Girls (and boys!) just wanna have fun! And for what it would cost you to take your family on vacation for a week, you could set up a deliriously fun – and safe – playground for them right in your own backyard. If you ever wondered about how those awesome looking wooden swing sets get in other peoples’ back yards, and you wish you could have one for your kids, then you must read on. There are some things you should know about making your backyard a place of wonder and adventure, and it’s easy if you know the basics.
The central piece of equipment you will require for your backyard wonderland is a swing set. And as with all tricked-out wooden swing sets, you will want one with a slide. Now, here is where you come to a crossroads in your choices because you would not believe how many swing sets there are to choose from that come with slides! Just the list of swings alone is dazzling! You’ve got your standard sling swing (the soft rubber strip that fits under your fanny), then there’s the bucket sling swing (has another rubber strip across the back to keep you from falling out), then there’s tire swings, knotted ropes with a disc or buoy ball to sit on, even glider swings. Technically the trapeze rings are a type of swing even if you aren’t sitting down. Then the slides! The variety of slides is mind-numbing (for an adult, anyway.) Long, short, high or low, humpy, lumpy, bumpy and even 360° looped tubes that spiral from above… makes a mom and dad dizzy just thinking about which one to choose. But don’t wig out before you go shopping, because once you see all the other bells and whistles you can add to your wooden swing set/slide combo, you will want to do back flips before you can get it home and set it up for you – I mean your KIDS – to play on.
The first step in the process – and it IS a process – is to select the right pieces of equipment that will satisfy your family’s lust for fun while fitting into the family budget. (Remember the vacation reference we made earlier.) Designing the perfect swing set for your family is quick and easy when you start with a safe base structure. Then add any number of fun options and accessories to create childhood memories that will live on forever. Make sure the play set is constructed of high quality materials such as North American Timber because not all wood is created equal. Wood sets warranties range from one year to Lifetime. Never buy a pine or “white wood” set and stay away from sets manufactured in China because they won’t last. Recessed hardware is a must! Over time bolts will corrode and you don’t want your set to be a tetanus liability. Look for dual-bolt construction with commercial grade hardware and sturdy wood to wood attachments. And for safety’s sake, plastic covered chains are a must. Little fingers are best protected by a plastic coated chain. Thicker is stronger and will last longer. What ever slide you chose, it should be strong with extra support and high sides. Watch out for slides that are hollow and all plastic because they offer little support. Here’s a Pro Tip: When you are out shopping, don’t be afraid to play on the swing sets with your kids (you will when you get home anyway.) A well-built set should allow for adult weights, and if you can run and jump and not wobble it, you can be sure your kids will be safe.
Well, that’s it in a nutshell. But before you run out and spend that family vacation money, consider this. Make sure you know how big your backyard is! Be sure to measure properly before you buy. You should have a 6′ buffer zone around the swing set on all sides. And if your backyard has an incline don’t buy a box kit from a big box store. If you plan on doing the installation yourself make sure you know what you are getting into. Are you getting a box of lumber and a good luck card….or are you getting a set that has been designed for everyday moms and dads to put together? If you want to put it together yourself, plan on spending a full day to do it and get an installation manual before your set arrives so you can everything 안전놀이터 ready, including a hat and sunscreen! Pro Tip: Wireless drills are a must, cords will get tangled once you start installing components on the deck and other tight spaces.
Oh! One more thing. Spring time is the busy season for pay set retailers. October, November and December are the slowest months and retailers are trying to move inventory. Look for deep discounts during these months along with free installation. Next time we will talk about accessories for your newly created backyard playground! (Think adult lawn swing…)