Kids no doubt are die-hard fans of video games and all sorts of other electronic gadgets, but they still want to play outdoors. They would love to play with swings and slides.
While enjoying the fun brought by wooden swing sets, they get both mentally and physically exercise the same time.
However, choosing a lousy quality swing sets not only shortens use span but most importantly, has the potential danger to the safety of kids.
Which swing set should you buy for them?
In the following part of our article, we will give you some tips on buying the best wooden swing sets.
What’s the Best Swing Set for Toddlers?
Top 5 Best Wooden Swing Sets 2019
|Best Overall||Swing-N-Slide PB 8272 Cedar Brook Play Set||(4.8 / 5)|
|Runner-up||Backyard Discovery Skyfort II||(4.6 / 5)|
|Best Budget Swing Sets||Backyard Discovery Somerset||(3.4 / 5)|
|Best Wooden Swing Sets||Backyard Discovery Monterey||(4.2 / 5)|
|Best Metal Swing Sets||Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure||(4.7 / 5)|
What is a Wooden Playset?
A wooden playset is a kid’s favorite playmate. It comprises of several components like towers, decks, slides, monkey bars, bridges, ladders and of course multiple swings. They have a lot of variety when it comes to types of bridges, ladders, swings, and slides. They might even have sandboxes.
Wooden playsets differ from model to model, according to price and manufacturing company. It is a complete outdoor game set for kids. Sometimes manufacturers build a playset so that you could swap some of its parts with bigger versions. So, it practically grows with your child.
Essential Features to Consider on Buying Best Wooden Swing Sets
Ease of setup
It is straightforward to set up a ready-to-assemble wooden swing set. When you buy an excellent wooden swing set, all you have to do is assembling the parts. I know when you hear this, you would be tempted to do it yourself because that would make you a hero in your kids’ eyes. But do not forget the safety issue. You need to make sure the assembled swing sets to be 100% safe for kids use. So, you may ask for help from the expert.
Depending on your budget or what you are looking for, there is a range of options for accessories. According to your budget, you could choose from a wide range of accessories like a tic-tac-toe game, periscope, decorative handles, chains. You could choose from among various types of swing seats according to your child’s age and taste. A bucket seat would be best for toddlers, tire swings and belt swings for slightly elder kids and broad ones for adults. Similarly, you could choose the style and design of the set according to your taste and budget.
Many manufacturers sell wooden swing sets which can accommodate a growing kid. When your toddler grows up, you won’t discard the whole swing set. So, sellers have offers where your kid could use the swing again just after minor changes. For example, the swing seat has to be changed when your toddler grows up. Even the chains could need a stronger option when your kids weight change drastically over the years. Similarly, various other features could be upgraded as and when your child grows.
Best Wooden Swing Sets Reviews
Best Overall Wooden Swing Sets
This wooden playset features monkey bars, slider winder slide, climbing rock wall with 8 colorful rock holds, durable wood roof with sunburst gable accent, 2 swing seats and back-to-back glider, and a wooden picnic table.
It is loaded with a stylish architectural design. Putting the safety of toddler as a priority concern, it meets and even exceeds ASTM safety standard.
To set it up is not an easy task, though the instruction is pretty clear, you might as well find someone professional to help. With all premium and pre-cut lumber and hardware, the unit can be pretty sturdy.
- Made in USA
- Recommended for ages 3-10 years
- Dimension: 20’11″L x 11’9″ W x 10’3″ H
Runner Up Wooden Swing Sets – Backyard Discovery Skyfort II
Ranking as one of the most popular backyard playset, Backyard Discovery Skyfort II features a clubhouse and a lower playdeck, keep the shade from sunshine with sturdy wooden roof and airy window.
There is a picnic table under the playclub, along with a sandbox. Two standard belt swings and two-person glider meet the need of kids fond of swing motions.
A monkey bar brings challenges to toddlers, and at the same time help the development of kids physically. Wanting more fun? There is also a standard playset ladder as well as a climbing rock wall.
- Weather resistant
- Heavy duty brackets
- Dimension: 263 x 201 x 148 in
Best Budget Wooden Swing Set – Backyard Discovery Somerset
Costs around $600, you can get a high-quality wooden swing set, which includes snack stand and bench, solid rock climbing wall, standard step ladder, 8′ speedy slide, two belt swings, and trapeze swinging bar.
