Tips For Building A Kids’ Play Area In Washington DC

April 19, 2013 9:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

The days are getting warmer and the nights are getting longer, which means children are spending more time outside. Creating a safe and entertaining environment in your own backyard allows parents to keep an eye on their children from the comfort of their own home. Encourage your kids to invite friends over and provide the neighborhood with clear, wholesome fun this summer. A complete remodel is not necessary. All it takes is planning, instruction following and a few visits to the store.


A sandbox makes for hours of play. For younger children, visit a home store for pre-made sandboxes. Pre-made sandboxes are plastic and usually come in different shapes and sizes, like zoo animals. For older children, consider buying lumber and making the sandbox. Creating a square sandbox proves the least difficult. Don’t forget the sand tools and buckets!

Related: Best Places For Kids’ Summer Art Activities In Washington DC

Tree House

Backyards with strong trees are ideal. Oak trees and pecan trees have multiple limbs and make great tree houses. A tree house is built around the shape of the tree. Find a standard design online or come up with your own. It’s important to check durability and quality of the house before children take over. There should be no exposed nails and the wood must be sanded smooth to avoid splinters. If a tree house sounds too extreme, simply install a few wooden steps on a tree trunk to make climbing accessible.

Rope Swing

Trees are also a necessity for rope swings. The average rope swing is 20 feet long, depending on the tree. Rope can be found at a local hardware store and should be thick cotton or nylon, ensuring that it doesn’t break easily. Tie knots along the rope, one large at the bottom, or attach a tire. You can buy a used tire for cheap as the tire does not need to be in good condition for swinging purposes.

Sporting Options

Sports played on a smaller scale, like wiffle ball and putt-putt golf, are unlikely to damage anything in your backyard or surrounding areas. Purchase proper sporting equipment, giving kids a handful of choices to prevent boredom. Install a basketball hoop or set up a small volleyball net. Tents create a space that provides children with a sense of freedom. Find a pop up tent, one easy enough for children to set up, throw in a few blankets and flashlights and call it a day. Store the equipment in one organized place with easy entrance.

Related: Best Summer Camps Or Workshops For Teens Around Washington DC

Craft Area

Set up a picnic table or special spot for activities such as painting and craft making. Buy reusable, washable tablecloths. Keep the children’s activity table and the family table separate. All children need is a flat surface that can get dirty and is easy to clean up.

A well-groomed lawn goes hand in hand with an enjoyable backyard. Getting healthy green grass can be difficult, so sometimes it is best to call in the professionals. A proven company that offers excellent customer service is Pro-Mow, Inc. located in Northern Virginia. Operating for over 20 years, Pro-Mow is a family-owned business servicing Loudon and Fairfax Counties. “We are a one-stop shop that provides complete lawn care and irrigation services,” said Pro-Mow’s insightful general manager. Visit for more information on services available to make your backyard stand out.

Pro-Mow Lawn Care

42406 Azalea Lane
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 996-0700

Kelly Johnston is a freelance writer living in D.C. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Fashion Retail and Merchandising and a minor in Journalism. Her work can be found at

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