DIY Outdoor Play Space — Avery’s Place!

Welcome to Avery's DIY Outdoor Play Space!

We have a pretty nice back yard. Lot’s of old growth trees mean it’s nice and shady.  However, the dang grass just doesn’t want to grow in such a shady environment! The weeds grow (boy do they grow!) but the grass just refuses!


See?  It’s just patchy, and dead and sad. We bought Avery a small little astroturf mat, but it just wasn’t big enough, and when she’d play in her sand box and water table she’d always be covered in dirt or mud. We decided we needed to do something about it! We wanted to create a diy outdoor play space!

Dave got to work on a new play area for Avery! We mapped out a 12×12 section of the yard, and started digging. Dave was trying to level the land, but it became even more of a process when he discovered bricks, lots and lots of bricks, buried an few inches below the surface.

After a few hours of digging, removing bricks and leveling the ground he was ready to lay down the new astroturf carpet!  He added a wooden wall around the turf and we moved all Avery’s outdoor toys into the new space. Added a few finishing touches, and VOILA!

Easy DIY outdoor play space

Now all of her toys are contained in a clean little space! A spot all her own!!

before and after

Here are a few of the details:


Dave made little flower boxes for the front, and Avery picked out her own welcome mat! I added her little pink flamingo, because a lawn isn’t complete without one!

A place for everything

I also picked up a milk crate to store some of the smaller toys in! The milk crate is perfect because any water that gets in will drain right out!

driving her trucks in her new play space!

Avery loves that she has a nice flat surface to drive her trucks on!

A built in balance beam

And the wooden wall is a great balance beam!

Work and Play

Avery loved her new space! She worked, and played, and relaxed! She can’t wait to play some more tomorrow!

welcoem to my house

That grumpy face??  Oh that’s the look of a girl who was just told she has to come inside for dinner!!

Our next project is a patio for mommy & daddy!!


  1. Jessica says:

    This is so awesome!!! I love the idea and the “play-haven” you created for her. Complete with a welcome mat, pink flamingo & flower boxes. This is great!

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you so much!!! It was really quite easy, digging out the uneven area was the hardest part!!! If you ever have questions about EXACTLY how we did it I’d be happy to give you the details!

      • Julie says:

        Hello! I found this recently and love it! I want to try and tackle this by myself, wish me luck lol. Can you share any more details on how you leveled it? Did you add any other dirt/sand? Also, what type of AstroTurf did you use? Will I need to nail it down? I noticed you posted awhile back so you might not remember no biggie! Thank you in advance. Julie

      • Alyicia says:

        Hello! We are planning on doing something like this now that I showed my husband your idea. But I was wondering did you have to put anything underneath the Astro turf? Like rubber mats or any kind of extra foundation?
        Thanks, and I’m so happy I saw your post for inspiration!

  2. Jen says:

    This is so incredibly perfect – down to the flamingo and the shaded lounging chair! You guys should market this – Dave could do his part and you, yours. Every little one I know would be super excited to be rockin’ this space!! I love the built-in balance bean, too :) I think a spot for Daisy should be the next project. I’m guessing Avery would love that so Daisy doesn’t trample all over hers; that would mean a full time guard to keep Daisy away, huh? Anyway, perfect. So perfect!

  3. Shauna says:

    Oh my goodness, that has to be the best play area ever… My kids would have been out there 24/7 if they had something that cool.

  4. Pam says:

    I love that outdoor play space! I wish I had done something like this to keep the kids from tearing up the good parts of the yard, haha.

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you!! We don’t have any nice areas in your yard right now haha but my husband has been inspired by her play space to really work on the rest of our property and get some more grass to grow!

  5. Christie says:

    This is really nice! How is the astro turf working for you now? I have never seen a play area like this an I really like the idea of the astro turf. Does it dry pretty quickly? Also curious if you have had any problems with it or would make any changes? I was thinking of doing rubber mulch but I like this a lot!! You guys did great and I love the flower boxes!!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Christie! Thank you!! It has held up really well (I was actually surprised) It dries pretty well, we will get spots where the water pools a bit if there is heavy rain, but nothing terrible! So far, I wouldn’t change anything, but I’ll update when we see how it has held up this winter! It made it through the first winter very well!

  6. Jamie says:

    Did you simply place the wooden pieces down or did you dig deeper to make them really stay in place?? Love this idea. It is exactly what we want in our yard.

    • Sarah says:

      We dug out the entire area, so it sits a few inches below the rest of the yard. The wooden beams are stacked (2) and my husband bolted them together, and used really, really long nails to stake it into the ground.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Hello really love your area. Is the ground like a grass type or the outdoor carpet? I have a huge area would love to do.

  8. Nanviope says:

    We maintain four children, two in diapers. Now my better half just conveys two or three diapers, a few wipes, a pair of futile baggies and a pacifier promptly in her tote. We amass some additional garments in the rear of the minivan. Everything else is sauce.

  9. Nanviope says:

    We have four children, two in diapers. At times my better half perfectly conveys two or three diapers, a scarcely any wipes, a one of emptiness baggies and a pacifier exactly in her tote. We guard some additional garments in the nautical aft of the minivan. Everything else is sauce.

  10. Sarah says:

    Do you have any trouble with animals in there? We got rid of the sand under the platform as the kids (13,15,18) didn’t play in it anymore. The girls instead wanted a “hangout”. We got rid of the sand and are going to put indoor/outdoor carpet under there.

  11. smith says:

    Thrilled to say, I never stop myself to say something about it You’re doing an outstanding job. Keep it up.
    Demolition Contractors Geelong

  12. Eve Lee says:

    I love the contrast between the stories made up with the two types of toys. We love the simple, imaginative, natural toys most of the time here too.

  13. Eve Lee says:

    In reading your post I was very excited to see a photo that included some wooden toys from my childhood. I have been looking for the company for a long time. The photo I am referring to has children playing with wooden figures among which are a plain wooden pine tree and a little hutch made of the same wood. I own the entire fairy tale forest and would love to know where these came from! Please email me!

    Eve Lee
    Eve Lee recently posted…10 Best Baby Balance Bike For 1 Year Old 2021 | By RideTheKidsMy Profile

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