Outdoor complicated weather conditions can do harm to most wooden swing sets. However, all the swing sets and pergolas are made from 100% cedar wood, which resists mold and decay. UV resistant plastic components guarantee high durability.
Assembly goes pretty smooth, takes some time to set it up, but once you read the directions carefully, you can put it together with other people’s help.
- Made from 100% cedar
- Upper deck height: 4′
- Dimensions: 213 x 165 x 125 inches
Best Wooden Swing Set – Backyard Discovery Monterey
Snack window along with a picnic table, sun porch, 3 position swing beam as well as rock wall, Monterey swing set is able to bring significantly joys to multiple kids the same time. An activity table and a clubhouse make up of ground level.
Sun porch and roof prevents kids from the hurt of sunshine in hot summer, the real door set on the lower level clubhouse offers virtue playing experience.
100% cedar material with small, tight knot structure keep it sturdy and durable, able to use for long periods and meet various weather conditions.
- Dimensions: 201 x 164 x 126 inches
- Recommended age: 36 months – 10 years
- Pre-stained lumber
Best Metal Swing Set – Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure
Made of powder-coated galvanized steel, this metal swing set is super durable and stable. It features 3 belt swings, a trapeze bar with gym rings, 9′ wavy slide, fireman’s pole, and monkey bars. Designed for kids with all ages, it provides hours of entertainment with delicate structure.
UV resistant material retains strength and keeps long use span. No need for cement, you can set it anywhere you want with the free-standing feature. Soft rubber grips are set on the chair to prevent kids from pinching or snagging.
Unlike wooden swing sets, it needs low maintenance, no need to stain or paint regularly.
- The total area of unit: 13.8′ W x 18.6′ D
- 5-year warranty
- Passes Playground Performance and Safety Standards
How Much Does a Wooden Swing Set Cost?
The price of a wooden swing set can range anything between $100 to $9,400. The lowest price could cost $100 – $500 which is the price of the most basic set. If you want a standard backyard unit, it is generally between $500- $1,200. If you want more, you could opt for a better version at $1,200 to $10,000, which has more than one swings, slides, decks, and more features like movable ship’s wheel, etc.
Some high priced ones, apart from numerous swings, include a tire swing, multiple decks, spiral slide, periscope, rock climbing wall and so on. Honestly, the price depends on your needs, whether you want a simple wooden swing set, or you want it to be an elaborate fancy affair for kids?
What to Look For In Wooden Swing Sets?
No matter how strong a wooden set you buy, it is essential to place a wooden swing set correctly to ensure its use and safety.
- Make sure there’s no structure near swing sets.
- Set it up on the level ground. You could also level it yourself using tools.
- Putting it up in the shade is a good option as long as there are no overhanging branches etc.
- Even after mulching the ground below, the area around the mulch should not be concrete.
The wooden swing set can be of various sizes. The smallest ones meant for toddlers. Then comes the ones intended for kids between the ages of 2 to 12 years. Now there is a third one which has swings which can be used both by kids and adults.
The material should be of good quality, durable and require less maintenance. Wood is easy to use, inexpensive, and easy to attach elements. Before buying, you should know what wood is used for swing sets.
Premium preserved pinewood are the most durable ones.
They can endure rough weather and can hold more moisture when compared to redwood and cedar wood. Redwood is considered to be the most beautiful and expensive option.
The cedarwood is one which has the best quality and is not as expensive as redwood. Apart from the wood, you should also pay attention to all hardware, which should be of good quality. All metal parts should have a protective coating to prevent it from rusting.
I would say a good quality wooden swing should last a lifetime. But, talking about a warranty, any manufacturer should give a warranty of at least ten years for any good quality wooden swing set. But a warranty is not enough; you should also take care of the swing set. A little effort from your side can make the swing set last a lifetime.
You should maintain, re-stain and use sealant as and when required. Also if you damage the set while trying to install it yourself, you cannot blame the manufacturer.
Age and weight limits
There is no exact age, and weight limit applies to all wooden swing sets in general. It is different for different products. Residential ones are meant only for children between the ages of 18 months to 10 years of age; the weight is under 110 pounds.
The commercial ones, in your backyard, school, and park, can be used by children between the age of 2 to 12 years and under 125 pounds. Though adults sometimes use these, it is not recommended so as it is meant for kids to use. There are some specific commercial ones for adults too.
