Swing sets are such a good source of adding fun-filled moments to your children’s lives. While it’s always fun to be at the playground, another better way of adding more fun is to have your own personal swing set on the patio.
The good part about having your own personal swing set in the backyard is that you get a separate place where your children can go and enjoy themselves at any time.
If you intend to pick a more traditional, wooden play wooden style for your children, the Backyard Discovery Dayton All Cedar Wood Play Swing Set is exactly what you need. It is completely safe for children including kids aged 2 years old. At a time, five children can use it.
A big slide, two swings, and a trapeze bar are included in the jungle gym. Additionally, you will find two regular ladders for going up the slide. For the kids who love adventures, there is also a rock climb style ladder.
Most of the set is made with cedarwood, which has an amazing look and feels. So not only your children will enjoy the slides, but also the swing set will adorn your backyard and add colors to it. The materials used in its manufacturing ensure durability and safety.
Let’s look at a few pros and cons of this swing set.
What We Like:
The Backyard Discovery Dayton All Cedar Wood Play Swing Set is a perfect addition to the backyard. It is a complete package; great quality and ample features offered at a reasonable price. However, when compared with other expensive competitive products, it lacks a few features.
The fact is: The Backyard Discovery Woodridge II Swing Set is truly the best jungle gym for children. It has ample choices and accessories than all of the previously mentioned jungle gyms.
Furthermore, it’s produced using wonderful cedarwood with green polycarbonate and metal accents. So it remains the best jungle gym.
There are three vertical levels in this jungle gym — the ground level, the first-floor playhouse, and the second-level porch. You’ll find a pretty big slide for going under from the first level. You can use a rock climbing board, tunnel, or ladder for going up.
Outside, you have two swings, two trapeze bars, as well as monkey bars on the other side. There is a telescope too on the porch. In short, the playset is a perfect swing kit for your children.
As per the official guidelines, children aged 3 to 10 can use it. However, it is recommended that children below 5 years old should not use it. Because a child can be at risk of injuries with a 7 feet tall porch.
What We Like:
If you want the perfect swing set for your children, then The Backyard Discovery Woodridge II Swing Set is your ultimate stop. Indeed, it is high priced but the excellent features complement the price. The amusing part is that it offers limitless fun for children so it’s quite impossible to ignore it.
The two swing sets that we mentioned earlier focus more on playing, however, the Inspiration 250 Fitness Swing Set is an amazing kids’ playground that is more exercise-centered rather 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.
Its exterior looks and manufacturing depict the fact how much the producers have emphasized safety. For instance, the chains are covered to prevent children’s fingers from getting pinched.
You’ll find sunshades too in this swing set. The monkey bar has fall protectors, and the entire gym can support up to 80 lbs.
The makers have focused on ensuring complete safety for children however, they did not concentrate much on its design. This means that it is safe but not so adorable to decorate your backyard. The design is quite 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 has a robust build and the elements are modular, which allows you to expand it over time.
What We Like:
Unlike others the Lifetime A-Frame isn’t essentially an outdoor climber — it’s actually a complete playset. However, we wanted to include it in our list because it still has some fantastic climbing options for your kids, plus some bonus features.
All kids that are between the ages of 3 and 12 will love this impressive standing playset. It has a slide, a cargo net, a trapeze bar, propeller swings, and gymnastic rings. The A-Frame also has a climbing structure, ladder, platform, and activity board.
Lifetime designed this playset with your child’s safety in mind, which is why it has rubber clasps and rounded edges. It’s also made from extremely durable powder-coated steel, as well as high-density polyethylene.
This backyard jungle gym is completely free-standing and you don’t need to weigh it down or anchor it. Also, you’ll be happy to know that Lifetime will give you a five-year limited manufacturer’s warranty on the set.
Things to Consider
Even though the plastic components are pretty long-lasting, we can’t say the same for the metal parts. When exposed to rain, they can start to rust, and you would have to take the whole playset apart to put new parts in which is definitely a hassle.
What We Like:
Last up, we have an incredible playset from Creative Playthings that are made in the US from renewable Yellow Pine. This backyard jungle gym is perfect for all kids that are between 2 and 12 years old.
