Outdoor playsets are a great way to encourage kids to play while getting some fresh air. A playset will give our children the chance to be active and creative.
They can have tons of adventures and play along with their siblings or friends in their own backyard.
Moreover, we won’t have to spend hours searching for a good park or finding a playdate for our kids. They can enjoy themselves while we keep an eye out for them from the comfort of our own home.
But there are so many jungle gyms on the market right now! How can you possibly pick just one?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve gathered a list of the 10 best jungle gyms and playsets of 2020.
- In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks:
- Best Jungle Gyms and Playsets
- 1. Step 2 Game Sports Climber And Slide
- 2. Step 2 Sports-Tastic Activity Center
- 3. Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set
- 4. Clubhouse Climber Playground
- 5. Toddler Canopy Playground with Patio
- 6. Step2 Skyward Playground
- 7. Pirate Boat Playground
- 8. IronKids Inspiration 250 Fitness Swing Set
- Things to Consider When Purchasing a Playset
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks:
Best Jungle Gyms and Playsets
Now let’s dive into the 10 best jungle gyms and playsets of 2019. We’ll describe each product and tell you what age it’s intended for, then present its pros and cons.
This playset may not be big, but it’s full of play options, and toddlers can enjoy it in many ways.
First of all, it has a climbing ladder with textured steps for easier climbing. Also, on the opposite side, it has a slide, two soccer goals, and a retractable basketball hoop.
Basically, it’s everything your child might need in order to play outside, and more.
The Step 2 Game Sports Climber comes in pieces and requires assembly. However, it’s very easy to do so, as there are only a few large pieces, and they’re all made from plastic. They all clip-in together perfectly; there’s no need to get your power tools out.
As we said, this playset is made from plastic, but that doesn’t make it any less sturdy. As long as it’s under 60 lbs, this sports climber can withstand anything.
Besides, the plastic structure makes it very lightweight, so it can be moved around even if it’s already assembled.
This jungle gym is suitable for 2–6-year-olds, and since it’s 47 inches tall, it meets the universal height requirement.
This playset from Step 2 works amazingly well for toddlers. It can keep them entertained for hours! Still, older kids will have to skip out on this one, unfortunately.
What We Like:
The Step 2 Sports-Tastic Activity Center provides lots of different forms of entertainment for your toddler. It best suits children above 1 year of age.
For starters, it has colorful steps and a mini-slide, a staple of kids’ jungle gyms around the world. Not to worry, the steps and slide are slip-resistant and do not pose any danger to your child.
Additionally, there are multiple games your child can play. Firstly, there’s an included soccer ball and goal, as well as a basketball with a hoop. It’s a great way to introduce your kid to sports.
However, if your toddler grows bored with playing soccer and basketball, it will love the additional baseball kit.
Inside the Activity Center, you will find a tethered baseball and an oversized baseball bat. Your kid won’t grow bored of them anytime soon. In addition, there’s enough storage space for all the toys inside the Activity Center itself, which is great for saving space.
The Step 2 Sports-Tastic Activity Center is great for introducing your kid to jungle gyms. However, your own child will quickly outgrow it.
On the other hand, the included balls and toys make for great fun while improving your kid’s coordination.
What We Like:
The excellent Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set is an outdoor jungle gym recommended for children from 3, all the way up to 8 years old. And honestly, even adults find it cool.
The jungle gym is shaped like a tree with a climbable canopy, with hand- and footholds molded into the polycarbonate shell.
Additionally, there are two swings, as well as a set of stairs leading to a slide. It can easily withstand at least three or four kids at a time.
On the other hand, it provides enough fun for a kid to play around all by itself.
By now, you’re probably thinking that the gym costs an arm and a leg, so to speak. Fortunately for you, it doesn’t.
The Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set costs way less than some of the premium models, and it easily outshines other jungle gyms in its price range.
In general, the Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set is one of the most versatile and cost-effective jungle gyms currently available. It offers a lot of fun new play options, it’s easy to construct, and it’s also quite sturdy.
What We Like:
The Clubhouse Climber is a great addition to any backyard. It is easy to assemble, and there are many features our little ones can take advantage of.
