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  • Holiday Gift Idea for the DIYer: Swing Set Bracket

    Holiday Gift Idea for the DIYer in Your Life:

    Multi-Use Swing Set Bracket

    For many of us, holiday shopping gets a bit more difficult each year. First, there's the challenge of selecting an original gift that the person doesn't already have. You also need to find something that fits your budget. And of course, if you're like us, the element of surprise is a necessity, too.

    When it comes to the DIY-er in your family, we have a suggestion that meets all of the above criteria: a solid steel swing set bracket. Our Easy 1-2-3 A-Frame Brackets are extremely versatile. They have a 45-degree angle between the legs, and 14 pre-drilled holes for easy assembly.

    While we use our swing set bracket exclusively for playset purposes, we've heard of customers using the product in a variety of ways.

    Swing Set Bracket Uses

    Here are some of the ways DIY folks around the country have used this piece of hardware: Hammock stands.

    - A homemade, A-frame hoist with a solid wood beam. One customer planned to use this for lifting tractor implements, cradling livestock/large game, and supporting motorcycles when performing maintenance.

    - An A-frame for a single swing or a bench swing (one of the many products for which we use the bracket).

    - Adding a swing to an existing structure, such as a deck or a playhouse.

    Planning and Presenting Your Gift

    There are a few different ways you can give your loved one a swing set bracket. The first option is to purchase one (or two, depending on the project you think he or she may have in mind), wrap it and present it. Be sure to account for the heavy weight of the item when you go about wrapping and transporting.

    Another option is a gift certificate to be used toward the purchase of the bracket. Depending on the amount, this could give the recipient some flexibility to add additional items (hardware, a swing, etc.).

    Our last suggestion applies if you are the DIY expert in the family. If this is the case, you could use these brackets to make one of the above-named items as a gift for a loved one.

    A Solid Option

    No matter which route you take, a quality, steel swing set bracket is a useful gift. It leaves no shortage of possibilities for DIYers! Whether used for a swing set or an unrelated project, a swing set bracket is sure to be a memorable holiday gift.

  • Giving the Gift of a Swing Set

    Ways to Give Your Child the Gift of a Swing Set

    Children love to unleash their imagination and enjoy playtime with a swing set! Giving the gift of a playset is a wonderful way to encourage physical activity for children. Plus, swing sets are a gift that never goes out of style, especially in comparison to other toys! Children can use them to play with family and friends for many years to come. 

    1. Giving the Gift of a Swing Set for Birthdays

    There are a variety of ways swing sets can be presented as a birthday gift for your child. One of the ways to approach giving this gift is by presenting your child with a playset prior to their birthday and hosting a birthday party around the playset so they are able to use the toy immediately.

    Depending on the price of the set, and the budget for your child’s gift, this toy could be presented as a birthday present for the next two or three years. Or, if your children's birthdays are in the same season, you could give the playset as a combined gift.

    2. Surprising Children with a Swing Set from Santa for Christmas

    We also love the idea of presenting the swing set as a Christmas gift. Incorporate the holidays into your gift giving by presenting this toy as a special present from Santa. This will make your child’s holiday extra special! Simply have the kids bundle up and head outside instead of down to the Christmas tree. Just be sure to keep the kids away from the backyard the week prior! We recommend planning alternative activities -- such as cookie baking and ornament-making -- for that week.

    3. Rewarding Positive Behavior During the School Year with a Swing Set

    If your child had a particularly difficult year with school or achieved a goal or new academic milestone, consider presenting them with a swing set to reward their hard work! Giving this gift to your child during the end of the year is ideal as they will be able to play with friends and enjoy this playset in the outdoors all summer long! Another option is to present the gift as a motivator. For example, if you give the kids a swing set part way through the year, you can use it for daily positive reinforcement. Playing on the swing set could be a daily reward for completing homework or other assignments.

    The Bottom Line

    The swing set is a present you can continuing adding to by gifting your child with new accessories for future birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations. From adding a new clubhouse toy to upgrading a swing, there are plenty of ways to update a playset

    Do you have a unique story about how you gave the gift of a swing set to your child? Post a comment or photo on our Facebook page to share your experience!