The Northbridge Pack 4 has a ton of features, including monkey bars, tire swings, a slide, and a platform. Also, if your kids get bored with those, they can always climb one of the structures or ropes on the jungle gym.
In addition to the huge list of fun features, one of the reasons why we fell in love with the Northbridge Swing Set is the craftsmanship. The company uses support boards and hardware in its manufacturing which is 50% larger than all the other sets in its line. Thanks to them, this jungle gym can handle a much bigger weight capacity.
Things to Consider
One thing you should know about the Northbridge before you buy it is that it comes with pre-drilled holes that are sometimes too small. So even though the instructions are pretty clear and easy to follow, you still might have trouble assembling the playset. But if you have a drill at home to expand some of the holes, it shouldn’t be a problem.
What We Like:
Many Benefits of An Outdoor Jungle Gym
We all know, having a backyard jungle gym is incredibly fun and your children are going to adore you more for providing them a playland at the comfort of their home. But a climber or playset will do much more than just entertain your kids. It can help with their cognitive development, motor skills, imagination, and the list goes on.
These days’ children have almost stopped playing outdoors because their screen time has increased. Instead of going out and playing, they prefer to play online games- thanks to the availability of excessive technology! Naturally, children today feel more lethargic and less active than adults.
But on the other hand, taking them to the park every day in such busy routines is usually not possible, and that’s where jungle gyms come in. Since they have a ton of different features, climbers, and playsets that keep your children engaged while encouraging physical development.
Playing in a backyard jungle gym can also help your child improve their grip strength, as well as balance and coordination.
Developing Fine Motor and Sensory Skills
The most important time for your children’s fine motor skills development is before preschool, while they’re still toddlers. The skills that they learn at this age will allow them to be more independent later in life.
While they’re playing with their jungle gyms, ball pits, and grips, your little ones will effectively be sharpening those skills.
When your child is playing on any of the playsets or climbers we’ve mentioned, they’ll be inspired to create their adventures. Whether it’s being an explorer and climbing Mount Skyward Summit or pretending that Zupapa is their fort, your kids will actively be enhancing their imagination skills.
All of the jungle gyms we’ve mentioned today allow more than one child for usage at a time. That means that your kids can have play dates, and build bonds and relationships that’ll last a lifetime. In other words, their social skills will be enhanced.
Playing in a backyard jungle gym will also help strengthen the bond between siblings. The playsets will encourage them to cooperate and work together to make their adventures even better.
By scaling their climbers and playing on their playsets, your children take steps towards building self-esteem and conquering their fears.
They will get a sense of accomplishment as soon as they climb the ladders or do something that they used to be afraid of earlier. Gradually their confidence will increase and they will start to feel moreindependent.
Things to Think About Before Buying a Backyard Jungle Gym
Buying a backyard jungle gym, playset, or outdoor dome climber is an investment; and one you don’t want to take lightly. So before you make your final decision on which one to buy, here’s what you should consider.
As you’ve seen in this review, every playset has a recommended age range and that’s one of the first things you need to consider. Buying a jungle gym with an age range of a minimum of twelve years and you allow your four-year-old child to use, that’s going to be a big mistake.
Also, if you buy something that’s recommended for children that are only six for your preteen, they won’t find it challenging enough. They’ll get bored and won’t be interested in using it. Don’t you think that in such a case your money will get wasted? Well, YES, it will be wasted.
If you have toddlers running around your home, you don’t want to buy something that’s too high or complex. For example, we’d recommend something like the Lil’ Monkey or the Eezy Peezy jungle gyms.
On the other hand, if your children are a bit older, let’s say between the ages of 8 and 12, they’d be better off with the Zupapa or Lifetime-A playsets.
One of the most important things to consider before buying any backyard jungle gym is the material it’s made of because that’ll determine the playset’s durability, weight, and final price.
Typically, most climbers and jungle gyms are made from three materials: plastic, metal, or wood. Let’s take a look at each of their strengths and weaknesses.