All details regarding the dimensions of the parts are specified in the manual provided by the manufacturer. The manufacturer would also label all boxes regarding the parts contained in it. When you install the wooden swing set keep in mind these points, the A structure should be made of 4 x 4 solid beams of wood.
The angle formed should be 60 degrees to form an A. The total height of the beam should not be less than 7 feet. The distance between the two sides should be 8 to 10 feet. The swing beam should be 4 x 6 inches in size.
Number of children
Ideally, there should not be more than two swings in a bay. This is done to ensure safety. The distance between the swings has also to be kept in mind. They should be a distance of 24 inches between two swings. It is unsafe if too many kids use the swing at the same time. So, according to law, the number has been limited to two per bay.
A swing set could cost as low as $100 or as high as $10,000. It all depends on your requirement. I would say if you want to buy a wooden swing set of good quality you should have a budget of around $1,000 to $1,500. It is not so that you won’t be able to buy a wooden swing set below this amount. As I said, it is your choice as what you wish to have.
A wooden swing set has numerous usability:
- It takes your kid away from electronic gadgets.
- It is a physical exercise, which is enjoyable and easy too for you and your kids.
- It increases your kid’s stamina without exerting them.
- It lets your kids interact socially while using a swing.
- Wooden swings are durable and have a wide range of variety.
- You can’t deny that wooden swing sets look beautiful and natural.
- The wooden swing set should be made of good quality wood. The options available are redwood, Cedarwood and premium preserved pinewood.
- The A structure which is the main support for the swing should be made of 4 x4 beams of solid wood.
- The swing beam should be a solid piece of wood 4 x 6 inches in size.
- The height of the deck should not be less than 5 inches.
- All the hardware should be of commercial grade.
- The hardware should not stick out and should be deeply fitted in.
- The swing set should have pre-drilled holes. This is so because if you try to drill it, it could damage it.
Many types of frames for wooden swing sets are available in the market. But the most common is the A framed one. This is so because it gives strength to the overall structure. It is even simple to build and install. But before putting up an A-frame on the ground available, you need space to put the posts 10 feet apart.
The swing set should be made of durable material which doesn’t break or damage easily. Also, the material should not deteriorate fast with the wear and tear caused by climatic conditions. When it comes to wood, it is able to withstand extreme weather, humidity, and doesn’t react drastically to certain chemicals as compared to metals.
We all know wood is better than most other material when it comes to the choice of swing sets. Among the three types of woods used to make a swing set, premium preserved pinewood is the most durable one.
What Are Some Other Features I Should Consider?
You can add trapeze swings to your swing set, and you should consider doing so because these fixtures require your child to use their muscles to play with and help develop physical strength, dexterity and teaches children to grasp better. It also helps develop balance and coordination which are important aspects of the physical development of children. Make sure the fixtures you choose are built of a quality material that can sustain the weight of your child. The height must also be adjusted according to that of your child. It is not recommended for children under three years of age.
Consider adding a canopy to your swing set, so your child stays in the shade and his or her tender skin doesn’t get exposed to the harsh sun which could cause discomfort and skin burns. A canopy will also protect the swings from the elements of nature which are especially relevant to wooden swings because wood and water don’t really mix. Adding a canopy could make your swing set last much longer without needing a repair job and increase its life span considerably. Many sets make this an optional accessory.
Rock-climbing walls are another great feature that some swing sets come with, and they’re great because they are a great exercise for your child’s muscles and can help him/her develop a better grip. It also helps develop eye-hand coordination which is a critical skill that kids need for their development. They are also a lot of fun to play with, and kids seem to love them!
Many well-built swing sets make use of high strength steel swing brackets, and they are an important safety feature that prevents the swings from giving way even when the brackets are subjected to a lot of strain and load. Being a critical safety feature, we recommend making sure your swing set includes these.
Some larger sets feature a complete twin-storeyed playhouse, a slide, monkey bars and a bridge apart from the swings. This would be ideal for someone with a bigger budget, a larger backyard. You could have 2 or more (some of the larger variants can have ten kids playing on it at once) kids playing on these at a time which is great if your kid has siblings or friends who come over to play. These are every child’s dream and is an excellent gift if you have the real estate to accommodate it and the budget for it which is typically in the range of a couple thousand dollars.
