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Monthly Archives: January 2017

  • Swing Set Safety & Maintenance Reminders

    The great weather we have been having is a pleasant reminder that spring will be here soon, which means now is the time to start sprucing up your swing set! This is also the perfect time for a refresher on swing set safety, so you and your family may have a fun and memorable play season.

    Wooden Swing Set Maintenance

    As the snow melts away and the temperatures rise, we recommend giving your playset a thorough once-over. Take your wrench outside and inspect bolts to be sure they don't need tightening. Check for rough spots on the swing set, especially on edges and corners, which may need sanding. Lastly, make sure all accessories are in good condition and not in need of replacing. This applies to everything from swings and clubhouse toys, like the steering wheel, to monkey bars and more. If you do find that some of the accessories need to be replaced, consider gifting them to your child for a birthday or Easter present.

    If you own a wooden swing set, it is important to keep it maintained. Pick a weekend to stain or seal the unit before spring is in full swing. Remember that you will need to let the stain or sealant dry for at least 24 hours, so make sure to get this out of the way early. That way, the kids won't miss a day of fun! We recommend staining or sealing annually in order to keep your swing set looking brand new.

    Wooden swing sets maintenance, swing set safety Wooden swing sets, like this Fantasy Tree House, are a perfect example of a swing set that should be stained or sealed annually.

    A way to help preserve your swing set from the harsh elements of the winter season is with a canopy or tent top over the clubhouse. These tops provide great assistance in protecting the wood for the long-term. With a canopy or tent top, the stain also stays maintained for longer.

    Another aspect to consider while revamping your children’s swing set for the spring is to inspect the rubber mulch play area. We recommend periodically raking up excess mulch around outer edges. In some high traffic areas, consider supplementing with an additional bag or two.

    The last step in making your swing set feel just like new is a quick cleaning of the plastic surfaces. Use a mixture of soap and water to remove any dirt that built up over the winter from the slide, swings, toys and other activities.

    Wooden Swing Set Safety

    Before the kids jump back on the jungle gym, give them a quick refresher of swing set safety tips. Remind them what type of clothing is appropriate. Keeping the kids aware of the proper play attire will help prevent their clothes from catching on any of the playset’s hardware if it is not recessed. This applies not just to the backyard, but also public settings, such as the school playground. We recommended bundling up and dressing for comfort. Some of our favorite suggestions include:

    • Wearing socks and sneakers
    • Avoiding clothing with strings, hoods, or scarves
    • Wearing fitted clothing that is not too baggy

    Now is also a great time to review any rules that you may have for your swing set. Having a set of rules for your children or visitors helps keep everyone safe during playtime. It is important to keep in mind that playing on a wet swing set may be hazardous depending on the material the swing set is made of. Use caution when holding playtime after any winter weather or rain. We recommend encouraging children to follow rules such as:

    • No climbing up the slide
    • No jumping off of the swing in mid air
    • No climbing on top of the monkey bars
    • No pushing others down the slide
    • No rough housing

    While you are outside performing any maintenance inspect the area around your swing set to make sure there are no fallen leaves or broken branches that may still be lingering around from fall. This will help to create an open play area for your little ones.

    While this may sound like a long list of things to do to prep for another season of fun, most of it can be done within a day. Make this a yearly ritual and take the opportunity to spend time together as a family while preparing your swing set for the upcoming season. We hope you and the little ones have a great spring, filled with lots of time outside. If you would like to read more about keeping your swing set safe, visit 10 Tips to Make Sure Your Wooden Swing Set is Safe. Share your questions on swing set safety and maintenance in the comments section below!

  • The Best Age to Get the Kids a Swing Set

    If you’re in the market for a backyard swing set, you’re likely considering a wide range of factors. Size, price and material are just a few of the decisions you're making. One of the most common questions we hear is, “How old should my kids be for a swing set?” This is often followed by another question, “How long will my kids use their swing set?” Usually, parents ask these questions as they weigh the cost of a playset.

    Toddlers to Teens

    The good news is that moms and dads are often pleasantly surprised to hear our answers. Swing sets may be purchased for children as young as toddlers, and used for more than a decade, as the kids enter adolescence. Of course, this isn’t the case with all playsets – only the larger ones, which are typically made of wood.

    Now, you may be thinking that a larger swing set is too big for young children. That’s simply not the case. The little ones have a ball zipping down the slide with mom or dad’s help. They also enjoy swinging in the bucket swing, which can be swapped out for a traditional sling swing as the kids get older. The little ones can play in the clubhouse too, as long as they have adult supervision. Some jungle gyms even allow for a sandbox or picnic table – both perfect for small children. The idea is to purchase a swing set with some activities for the child to enjoy now, and a number of other activities for them to grow into.

    As your kids get older, you’ll find that they use the swing set as more of a "hang out" place. This is always a welcomed development for parents, as preteens seek outdoor time with friends in their very own backyard. It’s hard to think of a safer place for the kids to gather after school!

    Making the Most of Your Swing Set

    To ensure that your wooden swing set gets many years of use, we recommend adding on to it ever few years. Many families start with a base model and opt for a new activity for a birthday or Christmas gift. Monkey bars are a popular add-on because they are a hit with a wide range of ages. Another idea is to upgrade, rather than add on, perhaps from a 10-foot wave slide to a 12-foot scoop slide. Smaller updates can include additions to the clubhouse, such as this convenient accessory pack.

    The bottom line is that investing in a larger, high quality wooden swing set is a smart move when it comes to outdoor entertainment for the kids. A few minor upgrades along the way will keep the kids excited, while mom and dad rest assured knowing their money went to a product that created years and years of childhood memories.

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