Choosing the right swing set is important when you have children, especially if you want the swingset to last a long time.
They can come either in wood or in metal and there is a wide range of swing sets, slides or playgrounds for children.
A must-have for younger children, swing sets also have the advantage of keeping little ones and adults busy for years.
Here are the tips on how to choose a swing set for your garden:
The size of the garden is important
You must take care that the swing set doesn’t eat up all the space in the yard!
- Measure the width and length of your swing set and the space you need around it.
- Provide enough space all around the set, to walk around it or mow.
- Avoid setting it too close to trees and shrubs, the swing might collide with them.
- Usually, 2 yards (2 meters) all around should be enough.
Choosing the material, wood or metal
There are 2 major types of building materials used for swing sets these days, wood and metal. Treated pine wood is common, and the metal is usually designed for outdoor use.
Wooden swing set
- It must absolutely be treated against moisture and insects.
- Choose wood with a high rot resistance rating (“Ground contact”, rot and insects). Black locust is a local wood that has these properties naturally.
- Care is straightforward.
Metal swing set
- Although the cost is lower at the start, this comes with the disadvantage of being less appealing visually in the garden.
- No maintenance needed.
- It is usually lighter.
Age and number of children is essential
Take care to choose the swing set based on the age and number of children.
- It helps to have as many activities or swings as you have children in your family, this will avoid a certain number of fights…
- Different types of activities are also a source of motivation and teach different skills: slides, monkey bars, climbing rope, swing, see-saw…
- Adjust the height of these activities to the size of your children.
- Having a swing set isn’t recommended for children not yet 3 years old. It may even be dangerous.
Ideal ground cover for a swing set
Choosing the type of soil is important because a fall can quickly turn dangerous if it isn’t soft enough.
- Avoid at all costs hard surfaces such as cement, pavement, or even tiles or cobblestones.
- A lawn is fine, and a 4 inch (10 cm) layer of sand is ideal.
- If the ground is too hard, spread a 2 inch (5 cm) layer of maritime pine bark, it is beautiful and very soft.
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Garden swing set, Lance Cheung (also on social media) by U.S. Department of Agriculture under Public Domain