Plastic playsets are usually pretty lightweight, and they’re the cheapest. They’re also often pretty easy to assemble and there’s no drilling required. However, plastic isn’t as sturdy or durable as metal or wood, and it can’t handle the same weight capacity.
You should also consider how plastic, or any of these materials, behave when it’s used outdoors. For example, most plastic components might lose a bit of color in the sun, but they can’t rot or rust.
Metal, on the other hand, is sturdy, durable, and can bear all sorts of playing scenarios. You should get a metal backyard jungle gym if you have older kids or more than one child who wants to play on it.
Just consider that it’s more expensive and a bit more difficult to assemble than plastic. Also, unless it’s weather-resistant, some of the parts may rust over a longer time.
Wood, like metal, is a material that’s used to produce solid, durable playsets. Wooden jungle gyms are heavy, stable, and your kids can use them for a long time. But you have to take care and maintain them more often than any other material.
Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations, you might even need to throw another coat of protective paint every few years or so. Also, they can be pretty expensive, so you want to make sure you’re buying from a reliable company, like Creative Playthings, for example.
Do you have a large family with many children? Do the neighborhood kids love coming to play in your backyard? If so, you need to buy an outdoor jungle gym that has a big weight capacity.
That’s one of the most important safety features you should consider before getting a climber or any kind of playset. If you have just one or two toddlers, you could go with something like the Quadro Junior climber.
But if you love organizing playdates and need something that’ll support a lot of kids, the Zupapa is your best option.
Size and Weight of the Jungle Gyms
Some people seem to disregard the size and weight of the jungle gyms before ordering and when they arrive, they have no place to put them. Before you buy any swing set, make sure you’ve measured your backyard and know exactly which playset can fit.
Also, if you plan on moving it frequently or taking it to storage every few months, go for something that’s lightweight. But if you’re not worried about that and know that the backyard jungle gym will be a staple in your home, weight shouldn’t be a huge concern.
While you’re shopping for your new outdoor dome climber or playset, research the safety features the manufacturer has put in.
If you’re buying climbing toys for little kids, you should make sure that it has features like safety grips and rounded edges. For wooden jungle gyms, you should check if they’re splinter-free and if they have non-toxic coatings.
Is it important to you that you can move the backyard jungle gym around and use it both indoors and outdoors? If so, it should be lightweight and easy to disassemble. But if it’s just going to be outside fixed in one place, then it needs to be weatherproof or made from materials that are rust or weather resistant.
Number of Features
Before spending big bucks on any outdoor jungle gym, consider this — how many features does it have? That is one of the biggest factors that’ll determine how much your kids will want to play on it and for how long.
Don’t make your final decision before asking yourself these simple questions:
- How much use will my kids get out of this jungle gym?
- Is it a playset for the ages or something that they’ll get tired of after a month?
Of course, for a climber or playset to be good, it doesn’t need to have all sorts of bells and whistles. But a few well-thought-out ones will ensure that your kiddos stay entertained for a long time.
Once you’ve answered all those questions, you’re sure to find the absolute backyard jungle gym for your children.
As we’ve mentioned before, some climbers and playsets are easier to assemble than others. That could depend on their material, but it’ll most often come down to the number of features.
Now, if you’re not comfortable working with tools or assembling complex playsets, go with something easy and simple. For example, the Eezy Peezy and Quadro Junior playsets aren’t difficult to put together and it shouldn’t take you more than a few hours.
On the other hand, if you go with ActivPlay Geo Dome or the Lifetime A-Frame, you might have a harder time with the assembly.
Durability and Warranty
To ensure your kids’ safety, you need to buy something extremely durable and long-lasting. Fortunately, all of the playsets on our list are exactly that.
With that said, there are definitely some that are more sturdy than others and it usually comes down to the material. For example, metal, steel, and wood jungle gyms are bound to last longer than plastic ones.
Also, the former usually have longer warranties that you can take advantage of in case something gets broken or bent.
Out of the nine playsets we’ve talked about, the award for Best Warranty has to go to Creative Playthings. The company offers a 15-year warranty on wood and a one-year warranty for other parts.
Hope our list helps you in getting the best jungle gyms for your backyard!