ASTM International is an organization which defines the safety standards for swing set safety. They thoroughly test the design, materials used, perform evaluation tests that reduce the risk of an injury and make sure the equipment is void of any other safety hazards. You should prioritize the safety of your kids and opt for a swing set that is ASTM compliant, so you can rest assured that the materials used are safe for your child and that there are no fundamental design flaws that might make it dangerous for your child to be playing on.
Height Adjustable Slide
If you do not have the budget or are simply not looking for a larger set that is decked out with a playhouse; you may still have other options that make the swing set an exciting toy to play with. One common addition to your standard swing set is an adjustable height slide, which is great because your child is growing and he will need new toys and equipment as he grows up. A height-adjustable slide makes this addition a valuable investment as it will last you a long time – right throughout your child’s childhood as it can be adjusted according to your child’s growing height.
What Type of Swing Set Is the Best?
Wooden swing sets can have as many or as few features as you would like. Some of them have been described above, but there are some more you should consider if you are in the market looking to buy a wooden swing set to make sure you are getting the best value for your budget and your requirements:
Some of the bigger swing sets feature a playhouse or a clubhouse and will also usually include a slide, a rock climbing wall, rope ladders or other features that make it fun for your kid and makes sure that he will never be bored. These help your kids explore new physical challenges and overcome them to develop eye-hand coordination, dexterity, muscle strength and other important skills that are an essential part of a child’s developmental progress. Your kids will keep finding new things to do with the playset which is great for nurturing his creativity. Most of these playsets are designed to be used by children right from the young ages of under 2 to their tween years, at which point the playhouse will become more of a spot for children to socialize with their peers than about the physical activity, while still being under your supervision.
Several swing sets feature multi-deck designs that can accommodate more features like monkey bars, ball pits, and slides. These are great for people who have more than a single child or have their children’s peers come over to play with them. Having a multi-deck playset in the backyard will make your child a favorite among his friends as they can all play on it together right from their pre-school ages to their pre-tween and tween ages, as described above. However, these are typically more expensive than your standard swing-set and more often than not will require a professional installation job. It also requires a lot more space than just a standard swing set.
Some swing sets, especially the ones that also include playhouses, will feature a bridge that is made of wood or other sturdy material. These are fun to play with and focus on developing your child’s balance. The possibilities are endless when kids start pretend-playing with their peers. If you have space and the budget to accommodate a set that features one of these, then we’d recommend it without a doubt in mind.
Sets with sandboxes are also an option when it comes to swing sets, and you know how children love playing in sandboxes. These are complicated to install and almost necessarily require a professional installation, so keep that in mind before purchasing one of them. Another thing to keep in mind is that if the playset you’re considering getting your child features a sandbox, then it’s likely that it’s huge. Check the dimensions of it to make sure it’ll fit in your backyard. With all that said, it’s a great feature to have, and your kid will certainly love to play in it! If your child is very young, then you should keep an eye out for him putting the sand in his mouth while he’s playing in the sandbox.
Some of the more elaborate playsets also feature picnic tables, which is an interesting and nice addition to have to sit under the shade of its canopy and have some snacks or play a board game. In many playsets, this is an optional feature that is not included in the set and has to be purchased separately.
Step ladders are a common feature in many playsets and swing sets alike, they are fun to play with, providing your kids with hours of fun, while improving their grip and stability. These are not recommended for very young kids for fear of accidents though. But it can be a very fun experience for your kids if they are old enough for them.
As mentioned before in this guide, climbing rocks are a great addition to any swing set because of the developmental benefits they offer. They are a fun way for your child to be active and get some exercise, which will help his muscles grow and allow him to improve grip and eye-hand coordination. Apart from the physical benefits these offers, the use of them right from young ages help inculcate an active, healthy lifestyle.
Glider swings are another great feature that some playsets include. They can usually seat two children, and they help build social skills like teamwork. They are also available to purchase separately. We recommend it and suggest adding it to your playset if your kids have siblings or friends to play with.
Best Wooden Swing Set Brands
We’ve listed some of the best and most trusted names in the industry below. Consider getting one of their offerings as all their products are designed keeping your child in mind, are ASTM compliant and durable so they’ll last you a long time, throughout your kids’ childhood and perhaps even longer:
Gorilla is a trusted brand that is known for the quality materials that go into making their products. They use hand-selected cedarwood that is weather and rot-resistant. The wood is treated with a sealant to make them water-resistant. The chains they use are coated with plastisol to avoid pinching, and all the hardware they use is tested to bear extreme loads. Their products are compliant with ASTM guidelines to assure you peace of mind. They also offer installation services and a 10-year limited warranty on wood components and an additional 1-year warranty on accessories.
