If you think of your best childhood memories, chances are good that a swing set fits in those best times. I know it does for me. The best part of school was recess centered around the swing set. Then when school was out, I always gravitated towards friends and swing sets. This time tested piece of equipment can hold the same fun for your kids as it did for you when you were little. As parents, you probably know that there is more to a swing set than just fun and games. It can also give your kids the exercise that their growing bodies need. And let’s not forget the social and emotional outlet that swing sets provide for children in a world that is often too fast paced and stressful for the modern child.
I’m going to go over all that you need to know for having a backyard swing set. I’ll be talking about the components of a swing set, along with different types of swings. I’ll also go over swing set safety, reasons for buying a swing set, as well as other considerations to think about. Lastly, I’ll go over our pick of the top 10 best swing sets on the market today, along with our number one top pick.
The Best Swing Sets to Have in Your Backyard
In the chart below, you will find our top 10 rated best swing sets. For a more in-depth review of each model, please click on “Read Review.“
Sportspower Super First Metal Swing Set
3.8 out of 5
Flexible Flyer “World Of Fun” Swing Set
3.9 out of 5
Swing-N-Slide Outing Play and Swing Set
3.9 out of 5
Backyard Discovery Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Set
4.0 out of 5
Swing-N-Slide Mountaineer Cedar Play and Swing Set
3.9 out of 5
Lifetime Heavy Duty A-Frame Metal Swing Set
4.4 out of 5
Big Backyard Andorra Swing Set Playset
3.2 out of 5
Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure Swing, Blue
4.6 out of 5
Super Spinner Swing
4.8 out of 5
Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber & Swing Set Extension
4.0 out of 5
Top Ten Rated Swing Sets of 2018
- Sportspower Super First Metal Swing Set
- Flexible Flyer “World Of Fun” Swing Set
- Swing-N-Slide Outing Play and Swing Sets
- Backyard Discovery Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Set
- Swing-N-Slide Mountaineer Cedar Play and Swing Set
- Lifetime Heavy Duty A-Frame Metal Swing Set
- Big Backyard Andorra Swing Set Playset
- Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure Swing, Blue
- Sorbus Spinner Swing – Kids Indoor/Outdoor Round Mat Swing
- Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber & Swing Set Extension
What Is a Swing Set?
A swing set is a metal or wooden frame from which swings are hung. Swing sets come in a variety of sizes and shapes. There are swings for infants, toddlers, older kids and adults. Some swings have leg holes to support a child in an upright position while an adult or older children pushes the child. Some swing sets include other play items other than swings, such as a sliding boards and rope ladders.
Swing Set Components
A swing set is made up of different parts. I’ll go over those parts here:
Beam – A swing beam is made of either metal or wood. The swing frame supports the beam from which the swings are hung.
Swing Hangers – Utilizes a pendulum that rides on a brushing allowing for friction free swinging motions.
Connectors – An s-hook or shackle that serves as a connector from the swing hanger to the chain.
Chain – Usually a commercial-grade swing chain consisting of 3/16 inch to 5/16 inch diameter welded wire links. The chain is usually galvanized or zinc plated to protect from rust. Chains are sometimes coated with plastic or some other type of soft grip coating to prevent pinches from happening.
Swing Seat – Seats come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. I’ll go over the different types of swings in the next section.
Play Surface – A cushioned surface beneath the swing set to protect children from injury. There are many different types of surfaces to consider including but not limited to rubber mulch, wood chips, sand and compacted soil or grass.
Different Types of Swings
Perhaps the most popular type of swing on the market today is the belt swing. It is simply a flexible seat that attaches to the chain on both sides of the seat.
This type of swing offers back, stomach, and bottom support. Bucket swings are made of flexible molded polymer for comfort, safety, and ease of getting in and out of. Once your child can hold his or her head up on their own and has developed enough neck strength, this type of swing is really nice because it is safe. You’ll want to make sure that only the legs can fit through the leg holes and not the whole body. Most manufacturers recommend not using this type of seat until your child reaches two years of age. The weight limits will vary from approximately forty to sixty pounds.
This type of swing has a hard plastic high-back made to support very young children. An infant swing also features T-bar lap belts to safely hold the infant in place.
Tire swings are just as the name implies, a tire that is used as a swing. These swings can be a new or used tire. They can be oversized or small in size. Tire swings are often reinforced with a circular bar to improve the safety of the swing. Tire swings can usually hold several children at a time. This kind of swing is set in motion either by someone on the ground pushing it or with a pumping motion of the swinger. Pumping is achieved by using one or two of the three chains attached to the swing. Tire swings can be great for children of all ages. Make sure that you hang it in a solid place, such as a sturdy tree or post.
Skateboard swings allow you to stand up on the swing and go in the normal forward direction. Kids can pretend that they are on a skateboard, hoverboard, snowboard, or surfboard. Most of the time a handlebar is attached so that the child has something to hold onto while swinging.
A buoy ball, also called a ball swing, is an inflated ball that is hung from a swing set. It is made so that children can climb onto the ball and swing back and forth. A buoy ball can give a whole new feel to the swinging sensation. This fun swing accessory can also spark a child’s imagination. They can pretend that they are on top of a wrecking ball as they crash through buildings. They may also want to pretend that they are in outer space, riding on the moon. The possibilities are only limited by a child’s imagination.
