DIY: How To Level Ground For Playset (Step-By-Step Instructions & Videos)

  • The first step is to level the ground when installing a playset 
  • This article can teach you how to level your yard for a playset 
  • We’ve listed materials needed along with detailed instructions 
  • Bonus video: How to Prepare your Yard for a Play Set

Are you getting ready to put in a backyard playset for your kids?

Did you know that you need to level ground for playset installation before you can get started actually assembling the playset?

Do you need to learn how to do this before you can complete your project?

It can be challenging knowing how to take care of leveling ground for playset use in your backyard. But with the right materials and the right know-how, you can take care of this potentially difficult job without too much effort. However, this isn’t a job for a beginner, so it’s a good idea to make sure you know how to use the tools and materials listed below before you ever get started.

In this article, we’ll give you all the information you need to be able to level your yard before it’s time to get started on your playset construction. We’ll take you through the process step-by-step and let you know about everything you need to have on hand before you begin, too.

Be sure to read through the steps outlined below, too, in order to learn everything you need to know about how to complete this project. Set aside plenty of time to get the job done, and remember not to get started building the actual playset before you take care of the yard first.

Soon, you’ll have a nicely level backyard that’s ready for your new playset to be installed!

Materials Needed

playset ground material
  • Garden mulch film
  • Wooden stakes and stake kit
  • String
  • Pea gravel, mulch, or some other type of playground flooring as needed to fit beneath your playset

Equipment Needed

  • Piece of lumber (for measuring and evening)
  • Bubble level
  • Work gloves
  • Scissors
  • Shovel


  • 1
    First, begin by measuring the space you’ll need in your yard for the playset. Remember that you need at least six feet on each side of the playset in order for your kids to be safe.
  • This is where the piece of lumber can come in handy. You can cut a piece of lumber to the exact measurement of one side of your playset space and use it to help you get a more accurate measurement of the other sides. If you’re working with a rectangular space, of course, you will need two different pieces of lumber in two sizes to do this.
  • 2
    Place four stakes in the yard using your stake kit and attach them with string to section off the area in which you’ll be working.
  • 3
    Use your shovel to dig a small trench around the perimeter of your work area to help break up the topsoil and grass and make it easier to shovel out.
  • 4
    Begin on the side of the yard where you have the largest incline—the taller side. Start shoveling out the grass and dirt from the square or rectangular area you have sectioned off. You will need to shovel deep enough that you can level this part of the play area with the shallower end. This will probably be at least several inches.
  • 5
    Start shoveling so that you can smooth out the incline from one side of the play area to the other. This may take you several hours to complete, depending on the size of the area you’re working with.
  • 6
    Periodically, as you’re smoothing the soil and packing it into place, use your wood boards to help you determine whether or not you’ve gotten the space level. To do this, place a wood board over one part of the soil and then put your bubble level on top of the wood. You’ll be able to tell how level the space is easily.
  • 7
    Take care not to go any lower than the shallow end of your playground space when smoothing and leveling the dirt here. This will end up making it uneven in the opposite direction than it originally was!
  • 8
    Once you have the dirt completely level, unfold the mulch liner and tack it down into place in the area you have leveled. You don’t have to worry about securing it to the ground permanently, since the playground flooring will be going over the top of it and holding it in place.
  • 9
    Add the pea gravel or whichever other type of playground flooring you’re planning to use. Depending on the type of flooring you’re using, this may be accomplished in one of several different ways. Be sure to read the directions included with the flooring you choose. If you go with pea gravel, however, you simply need to spread it out until it’s level and even within the space you have sectioned off.
  • 10
    If you choose, you can build a small wooden wall around the pea gravel to hold it in place. This is not a requirement, but it may make your playground look a little nicer in the end. You may also want to go with playground bumpers, which can be snapped into place in no time and which look just as professional when installed.
  • 11
    The last step is to put together your playset and get ready to watch your kids enjoy all the hard work you put into their new backyard wonderland!


Now that you know about how to take care of leveling your yard for a playset, it’s time to get out there and do it! As with most larger-scale DIY jobs, it’s always a good idea to have another capable adult around to help you out. If you’re very experienced, you may be able to complete this task on your own. However, it’s better if you wait until someone can help, you, especially for times when you might encounter a problem you didn’t expect. We recommend having at least two adults, or three if possible to get this job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

playground equipment installation cost

As with any DIY project, if you’ve never done this before, make sure you read through the steps listed above and check out our sources to ensure you completely understand the process before you get started. If you have any questions along the way, there are plenty of helpful videos and links online that can direct you toward answers to solve your problem. And if all else fails, you can always speak to the professionals at your local home improvement stores to see if they have any tips or advice to help you out, too.

Leveling your yard before you install a playset for your kids is one of the best ways to be sure your playset stays safe for as long as possible. Keep your kids happy and having fun safely by making sure your backyard is perfectly level before you bring home your new playset.



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