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10 Best Playground Sets for Kids Reviewed in 2019

last updated Jun 16, 2019

If you find yourself reading this article, chances are you’re toying with the idea of purchasing a playground set for your child. Well, we fully support that idea! Playgrounds allow your child to engage in imaginative play outdoors and reduce their stress levels through exercise. Before you purchase the first one you see think about the size of your yard, the materials used, the age of your child, and the features it includes. Thinking about these factors as you read through our list of the best playground sets will help you find the perfect one for your family.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 33 hrs of research

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Lifetime Heavy Duty A-Frame Metal
87.5/100 our score
Age Range
95
Durability
90
Materials
85
Design
80
Lifetime Heavy Duty A-Frame Metal
Why is it better?

All-weather resistant

Edges are rounded or covered

Does not require cement or anchoring

The swing chains are equipped with rubber grips

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Lifetime Heavy Duty A-Frame Metal
Test Winner: Lifetime Heavy Duty A-Frame Metal
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
23
Researched Sources
Hours Researching
33
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Angeline Mirenda:

As it starts to warm up outside, kids are going to want to get out there and enjoy the sun and their free days of summer! Keep them active with one of these awesome playground sets for your yard. We’ve used this update to fix some of our links and clean up the summaries of our favorite play structures! Quit monkeyin’ around--or rather, get started by browsing these beauties!

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Age Range Durability Materials Design By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
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#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Age Range
95%
Durability
90%
Materials
85%
Design
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.06.19)
Amazon Link
$499.00
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Age Range
95%
Durability
90%
Materials
85%
Design
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.06.19)
Amazon Link
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Age Range
95%
Durability
90%
Materials
85%
Design
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.06.19)
Amazon Link
$179.32
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Age Range
95%
Durability
85%
Materials
80%
Design
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.06.19)
Amazon Link
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Age Range
90%
Durability
85%
Materials
80%
Design
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.06.19)
Amazon Link
$1,698.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Age Range
90%
Durability
85%
Materials
80%
Design
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.06.19)
Amazon Link
$144.19
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Age Range
90%
Durability
85%
Materials
80%
Design
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.06.19)
Amazon Link
$549.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Age Range
90%
Durability
85%
Materials
80%
Design
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.06.19)
Amazon Link
$557.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Age Range
90%
Durability
85%
Materials
80%
Design
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.06.19)
Amazon Link
$382.49
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.3
Age Range
90%
Durability
80%
Materials
75%
Design
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.06.19)
Amazon Link
$1,517.94
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Lifetime Heavy Duty A-Frame Metal
  • Lifetime Monkey Bar 9 Foot Wavy Slide
  • Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber
  • Flexible Flyer Fun Time
  • Lifetime 90630 Adventure Tower
  • Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Tower
  • Step2 Naturally Playful Climber & Swing
  • Step2 Clubhouse Climber
  • Step2 Skyward Summit
  • Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Playground Sets Reviewed

1. Lifetime Heavy Duty A-Frame Metal

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Lifetime Heavy Duty A-Frame Metal
Amazon Link
Age Range
95
Durability
90
Materials
85
Design
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$499.00

All-weather resistant

Edges are rounded or covered

Does not require cement or anchoring

The swing chains are equipped with rubber grips

Assembly may be difficult

What’s more tried and true than a swing set? The Lifetime A-Frame Set comes with three fixtures: two classic swings and a trapeze bar. You can adjust the height of any of these easily by raising or lowering the chain link they rest on. The structure doesn’t need any anchoring or cementing to stand strong and steady. It’s designed to be safe for even the most excitable little ones: all sharp edges have been covered with plastic caps to avoid scrapes and accidents. The low alloy steel won’t crack, chip, or fade no matter the weather. Thanks to its simple, classic design and durable make, you can call this set ol’ reliable.

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Age Range

Children between the ages of three and twelve will have a blast swinging on this set. When purchasing you can choose between an earth tone or primary color scheme.

Durability

Constructed out of powder-coated steel and polyethylene, it is highly durable and sturdy. There’s no need for cement or any anchoring as it is free standing.

Materials

The material is all weather and UV-resistant, thus guaranteeing it will not fade, rot, crack, chip, peel, or warp during the changing of the seasons. For added safety, the edges are either rounded or covered with plastic caps.

