Have you ever walked down memory lane revisiting your youth when the only place you wanted to be was outdoors, only to look over to find your kids sitting on the couch playing video games? Unfortunately, times have changed and technology seems to have taken control over a child’s desire to breathe fresh air. Luckily, you can change that by building a playground in your own backyard. Here are five suggestions on kits and ground up ideas to get you started on building your very own playground.
1. Get a permit: If you are building a playground in your yard, be sure to contact your local county clerk’s office to determine if building is permitted. If you live in a HOA community, check with your HOA to ensure you will not be in violation for installing a playground. Once you have gotten the OK, you should be ready to get started building that playground and giving your kids the chance to run, jump and play.
2. Sketch it out: Start with a sketch of the type of playground you want to build. This is a chance for you to involve your children in the design and buiding process. If you are not an artist or you don’t have time to be an architect, consider visiting a supply store for a playground kit that is easy to install.
3. Get building: Now that you have a plan in place for your playground, it’s time to start buying the necessary items needed to make your dream playground. If you are making a wood playground piece, start with a reputable lumber company such as Craddock Lumber.
4. Bring it indoors: We all know that the weather in Dallas can be unpredictable. One day it’s below freezing, the next day it’s light jacket weather and then the next it’s tank tops and flip flops. If you want to build that perfect playground, but can’t stand the weather, consider an indoor playground. Indoor playgrounds offer parents the option of allowing their kids to spend countless hours playing without the worries of them being outside.
5. Fun for all: First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to get kids more active is called “Let’s Move,” and its sole purpose is to get kids active. If you are a person who loves to see all kids enjoying and playing outside, consider a community playground that allows for kids in the neighborhood to play outside, too. Oftentimes there are grants available and organizations who are willing to partner with the community to build playgrounds, but if you can’t find grant funding, start a series of smaller fundraisers to save for your playground goals.
Here are some local businesses that should be able to help you get started:
Craddock Lumber Co.
5422 Harry Himes Blvd
Dallas, TX 75235
Hours: Mon to Fri ̶ 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Craddock Lumber Co has been in the same location since 1947 and has been voted the best lumber and building materials company in Dallas several times over.
For Worth Lumber Co.
9101 S. Freeway
Fort Worth, TX 76140
Hours: Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fort Worth Lumber Co. can help with custom jobs like decks and tree forts. It also sells treated lumber and other engineered wood products.
Lonestar Backyards and Buildings
1694 W. Northwest Hwy
Dallas, TX 75220
Lonestar Backyards and Buildings have been serving Ellis County for 10 years and prides itself on creating backyard activities for the family. The company has financing available through American General Financial Services and offers several backyard play options.
10661 Shady Trail
Dallas, TX 75220
Don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive wood? Try Rubberscapes, a company that specializes in rubber-based products that can be used for landscaping, sports fields and even playgrounds.
Ivy N. Carter has been professionally writing since 1998 when she started writing for the Texas Southern University The Herald student newspaper. Since then Ivy has enjoyed writing for several magazines, newspapers, businesses and other publications throughout the country. She has a MBA is the owner of Written By INC a professional writing and editing company. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.