How to make a playground with tires

How to Build Children’s Playgrounds From Used Tires

What’s the best material to build children’s playgrounds from? The short answer is…it depends. It depends on what you can find locally, the prices of local materials, environmental factors (Is there flooding in your area? Termites? Strong wind?), and above all on the advice from local builders. The best materials for a playground in your community should be determined by what can be easily sourced, built, and maintained locally, which will enable your playground to be enjoyed for years to come.

Over the years, we’ve supported over 1,400 communities around the world to build playgrounds and many of them have utilized used tires as their primary building material. While tires may not work in every context, they are commonly used on playgrounds around the world because of their versatility. In this article, we’ll be exploring the benefits of building children’s playgrounds from used car tires as well as a few tips & tricks on tire playground building.  Let’s get started!

So why are used car tires a great material for building children’s playgrounds around the world?

1. Availability – Tires are found in nearly every community in the world. They’re easier to find in some places than others, but we’ve been hard pressed to find a location that isn’t able to scrounge up at least a couple dozen used tires. (And we’ve been to some really, really remote places.)

2. Easy to build with – Building with car tires doesn’t take any special skills. If you’ve got a few tires, an electric drill, a knife, a handful of bolts, and a shovel, there are a nearly unlimited number possibilities of designs you can build.

3. Safety – The majority of children’s playgrounds around the world are built from steel, which can pose safety hazards. In hot climates, steel elements in direct sunlight can get extremely hot and even burn children. Steel is also very hard and can hurt kids if they slip and fall or accidentally run in front of a kid swinging on a metal swing seat (a common problem. ) Tires, on the other hand, do not get nearly as hot in sunlight (especially when painted) and are forgiving if you fall down and bonk your head on them.

5. Durability – Tires are made to hurl thousands of pounds of machinery down bumpy roads. They’re made to last. And they do. They’re also not susceptible to common environmental risks – like termites eating wood or weather rusting metal. Truck tires are especially durable and are preferable in many of our designs although then can be much heavier.

6. Affordability – Most communities can source tires for free or very cheap. We’ve built children’s playgrounds in some places where used tires are such a waste problem that they are often burned to dispose of them, releasing toxic fumes. In these areas, people are happy for you to take their used tires off their hands! In other areas of the world, old tires are used to make sandals, or other products, so they have a “value” in the local economy. In areas like this, we’ve sometimes had to pay a small price for tires and have factored this into the budget.


Playground Ideas has over a hundred children’s playground equipment designs that can be built from used car tires. Each design comes with free step-by-step DIY instructions and most require nothing more than a few bolts and an electric drill. Access all our used car tire designs in our Design Library.

Tire quality

Prior to using any tires, carefully examine the entire surface of the tire to ensure there are no steel wires sticking out. If there is a small patch of exposed wires, you can still use this tire if it is half buried in the ground with the exposed section in the ground. However, if the rubber has worn thin and there are exposed wires on half or more of the tire you cannot use it. Do not try to clip down or grind down these exposed wires – it just won’t work and can pose a serious hazard to children. 


One of the potential safety hazards in building tire playground is that if you do not take precautions, tires can collect water which can be a breeding ground for mosquitos. In areas of malaria prevalence, this can be a be a dangerous problem.

Luckily, it’s also an easy problem to avoid! Here’s how: on each element, cut or drill a hole at the lowest point of each tire. This will allow any rainwater to freely drain. After you complete the playground, double check each element to ensure that there is a drainage hole for every tire that could collect water.


To ensure that paint sticks to tires well, use high quality oil based paint. Used tires generally have a lot of oil and dirt on them which can prevent paint from sticking. You also don’t want kids getting leftover motor oil on their hands, so scrub down any tires you’ll use on the playground with soap and water and allow them to dry before painting and before children play on them. Generally it is easiest to do this all at once at the beginning of the build instead of trying to wash elements that have already been built. Prior to painting, you may need to do another quick wipe down to remove any dirt from constructed elements.

Further resources

For more info on building children’s playgrounds from used tires, be sure to check out our Playground Builder’s Handbook. It’s packed with more details and advice on building with tires, including ideas for sourcing tires, how to read sidewall numbers to differentiate different sizes of tires, and tips on how to easily and efficiently cut a tire. In addition, you’ll find guidance on planning, designing, building, and maintaining locally built playgrounds, regardless of what materials you choose to build from.


10+ Ideas for using tires in your Outdoor Space




Don't throw those tires out quite yet. Here are some fun ways to use them in your Outdoor Space to support preschool early learning and development. 