Design

The chains on the swings and the trapeze bar are covered with a soft plastic rubber grip, thus eliminating the possibility of the chains pinching your child’s fingers as they play.

2. Lifetime Monkey Bar 9 Foot Wavy Slide

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Lifetime Monkey Bar 9 Foot Wavy Slide
Amazon Link
Age Range
95
Durability
90
Materials
85
Design
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link

Complete with 3 swings, monkey bars, ladder, and slide

Durable and non-toxic materials

Safe according to playground standards

Two color options: primary colors or Earth tones

Does not require weights, cement, or anchors

Does not require weights, cement, or anchors.

The Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set with 9 Foot Wavy Slide is an awesome, large backyard swing set complete with three swings, monkey bars, trapeze bar, ladders, and wavy slide. This backyard playground set is made with heavy, durable materials that provide weather- and UV-resistance for many years of use. It is a high-quality swing set, passing all safety standards for playgrounds. All edges and corners are covered with plastic to avoid any risk of scraping, and the swing’s metal chains are covered with long rubber tubes to avoid any risk of injury.

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Age Range

There’s no specific age range listed for this set. Truly, most kids over the age of three will probably enjoy it. You’ll want to keep an eye on the younger crowd as this is not the typical bedroom slide playset. It’s quite tall and a spill from this would hurt. But setting safety rules and supervising playtime should keep everyone focused on having fun. Even parents can safely swing on and enjoy this set without having to cement it down, so the whole family can enjoy some time outside together!

Materials

This swing set provides the incentive for kids to play outside and have fun while getting some fresh air and vitamin D. Physical activity provides emotional and mental wellbeing and is essential to a healthy body. This swing set also provides the opportunity for children to nurture their imaginations if they decide to play roles such as adventurers or princesses.

Durability

This is a swing set for a relatively large space, as it covers an area of 13.8 feet by 18.6 feet. The Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set is a safe, sturdy, classic swing set that can entertain children of all different ages for years to come!

Design

The primary colors option is red, yellow, and blue with a yellow slide and the Earth tones color option is an Earthy green and olive-beige with a green slide. The set comes in parts, with detailed instructions for assembly and clear labels for all the included pieces.

3. Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber
Amazon Link
Age Range
95
Durability
90
Materials
85
Design
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$179.32

Strong structure made with weather-resistant steel bars

Includes high-density polyethylene climbing knobs

Designed for children between 3 and 10 years old

Maximum weight capacity is 600 pounds

Climber comes in two color options: primary colors or Earth tones

Some parents report issues if they need to move the location of the dome

Lifetime’s Geometric Dome Climber Play Center is a strong, climbing dome made with weather-resistant, coated steel bars It can handle up to 600 pounds at a time, allowing multiple children to climb at the same time. The base of the dome has a diameter of 10 feet, and is 5 feet high at the highest point. The Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center is a fun and unique playground set designed for children between the ages of 3 and 10 years old to enjoy. Your child will have a blast scaling this dome and reaching the top, with the added benefits of strengthening muscles, developing gross motor skills, and coordination. A healthy body is an essential component of holistic wellbeing, and climbing is a great physical activity to promote strength and health. The development of gross motor skills involves mastering large coordinating movements performed with the arms, legs, feet, or the entire body.

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Age Range

This playground set is appropriate for children between the ages of 3 and 10 years old.

Materials

Every triangle composing the dome includes high-density polyethylene (HDPE) climbing hold on its three points, providing numerous strong grips for kids to safely climb the structure. The dome climber comes in two color options: primary colors or Earth tones, depending on preference.

Durability

The dome comes in parts with detailed instructions for proper assembly and carefully labeled pieces. This dome climber is a great way for children to have fun climbing while building muscle strength and coordination skills.

Design

This playground set is an awesome option primarily for climbing. It’s not too big where it can fit in a smaller or moderate sized yard. It is highly rated by a large number of customers who are satisfied with the dome’s safety and durability, and with their children’s enjoyment.

