11 Best Outdoor Playsets and Swingsets for Kids in 2020
These outdoor playsets provide a wonderful option for the ever cautious parents, to let the kids enjoy as much as they like while remaining within the safe proximity of the home. With summer approaching, it’s quite hard to hold back the ever-curious kids and keep them bound inside the house. Deciding upon the right playset for your kid can be one rough ride. With so many options, brands, types to look at, with different features and specifications, it may get very confusing.
Plus the type, size, price, swings and other aspects might be too much information to take in, all at once. We’ve made things a bit easier for you.
Read on through the guide to learn about these playsets and the various factors to take into consideration before setting out for shopping. Here’s our list of the top eleven best playsets, featuring a variety of options and activities for the kids to have fun around the house.
View the 11 Top Playsets for Kids for 2020, Below.
Buyer’s Guide To Swing Sets
What to Look for When Buying a Swing Set
As we all know, letting your kids go to the park can be dangerous in today’s times, the answer is to bring the park to their own back yard. A backyard swing set is a perfect solution to get your kids active and allow them to socialize with friends, in a safe and secure environment. There are many benefits to having a swing apparatus in your backyard. First getting your kids active and away from the games consoles and TV sets.
Not only will it improve their coordination, stimulate imagination and lead to creative play it will also keep them healthy. Playing is how kids learn and develop. Playing on a jungle gym will help them improve their fitness, balance, sensory, and perception skills. They will learn to socialize and share when their friends or siblings join their play time and it is a great way for parents to spend time with their kids as well.
There are some things to look out for when deciding which swing or jungle gym will be perfect for your backyard. No matter, if you are buying a top of the range wooden or metal swing set, or a discount priced one, these guidelines, will help you to decide which one is best for you and your child.
This is a crucial aspect when considering which playing set you should purchase. You need to select a swing that will fit comfortably in your back yard. Ensure you take into consideration other features you may already have in your yards such as a pool, furniture, trampolines, barbecue’s, pathways and patios and more. These are all items that you will commonly find in your backyard and will make a difference when wanting to install your new jungle gym.
Measure your yard to get an idea of the size of the set you can accommodate and take into consideration the distance it must be from the fence to make it safe for your kids. Also consider when you may want in the future if you have plans to put in a pool or get a dog. There must also be space to run and play for your kids aside from just the outdoor playset.
Once you have decided on the size of the playing set you want you can look at the type of materials you would like your set to be made out of. There are a lot of different options on the market, from PVC to steel or metal and of course wood. When looking at wooden swing sets be sure that the wood has been properly treated, cedar wood is a good option as it is insect resistant and it will not easily rot or decay.
The best part about a wooden swing set is that they are open to customization. Metal swing sets should be powder coated to protect it from the elements and to ensure that it will not rust and create a safety hazard for your children. Plastic swing sets are also popular and safe for your kids. Plastic swing sets can also be extremely colorful and will definitely stand out in your back yard.
This is another important aspect when looking at the play or swinging apparatus you need. Getting a playset for your toddler or baby that offers a playhouse, ladder and high fast slide may not be the appropriate thing. However getting one that is specifically designed for your toddler may limit the time they will play on it. Finding the perfect balance is what you are looking for. Get a playset that can grow with your child.
When you have a baby or toddler you will need a baby swing or half-bucket swing, but as they get older you may look at sling swings or tire swings. Get a set for kids that can adapt and be customized as your child grows, replace the swings with those that your kids will enjoy as they get older. This will improve the longevity of your playset and give you value for money.
Be sure to select the set that is safe for your kid. If the age range is 3 – 8 years, do not let your 12-year-old play on it as it can be a safety issue. Many of these sets for kids are only designed to carry a certain weight and can become unstable or break if used by the older heavier kids.
Unlike the 80’s or even the 90’s, funny as it may sound, it’s getting considerably hard to get the children to step out of the house to play.
Most of the toddlers and pre-teens are usually glued to the screens all day long. With shorter concentration spans it really easy to get bored with other sports like baseball, football and skipping rope in just a matter of days.
These playsets are a great way to keep them occupied for a long time, with a variety of physical activities, within one set. These can easily be setup in your backyard, within the vicinity of the house where you can have them under your eye, and let them have all the fun and air.