Climbing & Tire Playgrounds

Little Learners Daycare & Preschool Center

This fun colorful tire playground belongs to Pre-K Printable Fun Member Tara Kochanskyj‎ of Little Learners Daycare & Preschool Center

You can find several tire play structures in the "Design Library" on the Playground Ideas Website

The PlayDome Page

I love this colorful tire Play Structure from The PlayDome Page


Today's Creative Life

Make a tire swing with this tutorial from  Today's Creative life.


Exploring Domesticity

Use Tires as a Ladder. Check out this Tutorial by Exploring Domesticity


i heart naptime

Smiling Mama

Make your own Tire Sandbox with this tutorial from I Heart Naptime

Construction Area

Robin Deziel of Dream Big Childcare

This super outdoor space belongs to PKPF Community  member Robin Deziel of Dream Big Childcare. Fill the tires with dirt or sand for added construction fun.

This fabulous sandbox from Smiling Mama's Blog has a great DIY cover.

Outdoor Seating

A Life We Built

Aren't these tire seats from A life we built just so adorable?

Flaming Petal

DIY Enthusiasts

These lawn seats from flaming petal are so fun!


A easy Tire seat tutorial from DIY Enthusiasts


This idea from Curbly would be a great option for outdoor storage

Flower Garden

Lemon, Bean and Things

I love this colorful tire garden from Lemon, Bean and Things

Fairy Garden, and Small World Play

Let the Children Play

What a fun space from Let the Children Play.

Puzzles Family Daycare

You can transform tires into an outdoor space for small world play with
this idea from Puzzles Family Daycare

Play Based Learning

Here is another fun space for small world play from Play Based Learning

Playground Border

Louise Holland of Bear Family Child Care

Use tires to border your play area. This fabulous outdoor play area belongs to PKPF Community member Louise Holland of Bear Family Child Care.

Mud Kitchen

1001 Gardens

This fabulous tire Mud Kitchen can be found on 1001 Gardens

Tether ball

Style with Cents

Make your own Tether Ball with this tutorial from Style with Cents.

Teeter Totters

My Fix it Up Life

DIY  your own teeter totter with this tutorial from My Fix it up life

Open ended Dramatic Play

Trail Journals

Build a Vehicle that can be transformed into a Bus, Boat, Plane or car like this one
found on Trail Journals.

  Here are some Tutorials on how to Paint Tires:

Tutorial from DIY Show Off

Tutorial from Beauty in the Midst

Free Printable Center Signs

Fill out the form to get a set of print ready center signs for free!
Looking for an editable set? You can purchase them in our store below!

More Early Learning Inspiration:

50+ Free Preschool Lesson Plans
Create an Outdoor Music Wall
30+ Outdoor Learning Spaces
Mud Kitchens Preschoolers will Love


The best crafts from tires to the playground photos and interesting ideas

If you are a modern parent, then the safety of your child is very important to you. Surely, you do not want to let him go for a walk in various places that do not inspire confidence in you. And you don't have to. Indeed, today, from simple materials, you can equip a playground with your own hands, where every child will like to spend their free time and play various games there. In this publication, we decided to offer you the most interesting tire crafts for the playground. We hope you will be tempted to make one of these and set it up in your child's play area.

How to make crafts with tires for a playground

Tire swing.

If you have old car tires at home, you should not throw them away. It turns out that you can make a large number of crafts from them that can take their rightful place on the playground. Crafts from tires to the playground can be very diverse. It is worth looking at only the photo and finding the best option for crafts.

The first and easiest craft is a tire swing. To make such a swing is worth a little work. First you must position the tire horizontally. In it you must make 3 or 4 holes. Metal hooks are inserted into these holes. You must fix them with nuts and washers. And in the loops of the hooks you must thread strong threads or chains.

That's all the DIY tire swing is ready for your playground. And to make the swing look pretty, you can decorate it in a bright color.

Tire chairs.

On the playground that you plan to equip with your own hands, it is worth installing comfortable chairs that you can place around the perimeter of the entire playground. Making these chairs is very easy. And here you can get by with improvised tools. In addition, in this case, you will have to use paints in order to make the chairs beautiful.

Tire frog.

All children like toys. And if your playground lacks some fairy tale, then you can furnish it with cute figurines. If you are a creative person, then you can create extraordinary beauty. We propose to make a beautiful frog, which, for sure, will attract the attention of many children.

Tire sandbox.

A child's favorite pastime is playing in the sand. And so on the playground you must have a sandbox. And it will be very easy to build. Look at several options, we hope that you will be able to find the perfect option that will also please your child.

Bike from old tires.

In this article, we list all car tire crafts for the playground. No playground can exist without a car. Therefore, we will talk about how to make a motorbike from unnecessary tires. It's worth the effort here. You should prepare:

  • 3 tires with rims, 5 plain tires and a pair of bicycle tires.
  • Sharp knife and screws.
  • Metal tubes.

This craft is very easy to make. Examine the photo in order not to make mistakes.

