Backyard Discovery Blog
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Fun Accessories You Can Add to Your Wooden Swing Sets
While you may think that wooden swing sets are for, well, swinging, they can be much more than that. My young son loves his swing set, and there are times that he enjoys swooping high and low on the swings. But to Liam, the swing set is much more than a place where he can have a swing. To Liam, the swing set is the center of his universe, where only his imagination can limit his daily activities.
Wooden swing sets can be pirate ships one day, and high-performance racing tracks on another. They can be mazes for hide and seek, and they can be clubhouses to keep those pesky girls away (or indeed playhouses to keep those smelly boys at bay). They can be a gymnasium for “young monkeys”, or a meeting room that has a quick getaway in the form of a slide.
Many of these activities can happen on any swing set although it will depend to some extent on what features your particular set has. Obviously, a swing set without monkey bars or a climbing wall is going to have limited challenges for the aspiring gymnast, for instance. Likewise, your kids are unlikely to be able to hold secret club meeting if you don’t have a decent clubhouse, playhouse or fort as part of your set.
You may feel the urge to help your kids in their imaginative activities by adding some accessories to your set. These accessories add to the atmosphere as the kids imaginatively play.
We chose to buy the Oceanview Swing Set for Liam. To be honest, this had nothing to do with a play theme at the time. It was simply that it seemed the best of the wooden swing sets in our price range that would fit in our area of flat ground. The thing about the Oceanview set is that, as its name suggests, it provides you with a somewhat nautical feeling. It has a tower with a small porch out the front that gives the impression of standing on a crow’s nest. Its slide goes in waves. There is even a hammock for the tired sailor, sorry kid, to rest in.
To us, the Oceanview Swing Set has always been our playset version of a ship. Therefore, it is no great surprise that Liam and his mates have begun to play as pirates on the set.
So we decided that we would help the nautical atmosphere by adding a few extras to the set. Backyard Discovery has quite a few accessories available for its wooden swings sets which can spice up your kids’ imaginative play.
The Good Ship Oceanview needed a way for Captain Liam to sail it across the ocean blue (or more truthfully backyard green) so we provided Liam with a Ship's Captain Wheel. Now there is no excuse for the swing set to run aground. If Liam were more inclined to play racing car games, I would have bought him the “High Performance” Style Steering Wheel, instead.
Pirates need to keep an eye out for potential treasure (or indeed sharks). Liam loves to sweep his binoculars around, looking for that next treasure box full of gold doubloons. Yes, the binoculars are just a toy and don’t magnify, but they sure add to the fun!
In a similar vein, on the odd occasion when the imaginative games steer more towards outer space, the Sleek Telescope receives great use as the kids try to be first to spot an alien. It always amazes me how, despite the lack of any actual magnification, the number of times the kids claim to truly see aliens in the sky above.
Although like many wooden swing sets, the Oceanview comes standard with two belt swings and an acrobat bar, we decided that as Liam is not particularly showing any interest in gymnastic activity, he would gain more value from a glider. Although Backyard Discovery has a standard Two-Person Glider available, and it would indeed be a fun way for two kids to enjoy a swing together, we decided that Liam could get far more fun from the Ship’s Wheel Glider. That way, Captain Liam can continue his pirate adventure, by swinging with his First Mate.
The last accessory we added to our set had nothing to do with pirates, racing cars or aliens, to be honest. We simply bought it because it added another fun element to the set, and indeed an opportunity to stimulate Liam’s brain. This is a large 3D version of Tic-Tac-Toe, which he can play with one of his friends when up in the tower of his swing set.
When my wife and I were looking at wooden swing sets to buy we wanted something that would last most of Liam’s younger childhood. While the kids can gain a huge amount of fun simply from playing on the wooden swing sets themselves, we wanted to add a little bit extra pizazz. Hence, for a relatively small extra cost, we settled upon a few accessories that would add to the play experience for Liam. They certainly have helped his imagination to thrive.