Lifetime is a great brand that offers quality products including good, sturdy swing sets and playsets; however, most of their products are made of metal, which most people don’t prefer. We’ll go over the benefits of wooden swing sets later in this guide. However, Lifetime is an option you can consider if you’re specifically looking for metal swings, though we still recommend wooden ones for all the reasons listed in this article.
KidKraft is another great brand that prioritizes safety and functionality. They have a large catalog of products from which you’re sure to find a fit for your requirements. Like the other brands that we’ve listed here, this one also is ASTM compliant to take away any of your worries about your child’s safety while on the swing set. We recommend checking their products out as they offer very competitive prices.
Backyard Discovery is a brand whose products many parents can vouch for as the reviews on their products will suggest. Each product is crafted keeping your child’s safety, development, and a fun learning experience in mind. They make high-quality wooden swing sets with the best timber that is resistant to rotting, water and insects. The hardware they use is heavy duty and tested in real-world conditions and engineered to be as safe as possible, all in compliance with ASTM guidelines. Consider checking them out if you’re looking for durable options that will last you throughout your child’s childhood.
Congo Swing Sets offer wooden playsets and swing sets built using their trademarked Woodguard lumber that is treated with a protective polymer that prevents it from splintering or peeling. They are also UV stabilized and easy-to-assemble as they provide you with all the documentation that is intuitive and easy to understand you need for a seamless installation, without needing too many tools, or in some cases any at all. These sets are also designed and tested in compliance with ASTM standards. You should definitely check this brand out if you are in the market for a new wooden swing set or playset.
How Are Most Backyard Swings and Playsets Designed?
The deck on an angled-base playset rests on two, as the name might suggest, angled tilts’ that face each other. These hold the platform in place, and there may be either ladder, rock climbing walls or other features on these angled bases. These are sturdy designs that won’t tip over even if the weight is concentrated in one of the corners.
They are also height adjustable, which makes them appealing to people with younger and older kids alike. They allow for the most deck space among the three designs. There is a good amount of space left under the main deck which allows you to install a tire swing or other accessory. However, these are not suitable to be placed in rough terrain where the ground is uneven. If the ground where you plan to install your playset is uneven, you should consider the adjustable-base design.
Consider getting a playset with an adjustable-base design if the ground where you plan on installing the playset is uneven. The bases on this can be adjusted up or down depending on what the terrain is like, so one of the legs can be made shorter than the other to suit the terrain, without having to alter your landscaping.
Multi-level swing sets are a hybrid of the other two designs. You can create multiple decks by adding shacks above or below the main deck allowing you to create 2, 3 or more decks. Often, these have two decks at different levels connected by a slide or bridge.
Advantages of Wooden Swings Sets
Wooden swing sets are sturdy and durable and will hold up to bad weather conditions without rusting as metal does. They are also safer for kids to play with considering that wooden frames distribute and support weight better than other materials like metal. Offerings from brands like Gorilla use best in class cedar wood that is naturally resistant to water, insects, and rotting and are further treated with a sealant that makes them exceptionally durable.
Metal is a good conductor of heat and can get very hot in the summers or in regions that are hot, and this is a safety concern for young children who may unknowingly touch the hot surface and get burnt. Another reason wooden swing sets are better is that maintenance is easier as you can quickly replace a broken part without having to order it, but with metal swings, you’ll have to deal with frequent painting, sealing, and finishing to keep it in shape.
Wooden builds also allow for much greater customization as you are able to add multiple decks, swings, bridges, sandboxes, rock climbing walls and other accessories that make them a lot more fun and interesting, your child will learn a lot more using a wooden playset or swing set than he would with a standard metal swing set that cannot be customized.
Apart from this, wooden swings have the added advantage of being safer for kids because metal can rust and your kids can get cut from any sharp or protruding parts. Wooden swings and playsets are also more aesthetically pleasing than their metal counterparts as they blend well with most houses.