Tire snail.

To create such a snail, you should take:

  • a pair of tires,
  • blocks of wood,
  • nails and screws,
  • brushes and paint.

And if you work a little, then you can get a unique craft that will enchant you with its attractiveness.

In conclusion

Now you know what crafts you can make from old playground tires. We, in turn, do not advise you to throw away such products. And all because you can get real works of art, which in any case will not be left without attention.

Do-it-yourself playground from tires: master class with photo

Children's playground from tires, as well as a variety of other ideas from old tires, are taken from the Soviet Union. The first wet snows began to fall, and the temperature dropped below zero. It's time to change the tire from summer to winter. Now the question arises, where to put them if you don’t want to fill up the landfill with them? For example, let's use the idea, and we get a wonderful playground made of tires.

People with experience advise using foreign rubber for manufacturing, as it is more convenient to work with them, and Russian-made rubber is very hard, it will be difficult to work with it.

Winter tires are also good as a basis for the product - they are easier to turn out and bend. To make this craft you will need:

  1. Some tires;
  2. Knife;
  3. Adhesives;
  4. To create complex products - a piece of plywood, plastic containers, as well as wood and plastic;
  5. Screwdriver;
  6. Tool for cutting wood and plywood;
  7. Mounting material;
  8. Enamel paint and brushes.

Unusual sandbox

Do-it-yourself children's playground, made using tires, is quite common. This type of material is very versatile for making a platform with your own hands, you can find extraordinary masterpieces, what is the most interesting thing for children? For starters, these are budget sandboxes to create a nice place to play from a couple of tires.

It will take a little more time to make a sandbox in the form of a flower, as a result it will turn out larger, several children will fit in it at once.

To create a craft you will need:

  1. Several tires;
  2. Knife;
  3. Construction stapler;
  4. Shovel;
  5. Hose;
  6. Paint.

The tire is cut lengthwise into two parts and the edges are trimmed with a hose. Tires are placed in the shape of a flower in a previously prepared small hole in the shape of a flower. For convenience, you can put a stump or a round seat in one of the petals, you get a comfortable table or chair for adults. At the junction of the tires, they are connected to each other using a stapler. We color the resulting flower and add sand.

And when the children grow up, you can replace the sand with earth and create a beautiful flower bed, in which case you can put another tire in the center.

Interesting swings

A playground for children cannot do without swings, they can also be placed in the garden. Our site, created with various tire products, is no exception, as there are many examples.

The most important aspect in making a swing is a good fastener. Hanging points and rope must be very strong. The choice of swing type is yours.

Light swing made of tires for adults and children: the tire is fixed on a rope vertically or on 2 ropes horizontally. This will add attractiveness if you cut out various shapes and designs from the tire. The most important thing at this stage is to make the tire support points very secure.

Baby swing as pictured above. Detailed creation tutorial:

  • a small tire needs to be cut with a knife to the middle so that the rims are not damaged.
  • we will prepare a place for fixing, fix the staples and let the rope through them.
  • we tie the ends of the rope on the rim on both sides.

Wonderful swing for tiny children is finished.

Rocking chairs are easy to make with your own hands and are very interesting for children. You will need the following: a tire, a plank, or another object that is suitable as pens.

Making such an interesting and at the same time simple item is easy. We need the following items:

  1. Tire;
  2. Wooden plank;
  3. Mounting material;
  4. Sawing tool;
  5. Drill;
  6. Enamel for painting and decoration elements.

Using a hacksaw and cutter, cut the tire into two pieces. To half of the tire with the help of fastening material, we fix the plank along the cut lines. Then it remains only to paint the swing and decorate with decorative elements.

Obstacle course

At the playground, children cannot sit still, and sometimes swings and sandboxes are not enough, they always want to climb and jump somewhere. For such energetic children, various simulators and slides will be an excellent method for playing.

Tires are great to make as they will satisfy kids and also rubber products are quite safe. Often installed on site:

Tire walkers buried one by one in one lane. Such products will immediately serve as a fence that separates the playground from other areas.

The next type of simulators will be obtained if the tires are arranged horizontally in series, with a distance of half a meter between them.

In an area where there is a lot of space and no boundaries, a good choice for children would be a simulator in the form of flat tires, a large number of tires will be required, at least ten.

Gorka. A great tire attraction that you can create yourself and there are many options:

  • lay and fasten tires in the shape of a pyramid slide.
  • rings from tires are tied with ropes, one side of the resulting mesh is nailed to the ground, and the other side is firmly fixed on a support. Your little pirates will be very pleased.
  • can also be placed tires as steps to climb up to a slide that you can slide down.

Video on the topic of the article

In conclusion, a few videos with lessons on creating interesting playgrounds from tires.

Learn more