4. Flexible Flyer Fun Time

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Flexible Flyer Fun Time
Amazon Link
Age Range
95
Durability
85
Materials
80
Design
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link

Many features for fun: swings, trapeze bar, and slide

Recommended for kids between 2 and 6 years old

Made with strong and damage-resistant powder-coated steel

Encourages physical activity and development

Easy assembly

Confusing product packaging requires organizing parts before attempting to assemble

The Flexible Flyer Fun Time Metal Swing Set comes with two swings, a slide, and trapeze bar. It covers an area of 120 inches by 90 inches and stands 70 inches tall. The maximum weight capacity is 630 pounds. The Flexible Flyer takes much faster than other playground sets to assemble, at only a few hours’ maximum assembly time. This little mini swing set by Flexible Flyer is an awesome option for youngsters between the ages of 2 and 6 years. The swings provide cardio exercise, strengthening muscles throughout the entire body. Additionally, the swings promote the development of full-body coordination and gross motor skills.

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Age Range

It is recommended for children between the ages of 2 and 6 years old.

Durability

The Flexible Flyer Fun Time Metal Swing Set needs to be assembled, and it comes with metal stakes to anchor it to the ground for added stability.

Materials

It is constructed with powder-coated steel and UV-resistant coating for durability over time in various weather conditions.

Design

The trapeze bar provides the opportunity for kids to have fun while developing upper body strength. Playing with this playset will have your little one growing and gaining confidence along the way.

5. Lifetime 90630 Adventure Tower

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Lifetime 90630 Adventure Tower
Amazon Link
Age Range
90
Durability
85
Materials
80
Design
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$1,698.00

All-weather resistant

Does not require cement installation

The tower is designed to provide shade

Highly sturdy and durable

Assembly directions could be easier to understand

Up in the Lifetime Adventure Tower Deluxe, kids can dream straight on to the horizon. This creative little playground includes a round tower with crawl space beneath for kids to hold secret meetings or plan their quests. A curved ladder leads up to the top floor where kids can steer the ship or slide back down to ground level. Connected slightly off to the side are two swings, a set of monkey bars, a trapeze bar, and a fireman’s pole. Between the many activities, kids will be able to engage in active fun for hours at a time. It’s free standing and doesn’t need to be cemented or anchored, plus it’s weather resistant so it will last for years once you’ve got it established in the yard!

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Age Range

Lifetime suggests this model for children ages 3 to 12. We personally think plenty of children slightly above that age range will enjoy it too, but given the size of it, you can certainly fit more bodies comfortably and simultaneously when they’re smaller. The lookout tower has some height, so be sure you’re watching attentively when young children are playing on this, especially as they acclimate.

Durability

The entire playset is made out of a powder-coated steel and high-density polyethylene which makes it highly sturdy and durable.

Materials

The clubhouse is equipped with a hardtop roof that will provide your child with shade during those hot summer days. They can also experience shade in the bottom half of the tower. It’s weather resistant material and high level of durability will allow you to pass down this set for generations.

Design

Designed with two climbing walls, a clubhouse, monkey bars, a fireman’s pole, two sings and a slide this playset provides your child with multiple ways to play. This set is loaded with cool features that will provide your child with tons of fun

6. Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Tower

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Tower
Amazon Link
Age Range
90
Durability
85
Materials
80
Design
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$144.19

Promotes physical activity

Can be used indoors or outdoors and is easily moved

Safe and durable materials

Suitable for children between 3 and 8 years old

Can be used by a few children at once; max weight capacity is 150 pounds

Some parents report difficult assembly

Plastic and connectors may degrade if kept outdoors year-round

If you’re working with limited space, you’ll want something that packs in a lot of fun without eating up too much square footage. The Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower is a versatile choice that can live indoors or outdoors. It’s lightweight but made of durable plastic with enhanced UV protection. Since it’s not heavy or anchored down, you can even move it between different stations at home depending on the weather and where i works best for your child to play. It can support up to 150 lbs at once and is targeted towards children ages 3-6.

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Age Range

Designed for children between the ages of 3 and 8 years old, it is a great playset for little climbers. It is portable, and be used either indoors or outdoors and moved easily.

Durability

The fully assembled climbing tower is 70 inches by 65.5 inches by 46.7 inches. The colorful design comes with lime green bars and blue connectors.

Materials

Little kids are bound to get creative with their imaginations as they climb and explore the dome. It can be used by more than one child with a total weight capacity of 150 pounds, providing the opportunity for social, interactive play while experiencing physical benefits.

