Pokie’s Backyard Play Land!

Our good friends Pokie and Julie have 2 great kids.  They needed a play space so Pokie asked me to help him in building out the area.  The goal was to frame out a space in his backyard, dump some sand in that space and place a play-set in the middle of it all.  On paper it sounds pretty straight forward.  “Luckily”, Pokie decided to get the project started in the hottest month of the most humid place on earth.  On top of that he also picked the week that my baby is due.  So factoring all that in, you could imagine how “happy” I was to help!  Just kidding.  I hated it… we’re not friends anymore.

Here’s a before shot.  Pokie hired a landscape guy to clear the area, but the grass grew back relatively quickly.  You can still see the general outline though.


The play set was off to the side for now


Since the grass grew back, Pokie sprayed the area with a chemical to kill the grass and we covered things with landscape fabric.



Then we did a quick run to Lowes for supplies.  We used 2×6’s as the boarders.

wood loaded

We bought 12ft long boards, but we chopped ’em down to roughly 4ft pieces making them easier to manage.


We also cut 24″ stakes in half and attached them to the boards to hammer them into the ground.


Here’s a shot of what each boarder looks like.


Here’s a shot of the progress.  You’ll note some gaps and alignment issues.  We resolved that later, by joining each boarder with another piece of wood connecting each boarder together.  All the wood we used was treated so that they would last longer in the outdoor elements.



Now it was sand time.  We started early (to avoid the sun), but eventually the sun came out and baked us till we were well done.  We went to a local landscape supply shop and picked up a yard of sand.  I did not realize how heavy sand was!


The sand dropped my truck significantly.  To the point that it felt like the front tires were barely touching the pavement!  Here are a few shots of what it looked like.

dropped truck lowrider sand loaded

I’ve hauled mulch before, but I guess mulch is a lot lighter than sand.  We ended up getting 2 1/2 yards of sand to fill in the play area.  We filled it in one wheelbarrow at a time.  Before we brought in the sand, we positioned the play-set and staked it into place.  You’ll note we removed a few boarders to make it easier for us to wheel in the sand.


We slowly filled in the area with sand.  This shot was taken while we were still making progress.  After we dumped a few wheelbarrows of sand, one of us would rake it out the spread it all around.





Additional sand was added after this pic was taken, but we were too tired to actually snap the finished pic!  Although it was hot and it was hard moving around all that sand, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  We took a lot of breaks in between that gave us enough energy to not be exhausted.  Overall, it wasn’t too bad of a job and it saved a ton of cash doing it ourselves rather than hiring someone to do the work for him.  Plus its great to get outside and sweat a lil bit!




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