Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Make a Backyard Obstacle Course for Kids

Building a Permanent Backyard Obstacle Course

If the real estate gods have blessed you with a backyard the size of Central Park, and you're such an experienced do-it-yourselfer that the folks at Home Depot not only call you by your first name, but they think you work there, then you might as well build your kids their very own permanent backyard obstacle course.

The hammer-wielding experts at the DIY Network have posted step-by-step instructions for building a backyard obstacle course with nothing but old tires, a pile of lumber and an incredible amount of confidence. The project difficulty is categorized as "moderate" and will take an estimated two days of construction at a cost of $250 to $500. But that's if you already have the necessary tools on hand like a post hole digger and a reciprocating saw, or at least you know what a reciprocating saw is without having to Google it.

If that kind of construction project is beyond your reach, consider other ways to build or design a series of challenging obstacles into your backyard play. Maybe you have a lot of trees in your backyard, or you know someone who is thinning the trees on their land. Large logs and stumps make for excellent obstacles. You can lay down logs in a zigzag pattern for a longer balance challenge, or increase the difficulty by raising one end of the log by resting it on a large rock or in the crook of another tree. You can place tree stumps of different sizes and heights in a line, or even a cluster, and let the kids leap from landing to landing.

Or maybe, just maybe, it's time to take this obstacle course to the skies. You can build your own backyard zip line for $300. All you need are two large trees and an excellent homeowner's insurance policy.