DIY Outdoor Kids' Play Gym

Summer's on its way! Encourage little ones to play, climb and use their imaginations on this versatile wood playset.

March 05, 2020
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Do your little ones love loading up and heading to the park? Do they kick and scream when it's time to leave? Bring the park home with a DIY jungle gym-inspired outdoor play area that provides hours of endless fun, exercise and imagination.

Supplies Needed

  • (1) 8” x 10' round wood fence post
  • (3) 6” x 8' half round wood fence post
  • miter saw
  • 9/16" paddle bit
  • 3/16” drill bit
  • drill
  • box of 6” timber screws
  • orbital sander
  • 80-grit sanding disc

Cut All Wooden Posts

Using a miter saw, cut the 8-inch round log into eight 12-inch pieces. Since the log is thick, it will have to be cut, turned and cut again in order to completely get through it (Images 1 and 2). Next, cut the 6-inch half logs into eight 24-inch pieces at a 22.5-degree, outward-facing angle (Images 3 and 4). One side of the wood piece will measure 24-inches long with the other side hitting at 19.5 inches. This will allow the wood to closely piece together into an octagonal shape.


Once all the wood has been cut, use an orbital sander to smooth down any rough areas to avoid splinters.

Sanding Wood

DIY Outdoor Kids' Play Area: Sand

Hardscapes 100 Octagon Balance Beam

Photo by: Shain Rievley

Shain Rievley

Build Octagon

Begin building the structure by laying two 24-inch angled half logs on top of three different legs (Image 1). Starting this way will help line up the structure and balance the wood while you drill. Next, use a paddle bit to drill a small area that will allow the screws to countersink (Image 2). Then, use a 3/8” bit to pre-drill the holes and keep the wood from splitting. Lastly, secure with 6-inch timber screws (Image 3). Continue to add one log and leg at a time until the octagon is complete (Images 4 and 5).

Pro Tip: Level out the ground where you plan to assemble or build the octagon on a level area and move if needed. Avoid placing on concrete or a hard surface to keep everyone safe while playing.

Kids' Play Area

DIY Outdoor Kids' Play Area

Hardscapes 100 Octagon Balance Beam

Photo by: Shain Rievley

Shain Rievley

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