Different Sizes of Wooden Swing Sets
You can find wooden swing sets of all sizes – small, medium, or large ones that are beefed out with slides, towers, and multiple decks. The rule of thumb when selecting a swing set or a play set is that there should be at least six feet of free space on all sides of where you intend to install it. Just managing to cram a playset into your backyard is neither safe nor functional. Having too little space could mean having your children put in risky situations where they might fall or collide with something or one another. Another consideration should be getting age-appropriate equipment that isn’t too high or too large for them.
If your budget and space don’t allow for a larger swing set, or if you simply just want to get a smaller swing for your kid, you can choose one of many small-sized standard swings with adjustable heights and plastisol coated chains. Consider options from the very reliable brands like Gorilla or Congo Swing Sets. The smaller-sized sets only include swings and the frame; however, you can customize it with trapeze swings, monkey bars or other accessories.
If you have space and the money for it; you can opt for a big playset that has all the features, including swings, multiple clubhouses, and decks, towers, bridges, sandboxes, tire swings, rock climbing walls – everything you can think of. Please make sure you have adequate space and have a professional install these as they can be quite complicated to install, in some cases. It is easy to underestimate the size of the playset when you look at images of them online, only to realize that they are far too big for your backyard after you get it. Confirm the dimensions and make sure there is a room all around the site of installation to avoid any safety hazards
There are also compact swings on the market that don’t take up too much space but still offer plenty of functionality. These are the most popular size of swing sets among homeowners. Gorilla Playsets offers over 100 models with several customizable features and roof types including very compact ones.
Wooden Backyard Playsets Prices
You can find swing sets at varying price points, starting from just a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the specifications, material, brand, features, accessories and installation charges. Bigger play sets that have multiple clubhouses and all the best features will end up costing you upwards of $2,000, but not all of them cost that much. Take a look at some value-for-money options we’ve suggested below:
You can find plenty of great wooden swing sets priced under $500 with features such as belt swings, a rock-climbing wall, ladders, an 8′ slide like this one:
You can even find some really nice swing sets under $300 with features like swings, a small deck and maybe a slide, not too many features but they’re still fun and relatively compact. You can also get sets that are listed higher at prices under $300 during sales if you’re willing to wait.
Should I Get a Basic Wooden Swing Set?
If the reason you’re choosing to get a basic wooden swing set is the lack of space, then yes, you should definitely just get a basic set. There is no point stuffing a huge set into a crammed space and can even be dangerous for your kids. This should be avoided at all costs. While basic wooden swing sets might not come with all the fancy features like the clubhouse, the rock-climbing walls or the bridges that the bigger play sets come with, your child will still have a lot of fun with it.
If you’ve decided on getting a basic set, we recommend getting a wooden one over metal and vinyl for reasons like maintenance, safety, durability and value for money, as we’ve detailed before in this guide. If money and space are no object, then it really just boils down to personal preference – you can get a simple one or an elaborate play set topped off with all the bells and whistles. Though getting the bigger ones, would be the better value in such a case.
Are Metal or Wood Swing Sets Better?
If you’re looking to build a swing-set frame by yourself, you have a variety of materials to choose from, and each has its own pros and cons:
Plastic is the least expensive option, but they are rather fragile and cannot withstand too much weight. This makes them the least preferable option to build a swing set frame on this list. In the interest of safety, we strongly recommend investing a little more and using another one of the materials listed here to build your frame.
Metal is a very strong material and isn’t very expensive to make use of to build a frame, but it does suffer from some defects such as heating up too much in the summer months which could burn your child and other problems. If cost isn’t too much of an issue, consider building the frame with wood. These require regular maintenance which can end up costing a lot in the long run.
Wood is the most popular material when it comes to building swing set frames owing to their durability and low maintenance costs, though the initial investment is usually higher than when using other materials like plastic and metal, but it’s worth it since the wood that’s used for this purpose is usually cedarwood or redwood – both of which are naturally resistant to insects, water and rotting — making them very strong and durable with long lifespans. If they are treated well, they will not splinter or chip either.
Vinyl is always the best option when custom building swing set frames because they use wooden components that are coated with a vinyl exterior. This requires the least bit of maintenance. However, this can get very expensive.
Safety Guidelines on Using Wooden Swing Sets?
The place where kids play should be safe. All precautions should be taken so as to ensure that your child gets no or minimum injury if he falls:
- Firstly, the ground below the swing set should be an all zone’. This means that the ground below should be sand, pea gravel or mulch so that if the child falls down, he should not fall on a hard surface.