  • Ways to Encourage Playtime on the Swing Set

    Ways to Encourage Children to Play Outside on the Backyard Swing Set

    A backyard swing set is a must-have for most families these days. The kids have a safe place where they can get active and have fun day after day. Mom and dad have the security of knowing the kids are just outside the kitchen window. And of course, the opportunities for new and exciting play are nothing short of abundant. The playset is the type of investment that pays for itself -- and then some -- in the long-run.

    Still, the day might come when it's difficult to tear the kids away from the video games or tablet. If that's the case, we have a few suggestions that will help you get the little ones to return to regular play on their beloved backyard swing set.

    • Encourage swing set playtime with a friend. This can include spontaneous evening get-togethers, scheduled playtime during the weekends, and more.
    • Encourage your children to play on the swing set with you. This is a great parent-child activity that presents an opportunity for both you and your child to get physical activity.
    • Encourage outdoor activity as a time away from devices and homework, and a time that can be used to focus on relaxing.
    • Incorporate a playtime activity into each season. For example, in the fall season you can incorporate playtime into your child’s other favorite activities such as raking, playing in a pile of leaves, enjoying a cup of warm apple cider, etc.
    • Use the outdoor swing set as the main attraction for your next gathering. Whether you're hosting a Halloween party, birthday bash, or a spring or summer barbecue, the playset is the perfect place for a group of kids to play. Plus, depending on the occasion, you can add decorations to the swing set to make your backyard a bit more festive.
    • Make swing set personalization an ongoing process. This means allowing the kids to add their own creative touches to the clubhouse, playhouse and/or tree house. Think stickers, a nearby flower garden, toy dishes for the built-in picnic table, and more.

    Playing on the backyard swing set doesn't have to be predictable. With these tips, you'll be able to nudge the children to spend even more time outside, without them knowing it!

  • Outdoor Activities to Keep Kids Moving

    5 Outdoor Activities to Keep Your Kids Moving This Fall

    As we reluctantly say goodbye to summer and welcome fall, many parents find it challenging to come up with new outdoor activities for the kids. Often times, children simply want to collapse on the couch after school and watch cartoons or play on their preferred device. Or, maybe they spend time on the computer for homework. Either way, the last thing your little ones should be doing is remaining stationary! Fall is a wonderful time of year to spend time outside. The days are still warm, and the air is crisp. Here are some ways to get your kids moving this fall.

    Implementing a New Routine

    The first step to get your kids outside and moving is to start a new routine. For most children, the precious free time after school is spent completing homework, snacking, and relaxing.  With a busy schedule it may seem difficult to fit physical activity into your routine. However, establishing an outside routine is easier than you may think!

    We recommend adding outside playtime into your child’s schedule as soon as they arrive home from school. This helps the kids to relax and decompress after a busy day. It also provides an opportunity for exercise. Think you'll be met with resistance? Not to worry! We've come up with five exciting outdoor activities for kids to participate in. Rotate through these all year long and your kids will become outside enthusiasts! Not only will they burn off energy, but they will also become experts at entertaining themselves!

    Finding the Right Outdoor Activities for the Kids

    Suggest these playful activities that provide an opportunity for spending time with friends and getting moving:

