Backyard Discovery Blog
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Swing Set Activities for Kids of All Ages
You’ve taken the plunge and installed a swing set in your yard. Now, you need to figure out how to keep your children of varying ages (and their friends) entertained on the same swing set, before it goes and sits untouched all summer long.
In general, there are a few ways to match swing set activities to the ages of kids. The younger they are, the lower to the ground they should be, as their agility and reflexes are still developing and you don’t want to risk an injury. When kids reach the age of 4 or 5, they are ready to climb, jump, and play, but they are also not ready for anything too high, as they are still building balance and other skills. Finally, kids ages 11 to 13 should be fully able to embrace everything your swing set has to offer. Keep in mind that you can always add accessories to your play set as the kids grow, and in the meantime, here are a few activities, games, and skills to help you, and your kids, get the most out of your back yard swing set.
THE SWING SET CHALLENGE
Create a game using every aspect of the swing set. See who can swing the highest without being pushed. Time the kids to see who can get across the monkey bars the fastest. Or have a creative sliding game, to see who can descend the slide in the most interesting, or inventive way. You can frame the specific tasks around the ages and capabilities of the little ones and get everyone involved in the game. This way, you get the kids moving while also having fun.
Use the swing set to make the jungle come to life. Assign each child an animal, and ask them to imitate that animal while climbing, swinging, or playing on the swing set. The possibilities are endless, and everyone is sure to have a blast while unleashing their inner monkey, bird, or bear.
SWING SET OBSTACLE COURSE
Send the kids on a multi-step obstacle course in, out, up, down, and around the swing set. From sliding down backwards, to swinging while singing, to a ten second hop scotch below the swing set, this activity can help kids develop listening and motor skills, while allowing you to have some fun creating the tasks.
SWING SET TRANSFORMATIONS
Break out the chalk and let the kids go to work. Ask them to work together to create a new world within their swing set by coloring, drawing, and sketching it on the actual outdoor playset. From there, they can start a creative role playing game or set the stage for some backyard theater performances. And not to worry, an afternoon of rain or a good hose-down should be able to erase the chalk and bring your swing set back to a blank slate.
CLIMBING, SLIDING, AND MORE
Don’t forget that the built-in features of your swing set are there for a reason. If all else fails, simply let the kids loose to climb, slide, swing, or play a game of hide and seek in or around their swing set. If your kids need a little push, ask them to imagine the swing set is actually a fortress or that the ground is made of lava. Their imaginations will quickly take over and they’ll jump right into a fun game.
Your backyard swing set is there for a reason: to engage your kids, to get them moving, and most importantly, to allow them to have some fun, without needing to go anywhere but the backyard. While it is essential to monitor them to ensure their safety, you can also help encourage kids of all ages with a few simple but engaging games and activities.