Backyard Builders

We’ve just put the finishing touches on a very busy weekend with the boys. In addition to riding on Thomas the Tank Engine Saturday morning with friends, we built a terrific new play structure/swingset in the backyard (a.k.a. the “Nackyard”).

John and I had been talking for a while about getting some kind of jungle gym or swingset for the guys, and after tons of research, we found one that we thought would be both super-fun and would fit the smallish space we had available for it. It was delivered to us on Thursday in three enormous boxes on a huge pallet, and it was up to us to build the thing. The estimate on the instructions said 5-7 hours, so I figured we’d be doing really well if we doubled that and assumed we’d need two solid days.

After sorting and labeling the hardware, and grouping the lumber into piles, we set to work after lunch on Saturday. We got the skeleton of the base constructed and left the rest ’til Sunday. I got a bright and early start at 8:30, and by 10:00, we’d gotten the climbing wall on, the deck finished, and the swingset support arms up. The boys were anxious to know when it would be finished: “about 30 more minutes, or more like 45?”, asked Finny repeatedly. They were happy to help out by using their own play tools to hammer, saw, and drive screws. We worked through the afternoon after a quick lunch break. Even though we made a deal with Finny that we wouldn’t put up the swings and flags until after naptime, he decided he was too excited to sleep and came out to hang out with us while we finished up. He was so thrilled to help Dad-o put the flags on, test out the swings and trapeze, and do an inaugural run down the slide (belly first!).

By the time Henry woke up from his nap at 3:30, we had the whole thing done, and the guys spent the rest of the afternoon playing their hearts out. Standing on the deck preparing to slide, Henry looked at me and remarked with a grin, “I like this play equipment, Mom-o.” Here’s a gallery of the weekend’s proceedings, and a shot of the finished set. Viva la Nackyard!

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