This type of swing is basically circular with a hole cut of the middle for the swing rope to go through and then tie at the bottom. A disc swing can be used for children when they stand or sit.
Stand Up Swings
A stand up swing is much like a belt swing except that it is firm instead of being flexible. Most stand up swings also have feet indentation marks where children can place their feet to swing.
Web swings feature polypropylene netting that is designed to help prevent cuts on your child’s skin. A circular steel rim is encased in the netting. Most of these types of swings will accommodate up to three small children as long, as long as they don’t exceed two hundred fifty pounds.
This type of swing is designed to be used by two children at the same time. Swingers face each other or they sit back-to-back. Face-to-face tandem swings include a separate frame with handles and foot pegs. Back-to-back tandems are tandems are most often of the baby bucket design, with two pairs of leg holds on each side of the bench.
Swing Set Safety Tips
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there are over 51,000 injuries each year that happen on swing sets. These injuries all have required emergency medical care as a result of accidents that happen on residential backyard swing set equipment. Over 80% of these injuries happen because of a fall.
Swing sets pose a health risk to children simply because children are playing and are being active on equipment. However, there are some things that you can do to reduce the risk of injuries to your children. I’ll go over some safety tips here:
- Children under 3 years of age should use a toddler swing with enclosed sides.
- Make sure that swing sets have swings that have a minimum of 22 inches of separation between them.
- Slides should not be any longer than 10 feet with a maximum deck height of 5 feet.
- Routinely check the swing set including individual swings for worn or broken parts. Especially look for rounded bolt heads on all connections.
- Make sure that you have the swing set in a level location away from overhanging objects.
- Set swing set up in a shaded area if possible to avoid overheating of metal parts to avoid children from being burned.
- Set up toddler swings a minimum of 24 inches above the ground so that toddlers can’t swing themselves. They may get hung up on the swing or fall if they try to get in the swing without supervision.
- Keep an 8 feet clearance around all parts of a play structure and at least 10 feet of clearance behind and in front of the swings.
- Provide a soft landing area at the landing spot of each slide.
- Provide a soft play surface to avoid injuries. Consider rubber mulch, sand or other soft landing surface.
- Follow all manufacturer’s directions when setting up the swingset.
- Monitor play at all times. It helps to keep the swing set within line of view of a house window so that you can monitor older children without being there constantly. For infants and toddlers, monitor at all times in person, not just from a window.
- Set up safety rules. Make sure that all children know and follow the rules. Enforce the rules with time outs or other consequences for children who do not follow the rules.
- Inspect the swing set routinely including the surrounding play surface. Look for rough areas, sharp objects and any dangers.
- Replace the play surface as needed. For example mulch may lose it’s cushioning qualities over the winter.
Advantages / Reasons for Buying
A swing set can provide children with hours of fun and many other advantages. I’ll go over some of the advantages of a swing set here:
- Hours of fun and entertainment for your children
- Provides a place where children can exercise without being told to go and exercise
- Gives kids a place to be social with other kids
- Let’s a child’s imagination come alive
- Gives kids a reason to get some fresh air
- Allows mom time to get some housework done (But always keep an eye at least from the window for older kids and constantly monitor infants and toddlers in person)
Considerations When Buying
Buying a swing set is a highly individualized experience. I’m going to go over some things to consider before you buy your swing set
- Cost – Think about how much you are willing to spend on a swing set. There will be a wide range in prices.
- Size – Think about how big do you want your swing set to be. This will depend on the space that you have for it, how many children will be using it and how extravagant that you want it to be.
- Safety – Swing set manufacturers must think about safety issues when making swing sets. But even though guidelines are followed when swing sets are made, you still may want to decide which features you’d like and which you’d rather skip for safety reasons.
- Provides hours of fun
- Gives kids a reason to exercise without being told to do so
- Allows for a social and emotional outlet
- Kids can get hurt
- Requires installation and maintenance
There are many features that you will get to choose from when picking out a swing set. Here are some of them:
- Swing types
- Material that swing set is made from (metal or wood)
- Surface Material
Our Top Pick
I’ve gone through the top 10 best swing sets out there and looked at each one in detail. If you’d like to read the review on each one, simply click that individual swing set and read what I found. In searching for the top swing set, I have scoured the internet and read customer reviews left on Amazon for each product. I hope that this helps you when picking out a swing set for your individual family needs.
Our pick for the best swing set is the Sportspower Super First Metal Swing Set.
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I’ve gone over the basics of a swing set in detail, including our pick of the top 10 best swing sets out on the market today. I hope that I made the task of buying the perfect swing set for you backyard a bit easier. Remember that you are only limited by your imagination, and of course, your pocket book. Make your swing set area not only safe, but a place that you, your children and their friends can hang out and have a great time at. If you put in some planning ahead of time when purchasing, a swing set can provide you and your kids with countless hours of healthy fun.
- Swing Set Accessories: Fun Features That the Children Will Love
- What to Know About Wooden Swing Sets: Should You Get One for Your Yard?
- The Many Health Benefits of Kids with a Swing Set
- How to Prevent Metal Swing Sets from Rusting
Last update on 2023-03-26 at 10:55 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API