- To avoid injury, the swing seats should not be made of hard material.
- The swing should be installed at least six feet away from the fence or any other obstruction like a wall, trees, etc.
- You should take care that there is no accumulated water or debris on the ground, which could make kids trip and fall. Be careful to remove any sharp or dangerous object near the play area.
- Adult supervision is a must if your kid is still very young.
- You should check to ensure that there are no gaps where your kid’s hands, legs or head gets stuck.
- You should check for any rough surfaces, loose nuts or bolts, cracks, etc.
- Make a set of rules for kids to follow. A list of what the dos and don’ts that apply on them when on a swing set. You could include points like, waiting for the swing to fully stop before getting down, holding on to the swing chains throughout.
- It is very important for kids to learn how to play with other kids. They should know to wait for their turn, and not pushing other kids.
- While playing, kids should wear shoes, socks and avoid baggy clothes or clothes with strings and hoods.
What Is the Best Material to Put Under a Swing Set?
Concrete, asphalt or any other hard surface is not the best materials to put under a swing set, for they are too hard to protect kids. You need to get something soft and protective, such as:
- Pea gravel
- Shredded Rubber
- Rubber mats
- Poured in Rubber
Mulch is made of wood pieces. It is one of the frequently chosen options when it comes to wooden swing sets. It is neither fixed as mats nor as loose as sand and pea gravel. You could easily buy them from a store and arrange them. No hassles. The only issue is it absorbs moisture and attracts insects. So, it needs to be changed every 2 to 3 years.
I would suggest that you should choose mulch as it is environment-friendly, cheap and is easy when it comes to setting it up. It is natural and stays in place. Yes, it also looks coordinate with your wooden swing set, gives it a complete beautiful look.
All About Installation
Should I Choose DIY Or Pay-to-install?
While many swing sets can be installed by yourself, it is recommended that you pay the extra few bucks to have a professional install it for you in order to avoid putting you and your kids in dangerous situations due to incorrect installation.
Other than posing a risk to your safety, it is possible that installing the sets incorrectly can damage the hardware and possibly weaken them, shortening their life span. Paying to install usually doesn’t cost a lot, and the extra cost is worth it when you consider the fact that not following installation procedures correctly can make it dangerous for you to use the sets, especially for kids.
How To Level A Swing Set?
Place four wooden stakes at four corners where you want the corners to be located. Then tie a string around the four corners making it a rectangle shape. This rectangle is the place where the swing set will be placed. This rectangle is your reference point.
Dig out the area inside with a shovel to make it 3 to 4 inches deep. You could use a carpenter’s level to ensure that the base is level.
Now, this is to be filled with a 2 inches layer of pea gravel. This is done for drainage, so that water does not accumulate below the swing. Use lumber to level the gravel layer.
Fill 2 inches of playground sand on top of the gravel layer. Again use the lumber to spread it and confirm with a carpenter’s level evenly.
Now the ground is ready for you to drill holes for the posts of the swing set.
Do I Have To Re-stain Or Re-treat A Wooden Swing Set?
There are many reasons why you should re-stain and re-treat a wooden swing set. First, it is kept outdoors, so it has to withstand all weather, heat, rain, snow. This causes some wear and tear to swing sets over time. Second, kids will use the set, so we don’t want to take any chances. Third, it will make your swing set look as good as new.
Exactly when do you need to re-stain and re-treat it depends on the type of wood used and the weather condition it is exposed to. Generally, it needs re-staining every 2-3 years. You should clean, rub with sandpaper and get rid of the dust, before applying the stain solution. Then follow with a sealant.
How Far Should I Set a Swing Set From a Fence?
Your child might not be able to control the speed of the swing, 6-8 feet away from the fence is an ideal height. Besides, there should be no other tree, wall or bushes around. Also, you need to ensure there are no hanging tree branches, etc. near the wooden swing set. In short, the area should be clear of any obstructions.
How Deep Should Mulch Be on a Playground?
According to law, the ground below the swing should not be made of asphalt or concrete. It should be a soft surface made of pea gravel, sand or mulch. It will minimize injury in case if your child falls from the swing set.
Mulch is the best option that I would suggest for the surface below a wooden swing set. The layer of mulch should be 12 inches at least to cushion your kid’s fall. If you want to be double sure, you could take it to 20 inches deep.