Things to Consider
Bringing a playset to your backyard is not a decision you can just take in an instant. It requires certain thought and consideration to bring home such a huge setup. Here are a few of the major aspects to go through before you buy the playset:
Number of Children
The family size and the number of kids you foresee playing on the playset together are very important. Each playset has a different size and allows a limited number of kids to be on it at a time. So, since it is a big investment, after all, you should take the total number of kids who may be using the playset into account.
Especially if you have an extended family or relatives who visit on the weekends, neighboring kids, etc. do take the number into consideration when going shopping.
Since children outgrow toys, apparel, and even swings, it is wise to buy a playset that will last you several years. Think long-term. If you have a toddler for instance, would he still be able to use the swing, say five years from now? If the answer is no, you better look for another option. Because, buying another one as he or she outgrows the current playset, is totally not feasible. These things do not come cheap after all.
Looking for a smaller gift for your kids? Take a look at our review of the top hand spinners of 2020. Else you may have to buy a new one as he grows older and bigger. Again, you’d have to make an investment all over again. For instance, if you are buying an outdoor playset with a baby swing, glider, and a half-bucket swing, to make it last for longer you should consider options that come with convertible features.
You get SO many options for the swings, that there’s actually never going to be a dull moment for the kids. However, try to weigh the benefits of each in the long term and the things necessary to maintain each swing, if it’s doable for you or not.
The first thing to consider is the total area or space you have for the playset. If you like a certain model, but it is too large for your backyard, it would just be a total waste. So, go outside and have a good look around the backyard. Make sure that the ground is even and there are no obstructions such as trees or hedges in the way.
Plus, also look at the level of the ground; if it is even or sloped, you may need to consider the base. There are two options here:
- A Straight Base
- An Angled Base
As the name goes, if your area is straight and leveled, you need a straight base. However, if it is inclined, you can always buy the playsets with the angled base.
Often it is quite hard to judge the size of the whole set up based on the way it looks in the images. Even, if you go to a physical store, you cannot estimate the actual size and if it would fit your yard or not. Just as when you go shop for say a projector for your living room, the largest of the screens often looks much smaller when seen in line with the other LCDs. Taken home, it can be much of a surprise. The best way to tackle the issue is to take the ACTUAL measurements of your yard.
For the most accurate measurements, also note down the rough or inclined patches if any on the ground and any obstructions that may be there. Plus, make sure that there’s always additional space around the playset for other activities such as cycling, plantation, etc. and for keeping other backyard essentials such as a garden chair set, dog house, etc.
When putting the jungle gym in the garden, make sure to mow the lawn first, and clear the area. You can do this by using a ride on grass tractor and a commercial sized leaf blower, to clear excess foliage. Check out BestofMachinery’s latest backpack blower shootout review right here.
Most of the swings are made from either:
- Or vinyl
What you choose for your home depends on your style, budget, preference and the overlook of the house you want the playset to go with. However still the most preferred of these are usually made out of wood. These give off a very appealing look and are also quite strong and do not rot away. However, again the quality is most important here. The finish should be smooth and the corners especially shouldn’t be pointed, to keep your children safe during play.
These swings are usually quite simple. However, one concern about these is the rust. Always ensure to buy the ones which come with a paint that helps reduce the possibility of rust and also, the metal used should be galvanized.
The best playsets for kids are usually made from wood. So, if you are going to buy a wooden playset, then maintenance is one aspect to look into. Cedar wood usually requires the least maintenance and does not get any shards or rips off. Wood is also quite easy to repair and suits the environment.
Another type of wood normally used in these playsets is the Redwood. It is not as attractive to insects and also resistant to rotting. However again the quality of the redwood used plays a great role in its durability. Other common types are the cedar wood, pressure treated wood, and the pine wood.
Pine has been used for these swings for many years. Even today you may find many of the common swings made out of pine wood. However, if you are considering the same, bear in mind that it may rot rather quickly and may even be unsafe for the kids.
Plastic, on the other hand, is much safe and also costs less. It is also less likely to have cracks and splinters and are quite low maintenance. But often you do not get all the features in the plastic models.