Design

The Toy Monster Monkey Bars Climbing Tower gets kids physically active- indoors or outdoors. Climbing on this geometric dome helps young children build muscle strength and coordination while developing gross motor skills. The monkey bars are an additional fun challenge at the top portion of the climbing tower, which are even more effective at building upper body strength.

7. Step2 Naturally Playful Climber & Swing

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Step2 Naturally Playful Climber & Swing
Amazon Link
Age Range
90
Durability
85
Materials
80
Design
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$549.99

Safe and durable structure

Comes with a slide, two swings, and climbing tower

Recommended for ages 3 to 8 years

Encourages fun and development in many areas

Swing set extension anchors to the ground for stability

Parents report confusing assembly instructions

Nylon ropes for swings fray and splinter over time

The Playhouse Climber includes two swings, a slide, a secret lower playhouse with a swinging door, a ladder, and upper deck. The Playhouse needs to be assembled upon purchase, but it is easily assembled with minimum hardware.
The Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber and Swing Set Extension is a great backyard playset for younger children between the ages of 3 and 8 years. It includes a swing, slide, ladder for climbing, and a two-level playhouse. When your children explore this playhouse climber, they will be physically active while developing muscle strength, balance, gross motor skills, sociability, creativity, hand-eye coordination, and imagination. It can be enjoyed by one child or many at once. Young children will be excited to play outside and get physical while playing pretends and imagining endless opportunities inspired by the adventurous features of the playhouse.

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Age Range

Another great option from Step2, the Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber and Swing Set Extension has lots of features recommended for young children between 3 and 8 years old.

Durability

The dimensions of the fully assembled playhouse are 75 inches by 110 inches by 115 inches, a moderate size that many backyard spaces can hold easily.

Materials

The maximum weight capacity is 250 pounds, allowing for multiple children to play together at the same time.

Design

It has a colorful design, and kids will truly love to play and grow with the Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber and Swing Set.

8. Step2 Clubhouse Climber

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Step2 Clubhouse Climber
Amazon Link
Age Range
90
Durability
85
Materials
80
Design
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$557.99

Many functions for fun and development in many areas

Colorful design

Sturdy and safe, with a maximum weight capacity of 240 lbs at a time

Freestanding and does not have to be anchored to the ground

Can be set up indoors or outdoors

Some parents report the assembly instructions as complicated and confusing

Plastic may crack over time

This Step2 playset combines the imagination-based play of the All Around Playtime Patio with the physical activity of the All-Star Sports Climber for a well-rounded, multifunctioning playset. The Clubhouse Climber’s features include a lookout tower with observation windows, a rooftop skylight, steering wheel, non-slip stairs, a bridge, two slides, secret hideout, and a tunnel for crawling. It is safe and sturdy, with a maximum weight capacity of 240 pounds at a time.

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Age Range

The Step2 Clubhouse Climber is an awesome option for children between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. Its functions and activities cater to imaginative and athletic children, promoting physical activity and creative social play.

Durability

The entire playset has a base area of 123 inches by 56.8 inches, and it is 70 inches high. The Clubhouse Climber requires assembly upon purchase and comes with a detailed installation manual.

Materials

The Step2 Clubhouse Climber has a lot of awesome functions for younger children, and yet it doesn’t take up a huge amount of space. It is colorful and sturdy and doesn’t need to be anchored so it can be moved around easily. It will encourage imaginative play as well as physical activity for little ones as they explore all the included features.

Design

Your child will have fun exploring the numerous built-in functions such as the rotating steering wheel, two slides, observation tower, and crawling tunnel. Playing on this playset encourages growth on many levels.

9. Step2 Skyward Summit

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Step2 Skyward Summit
Amazon Link
Age Range
90
Durability
85
Materials
80
Design
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$382.49

Safe and durable structure

Comes with a slide, two swings, and climbing tower

Recommended for ages 3 to 8 years

Encourages fun and development in many areas

Swing set extension anchors to the ground for stability

Parents report confusing assembly instructions

Nylon ropes for swings fray and splinter over time

Gear up, little climbers! Race to the top of Mt. Summit with the Step2 Skyward Summit Set. This fun structure is designed to look like it’s made entirely of rocks. It can hold up to 320 lbs at once, or roughly four children between the ages of four and eight. Kids can race to the top to try to be the first to grab the flag, or they can play inside the mountain and explore the crawl spaces. There are hand grips to help them up the incline and miniature nets/rope ladders to get them started. Kids can even peek out the top from inside the peak!

