Wood Swing Sets
Choosing a Wood Swing Set That Grows With Your Family
When you start shopping for a wood swing set for your back yard, are you thinking about the long-term value? The more years you can get from a swing set, the greater the return on your investment—emotionally, physically, and financially. So, it makes sense to buy the right play system for your family’s present needs, but you should also look ahead. As your children grow, can your wood swing set grow along with them?
Before you purchase your first swing set, think about the age of the children who will be using it. Consider the age-appropriate activities you want for them to enjoy. What size slide will offer entertaining play without risking their safety? What type of swings should you buy? Will the youngsters enjoy a tire swing more than a traditional swing? Will they make good use of a sandbox or should you opt for some other choice for that area?
Consider these options when shopping for a flexible wood swing set.
- Space. How much area do you have for your swing set? A basic swing set may not take up much space at first, but once you add on a larger slide, climbing wall, crawling tube, monkey bars, and more, your play area can take over your yard. Determine from the start just how much space you are willing to dedicate to the play area and then plan ahead so you can make the most of this area as you expand.
- Location. Is the space in an area with direct sun or does it get shade? When choosing a slide, remember that a metal slide in the direct sun will absorb heat and can be harmful to youngster even in the mild Michigan summers. Does the area have a soft surface, like grass or sand? If not, can you alter that area?
Next, look at the variety of accessories and add-ons available for the set you are considering.
- Swings. One set can accommodate a wide variety of swing types. Check to see which ones you prefer and make sure they are available for the set you’re considering. A toddler bucket swing is the safest choice for children aged three and under. Belt swings should be made from durable material and the chains should be coated to prevent pinching fingers. A glider is a good choice to accommodate one or two youngsters. A tire swing comes attached to either three chains (to hold up to three kids) or four chains (for four children). A rope swing features a disc attached to a rope (which must be weatherproof). and allows riders to spin, standing up or sitting down.
- Slides. How long of a slide can you grow into? What types are available? A scoop slide lets you adjust the slope for more or less speed. A wave slide has gentle bumps for a fun ride. A tube slide is fully enclosed, and a spiral slide is a fully enclosed 360 degree thrill ride.
- Ladders. There are ladders that get you to the top of a slide and ladders that are just pure fun to climb, like a rope rung or chain cargo ladder—perfect for the little pirates! For a step ladder, make sure the rungs are non-slip and properly sized and angled for small feet.
- Climbing. From a basic ramp to a climbing rockwall, look for stability both for feet and hands. Grips should be smooth and small enough for little hands. Monkey bars provide fun and exercise. Check the smoothness and size of the bars, and be sure you put a soft surface beneath the climbing area.
- New heights in fun. Look for other add-ons like a bubble panel, penthouse, grab-n-go bar, trapeze, and even a ship’s wheel.
Remember that a wooden playset can only provide safety when used properly. Take the time to show your children how to use each component and what to avoid.
Today’s wood swing sets and the multitude of add-ons and accessories can turn your yard into a miniature theme park. By planning ahead and reviewing those options now, you can ensure that you choose a basic set that will keep your kids active, happy, and safe.