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Wooden Swingset Tips

Wooden swingset with play house, and teeter-totter

Wooden swingsets make a great addition to almost any backyard. Whether you're looking for a simple swing for a toddler to enjoy or an elaborate playground setup that can accommodate the entire neighborhood, there's a swingset available to fit your needs.

About Wooden Playground Equipment

If you're in the market for new playground equipment, a wooden swingset offers several advantages. For example:

  • Swingsets made from wood tend to be stronger and able to support more weight per child when compared to plastic or metal swingsets.
  • Since they are very durable, wooden swingsets are a great investment for families with more than one child. If you're looking for playground equipment that will be able to withstand years of heavy use, you can't go wrong with a wooden swingset.
  • A wooden swingset is often more attractive than a swingset made from plastic or metal, making it an aesthetically pleasing addition to a yard that already features extensive landscaping.

The only significant disadvantage of wooden playground equipment is the increased cost. Even the simplest wooden swingsets cost several hundred dollars, with more complicated models ranging between $1,000 and $3,000. However, you may eventually be able to recoup some of this cost by reselling your swingset after your children are older.

Buying Wooden Swingsets

There are a number of Web sites that sell wooden swingsets. For example:

  • Swingsets and More has swingsets to fit a variety of budgets, including do-it-yourself kits for those interested in assembling their own backyard play area.
  • Sam's Club has a nice assortment of swingsets, but most will require a fairly large backyard.
  • Willy Goat has a number of swingsets for sale, ranging from simple and understated to quite elaborate in design.

When you are ordering swingsets and other playground equipment online, remember to pay careful attention to the listed shipping and handling fees. Since swingsets are large and bulky items, this can drastically increase the overall cost of your order.

Building Your Own Swingset

If you happen to have some experience in basic woodworking, building your own wooden swingset may be a good option to consider. You can find plans for swingsets at the following helpful Web sites:

  • Jack's Backyard has a number of swingset plans available for a nominal fee.
  • Backyard City has plans and kits to help you build your own swingset, even if you have minimal carpentry skills.
  • Plan it Play sells everything you need to make your own one-of-a-kind swingset.

Swingset Safety Tips

Whether you choose to purchase a pre-made swingset or build your own, there are a few important safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Whenever possible, avoid purchasing a swingset made with CCA treated wood. CCA is a preservative that has been found to expose children to arsenic, thus increasing their risk of developing lung and bladder cancers later in life.
  • Make sure the swingset surface is smooth and free of splinters.
  • Recessed bolts and hardware reduce the risk of cuts, scrapes, and torn clothes.
  • Plastiol coated chains can help prevent fingers from getting pinched.
  • Safety handles are a great feature to help young children ensure a secure grip when transitioning between climbing equipment and ladders.
  • Slides made from plastic are generally preferable to metal slides that can become excessively hot when exposed to direct sunlight.

It's also a good idea to get in the habit of carefully inspecting your child's swingset once or twice per year. Check for signs of rust and loose screws or bolts. Make sure the anchoring equipment is secure and there are no tripping hazards in the immediate play area.

Wooden Swingset Tips