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Places to Play

Thinking of building a play area where the kids can run, swing, slide, climb, hang, hide and jump? Get a head start with these 15 ideas designed to inspire.

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All-In-One Play Area(1 of 14)

What's the best way to start planning your backyard play area? Watch your kids run around the local playground. That'll give you an idea about how they play. Maybe they are keen climbers or they just can't stay off the swings.

You don't have to stuff every playground feature known to man into your structure. This play area has plenty of running area, loose wood chips to cushion any falls and a roof that provides shelter from sun and rain. Solidly constructed, it combines swings, a slide, a climbing ramp and places to hide.

Play Like a Kid, Plan Like a Parent
LOCATION: As you plan your play area, location is key. Find a spot free of obstacles. Steer clear of driveways and roads. Build in an area that will let you keep an eye on the kids from a deck or an appropriate room. Find a level area where the structure won't topple over, even if the kids are pounding on it.

Remember, there will be a lot of running around near this play set, so tree stumps, roots and large rocks could lead to stumbles. And low hanging branches could lead to bumps. It's a good idea to place the play area at least six feet away from other structures, and if you are including a swing-set, put it even farther away.

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