I think I started my love affair with the outdoors, and the garden, when I was a kid playing outdoors until the street lights came on and my bare feet were tired. Kids need to be outdoors from a young age, but they also need to be able to play with the security of a watchful eye, and that usually means at home. If you want the outdoors to compete with the computer, the video games and the cell phones, you might want to consider making at least one of these incredible DIY kids outdoor play-sets. Yes, these are all DIY and have complete tutorials with them, and most are less expensive than buying the boring pre-made versions from Home Depot. So let’s get right to it, because we have a bunch of them for you! swing sets, play houses, sand boxes, and more fun ideas… Your kids and grandkids are gonna LOVE us!

Our featured project, above, is a modern a-frame swing set from HGTV Gardens. They have step by step photos, a complete materials list… This is a simple project with a cool look. SO much better than a rusty old swing set!

Want to hear your kids squeal like crazy when you surprise them with this DIY handmade hideaway from The Handmade Home? All the instructions! I want this! :)



This is a larger DIY wooden kids playset that has free plans and materials list. It’s a little more expensive, we priced it out at around $500 in our area, but it’s large, and will last!



Make this deluxe DIY sandbox with this complete tutorial from Small + Friendly! And it’s covered!



Try this Pottery Barn inspired sandbox by Life in the Dub Lane… All the instructions you need! Oh, did I mention they did it for $65?

Sandbox 4


This DIY backyard swing set by Our Everyday Art is amazing with it’s details… steering wheel, telescope… even climbing rocks! Find out exactly how to make it!

swing set15web


Make this swing set tire ladder from the plans at Exploring Domesticity.



Get all the details on how to make an outdoor chalkboard from Bringing Home Ezra… Look how happy that sweet little boy is!



Learn to make a willow den from Raising Sparks. This looks like something I would have loved as a kid…I’m still looking for ways to have my “Secret Garden”.



Most kids I know would love this sprinkler water toy made from pvc pipe… All the instructions are here for you.



Great alternative to a slip and slide… this giant squishy play mat from Mommies Made Me Do It! They give good instructions and it’s inexpensive to make.



Ok, last one, even though I could do this all day! Little boys and girls will love to have fun in the sun with their own outdoor play track. Find out how at Shelve It!


Image Credits: Handmade Home, HGTV Gardens, Hot 4 Cad, Small + Friendly, Life in the Dub Lane, Our Everyday Art, Exploring Domesticity, Raising Sparks, Instructables, Mommies Made Me Do It, Shelve It!


  1. Carli October 9, 2014 at 12:41 am

    I don”t see pictures, material list, step by step instructions for the A frame swing at the beginning of the article. Do you have another link for that info? thanks

    1. Kathy Woodard October 31, 2014 at 6:45 am

      Hi Carli! The link for that project is in the second paragraph, from HGTV Gardens…

  2. Swing December 20, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    The easiest swing set to build I guess is the blue one on top… doesn’t require too many skills or too many materials and it looks quite nice! I wonder for how long it will last..but with the right waterproof paint coating layer, may be the right choice Thanks for sharing Kathy

  3. Swing Sets December 22, 2014 at 10:35 am

    The playsets look like a blast for the kids. Thanks for the info.


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