We were fortunate to buy our current house with a nice wooden playset already installed in the backyard. It needed a few tweaks (bolt checks, new swings and ladder), but overall was ready to play. It has been an added blessing during the recent quarantine. For the first time in our nearly 8 years here, we have dirt under the swings from so many hours of play. If your kids are enjoying an older set too, here are some great ways to refresh your playset for even more enjoyment.
A fresh coat of stain or paint can go a long way! We paid to have ours restained by the original company when we had it checked out after buying the house. It was amazing how that one detail made the entire playset look nearly new again! Since then I’ve seen a number of painted playsets and been wowed by those too. Paint is a great way to change up the look and add a little more character. Maybe match the house color? Maybe go a bold and different color? So many options. You could even involve the kids for an outdoor art project.
Add a Chalkboard
Grab a piece of plywood and some chalkboard paint to quickly create a chalkboard for your playset. Add it to a post below or install it in the elevated playhouse above. A great spot to leave notes or just have fun doodling and enjoying the afternoon.
Create a Sandbox
Ours had a bare space beneath the elevated area. It was a challenge to deal with maintaining the grass/weeds there and seemed like a waste when it could be turned into something more. We cleared out the weeds, added landscape fabric, and sand. Then used a few boards and hardware, to install a cover that folded back into benches.
Change the Swings
Originally our playset had space for 3 swings and one disc swing. After adding on the screen porch, we had to reduce it to just 2 swings, but that doesn’t completely limit us. My mom saved a few accessories from my childhood swing set so we’ve switched to the trapeze bar or rings at times to add something “new.” If you have space in a garage or even deck box to store an extra accessory or two, this is a great way to make a quick easy change to entertain the kids.
Install a Pulley System
Give items a quick lift up with a simple pulley system. This is a fun way to send up secret messages between kids or carry up extra items without overloading little hands that still need to climb the ladder.
Replace the Roof
Similar to your house, having a good roof overhead will protect your playset and help extend its life. This process is simple enough to be a weekend DIY project. Follow our tutorial for all the details.
Add a few Decorative Elements
The simplest way to refresh your playset is adding a little decorative fun. Dress up the elevated “playhouse” space with outdoor curtains, a small area rug, and a pillow or two. Something to make it a little more fun and cozy.