You have made enough trips to Boston parks to last a lifetime. Why not bring the playground home? Build a playground with your children and create something that the whole family can enjoy.
1. Survey the area: Take a walk around the yard with your children. Notice which parts of the yard they utilize the most. Consider where the sun rises and sets to determine shaded or sunny areas. Ask the kids where they would like any playground equipment to go and calculate whether or not their requests can be met. Their needs are important, but so are yours. You will spend countless hours outside watching your children at play. Locate an area where you wouldn’t mind spending some time chaperoning the fun.
2. Work with what you have: Not every yard is perfect. There are always spots where the grass just doesn’t grow very well. Consider building a sandbox in this spot. If your kids have outgrown the appeal of a sandbox, build a swing set. Many Boston backyards have large, looming trees. Determine which tree is the healthiest and sturdiest. Find one of the thickest branches and attach a swing close to the base of the branch, but far enough away from the trunk to maintain a safe distance.
3. Determine play boundaries: Decide where your children are allowed to play in the yard before starting to build. Children will naturally test the boundaries. Establish a set rules for which areas are fair game. You work hard on that garden and don’t want your tulips trampled. Give the children their own areas for play, clearly communicating which types of activities are allowed to ensure both fun and safety.
4. Finalize the plan: Go to the drawing board. Make a list of all of the ideas you and your children conjured up. Draw the layout of your yard and include possible locations for each play area. If there isn’t enough room for every idea, prioritize what is most important and make it fit. If digging a sandbox or bolting a jungle gym into the grass seems destructive to your yard, then go back to the basics. Explore the options of yard games like croquet, bacci ball, golf, soccer, football, baseball and kickball. Whichever route you choose to go, ensure that the whole family can be happy spending time outside together.
These local businesses should be able to help you get started:
Perfection Fence Corp.
635 Plain St.
Marshfield, MA 02050
Hours: Mon to Fri – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun – Closed
Perfection Fence of Marshfield is a family run manufacturing business that offers consultations, custom design and help planning for quality fencing needs. A sturdy fence will make your children’s play yard safe and beautify your outdoor patio.
Balboni’s Landscape Supply
Plymouth, MA 02360
Hours: Spring – Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat – 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Balboni’s Landscape Supply can provide all the yard materials needed to make your dream happen. The staff can help you make your yard very comfortable and beautiful to enjoy. A bit of expert advise may come your way as well at Balboni’s.
767 East St., Rte 27
Walpole, Ma. 02081
Hours: Mon – Fri 8am -6pm Sat 8am – 5pm, Sun Closed
Walpole Woodworkers are where the professional contractors are helped to serve their customers. They will help you from start to finish of your yard project selecting materials, designing and installing a variety of playsets, play homes, sandboxes and basketball nets, furniture, building enclosures and more.
For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSBoston/YourHome.
Author Maryann Scheufele is a childrens literature examiner, storyteller, family literacy advocate, and a sometimes substitute visiting licensed English Teacher, living in the town of Plymouth in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.