Performances are always taking center stage. Whether they be pretend sword fights, singing exhibitions, or dramatic plays, children are always ready to let their imaginations soar. So why not build them a taking off point?

Building a small stage in the back yard will take the world of pretend out of the living room and into its own realm where the kids can create, fantasize, and make it all come true. Plus, when the children aren’t using it, the stage will double as extra patio space for outdoor meals, a spot for sunbathing in lawn chairs, or just lounging about outside.

It’s all pretty easy and cheap. Using 2×4’s and 1×4’s of Pine the project would cost about $150 and the entertainment would be endless. Plus, it’s fun to build something with your hands for the kids. Putting together a ready made jungle gym or trampoline just isn’t the same. Parents should properly build at least one fun zone.

The 2×4’s would make up the base. The idea is to make 3 sets of 8’ long by 4’ wide  rectangles. This will give us an 8’ by 12’ stage when we put all the squares together. Once the bases are made, it’s just a matter of using the 1×4’s for the decking. Spacing them 1/4” apart and staggering the end points will make it look just like the decking on any wood porch – which it really is.

The more level the ground the better the stage will be and the longer it will last. Since most lawns are graded pretty flat that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

To make the fewest cuts of wood, it would be easiest to adjust the 2×4 frame rectangles so that when they are put  together the stage will be exactly 12’ long. That way, the 8’ long 1×4 decking can be staggered without wasting wood or making more cuts.

Finally, sand the edges on the 1×4 decking so that it’s easy on the feet and the children won’t pick-up any splinters. Put on a nice coat of varnish and the kids will be in business writing up new characters and story plots. All you would have to do is gather around and watch all the excitement.