile of loose pea gravel (not even sand) and after about a week it was full of cat poo. Also, one of my local news stations just did a story where they tested the sand boxes in the city parks around here and all of them were full of e.coli.

When I was a child I went to a school where they had an indoor 'cornmeal box' (built as a low table that was easy to move) instead of an outdoor sand box, we all enjoyed that and if we put the cornmeal in our mouths it was no problem.

Other than that it sounds like it will be a great little playground when you're done. If you can I would plant a some strawberry or blueberry plants around the corners, they will look good and provide healthy snacks for the kids as they play :)

User avatar
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7646
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

You can build a sandbox with a cover. I had one when I was a kid. I've seen plans for sandboxes with wooden, lift-off tops, and some with little canvas sunshades that slid up and down on poles, so the canvas part covered the sand when the box wasn't in use; you can make them as fancy as you like.

We just had an old tarp that we threw over the sandbox when we were done playing in it, then we'd put a rock or piece of wood at each corner to hold it down. The adults had to check it at night, to make sure it was secure, but apparently, they were willing to do that. :)

Return to “Landscaping”