Choosing the Right Swing Set for Your Kids

School’s out for the summer! If keeping your kids active (and away from the TV and video games) over their summer vacation is going to be a struggle, consider adding a swing set in your backyard for hours of outdoor fun. With so many models to choose from, a seemingly endless combination of different bases, swings, slides, climbers, and fun accessories, here’s our advice on choosing the right swing set for your kids.

Choosing the Right Swing Set Materials

RL-2 Turbo Tower Swing Set

While you may have grown up playing on an aluminum swing set, vinyl and wood are the most popular construction materials for swing sets currently on the market. Both are quality materials that are durable and will last for years. When choosing the right swing set for your kids, start with choosing the right material.

Benefits of Vinyl

Vinyl swing sets use treated wood components that are inserted into thick, vinyl posts. Outside of an annual cleaning, there is very little maintenance necessary for a vinyl swing set. With vinyl, you avoid the need for annual staining, painting, or sealing. Vinyl is slightly more expensive because it is a premium material.

Benefits of Wood

Other manufacturers generally craft wooden swing sets from pine. Wood offers a natural aesthetic that can blend in seamlessly with your backyard. Wooden swing sets can also be stained or painted after purchase with any color of your choosing, ensuring a perfect match to your home. Wooden swing sets require some upkeep to avoid looking dull, so they will need to be cleaned and repainted or re-stained periodically.

Choosing the Right Swing Set Equipment

wooden swing set 1502

Choosing the right swing set for your kids means adding activities and accessories that are suited for the age they are now, not where they’ll be in several years. Modern swing sets are adaptable and can expand and change as your children grow. You can expand with new elements at any time, replacing those that they have outgrown. When customizing a new swing set, follow these guidelines to create a stimulating play experience for children at every age.

Under 2-Years-Old

  • Infant swings
  • Dual or Uni rider swings
  • Tunnels with bubble panels
  • Open slides
  • Ground-level playhouses

2- to 5-Years-Old

  • Belt swings
  • Tire swings
  • Smaller rock-climbing ramps
  • Cargo net climbers
  • Enclosed slides
  • Tower-level playhouses

Older than 5-Years-Old

  • Larger rock-climbing ramps
  • Trapeze bars or rings
  • Monkey bars
  • Fire poles
  • Buoy ball swings
  • Disc swings
  • Spring swings
  • Water cannons

Choosing the Right Safety Materials

playground safety

The majority of playground injuries, almost 70%, occur because of falls from equipment or equipment failure. In addition to purchasing a safe swing set or playset, you can create a safe play area with the materials you place underneath.

Choosing the right materials as the base for your new swing set can minimize any playground injuries in your backyard. Most people may think that grass offers a good cushion to break a fall, but rubber mulch is a much better material to choose for soft flooring. Rubber is more effective as a shock absorber and reduces the after-effects of a fall. A safer summer is a more fun summer!

Check out our selection of vinyl and wooden swing sets — big and small — and get inspired to customize and build the perfect outdoor play space for your family.