Carter’s New Playground – part 1

Carter’s birthday is coming up and we decided it was time for a real playground. He loves being outside and the two Little-Tikes play sets we had were really too small for him. His feet would touch the ground on the slide almost before he started.

We looked at all the options. Building it myself looked like it would save $$, so it was only a matter of selecting the accessories we wanted. Carter stated that he wanted swings, a slide, a sandbox and a rope. The Crestwood fromSwing-N-Slide had all the features he wanted. With my Home Depot coupons in hand and my father-in-laws truck, I made the first lumber run and planned on starting early the next morning.

Carter and I were out at 7:30 a.m. and by noon we had a decent frame built. I made my last run to Home Depot and picked up the rest of the lumber. Knowing that we didn’t need all the accessories on the set that it called for, I decided to get a 10 ft. beam for the swing set, rather than a 12 ft. beam. I figured this would save me a few dollars and be easier to work with later. Boy, was I ever right.

The square frame was easy enough to assemble by myself. A square stands up by itself just fine. Attaching the A frame brace and 10 ft. beam was another story. That step in the instructions specifically says “with the help of several people” place the beam in the square frame and attach it.

Several people. . . nope. . . don’t see that anywhere.

I was bound an determined that Carter would be swinging before dark that night. I knew it wouldn’t be “finished”, but I wanted to see him swing. So, I grabbed a few extra 2×4’s from the garage, screwed them to the beam, set it on the frame and bolted it in. I still had to get the A frame legs attached. So I propped another 2×4 under the beam that lifted it a little higher than the A frame, repositioned my braces and bolted it on.

Who needs help when you’ve got power tools and extra lumber?

It only took a few more minutes to get one of the swings assembled. That’s a good thing, as it was getting dark. I yelled for Carter to come out and try the swing, which he excitedly did – for about 30 seconds.

He then proceeded to play with the rope (that had not been attached yet) for the next ten minutes.

It’s always the simple things that are the most fun. Still, it felt good getting the 10 ft. beam installed by myself. Next up in part 2 – Where Does the Slide Go?

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