Mulch is eco-friendly, cheap, and easy to set up. It will blend with your wooden swing set and give a pleasing look to it, though it has a number of drawbacks.
How Should I Anchor the Swing Set?
No matter what kind of swing set you have, you should anchor it well to prevent it from tipping over. Always make sure you use ground anchors that are approved or provided by the manufacturer and remember to inspect the legs every so often to make sure there is no damage or rotting. The anchors should be screwed into the ground and then secured to each leg using heavy-duty bolts.
To secure the set up further, you can install the anchors into concrete footings before attaching them to the legs, but you should never just shove the legs into concrete as this could make the buried part of the legs vulnerable to rotting.
How High Off the Ground Should a Swing Be?
This would obviously depend on your child’s age and height, but according to ASTM and U.S CPSC guidelines, the seats of swings for preschool-age kids must be at least 12 inches off the ground, while the figure is 16 inches for school-age children and 24 inches for children under the age of 4.
There are other parameters other than the height of the swings to consider when installing your equipment and this is the reason we strongly recommend you pay to have a professional install it for you instead of going the DIY route.
Maintenance of Wooden Swing Sets
Wooden swing sets last almost a lifetime, but they too require regular maintenance:-
- You need to clean the wooden swing set at regular intervals.
- You should check for any sharpened edges, cracks, loose nuts and bolts twice a month.
- The metal parts should be oiled.
- You should also ensure that the condition swing set has not deteriorated due to wear and tear, like broken, damaged or loose parts.
- You also need to check the condition of swing seats, chains, etc.
- If possible, remove the swing seats in freezing weather.
- Check the height of the swing from the ground regularly.
- Re-staining and sealing are also to be done as needed.
1. At What Age Can My Kids Use Wooden Swing Sets?
At what age your kid can use wooden swing sets is entirely dependent on what kind of swing set is being talked about. There are wooden swing sets available for all ages – starting from the ones meant for infants to those that can be used by adults too.
It is very important to make sure that your child is using age-appropriate equipment to play on and if your children are younger than ten years old, you should exercise adult supervision when they are playing on the sets. It is definitely not advisable to have younger children use equipment meant for children of older ages because those will lack the required safety features for younger children like harnesses.
2. Are Wooden Playsets Safe to Use In Wet Weather?
Wet weather can make the swings wet and slippery, possibly making it a safety hazard for your children to use in that condition, so we do not advise using them in excessively wet weather. Of course, a light drizzle shouldn’t make the swings unsafe to operate, but when they get very wet, you should wait until they dry up before your child can be let to use them. Please make the best use of your judgment when deciding whether or not your children can use the swings when they are wet, depending on how wet it is.
3. Is the Weight Limit The Same on Every Accessory?
No, definitely the weight limit is not the same on every accessory. Different accessories are meant for different age groups. Accessories meant for each age group are designed in a way to handle that very group’s weight. For example, if an adult tries to sit on a bucket swing, what will happen. Firstly he or she won’t fit in. Even if he manages to sit on it somehow, the swing seat will not be able to take the adult weight. Same is the case with other accessories.
4. Can An Adult Use a Wooden Playset?
Don’t be disappointed if I say that most wooden swing sets are specially designed for kids. Wooden swing sets cater to specific weight range. There are in fact some commercial grade ones which are fit to be used by adults. These are strong enough for all ages and weights. Yes, but the product must specify so.
You should check the weight range advised for the set and then you could just sit on the swing enjoy it and remember the good old childhood days. You could also install extra strong wooden ones for yourself.
5. Can I Add on To a Wooden Swing Set?
Yes, of course, you can add on to your wooden swing set. Apart from adjusting it to accommodate your child’s requirement, you could also add on other things as your child grows, does not only his weight and size changes but also his taste.
Slowly they lose interest in things they used to enjoy. So you could add on some age-appropriate items to regain his attention. You could add on things like slides, wooden ladder, rope ladder monkey bars, accessory arm, plank ramp, gym rings, telescope, etc.
In this article, I have tried to offer some tips on wooden swing sets which would be useful for those who want to gift their kid some stress-free and gadgets free time outdoors. Trust me it is much better to gift them a wooden swing set instead of a video game or a tab. It will make them healthy and happy. After all, Healthy Child is a happy child.