Assorted Outdoor Children's Projects

Water Table

Spring 2017

Wifey wanted a water table for the kids to play at outside cause the really, really love playing with water. The commercial options weren't particularly appealing so I committed to making one. A week or two later I bought a plastic storage unit meant to slide under the bed and then built a stand around it. This is the definition of a satisfyingly quick project. I grabbed some pressure treated 2x4 from my lumber rack and 3 pressure treated fence pickets. Measure a thing or two, cut them up and screw them together. BAM water table in maybe 45minutes including getting the tools out and picking them up.

Total cost maybe $10 for the tub and $13 for the wood. That will go up when I make the eventual top for it that will let them use it as just a table sometimes.

Play truck

Spring 2017

I got the kids a big 70s vintage Tonka truck and we were given a smaller plastic one but two trucks does not satisfy three kids so I made a third truck. It is purposely larger than the other two so that it can get a lot of use by riding and pushing people around one day.

It was a slap it together as I go kind of project. Pine boards, aluminum tube axles and some cheap lawn mower wheels from Harbor Freight.

I glued it up with gorilla glue, nailed it together with the brad nailer, gave it a coat of polyurethane before final sanding, then two oil based primer coats and a final glossy top coat oil based paint. They seem to like it:

Round Mesh Swing


A single seat swing is great unless you have 3 kids at once! Elizabeth thought that large mesh swings were cool and was looking at ones to buy. Problem is they were all too small or absurdly expensive for what they were. I determined that it would actually cost less for me to go buy a cheapo ring roller and make it with EMT conduit than to purchase the large one so I did just that. I didn't take any pictures of the build but it is pretty simple. Just 2" conduit rolled into a ring, a mesh woven out of 3/8" nylon rope and three main ropes going up to a rock climbing swivel. The swivel is incredibly smooth and satisfying. Wind currents flowing around the house will make it spin sometimes.

Little Red Swing


No kids at this point but I was planning for some and one day while Elizabeth was gone or not watching I whipped up a quick little swing for babies. The chains and supports in the trees were sized for future expansion to a serious swing for older children. Obviously that didn't happen though as I repurposed the screws for the roundswing later.