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family project

  • Building a Wooden Playset with the Whole Family

    When was the last time you and the kids bonded over a family project? Enjoying laughs, working through challenges and finally accomplishing your goal with your son or daughter leaves you with memories that will last a lifetime. And, depending on the project, you'll likely have a finished product that will yield even more fun times for years to come.

    That's certainly the case when it comes to building a wooden playset for the backyard. Depending on the model you've selected (and its complexity), getting the kids involved may seem a bit challenging. But not to worry -- there are plenty of ways to get the little ones to help out safely. Here are a few suggestions:

    • Safety first -- Teach your children how to make sure all safety precautions are taken before embarking on a construction project. This means having the proper equipment (safety goggles, gloves and sneakers, or another type of closed-toe shoe) and the appropriate work space; making sure any lumber you've picked up at the local hardware store is sanded and free of splinters; etc. Communicate all of this to your kids during a "safety talk" before you get started on the wooden playset. Be sure to mention that power tools can be dangerous, so it's important they stay away from these items unless otherwise instructed.
    Little girl using drill on swing set bracket Whether it's cleaning up, learning about safety precautions, organizing hardware or learning how to use the drill (with adult supervision, of course), the kids will have a blast helping to build a wooden playset for the backyard.
    • Have the kids organize the hardware -- Before getting started, gather all of the hardware you'll need and ask your children to sort through it. Have them place all the bolts in one pile, the washers in another, the caps in another and so on. Then, once you start assembling, your kids can have them ready at your request. This activity will help them learn all about the different parts of the swing set, and they'll get an up-close look at the construction as mom or dad's assistant.
    • Let them try their hand at assembling -- Since you will be supervising the activity, there's no harm in allowing your child to try using the drill, provided he or she is the appropriate age and you have modeled the correct usage several times. Just guide the youngster along and you should have no problem.
    • Have them take care of the finishing touches -- Whether it's helping them up the ladder to hang the swing or handing them a rake to smooth the rubber playground mulch around the set, the kids will love the privilege of being responsible for the finishing touches.
    • Clean up -- There's nothing children love more than a game, so factor in the spirit of competition and see who can clean up the most! Instruct the kids to gather up any boxes, and make sure all the pieces of hardware are picked up and placed in their respective bags.
    • Test out the product -- It's the moment they've been waiting for! Once the wooden playset is assembled and cleanup is finished, it's time for the kids to try out their new swing set! We recommend having a camera on hand so you can capture the excitement as they hop on the swings and swoosh down the slide for the very first time!

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