The playset has windows, a bridge, a tunnel, and a rotating steering wheel. They can use the Clubhouse Climber to crawl, slide, climb, play hide and seek, and so much more.
The Clubhouse Climber has non-slip steps and sturdy handrails for a happy, bruise-free experience. It is made entirely out of thick plastic which is kid-friendly, and it can stand the weight of up to 240 lbs. The entire playset weighs only 100 lbs. Furthermore, it’s only 70 inches tall, which means we can also put it indoors.
However, keep in mind that the playset is a bit difficult to assemble. The instructions are a bit unclear, and it might take a few hours to put it together.
However, even with the poor instructions, the Clubhouse Climber is one of the best outdoor playsets for kids— it will give them countless hours of fun.
We would recommend this amazing playset to all the parents who have kids between the ages of one and four.
What We Like:
There’s nothing like having a nice barbecue in the backyard on a hot summer day. With the Canopy Playground, the kiddos will be able to throw their own grill parties in the backyard. The Canopy Playground features a patio grill set and a snack table. Perfect for all of the chefs in the making.
The playset also includes a sand and water play area. With this feature, we can bring the beach to our own backyard. Moreover, it has a water tower and a water wheel, making it the perfect addition for all of those long summer days.
Another amazing feature of the Canopy Playground is that the patio is accessible from both sides. Having this kind of accessibility means our kids could invite their friends or play with their siblings. The playset only weighs 40 lbs, which means we can easily move or store it anywhere.
We believe the Canopy Playground is one of the best outdoor playsets for kids from the ages of two to eight. It’s easy to assemble and provides an endless source of fun.
What We Like:
We can’t talk about the best outdoor playsets for kids and not mention the Step2Skyward Playground. It is the perfect playset for all kids who love climbing and playing games like capture the flag.
The Skyward Summit Playground features two cargo nets and junior hand grips. The cargo nets help our adventurers start climbing, and the handgrips will help them reach the top.
Additionally, the Skyward Playground has a climber platform and an open-air climber peak. They can soak up the amazing views from the platform or race to the top to see who’s the ultimate climber. Moreover, the playset has four unique climbing surfaces, which are great features for kids to play with their siblings or friends.
The playset weighs 140 lbs, and it is made out of a sturdy plastic material. It can stand weight up to 320 lbs and takes a few hours to assemble. The Skyward Playground is great for all children from the ages of two to eight.
We would definitely recommend it as one of the best outdoor playsets for kids that will last a long time and provide countless hours of fun.
What We Like:
7. Pirate Boat Playground
Get ready to set sail on a new adventure with the Pirate Boat Playground. This playset will provide an immersive experience for all scallywags and rapscallions. It has a deck, a cabin, and a helm.
Furthermore, it has a ton of additional nautical details, such as a pirate flag, an anchor, and a parrot that will be the perfect matey.
The Pirate Boat has bright colors, and the design is fade and weather-resistant. It’s the perfect addition to any backyard, playground, or childcare center.
We can assemble it in 30 minutes, and since it weighs only 30 lbs, it is easy to move and store almost anywhere.
Now, let’s talk about safety. The Pirate Boat is made out of plastic and has round edges. Thus, we don’t have to worry about cuts and bruises.
Moreover, the playset has a Gold Greenguard certificate. The certification means the playset was made from non-toxic chemical ingredients, and it doesn’t emit any chemicals into the air.
The Pirate Boat is spacious and offers enough room for multiple kids to play. We would recommend it for kids from the ages of two to six.
What We Like:
The Inspiration 250 Fitness Swing Set is an amazing kids’ playground focused more on exercise than playing. It consists of a ladder-and-slide, two swings, and a monkey bar. The jungle gym is composed of molded polycarbonate elements and UV coated aluminum tubing.
You can easily notice the manufacturers’ attention was focused on safety. For example, the chains are covered to prevent children’s fingers from getting pinched.
Additionally, there are sunshades included almost everywhere. Also, the monkey bar has fall protectors, and the entire gym can support up to 80 lbs.