    1. Playing on a Swing Set: Most backyard swing sets provide many activities all in one. In any one of our cedar playsets, the kids choose from climbing the rock wall, using the swings, zipping down the slide and much more. While A-frame swing sets are smaller, they also allow for a few children to play at once. Having a swing set at your home provides children with the opportunity to perfect their athletic skills. It also gives them a chance use their imaginations. Children simply love to pretend the jungle gym and backyard is a pirate ship at sea, or a castle with a moat.
    2. Playing a Game of Baseball or Soccer: After school can also be a great time for the kids to engage in sports. Suggest a tossing around the baseball, shooting hoops or kicking the soccer ball. If they play on a local sports team, this is a great way to make sure they get practice both on and off the field. Don't forget about jumping rope and rollerskating, too!
    3. Helping the Family with Chores: If your kids are in the routine of weekly chores and allowance, add a few outdoor jobs to their responsibilities. Chores can include things such weeding and raking leaves. The kids can also as water the flowers as needed. They can even get a head start on the upcoming season and organize winter materials such as shovels and holiday decorations with adult assistance.
    4. Playing a Game of Tag: When all else fails, kids always enjoy a good old-fashioned game of tag! While the kids take turns being "It" (they can always use Rock-Paper-Scissors to select the first person), they're running wild hiding and ducking their opponents. They are also actively problem solving and relying on their creativity to avoid being tagged. If your children are tired of playing tag you can suggest other traditional games like Freeze Tag, Mother May I, and Simon Says.
    5. Exploring the Outdoors: Encourage the kids to explore the yard and neighborhood on foot or by bicycle. Ask them about their time exploring and what types of wildlife surprises they encountered!

    Making playtime seem like a fun activity is a great way to encourage kids to spend time outside and get physical activity during this season!

  • 7 Benefits of Having a Backyard Jungle Gym

    When it comes to entertaining the kids, nothing compares to having a jungle gym in your very own backyard! Jungle gyms offer endless playtime, provide plenty of opportunities to enhance independence, and enable children to socialize.

    In order to help our customers understand all the benefits of a swing set, we've created an infographic. Here's a quick summary of all the advantages your child or children will get out of a backyard jungle gym.

    Eastern Jungle Gym Backyard Jungle Gym Infographic

    Seven Benefits of Having a Jungle Gym

    Benefit #1 - Exercise

    An active child is a happy one -- and a healthy one. Jungle gyms help children get into a routine of outdoor exploration that hopefully lasts a lifetime. During an hour of running, climbing and swinging, your child not only burns calories, but also improves athletic skills.

    Benefit #2 - Imagination

    It won't take long for the kids to put on their creative caps and turn the jungle gym into a pirate ship at sea, a castle, a fort, or a secret hideaway. Sit back and relax while you listen to the kids use their imagination. We guarantee you'll enjoy yourself just as much as they enjoy themselves.

    Benefit #3 - Sharing

    Whether your children have siblings, neighbors, or friends, the nature of the backyard jungle gym reinforces the idea of taking turns. Since many swing sets have a single slide, a single rock wall, a single set of monkey bars, etc., children simply must share. Of course, having mom and dad there to issue sharing reminders as needed is helpful, but you should also know that the kids will probably surprise you and navigate turn-taking amongst themselves.

    Benefit #4 – Bonding

    Our motto is "Creating Childhood Memories" for a reason. But we have to admit, the memories created around the jungle gym are shared by the whole family. Maybe mom and dad join in every now and then for a quick zip down the slide. Or perhaps grandma and grandpa enjoy nothing more than giving the little ones a push. A quality jungle gym will be sturdy enough so that even adults can enjoy it. A swing set allows people of all ages to bond together

    Benefit #5 – Fun for All Ages

    As just mentioned, anyone in the family can engage in play on the swing set, not just the little ones! Get the whole family involved and enjoy a portion of the day together by playing on the swing set in the backyard.

    Benefit #6 – Improved Safety

    The newer swing set designs are nothing compared to what was on the market 15 or 20 years ago. Children can play, while parents’ nerves are at ease knowing their swing set has a smooth surface, recessed hardware, and high quality swing set accessories guaranteeing top notch safety. Children can enjoy many hours of fun and safe engagement on a backyard swing set.

    Benefit #7 – Overcome Fears

    Jungle gyms help children overcome their different fears like the height of swings, crossing the monkey bars, climbing on the rock wall, or sliding down a slide. It is common for children to have a slight sense of uneasiness when facing these tasks for the first time. With repetition and the development of courage, children will be cruising on the monkey bars or whizzing down the slide in no time!

    Your children are bound to love the convenience of having their very own swing set, and we bet that you will too! Always remember, a swing set lasts longer when it is well taken care of. Winter is right around the corner, learn how to prepare your swing set for the harsh weather conditions!

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