Shade is a very important topic for many communities when it comes to their children. The structure not only provides a bit of relief from the sun but also adds to the aesthetic quality of the overall playspace. The more inviting a gathering area is, the more likely community members will begin to treat it like the “town square” it should be.
Sort all materials into piles by like items to ensure you have materials needed to complete project.
Set aside the 8' aluminum downspout.
Take the 4x4x12. Cut into  4x4x36" pieces.
Take  of the 26"x8' PVC roofing panels. Cut down to  26"x48", for a total of  26"x48" PVC roof pieces.
Do NOT cut the following:
Before building, inventory and sort all of your materials.
First, the 4x4x10s must be set in the ground as posts. Each post will be buried 2' in the ground with concrete. The footprint of the shade structure is 9' long and 6' wide. Holes need to be 24" deep with an 8" diameter.
The posts need to be level both side to side and front to back. They also need to be in a straight line with proper alignment. A string-line can be helpful for this.
Let the concrete set for several hours before completing the shade structure.
The four 2x6x12' boards will be the headers that sandwich the posts, as shown. Since the rain must run off the roof and into the gutter, the rafters need to be angled from front to back. The rafters should be 9 ½" below the top of the back posts as shown in the picture below. Attach the posts using 2 ½" deck screws to temporarily hold them in place, then drill a hole through both 2x6x12s and the 4x4x10. Place a carriage bolt, washer and nut through that drilled hole for extra stability.
Next attach the 4x4x36" trapezoid braces. Make sure the 45° angle sits flush with the 4x4 post but also passes through the 2x6x12 header. Attach the lower end of the 4x4 trapezoid brace to the 4x4 post using the angled brackets and the 1 ½" nails.
Cut the 9 ½" off of the back two posts using the hand saw so that the tops of the posts are roughly flush with the rafters.
Attach the 2x6x8 rafters on top of the headers. Start by attaching one rafter on both ends of the shade structure. Be sure to center (side-to-side) these rafters on the headers. Attach the rafters by using the H2.5A rafter ties.
Install two rafters back-to-back 8' from the front of the shade structure. The back edge of the first rafter should be at 8'. This is where the roofing panels will meet and it is important to have two rafters together for additional support.
Attach the remaining three rafters evenly spaced on the headers.
Lay the four 26x96" panels at the front (higher end) of the shade structure. The panels will overlap each other (side-to-side) by about 2". The panels should be flush with the ends of the rafters on both sides and the end of the first rafter at the front. Use the roofing screws to attach the panels to the rafters. Don't screw the panels into the back rafter just yet -- slide the 48" panels under the 96" panels first.
Now you'll slide the 26x48" panels under the end of the 96x48"panels. Again attach the panels to the rafters using the roofing screws.
Next attach the gutter using the gutter hangers provided in your bucket. Make sure there is a slight slope to the gutter so that the rain water runs towards the downspout.
Next you'll attach the downspout to the gutter.
Lastly position the rain barrel under the downspout and cut the downspout so it is at the proper height to fill the rain barrel.
KABOOM! is a national nonprofit that works to achieve playspace equity. Kids who don't have access to play miss out on childhood and are denied critical opportunities to build physical, social and emotional health.
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Our goal is to end playspace inequity. For good.
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An outdoor classroom is a great way of encouraging schools and other organizations to take advantage of their outdoor playspace and turn the entire area into a learning environment.
Adults and children appreciate having plenty of seating areas in and near their playspace. Benches encourage adult supervision when placed in close proximity to the playground equipment. A tree bench also encourages a sense of community by creating a designated area for neighbors to gather together under a tree’s natural shade. If you have small to medium sized trees near your playground this may be the bench for you!
A chalkboard gives children a space to be artists! Children can collaborate to make murals, play chalk games like tic-tac-toe, and use the chalkboard to keep score for field and asphalt games. A chalkboard can also enhance an outdoor classroom.