A Playground Set Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong a Playground Set

Choosing from the best playground sets can be a fun experience. Before you decide on the ideal playground set for your family, you will want to consider a number of factors.

>> Consider the age of the children using the playground

When determining which playground set would work well for you, it's important to keep in mind the ages of the children who will use it most often. Numerous playground set design options feature different structures and components created with a specific age group in mind.

Age group Features Advantages 6-23 Months • Ramps
• Slides
• Single-file step ladders
• Spiral slide (
• Climbing equipment less than 32" tall

Playground set features help with mental and physical development. Promotes imaginary play. 2-5 Years • Rung ladders
• Ramps
• Climbers
• Spiral slides ( = 360-degree turn)
• Horizontal ladders up to 360 degrees

Playground sets that demand more physical capabilities and allow children to continue their muscle development. 2-12 Years • Rung ladders
• Stairs
• Climbers
• Slides
• Horizontal ladders up to 60" tall
• Spiral slides ( = 360-degree turn)

Playground set designs with simple components that exhibit higher barriers to accommodate children of this age group. While smaller children will improve their development, older children will maintain their muscle development and coordination skills as they play. 5-12 Years • Chain or cable walks
• Arch climbers
• Rung ladders
• Horizontal ladders
• Overhead rings
• Swing sets
• Ring treks
• Track rides
• Vertical sliding poles
• Spiral slides (> 360-degree turn)

The best playground sets for this age group allow children to continue strength and coordination development via a larger combination of cool playground set features. >> What are the most popular pieces of equipment?

Many children have favorite playground equipment they run to as soon as they arrive at a playground. Consider choosing playground equipment that you already know your child enjoys.

• Balance toys and seesaws: Toys such as balance beams, balance boards and seesaws help enhance a child's balance and coordination and can be enjoyed by multiple children at one time.
• Fun tubes: These are ideal for young children to enjoy as they develop their imagination. Fun tubes are beneficial for crawlers, and the polyethylene construction is built to last for years of play.
• Funnel ball and tether ball: Funnel ball and tether ball are popular outdoor play options that can be enjoyed by a group of children. Funnel ball is available in various colors in standard forms as well as in wheelchair-accessible designs. Both options work well in a small or institutional playground.
• Merry-go-rounds: While playing on merry-go-rounds with others, children learn about coordination and teamwork as all riders must turn in the same direction in order to get the desired movement. This cool playground set option comes in a variety of sizes.
• Music, games and art: Some of the best playground sets include features that mentally stimulate children and engage creativity while encouraging socialization. Music, games and art play set accessories also inspire an early appreciation for music and the arts.
• Nature: Many parents make sure they have nature on their playground set checklist. This new type of playground set option promotes an appreciation for nature while stimulating the child mentally and physically. Some nature features include boulders, logs and rocks for climbing.
• Climbing walls: Climbing walls can provide excitement as an independent play option or within a larger playground set. Rock walls come in a variety of shapes and sizes. • Slides: Top-rated playground sets can be made with an independent slide or a slide attached to other playground toys. Slides also come in different sizes and shapes. • Playhouses: Playhouses featured in the best playground sets are offered in many forms such as a playhouse, firehouse or school bus.
• Pretend toys: Pretend playground items come in a variety of models and are for children of all ages. Some pretend items include trucks, buses, climbers and trains.
• Sandboxes and sand diggers: Playing in the sand is even more fun in a unique sandbox or a sand digger.
• Spring riders: Spring riders offer safe play for smaller children and come in a variety of designs and styles.
• Riding toys and paths: The addition of a riding path to a playground set design as well as riding toys such as tricycles help ensure that children have something new to do when they tire of playing on the main play set.

>> Consider playground set materials

The material used in the construction of a playground set should be selected based on personal preference as well as the play needs of the children who will use the set.

• Wood: Laminated or pressure-treated wood is very durable. Wooden play sets are also cost-effective and ideal for low-impact facilities in cool and dry climates.
• Plastic: Plastic offers durability all year 'round and is safe for smaller children due to its lack of blunt corners.
• Metal: Metal playgrounds are durable in dry climates. Metal is beneficial in high-impact, high-use establishments.
• Combinations: Installing playground features made of different materials in a single playground set might help address the needs of children of varied ages.

>> Consider natural and recycled playground sets

Natural and recycled playground sets are not only fun but are environmentally friendly. Recycled plastics can replace wood and concrete as well as metal structures in many of the best playground sets. Reused tires are a big hit on the playground; they are used to create tire swings and even shredded and used for ground cover under a playground set. This is a cost-effective and environmentally safe option for outdoor play. Another option is natural wood, which can be used for stairs, playhouses, tree houses and play bridges.

>> Consider playground set styles

Playground set styles allow you to add a personal touch to your child's playground. You can create a style that features some of your child's favorite items or themes.
• Themed playgrounds: If themed playgrounds are on your playground set checklist, then you can shop for themed playgrounds such as pirate playgrounds, Old West-themed playgrounds, or even a water-themed playground.
• Indoor playgrounds: You can buy a playground set made for the indoors in order to keep the fun going year 'round. Some indoor playgrounds include bounce houses, ball pits, plastic slides and small plastic playground sets.
• Custom playgrounds: Custom playgrounds may be a perfect option if you want to take the guesswork out of the process and hire a professional builder who can ensure everything you want will be included in your playground set.

The process of comparing the best playground sets can be very rewarding and fun, especially since the playground set you select will add joy and excitement to outdoor time for many years to come.

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