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Backyard Discovery Blog

What Choices Do You Have For Your Swing Sets for Kids Outdoors

Spring is in the air. Your kids have survived being cooped up during Winter and are itching to get outside. So, you have an idea. Wouldn’t it be great to buy a swing set for your children? You have a look around and are surprised by just how many options there are. What are some of the things you should be focusing on when looking at swing sets for kids outdoors?

As with most purchases, your budget will have a large impact on your decision making. Backyard Discovery swing sets range in price from $499 to over $6,000, and obviously, the features differ dramatically between the different ends of the price scale.

There is also a huge difference in size between the smallest and largest playsets. You may have an unlimited wallet, but you need quite a substantial expanse of flat land for our larger sets, such as the Safari.

When I was looking for a set for my son I took a good look around my back yard. I was lucky that I live on flat terrain, so at least, I did not have a problem finding level ground. If you live in a hilly area, you will be limited by the amount of level ground you can allocate for the swing set.

I worked out from plans on this website that the Oceanview Wooden Swing Set needs an area of 28’ 7 ½” x 33’ 8” (when allowing for a safe play zone), which was just about ideal for the space I had available. The area was clear of trees and anything else overhanging, so height was not a concern for me.

Once you know your budget and the area of flat land available to work with, then you can begin to closely consider what features are appropriate for you and your children. If your children are old enough I strongly advise involving them in the decision-making. If you get the opportunity, it could be well worthwhile taking them to play on existing swing sets, or even to public playgrounds. Take notice what types of equipment they enjoy playing on. Do they play make-believe games in a fort? Do they rush up so that they can swoop down again on the slides? Are they swing-bunnies, who love nothing more than sweeping up, then down, on the swings. Are they social and prefer to share with a friend on a swing glider? Are they potential gymnasts stretching their muscles on monkey bars? Do they clamber up rock walls?

Any discussion you can have with your kids, combined with your observations, will come in handy when it comes time for you to make your decisions about the model you should choose.

It is probably not surprising that the main item missing from the cheaper sets is a large all-wooden fort or playhouse for the kids to clamber around in. These sets usually have a small deck at the top of the slide, with a colorful canvas covering. If your child mainly focuses on playing with the equipment (slides, swings or acrobat bar for instance) then these sets are perfectly suitable for them

If your kids like to be King of the Castle or the Defender of the Fort, then there are quite a few options for you, with varying types of clubhouses, playhouses, forts and play decks to choose from, that tend to be in the mid to higher price ranges. You should consider the age of your children when choosing one of these swing sets. If your kids are still small, you probably do not want to encourage them to climb onto a 10’ deck. On the other hand, your older kids will love the taller structures, and as long as you think carefully about what you place beneath your sets, the kids will be perfectly safe even if they accidentally slip.

Perhaps your kids like to “play house”. You could select a stand-alone playhouse for them (we currently offer nine different types of playhouse), however, there are some swing sets that have a playhouse in their lower section, complete with a pretend kitchen. These include the Journey, Outing, Safari and Traverse swing sets.

One thing you need to consider is if you have the time, or for that matter practical skills, to assemble the swing set yourself, or whether you would prefer to arrange for our specialist assembly team to install your set for you. Not being that much of a home handyman I was extremely happy to pay extra to ensure that experts assembled and installed my set for me. This certainly gave me peace of mind, knowing that my son was going to spend many hours playing on this set, while I scarcely know which end of a hammer to use!

Ultimately, after you have found a series of swings sets that match your budget, size and selection of preferred features, I suppose that you will make your decision based on appearance. Which of these swing sets looks best to you? We loved the Oceanview because of its nautical theme, even including a hammock for our worn-out little pirate. I have a friend who chose the Skyfort II because it reminded them of being in a gigantic tree house.

Whichever set you choose, I do suggest that you make an effort to keep it maintained, as I have previously discussed. Your swing set is an investment you have made for quite a few years of your kids’ lives, so you want to keep it looking and functioning at its best.

For more suggestions on specific swing set components, you could choose I suggest you look at my article on What are the Key Swing Set Parts to Give Your Kids Fun?

One thing is certain. You have a plethora of options available when you consider the choices you have for swing sets for kids outdoors.

  • Johnny McCarron says...

    I like your advice to know your budget. Your really do want to be sure that you aren’t spending too much when you buy a swing set. However, you can still get something nice for cheap. Do you have any other tips about getting a new swing set? http://swingsetscolorado.com/swingsets/

    On March 01, 2017

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