How To Base a Swing Set in Wood Chips

Playground swing

Setting up a swing set for your child to play with may sound like a good idea, but there are safety precautions you have to take into account to ensure your child’s safety. A good way to start is by having some kind of impact-absorbing surface around your swing set because about 70% of playground injuries involve falling to the ground. And wood chips, as surfacing material, are a popular choice in making playgrounds more injury-free.

What you need:

  • Swing set
  • 2x10 inch lumber
  • Hammer, nails, galvanized screws
  • Tape measure
  • Metal bracket, framing square
  • Shovel
  • Landscaping mesh
  • Wood chips

1. Determine where to place your swing set

Firstly, find a nice spot in your yard where you can place your swing set. Use your tape measure to determine the exact  place that can be big enough for your swing set, and be sure to add at least an extra two feet for you to ensure your child’s safety. This extra space is meant to add more surfacing material for later in case your child falls far from the swing.

2. Mark the area for the swing set

Mark the area you had chosen for your swing set with stakes, this will help you keep track of the area that you will be working on. Take note if the ground level is even or not. If not, you can even it out before setting the swing set in place.

3. Make the lumber frame

Put together the compressed lumber using galvanized screws and nails into a rectangular frame to surround the swing set area. Make sure that the corners are at a right angle, so use a framing square or metal bracket to ensure that. Do not put the frame into place just yet.

4. Prepare the swing set area

Dig a trench around the marked area so you can fit the lumber frame later. Make sure that you dig only a few inches deep and make the trench as straight as possible. This is so you can have at least five or six inches of the frame sticking up from the ground. Then, place a landscaping mesh across the area to prevent grass or weeds from growing. Also, the mesh should be able to extend at least six inches past the trench. 

5. Put the lumber frame in place

With the mesh in place, lay the lumber frame on top of it and press the frame down into the trench. Be sure that the mesh is anchored in the trench underneath the frame. Shovel some earth to fill the trench and pat it firmly.

6. Put the swing set into place

Place the swing set in the area and make sure to anchor it securely.

7. Add the wood chips as surfacing material

Completely fill the area with wood chips with at least six inches of them spread evenly across the swing set area. This way, your child will not suffer much from an injury when he falls from the swing.

Now you have your swing set in place with wood chips to cushion your child’s fall in the event of accidents. Now you will have less to worry about your child’s safety while playing.


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