The Back Deck, a Slide, a Sandbox and a Fort

June 6, 2011 — 4 Comments

The current back deck

So I am generally opposed to putting up a traditional swing set in our backyard. Partially because of the limited space and partially because we have a park with swings and a big jungle gym 2 blocks away. But, now that the kids are a little bigger it would be nice for the kids to have some other play options in the backyard. I like the idea of the kids having space to dig in the dirt and I really want them to spend as much time out in nature as possible.  We currently have a bamboo teepee where I have been trying to grow peas (last year the bunnies ate all of the pea shoots). We are trying this again (stay tuned to see if it works) but I would really like to add some more fun things.  We do have a water table that the kids like. We also have a deck that houses the grill, a couple of chairs & the tomato plants but it seems like it could be better utilized. The deck is also kind of boring looking (doesn’t really match the rest of our Victorian house), so adding something to it would okay in my opinion (Mr. S has not weighed in on this yet). Currently I try and hide the deck as much as possible with plants (i.e. native honeysuckle and grasses & hosta).

Yesterday's mud pies! mmm....

List of Backyard Kids Stuff:

-Sandbox/mudpit (there have been a lot of mud pies being made around here) w/ some sort of cover
-Fort (or some kind of space that is kid sized just for them)
-Space in the shade (I picture an area with old tree stumps for seats)
-Tire swing would be super cool (I don’t currently know where this would fit)
-Treehouse (the kids are not really old enough for one at the moment but in my dream backyard there would be one in the old cedar tree)

Possible slide location on left side of deck. We could also try to fit a small "fort" underneath.

Corner of the Deck, looking from the patio



-Work with existing deck
-Ideally area would be visible from the kitchen window
-BUT does not block view of backyard from said kitchen window
-Something that would be pretty easy to build
-Not too expensive

Slide w/ sandbox via

Bridge connecting deck to playset from Our playset would not be this big.

Tire swing from

Another deck bridge from


The Design:

I’m still thinking through the options, but my first idea was to just put a slide off of the right side of the deck. Now I think it might be fun to put a small bridge off of the deck that connects to a small “fort” w/ roof. This would have a slide off of it and either a sandbox or a tire swing below it. These are some inspirational photos that I have found online. Another option is to put a small “fort” under part of the deck (like the first photo).

What do you think?


4 responses to The Back Deck, a Slide, a Sandbox and a Fort

  1. This is such a fun and exciting idea; it would be great in your yard. I’m looking forward to seeing it develop! (and pitching in if you guys want an extra hand).

    • So here it is a year later…what’d you do? :) I am contemplating doing a slide off of the deck and looking for experienced input as far as how to do it/how it went!

      • Hi Mel (and welcome)!

        I ended up not getting around to putting in a slide last year but I’m currently on the hunt for one on Craigslist (so far no luck). My plan is to screw it to the bottom of my handrail (which in my case is a pressure treated 2×4). I am going to take out several vertical rails (1x1s) that are currently screwed into the top and the bottom rails. It should be pretty straight forward (I hope). Our deck is about 5′ off the ground and should put it at a pretty good height. We are also going to be cutting an opening in the lattice under the deck and putting in a “floor” in part of the area for the kids to have a hangout space. If all goes well we will be starting on some of this in the next couple of weeks (or at least sometime this spring).

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Backyard Place Spaces: A Deck Fort, Sandbox & Slide | Stately Kitsch Backyard Place Spaces: A Deck Fort, Sandbox & Slide | Design for the modern older home owner. - March 30, 2012

    [...] have been talking about creating some backyard spaces for the kids for a long time (over a year now).  I decided it is time to act now! The kids LOVE being outside but are lacking a [...]

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