DIY Message Boards
DIY play structure

This topic can be found at:
http://boards.diynetwork.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/960107171/m/1823955208

Apr 18, 2014, 01:23 PM
Nana_Ellen
DIY play structure
Hello! I am looking for some help regarding building a safe but fun pirate ship? play structure for a very special 5 year old autistic boy. Although without speech, he is fun-loving, fearless and constantly climbing everything. His poor mother needs a place he can play on besides the kitchen counters and swinging from the dining room light fixture (honestly!) We wondered if you have any ideas? Thank you!
Apr 18, 2014, 03:05 PM
GardenSprite
First, DIY rarely responds to these kinds of inquiries, so the only responses you're likely to get are from the posters.

Second, if you do want advice from posters, some information about you (and your crew) would be helpful.

What is your construction experience and that of those who would be helping you? Do you have the resources (man/woman power, tools, materials, supplies, etc.) to build such a ship, or were you hoping that DIY could pitch in and help? Do you have liability insurance in place for you and the crew?

Third, would this pirate ship be located on private property, i.e., the family's home, or some place public? Will it be indoors or outdoors? There could be liability issues if you plan to construct it on public property and make it available for use for others, especially if you're not commercial workmen/women.

Fourth, you might try an alternate source which is the various companies that specialize in building or remodeling access enabled structures. I would think that someone knowledgeable in the physical strengths and/or weakness of an autistic child would be a necessary asset.

I'm only familiar with such companies as they modify homes for physical challenges and aging related issues, and would typically contact the Area Agency on Aging for such companies. Perhaps you could contact an austistic society for some guidance on this issue, to ensure that any ship you want to build would be suitable for this young child.

Good luck with your venture.
Apr 18, 2014, 07:40 PM
Jaybee
One important fact that can make building this easier is that you only need a little additional things to make a regular play structure into a pirate ship. Take a standard play fort with a platform area, swings and a slide and add a wheel to turn, simple 'telescope', a cannon, some flags or small sails and to a 5 year old that swing set becomes a ship.


Jaybee
Apr 18, 2014, 09:03 PM
Nana_Ellen
Here's the thing about our little dynamo - autistic children do not "imagine" play - he can not use a swing by himself, and doesn't know to get out of the way if someone else is swinging. I guess a climbing structure is what I'm thinking of, because the steering wheel, cannon, flags and sails would have no meaning for him, except as something else to try and climb over. We think the commercially available swing sets are overpriced and poor quality, and our larger family would like to build one ourselves, but no one is a designer. It shouldn't be too tall, just lots of nooks and crannies to climb and explore. How does one even start to make something like this? Would we have to hire a builder? Probably cost an arm and leg Smile
Apr 18, 2014, 10:20 PM
GardenSprite
What about something like a jungle gym? I found a number of plans for them.

Given that autistic children can't "imagine" playing, I guess the question in my mind would be what are the motivators for this child to play, to climb, to explore? Would a climbing structure entice him? Has he ever used a jungle gym at a playground?

Perhaps if you can focus on what kind of structure will be tempting to him you can then focus on locating plans to determine if your family can build the play item or hire it done.
May 07, 2014, 04:04 PM
swschrad
what does your child do on his own? that defines "play" to them. exaggerate it outside. put a little structured area on there that is close to what your child does that is more "normal" and maybe it will get explored and used, too.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
May 08, 2014, 05:04 PM
ron45
All kinds of neat ideas here...
scroll down through them all

http://www.woodworkersworkshop...ildrens%20playhouses

Here's a little bit of everything, and it's all FREE....

http://www.woodworkersworkshop...es/index.php?cat=102

....
May 08, 2014, 05:05 PM
ron45
swschrad...
I don't know how that happened...?
May 09, 2014, 10:45 AM
swschrad
test test testing 1 2 3 festering pestering test...


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
May 09, 2014, 10:45 AM
swschrad
maybe your laptop battery was running low??? Cool

This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
May 09, 2014, 10:49 AM
swschrad
you may notice this thread looks... different... with the colors and all. wild guess is your browser and the page layout script were having an argument.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?