On the other hand, you can also see the manufacturers’ complete lack of interest in design. It’s quite spartan and simplistic.
When you take the price into account, you really can’t blame the manufacturers, especially considering the build quality and safety features of the Inspiration 250 Fitness Swing Set / Jungle Gym.
If you want to introduce your kid to fitness and exercise from a young age, choose the Inspiration 250 Fitness Swing Set / Jungle Gym. The jungle gym boasts a sturdy build, and the elements are modular, which allows you to expand it over time.
However, you can notice the price savings in the jungle gym’s spartan design, which does not inspire fun.
What We Like:
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Playset
Our number one priority is keeping our kids safe. Whether it’s paying attention to what kind of toys they’re playing with or the different playsets they’re using — there are many things to consider.
We want to know what the playsets are made of and what the safest way of using them is. Let’s take a look at these three main factors that will help us decide what the best outdoor playsets for kids are.
When buying any toy, especially something like a playset, we should pay attention to what the manufacturer specified as the recommended age. There’s usually a good reason why they put an age limit.
Some playsets can contain pieces that are choking hazards, or the playsets could be potential fall-risks.
Additionally, we need to think about if our child will outgrow the toy.
Not every playset is suitable for your child and their age group. You see, you can’t expect your child to grow into it quickly.
Even though the kid will grow up eventually and be able to play on it, they can get seriously injured if you let them play on a more advanced jungle gym.
Luckily, there are playsets for every age group, from toddlers to teenagers. So, make sure you get the right one.
Here are some of the most important safety considerations when it comes to playsets:
- 2–5-year-olds should not play on jungle gyms that are over 60 inches tall or balance beams with over 12-inch gaps.
- 5–12-year-olds should not play on jungle gyms that are over 84 inches tall, or balance beams with over 16-inch gaps.
- Children over 12 are pretty much safe playing on anything, but you should keep an eye on them just in case.
All in all, we recommend you buy a playset that’s suitable for your child’s age. It’s better to buy a new set later on when they grow up than buy the bigger one and risk the safety of your child.
The two most common materials used for playsets are wood and plastic. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. While wood is more sturdy and will probably last a long time, it is also usually much harder to assemble.
Moreover, wooden playsets need to be treated with different chemicals in order to stay fade and water-resistant. Treating playsets with chemicals can be potentially dangerous.
Next, we have plastic playsets. While they are usually cheaper and easier to assemble, we always wonder about their durability. Additionally, some types of plastic are treated with different chemicals which can be considered toxic.
We recommend always doing some research before buying a playset. Moreover, we should check the list of materials used on the manufacturer’s website.
When looking at the best outdoor playsets for kids, the most important thing to consider is their safety. We want to let our kids enjoy themselves while they’re playing and not worry about anything bad happening.
However, if we want to stay on top of things, we should go through a three-point checklist.
- First, does the playset have non-slip handles and an easy grip?
- Next, if we are looking at a wooden playset, does it have any exposed pieces where the kids might get splinters?
- Finally, we need to make sure all the tunnels and crawl spaces are wide enough for them to fit.
With all that being said, while checking all these things is important, accidents can still sometimes happen.
The final piece of advice we can give is to simply supervise your kids while they are playing. While it is hard not to let them out of our sight, watching them while they play is the only way of making sure they don’t get hurt.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the perfect jungle gym for your kid presents a challenge for many parents. The most important things to take into consideration are your kid(s) age(s), their interests, as well as your budget.
Honestly, the younger your kids are, the less you’ll pay for a good jungle gym. On the other hand, your kids will grow out of them very quickly. So, you’re better off going with something that will last at least a few years but is still safe to use for toddlers.
Another important factor is the construction material of a jungle gym. Even though wooden gyms look much better and feel like they’re of better quality, that isn’t always the case.
High-quality metal and polycarbonate constructions can last much longer than wood, especially in wet conditions. Just make sure the metal is rust-resistant.
All in all, you can find a lot of great options at a reasonable price, if you’re willing to browse around to find your perfect match.
Don’t skimp on safety, but you shouldn’t overpay for looks either.