When it comes to their children, moms have proven that they are masters of DIY. Whether it’s costumes, toys, or parties, they can pretty much do anything. But dads can be quite the handymen, and here is one who has probably swept his wife off her feet again for what he did.
Dad Daniel Camarillo seriously impressed members of our Smart Parenting Village when his wife, Mia, shared photos of the wooden swing and slide set he built for their 19-month-old toddler, Xavier.
“Every summer, we put an inflatable pool in our backyard, but since it has now started to rain, my husband thought of replacing the pool with a slide and swing set,” Monique tells SmartParenting.com.ph in an email interview. “We didn’t want our son to stay inside the house 24/7. We want him to play outdoors for his daily dose of sunshine. He is very energetic and likes to run around, so that will definitely keep him busy for hours!”
The couple canvassed for playsets in the malls but didn’t find anything that suited their needs. They wanted something big enough for their children to use for a long time (“even pass on to their own children!” Mia says), but what they saw were either too small (plastic ones that Xavier could only use until he was 7 years old) or too expensive because it is made of wood.
Daniel, who had DIY’d a TV shelf previously for their bedroom, decided it would be best if he made the slide and swing set himself. “I started looking for pegs on Pinterest, and my husband started measuring our backyard. Pretty soon, we decided on one that was perfect for us.”
Building a DIY slide and swing set for toddlers
Daniel, who was a finance director for a health and fitness club, had one helper to assist him and they managed to finish the project in one week.
The bulk of the material they used was pine wood while the slide and the platform were made of marine plywood. “My husband chose these materials because it can withstand rain,” shares Mia. “Together with wood stain sealant for anti-anay and sealing it with outdoor varnish, it can last for a long time even when it gets wet.”
Mia and her husband graciously provided a step-by-step of their DIY project below to give you an idea of how it can be done.
- 32 pieces of 2x4x10 pinewood
- 11 pieces of 2x6x10 pinewood
- 1 piece ¾ marine plywood
- Wood stain sealant
- Outdoor varnish
- 2 metal cables (170 kilos weight capacity per cable)
- 1/8 stainless tube pipes with elbows
- Old car tire (for swing)
1. Measure the length, width, and height of the area where you want to set it up. Be sure you have enough space for the stairs and room for the swing to move on all sides.
2. Start with the platform. Once the platform is stable, you can now build the stairs and slide. The last part will be the frame for the swing.
3. Paint with wood stain. Then, cover it with a brown wood sealer.
4. Sandpaper everything! Wood splints and hanging nails are a no-no.
5. Apply outdoor varnish then paint (we used odorless paint in red, green, and yellow).
6. Install the swing (we used our old car tires) with metal cables and 1/8 stainless tube pipes with elbows to protect the holes in the wood so it won’t get bigger.
7. Cut a circular (1 inch) rubber matting and a circular ¾ marine plywood and some of the 2x3x10 pinewood for the seat of the tire swing.
A DIY slide and swing set for a growing family
Xavier knew his daddy was building him a slide and swing, but Mia says the look on his face when he saw the finished product was precious. “His eyes went big, and he said ‘WOW!’” she shares.
The best thing about this wooden playset is the slide, and the frame can be dismantled — you just unscrew to remove and transport. It’s perfect because Mia and her family will move into a new house in a few months in time for the arrival of a new baby. Mia is due to give birth to a girl in August 2019.
For now, Xavier can enjoy his play place while waiting for his baby sister. “Every morning, right after he wakes up, he goes straight to his slide and plays there until it’s breakfast time. It is the perfect place for some good quality time with the whole family before everybody goes back to work and gets busy with everyday life,” Mia says. “His happiness is just priceless.”