Tree Stump Playground

We recently cut down some big trees in our yard, to make room for more sunshine and more gardens. We were going to give away the firewood to friends with wood-burning stoves, but when Kevin was moving the stumps and the mulch, he got one of his inspired improvisational ideas. Give the man a pile of stumps, and he’ll build a playground. Apparently, our new stump-jumping-obstacle-course is reminiscent of Kevin’s own childhood schoolyard, which had, as he tells it, no play equipment other than a bunch of stumps and some tires.

We didn’t have any old tires laying around (thankfully). And we’ve painted our stumps bright colours. They’re dug right into the ground so they won’t tip. No, this wasn’t one of the backyard projects we planned to do this summer; but sometimes the most fun projects emerge spontaneously, with no planning at all.

(P.S. Please don’t count heads in the trampoline pictured in the background of that middle photo. Yeah, we’ve already broken the “only two kids” rule. I’m not even sure that rule lasted a single day).

Zucchini Bruschetta
Uglifying the yard: a work in progress


  1. katie

    The whole yard looks like a wonderful play space!

  2. Tricia Orchard

    I LOVE that idea! Hmmm, where can I get some more stumps? We do have a tree to cut down in our yard eventually, but not quite yet.

    I love that you painted the stumps, too. What kind of paint did you use?

    Your yard looks like such a fun place to play!

  3. Carrie Snyder

    Thanks! It is a fun place to play. I love summer. Kev just used acrylic paint and then sealed it w something. May need repaint as sap seeping up.

  4. Debi Silva

    Hi! We are wanting to build a children s tree stump playground with a variety of height at our nature center.

    Can I ask a couple of questions?

    How deep did you bury the stumps?

    Did you use concrete or cable to hold the stumps in place?

    I look forward to hearing back from you!

    Debi Silva
    Volunteer Coordinator

    • Carrie Snyder

      Hi Debi, I can’t make specific recommendations that would necessarily meet with your locality’s building code or the insurance requirements at your nature center, but I can tell you what worked for us. The stumps are actually quite long logs that are buried in the ground, without concrete or cables or the additional support of anything artificial. It works much like an iceberg, in that the part of the log that’s visible (the stump) is significantly smaller/shorter than the part underground. The stumps have stayed secure for a number of years and haven’t shifted. Again, I do stress that this is a backyard project undertaken for the enjoyment of our own children. You may have different requirements for a playground meant for public use. Good luck. It’s really lots of fun to play on. Yours, Carrie


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