Usually, these outdoor playsets come within the price band of $500 – $5,000. Depending on the size, options, number of swings, quality, and the playing options for kids, etc. there are countless options. However, this is just the initial cost of the setup. Keep in mind that if you need to have it installed professionally, you will have to work out the cost for it too.
Hiring a professional may add to the cost but it will ensure proper installation and reduce all chances of accidents. Plus, if you are considering the addition of covers, for protecting it from dust and rain, you will add that to the cost too.
Calculate the exact usage of the swing. Which activities would your child enjoy on it? Should it include additional features or not?
Additional features include:
- A flexible sizing option for the playset. This is important if you need to adapt it to the size of the area you are going to place it in. Plus, you can also add certain other activities to it in the later years
- Removable supportive child seat.
- A variety of options for slides, swings, monkey bars, tires, sandboxes, tunnels, ropes, etc.
Often it may come as a surprise but the installation costs go as high as the price of the playset itself. Since you have to ensure the maximum safety for the kids, it is advised to employ a professional installer for the same. However, time-consuming or costly it may be, the safety of the children always comes first.
Moreover, the professionals have all the required tools and experience. They often take up only a fraction of the time you may take to set up the entire playset.
Do Your Homework
It is always better to do a bit of a research beforehand. You should know about the hazards, the models that were called back, the reason behind the callback, the top rated companies and the actual customer views who have used the product.
Look for the common safety recommendations, we’ve covered in the later part of this article. You can even look for the certification for safety to ensure a better and safer experience for the kids. For more safety here are some of the DIY tips you can do yourself:
- Put a layer of sand or soft footing material at the areas kids are likely to hit the ground. For instance the ladder floors, monkey-bar area etc.
- Keep a check on the swings especially at the connect points on a regular basis. If there are any untightened screws or shards, fix them straight away.
What is a Wooden Playset?
The wooden playsets for kids come as a whole structure that is installed outside the house and provides a number of activities for kids. Amongst the set of activities that can be found on the playset are the swings, slides, monkey bars, ropes, ladders, towers and often bridges and the like. Children love these playsets as it provides an array of creative obstructions, activities, and swings to play around with their friends.
Take a look at the top toys for kids aged 7 in 2020. The wooden playsets are usually made from the cedar and redwood. These are quite easy to maintain as compared to the other types and very durable. Plus the overall look is quite inviting for the neighboring kids too.
How to Choose the Best Wooden Playset?
You need to know what you are bringing home first. This is not a simple toy you can bring home without any assessment or knowledge about the models and types. Plus each household has different requirements. The number of children, the ages and the budget etc. are very important considerations to help you decide on the best one for your house.
Space or area you have is also very important; you need to have the place at least to set it up, otherwise, you may have to consider returning the product. In our guide above we discussed the major elements to consider before the purchase.
These will help you choose the best one for your children and home so that you can relax and let the kids get some much needed – scratch ‘some’, they most likely wouldn’t want to get off the set all day – physical exercise and fresh air.
How Safe Are Kids Wooden Playsets?
Most of the times concerns regarding the safety of these playsets arise if these haven’t been setup as per the directions. If the playset is properly installed, even then you must never leave your kids to play unattended on the playset. Be sure that it is installed at a place you can keep them under your eyes at all times.
Since most of the times injuries result from falls, if you are at a little distance from the child, you can take the timely steps so that the situation does not get out of hands. Plus keep the weight limits and number of children allowed per swing in check to ensure the maximum protection.
Moreover, most of the top rated playsets come with a certification for safety, usually endorsed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). For more safety measures, here’s a great handbook for reference.
Other safety guidelines include:
- Make sure that any openings or gaps between the rungs and rails should be either less than 3.5 inches or over 9 inches to minimalize any chances of accidental strangling.
- There should always be rails at the upper-level platforms. This will help reduce the chances of any falls.
- Buy the playset that has rounded corners. Pointed or sharp edges could lead to injuries.
- Keep checking the flooring of the playset to ensure it stays leveled and clean to make it a trip free zone.
As long as the playset is maintained and made to last you through several stages of childhood, it is a great investment. Take an extra step and always be cautious while the children are at play. However, once you set this up, your children will indeed have the time of their lives and some vitamin D out in the sun too!