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Age Range

The Step2 Skyward Summit is aimed at children ages 4-8. It’s smaller than some of the other sets on this list but still requires some supervision. There are lots of holes around the hand and foot grips so it’s easy for little fingers to get stepped on if they’re reaching out from inside. Make sure you establish some ground rules for everyone and that children are aware of themselves but also of the people around them when playing on this.

Materials

The various textures and challenges on the Skyward Summit allow children to climb in a variety of ways without getting bored or feeling stagnant. Rope nets and hand grips give children the opportunity to work grip strength, arm strength, leg muscles, coordination, and problem-solving skills as they chart the best path towards the top!

Durability

It’s smaller than traditional play structures and requires far less assembly. So if you’re looking for some diverse, innovative fun that can keep it compact and quick-to-build, the Skyward Summit is for you.

Design

The hand grips are soft and just the right size for tiny hands to grasp. While this structure isn’t a traditional playground, it certainly offers the opportunity for plenty of active outdoor fun.

10. Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.3
Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure
Amazon Link
Age Range
90
Durability
80
Materials
75
Design
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$1,517.94

Built to last with sturdy, weather-resistant materials

Wide age range: suitable for children between the ages of 3 and 12 years

Comes in two color schemes: primary colors or Earth tones

Numerous functions and activities with various benefits for kids

Backed with a 5-year warranty by Lifetime

Assembly can take numerous hours - some report the instructions as complex

This freestanding playground set includes a 9-foot wavy slide, a trapeze bar with gym rings, a slotted climbing wall, two swings, a propeller swing, activity board, chalkboard, steering wheel, and a wall of cargo net for climbing. It is constructed primarily of strong, coated steel for durability and weather-resistance. This playground set, complete with a 9-foot wavy slide, swings, climbing wall, activity chalkboard, cargo net, covered clubhouse, steering wheel, and trapeze bar, is truly a child’s dream playset. The activity chalkboard and steering wheel provide inspiration for creative, imaginative play. The climbing wall, swings, and cargo net are ideal functions for promoting physical activity and muscular development. In a world where kids are spending more time indoors with electronic devices and less time outside playing, this playground set is the perfect motivation for your children to be outside. The Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Playset is a wonderful option for children from age 3 all the way up to age 12 can enjoy it for many years.

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Age Range

The Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Playset is decked out with tons of functions and accessories for kids between the ages of 3 and 12 years to enjoy.

Materials

High-density polyethylene composes the climbing wall and other parts, ensuring durability with non-toxic materials that withstand weather and use over many years.

Durability

Covering the ground with an area of 13.92 feet by 15.75 feet, this playground set requires a large space for set up. With all of its activities and functions, children have endless fun and experience well-rounded benefits playing on the Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Playset.

Design

This playset comes in two different options for color: primary colors with red, blue, and yellow with a yellow slide, or Earth tones which incorporates an Earthy olive-beige and forest green with a green slide. The Big Stuff Adventure Playground Set is designed with safety as a priority. It passes all playground-related safety standards and performance requirements.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Age Range

When looking at playground features one thing that we paid close attention to when coming up with our top ten list was making sure that each playground was appropriate for younger children as well as would stick around as they are older. Having a playground helps parents promote a healthy lifestyle for their children as well as lets your child enjoy the outdoors enhancing their physical and motor skills.

Materials

Steel is a great option, but we find that a powder coating is important to protect it from the risk of rusting in moist climates. Wood is also a sturdy material for playgrounds if it is properly treated to prevent rot and other weather-related damage. All the wood playground sets we included on our list are cedar stained with some sort of added sealant for protection. A few of the smaller plastic playsets for toddlers are durable considering the small size of the structure, and most are intended for indoor or outdoor use.

Durability

Durability is an important factor we considered in evaluating the best playground sets. Buying a playground set is a bigger investment than purchasing a new book or toy for your child. A playground set made with durable materials will not only ensure safety but will also help in lasting at least a few years. Most of the playground sets we included on our list are meant to be set up outside. Unless you have a canopy or overhang, it is important to consider durability so that your playground set will last in various weather conditions such as the intense sun, rain, or moisture. When choosing the ideal playground set for your family and space, you usually have the option of steel, wood, or plastic materials.

