by Jeff Beneke

Summer is coming (eventually), and to make the most of the lazy hazy days of summer for your children, here's a book full of fun structures sure to keep their imaginations engaged outside. From the Creative Homeowner publisher, author Jeff Beneker has compiled a whole host of play areas. Each plan comes with a complete set of illustrative schematics, a list of tools, lumber and hardware that will be needed, and of course like any good construction book, this one starts with chapters on planning (choosing a site), specialty tools (i.e. post-holers), materials (choosing materials to create a safe play space), techniques, finishing and maintenance for each structure. Then we get to the fun stuff, the projects themselves. For the smaller backyards there are plans for simple sandboxes, swings and teeter-totters; for larger areas there are plans for monkey-bar sets, playhouses, and some pretty cool tree houses - one even looks like a boat, 'floating' through the trees. Advanced projects include a miniature Victorian playhouse - complete with gingerbread, no less, the aforementioned boat tree-house, as well as a tree-house fort, for those clubs and backyard adventures that tend to make up the more thrilling aspects of kid-hood. Each project is accompanied by photos of the finished product, and the index is accompanied by a handy Canadian-friendly Metric conversion table. Be prepared for the X-Box to accumulate a layer of dust if a set of these monkey-bars appears in your backyard! Click here to find Kids' Play Structures and Tree-Houses in the SPL on-line catalogue.


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