By Jereme Thomas
Finding something that promises to deliver hours of family fun and helps to keep kids fit and active is not always that easy, but a backyard playset can often satisfy all of these requirements.
Children naturally enjoy playing outside and are always keen to have some fun through climbing, sliding and swinging, which are things you can do when you install a backyard playset for them.
Plenty of reasons
If you need a reason to buy a playset for your kids, there are plenty of them, and when you add them all together it makes the idea of investing in one for your backyard seem like a bit of a no-brainer.
Fresh air and exercise
In a digital age, it is great to see the kids enjoy some fresh air and exercise and soon forget about the iPad when they are having so much fun.
Outdoor play equipment offers the opportunity for physical exercise whilst they are playing. Climbing to the top of a slide before enjoying that quick descent helps children to develop their upper and lower body strength and also improves their cardiovascular health with all that running around.
Good for their health
There are definite benefits attached to being outside that go beyond the obvious advantage of keeping kids fit and healthy through the exercise that a playset offers.
Simply being outside and soaking up some sunlight will help boost their vitamin D intake and some studies also show that regular exposure to mud and dirt, which is part of the fun as far as they are concerned, actually boosts their immune system, which is obviously a positive aspect to consider.
Choosing the right equipment
Kid’s playsets offer a wide variety of different options, so you can have a slide, monkey bars and different combinations of ladders and other equipment to allow them to climb safely.
Although a good playset will have been manufactured with safety as an important consideration, you do have to ensure that you choose the right equipment that is appropriate to the age of your child.
Children develop quite quickly and you will certainly want to buy a playset that offers your kid’s the chance to enjoy at least several years of enjoyment, but it is always advisable to remember that equipment that is fun and safe for a 10-year old, will not be suitable for a toddler.
Look for a playset model that allows you to modify the equipment at a later date but if you are unsure, take advice from the supplier as to what combination of equipment is safe and appropriate for your child to use right now.
If you have children who are under two, the tower railing needs to be as open as possible with slats in place rather than solid walls, so that they can learn to climb more easily.
A tower for a child of this age should ideally not be any more than five feet off the ground, but a six foot tower might be acceptable in order to keep the playset just as exciting as they grow a bit bigger. A two-child back-to-back glider is worth considering, as it children tend to get the hang of these more quickly than a traditional swing, and it encourages them to use their arm muscles which will help them get fitter as well.
A glider is suitable for ages two and up and you should get plenty of use out of it, as older kids also tend to enjoy riding them too.
Older kids will love using a rock-climbing wall and if you get one with colored grips or rocks, they can play games following the color patterns as they climb up and down. Tire swings are quite popular with kids, but they are quite heavy and can easily knock a child over if they get too close while someone else is on it, so it wouldn’t be advisable to get one fitted if you have kids aged under four.
Trapezes are also best avoided for younger children, as the young ones find them difficult to get the hang of and this can present a dislocation hazard. Monkey bars are another item that are more suited to older children, as they need a reasonable amount of upper body strength and can become dangerous if a young child manages to climb to the top, but can’t then get down safely.
A playset in your backyard offers a great chance to enjoy some family fun and improve fitness, just take the time to choose the right combination of equipment so that they can play as safely as possible.
– Jereme Thomas is the owner and founder of Totally Swing Sets, an online swing set store that specializes in quality wooden swing sets and outdoor accessories. His wife, Nikki, assists in running Totally Swing Sets as the Director of Sales and Service.