9 Awesomely Fun (And Safe) Kids’ Swing Sets For Your Backyard

The backyard is the new playground. Help it rise to the occasion.

by Emily Kelleher
Originally Published: 

Even as the world opens up, your backyard remains a haven for your children. And a great backyard swing set elevates it from a patch of grass to an at-home amusement park. The best kids’ swing sets can be a hefty investment, but the payout is your mental health: You yell at the kids to “go play outside!” and instead of whining, they just… go? Having a kids’ outdoor playset in the backyard also encourages more physical activity on long summer days when screen time sings its siren song.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are a few safety features parents will want to keep in mind when choosing a swing set. Though wooden or metal swings might be appealing, the AAP recommends choosing swings made of soft materials. During installation, parents should make sure there are no open hooks or bolts, and that the swing set is secured to the ground, and not swaying when the swing is in use.

Swing sets should be installed in areas with soft surfaces that can gently break a fall, like wood chips, sand, or rubber, if possible. “I think the surface is a real key,” says Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention. “Most injuries I have seen are due to the swing sets being on grass, or other unforgiving surfaces.”

The AAP’s guidelines can make swing sets sound scary, but mostly they’re common sense. Teach kids to walk far from swings when people are on them, to remember that seats might get hot on hot days, and to never stand on swings or tie things to them. “Supervision is absolutely essential, and [so is] making sure things are used as intended, and not ‘creatively,’ ” Hoffman says.

The Best Outdoor Swing Sets for Little and Big Kids

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