How to Install a Backyard Playset

young girl sitting on KidKraft swing set outside

Playing on a new swing set is fun! Shopping for a new swing set can be fun. But installing a new swing set? Call us crazy, but we think even that can be fun too – if you’ve got great instructions, the right tools, and a little help that is. Our step-by-step will walk you through how to install a backyard playset with minimal frustration… and maybe even a little fun!

1. Choose an Obstacle-free Area for Your Playset

The perfect playset spot is free of obstacles like fences, trees, and other objects that could injure a child who falls or jumps off the playset. We recommend leaving six feet of clearance in every direction around your playset or following measurements of the ATSM-recommended safety zone that come with each KidKraft playset.

2. Level the Installation Area

You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches if you make sure your installation area is level before you start building your playset. Most of us have slopes, mounds, and divots throughout our yard, so don’t neglect this essential step! Even if you think your yard is level, double-check with these steps:

  • Start by placing stakes in the four corners of the area that needs to be leveled. (Note: You don’t need to level the entire safety zone, just the area where the playset will be installed.)
  • Connect the stakes with a thick piece of string, positioning the string a few inches above the ground. Use a level to ensure that the string is level between each post. The string will serve as your reference point as you level the ground.
  • Use a shovel to dig out the sod, being sure to flatten any raised areas and fill any low areas. You may need additional dirt or sand to fill some areas.
  • When everything looks level and even with the string, you’re ready for a final check. Lay a long, straight board across the ground and place a level on top. Be sure to do this in multiple locations to ensure the entire area is level.

See the process in action in this video!

3. Read Instructions & Take Inventory

To make the assembly process as smooth as possible, we recommend thoroughly reading the instructions and taking an inventory of the pieces to make sure nothing is missing before you get started. Knowing what and where each piece is will make assembly much smoother!

4. Assemble & Anchor

You’ve measured, you’ve leveled, you’ve read the instructions, and now it’s time to get building! This is usually the most time-consuming part of the installation process, so budget an appropriate amount of time and make sure you have all the tools mentioned in the instruction manual before you get started. You’ll also want to enlist the help of a friend or family member – we recommend at least two people work on assembling most KidKraft playsets.
For specifics, be sure to continually refer to the instructions included with your playset.

5. Add Protective Loose Fill

Always wait to add your protective loose fill material until after the swing set has been securely anchored to the ground. Once it’s in place, it’s time to add the protective loose fill material to the safety zone. You’ll need at least 9’ of material for most playsets or at least 6” if the lowest surface is less than 4’ high.
Mulch and woodchips designed for playground use are the most common choices for protective material. Contain it by adding some landscaping edging or digging around the perimeter.

6. Play!

FINALLY! All that hard work feels more than worth it kids finally get to play on their brand new playset. Now, your only job is pushing them on the swings and soaking in those smiles!