Our New (to us) Playground Project


a pile of plastic, wood and overgrown grass that will become the playground

For the last six months or so, the space behind our patio has looked like this. A big giant pile of plastic, wood and overgrown grass. There’s a reason for this, and it all got taken care of this past weekend.

You see, we have this huge yard and the only play structure we had for the kids was a fairly small Little Tykes jungle gym.

small little tykes gym

A friend of Mr W’s had passed it on to him and up until this past year when we added my two the mix, it had been more than adequate.

Then last summer, Thing One and Thing Two were spending a week with my parents. While there, they went to a pool party at a friend’s house. The friend’s kids were older and they had a beautiful wooden play set in the backyard they weren’t using anymore. My kids apparently spent the entire visit on the play set.

At one point, my mom commented on what a nice set it was and the mother replied with a comment about looking for someone to haul it away.

“What do you want for it?” my dad asked.

“We just want it gone,” was the reply.

Of course dad knew just where to take it. So he called us up to see if we were interested and we jumped at the chance. He said it would need a bit of work on the base since it had been sitting directly on the grass and some of the boards were rotting out a bit, but that the structure was perfectly sound and with some new wood it would clean up nicely.

So he and a friend of his went to dissasemble the thing and Hair’s dad, who has a flat bed trailer came by so they could load it up. The next day, they came rolling into our driveway looking like the Beverly Hillbillies.

Unfortunately, it was November. It was rainy and snowy and there was no way we were building that thing prior to winter. So we unloaded it behind the garage and there it has sat for months and months. My dad had picked up a bunch of lumber on his way in, so Mr W set up the saw and they got to work late Friday morning.

Dad unloading the playground

Until this past weekend when my parents came down for my birthday and my friend Scott came in on four day leave from the Army. What a perfect opportunity to put everyone to work! Before long, all three guys were busy sawing wood, pounding nails and building a new base for one of the towers.

building the tower base

By late afternoon, they had all the bases upgraded and were ready to start setting up the pieces. That’s when all that manly muscle power came in REALLY handy…

muscles at work

Then it was time to attach the monkey bars and swing set posts. In some ways, this proved a little more challenging than getting the towers standing. Mostly because they had to fit the slats just perfectly and hold them in place while threading some screws through. Again, yay for muscle power!

attaching monkey bars proved to be more difficult than we thought

While the guys were working on this and I was running some errands, my wonderful mom tackled the slides. After years of not being used, these slides were DIR-TAY!

slides in need of some TLC

Nothing some Krud Kutter and mom powered elbow grease can’t solve though. By the time I returned, she had those slides shined up and looking like they were brand new! Of course by this time, the kids had come home from school and Thing Two simply could not WAIT to get in and play. Never mind that the slide was still laying on it’s side on the ground!

Thing two discovered the not yet finished slide

In he went and out he came on the other side…

Thing two in the slide

Over and over and over again!

In the meantime, Thing One had discovered another great way to play with the play set before she could actually play with the play set.  She managed to talk Hair into holding on to the chains of the swings and giving her a ride.

Hair swings thing one

Of course you can guess who was in line right behind her…

And so, being the amazing adopted aunt that she is, she gave all three kids a ride.

Hair swings thing three

While my dad and Mr W went to work installing some of the slides and ladders, my friend Scott helped Thing One take her first trip across the monkey bars.

thing one across the monkey bars

Before long, the men were lifting the second tower in to place.

Second tower goes in to place

And it became all about getting the accessories attached. By this time, mom and I were in the kitchen getting dinner ready. I snapped a quick shot of all three guys at various points of the towers while getting the slide hooked up…

Hooking up the slide

But didn’t get much else until I went out with the kids after dinner to snap a few pics of them enjoying the guy’s hard work.

kids enjoying all the assembly work

Talk about something we’ll get use out of! It’s only been up for four days and we’ve already had no less than a dozen different kids on it.

What a great reminder that recycling goes past bottles and cans and paper. Got something sticking around your house you don’t use anymore? Find someone else to pass it along to! We’ll keep the smaller original Little Tykes set for a few more years because we often have friends over with smaller children…but once we out grow it, we’ll certainly be passing it along to another family.




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4 replies
  1. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Isn’t it?! My mom went to the manufacturer’s site and put the whole thing together. It retails for just under $5K. I mean holy smokes. That’s like finding a pile of money along the side of the road. A pile of REALLY FUN money. 🙂

  2. Wayne Small
    Wayne Small says:

    Now come on Jenn… we all know that the most fun had on this was had by you adults AFTER the kids went to bed… I mean are you trying to tell us that you and the others didn’t WANT to go down that slide… you only live once! 🙂


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