Design

We wanted nothing but the best of the best for your children. When coming up with our top ten list we made sure we had the highest rated playground sets that the market had to offer. We wanted to make sure that we showed a variety that would suit every families needs. Most of these playground sets are colorful, bright and sturdy.

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Age Range
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Parents should know

All of the playground sets included on our list are carefully designed with safety as a priority for the age range recommended by the manufacturer. Of course, there are different safety concerns for a smaller plastic playset for toddlers than there are for the big multi-child swing sets.

Parents should know

The design is important to assess when evaluating playground sets. For example, if the swings on a playset have metal chains to hang from, it is usually a smart idea to include protective plastic tubing in the range where a child’s hand will grip the chain. This design component is just an example of a safe playground set versus one with more risk of injury.

Other Factors to Consider

Safety

We firmly believe that safety is the most important thing to consider when buying anything for your child. When it comes to playground sets, this is especially important as these structures include features such as swings that can be dangerous if not properly engineered and assembled. In selecting all the playground sets for this list, our researchers made sure to only include playsets that pass safety standards and that satisfy parents who have bought them. Important factors considered in assessing the safety of playground sets are spacing and design. For example, swing sets with multiple sets of swings should be spaced apart enough so that even if one child were to sway off course while swinging, it would not be close enough to collide with any structural bars nor the child on an adjacent swing. Another example of the importance of spacing in playground safety is that playground sets should be set up in an area with ample space surrounding the playset. If a child going down a slide lands anywhere between one and four feet away from the end of the slide, there should be an extra few feet of space to allow for extreme cases.

Physical Development

Whether it be the small plastic playsets for toddlers or the huge 10-function swing sets, the playground sets on our list all promote physical activity for their targeted age range of children. Childhood obesity is plaguing the United States and is only on the rise. A general lack of a nutritious diet is absolutely a major factor in this serious epidemic. However, the role of decreased physical activity on a collective level is contributing heavily to this health problem. Playground sets provide the incentive for children to want to go outside and play. They are a lot of fun and provide the opportunity for practicing physical movements that promote healthy bodies and the development of many important skills. For example, climbing ladders or rock climbing walls included in certain playground sets helps to build muscle strength in the upper and lower body muscle groups. Swinging on swings is a cardio exercise that burns calories while working out the legs, arms, and core. Ultimately, just being outside and on their feet is better for children than sitting inactive indoors, participating in screen-time activities such as video games and watching television.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Are playground sets safe for children?

a:

Yes, all the playground sets included on our list are safe for children as long as they fit into the age range specified by the manufacturer.

q: Are playgrounds going to last the winter ok?

a:

We cannot guarantee that a playground set will survive a winter without any weather-related damage. However, we did select playground sets that are made with weather-resistant materials such as wood with stains or steel with powder-coating in order to help protect against weather over time.

q: Do these playground sets come assembled?

a:

No. All the playground sets on our list require assembly ranging from two to multiple hour set-up time. There are services available to pay for assembly if you feel unequipped to assemble a backyard playground properly.

q: Do I need to anchor my playground set to the ground?

a:

It depends on the playground set you choose. Some playsets are heavy enough that they don’t need anchors. However, others come with anchors as recommended for proper assembly by the manufacturer. You can always choose to anchor the playset of your choice even if it is not a necessity.

q: Do these playground sets require parental supervision?

a:

Ultimately it depends on how old your child is whether parental supervision is necessary. Many of the playground sets are safe for children to play on by themselves or with a group, as long as they are in a safe space such as your backyard or indoors.

q: Can I set up my playground set inside my house?

a:

A few of the playground sets on our list are suitable for indoor or outdoor use. It depends on the model and size.

Sources

  1. Yamini Durani, MD, Playground Saftey, Informative Article
  2. Lifetim.com, 5 Things To Consider Before Buying a Playset, Guide
  3. Robert Lopez, The Potential of Safe, Secure and Accessible Playgrounds to Increase Children’s Physical Activity, Informative Article
  4. Kid Sense, Gross Motor Skills, Study
  5. Your Therapy Source, Developmental Progression of Playground Skills, Informative Article