It's spring and all the stores have a huge swingset on display. The question is how do you find the best swingsets when there are so many to pick from. Before you buy a swingset because it looks cool at the store, do some research. Finding the best swingsets is a lot like finding the perfect house for your family. Not only is price important, so is safety, low maintenance and the total cost which includes installation and changes to your landscape.
Remember Who's Going to Use the Swingset
The really big difference is who's going to use the swingset? Are you planning to have several children? Do you want your backyard to be a magnet for your neighborhood? Or maybe you plan to stay home and host lots of play dates instead? Do you see the common thread here? It's not really about the swingset. It's about playing with other kids!
Note: This topic is one of my personal hot buttons based on my experience owning a handyman business. Many homeowners bought the “big is better” swingsets that looked like a bargain. Failing to finish assembling the swingsets over one weekend, they got angry at us because the installation cost more than the swingset (Read: Tips to Installing a Swing Set).
The Best Swingsets from Your Kids Perspective
Here's where my experience as an elementary school teacher, mother and grandmother comes in handy. My granddaugher is an only child and there aren't any children in her neighborhood. That's why we take her to a playground a lot when we're visiting. Chloe spends lots of time climbing but her favorite activity in every playground we've visited, is the swing where multiple kids get to swing together.
This swing is lots of fun and it offers so many learning experiences too (now you can see the teacher in me). Ages three to five still need adult supervision and we're teaching them that everyone has to take turns on the swing. While waiting, they can also help push the swing which Chloe is doing here. They're learning about community, about taking turns and helping others. So when you're looking for a swingset, remember that there's more learning when kids have to share.
So the best research you can do when searching for kids swingsets, is to take your kids to a few playgrounds. Ideally you can do this when there are other kids there. Watch your children explore as Chloe likes to try everything out first. Plan to spend enough time there to see which features they keep returning to. Watch the other kids too, where they hang out and where they interact the most. You might be buying the swingset but don't forget who's going to use it.
Remember that I said swingsets were one of my hot buttons? Here are some other articles and resources to help you with your research and please let me know below, how I've helped you
- Backyard Fun is More Than a Swing Set
- Your Kids Can Help You Find the Best Swingsets >> this article
- Playground safety tips from the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS)
- Research Before You Buy Kids Swingsets
- Tips for Installing a Swing Set.
Swingsets + Seating for Parents = Happy Familes
After you've finally found the best swingset for your family, there's one more thing to remember. You'll want to invest in comfortable seating for you to enjoy time spent outside while your children are playing on … you picked it, so must be one of the best swingsets available.
Be good to yourself and buy a few chairs or a nice bench, so you and a friend can relax too!
Your choices are endless. You can coordinate with outdoor furniture you own or match the material your swingset is made from. Another great idea is a bench that also has storage for your kids toys, as inevitably there will be a few balls, sandbox things and more surprises.
My wife and I are planning to buy a swingset for our kids as a surprise. I like how you talked about the figuring who the swingset is for. Personally, I’d like it to be exclusive to my kids. However, I’m certain there will be a lot more playdates with a swingset in the backyard. I like how you said that it can help them learn about taking turns and helping others, and I think because of that, purchasing one is going to be worth it.
Mark, Good luck with the new swing set & make sure to set aside enough time to finish assembling it.
If it were up to them they would have a mansion swingset! Maybe one day they’ll get one!
OMG, would a mansion swingset match the size of your house? and would they help pay for it?
The first one is the biggest one ive ever seen in a store… I would have enjoyed that one.. I think every child should have a swingset to play with…
A swingset yes, but I think it’s almost intimidating for most small kids.
Having a swing set at home is a child’s dream come true. I love how these are designed. The kids are definitely going to have fun playing in these.
My favorite swing was at my Aunt’s farm: it was an old, twin, horse hair mattress strung between two trees like a hammock. We’d swing when we grew tired of picking strawberries or gathering eggs.
Cindy, What a great story, one that clearly shows that kids are happy with just a little bit of creativity. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story.
We love a wooden swingset. We have been looking for a good one.
we have a huge trampoline in the garden but the kids are asking for a swing set complete with monkey bars so thats on a birthday gift list
Leigh Anne Borders
I never had a swing set growing up and neither did my kids. I always wanted to do it for them but never got too. I love the idea of including them. They certainly know what they would like 🙂
We need to get a swing set for our kids in our backyard. They love the playhouse style – I would love to build something for them.
we have cedar wood swing set and . my kids love it . Its very sturday
I go to the local home and garden show every year and some of those play sets are nicer than my house! LOL makes me a little jealous of kids these days!
Alayna, Save your money or invest in your house which will grow in value over the years. Even with my granddaughter, I prefer putting money into her college savings account versus a swingset she doesn’t need.
What a wonderful place! It is really wonderful! I really like it.
I really like the wood swing sets. When my son was a little I had a basic one. He used to love it. Hopely, I will buy a wood one for my grandchildren in the future 🙂
I just have a basic swing set and my boys love it. The wood ones are quite cool
We got one that was perfect for us at the time our kids were little. You are right, there are a lot of choices.
Robin, I have to ask which feature did your kids like the most?