Call Us +1-800-752-9787

Swing Set Basics

  • How to Stain or Seal a Swing Set

    Is your wooden swing set a few years old? If it is, and you have never stained or sealed it, it's probably in need of some tender loving care!

    Just like you cover your BBQ grill when it's not in use, and put your outdoor patio furniture away for winter, you should plan some maintenance for your swing set, too. With more than two decades' experience in the business, we recommend staining or sealing your wooden swing set once a year (if yours is in a shady location, you may be able to get away with once every two years). Doing so will protect the investment you made for your little ones.

    If you're wondering what the difference is between stain and sealer, stain offers a tint to restore the color of your swing set, while sealer is clear. If the color of the swing set looks good, opt for the sealer. If the color is faded, stain is the best option.

    You can stain or seal before or after the season starts, but we prefer before--sometime in the spring--because you'll want the structure to be protected against the strong summer sun. And even if your swing set is brand new, staining or sealing sooner than later is a good idea because it will get you on schedule for years to come.

    Here's a step-by-step guide to get your backyard playset looking like new again:

    1. To avoid any mishaps, remove everything but the wood! That means tent top canopies, swings and slides. You could also remove binoculars, telescopes, steering wheels and so on; or you could work around these toys (like you will do with step and rope ladders).
    2. Clean the swing set. Using a bleach and water solution (half and half), hose down the entire set. This will help to remove any mildew or dirt that may have built up since last season.
    3. After cleaning, allow the swing set 24 hours to dry.
    4. Inspect the swing set and look for rough spots or places where the grain is lifting. Sand wherever necessary. This is also a good time for an annual hardware/retightening check.
    5. Apply stain or sealer. You'll need one gallon for most basic, single clubhouse swing sets. For larger jungle gyms, or smaller ones that have multiple wooden components (wooden roof, gang plank ramp, monkey bars, etc.), purchase at least two gallons. You may want to pick up a pump sprayer from your local hardware store for the application, as this handy tool will allow you to get the job done a bit quicker.
    6. If you're using a sealer, you do not have to worry about the spray not being perfectly even because it's a clear coating. But if you opted for the stain, you'll need to brush it out so there is no excess and drip marks are minimal. You may want to have a small brush on hand to work around ladder rungs, monkey bars, etc.
    7. After staining or sealing, again allow 24 hours for drying.

    That's it! Staining and sealing a swing set is not a difficult task (easily a one-person job), just a bit time-consuming. It's a worthwhile chore though, and it will keep your swing set looking great for years to come.

  • What to Look for in Swing Set Accessories

    When it comes to your kids, you want only the best -- the safest, strongest, highest quality, and so on. Here at Eastern Jungle Gym, we share the same philosophy, which is why we make sure everything from our playsets to our hardware to our swing set accessories are top notch.

    With spring's arrival (and summer's not too far off), we wanted to share a few tips on what to look for in a swing set accessory, to ensure that the products you're buying are designed with your child's well-being in mind. Here's what we suggest:

    -- UV-protection: Swing set accessories that are equipped with built-in protection against ultraviolet rays won't heat up as quickly in the summer sun as accessories that lack UV protection. This feature also adds to the life of your playset, as the color of the items (tent top canopies, swings, slides and more) won't fade as quickly.

    -- Ladders with grab handles: If you're thinking about building a wooden step ladder or adding one to your backyard playground, be sure to include a set of safety grab handles. These aren't as necessary on ladders that have rungs, as the kids can use the rungs to hold onto. But with step ladders, they're a must! We suggest grab handles that have pebbles or grips to ensure the kids get a secure hold.

    -- Coated swing chains: To avoid pinched fingers, your swing chains should be of the straight-coil variety, with a soft coating (like plastisol) covering part of the chain to protect their little hands.  A coating will provide a soft surface for them to grip. We recommend the rings on your gym ring trapeze bar combo be coated in a soft plastic, too, for the same reasons.

    Bucket swing for baby This full bucket swing features plastisol coating, one of the things you should look for when buying swing set accessories.

    -- Avoid magnified binoculars or telescopes: Toy binoculars and telescopes are best for the swing set, as the children won't damage their eyes by looking up at the sun through a magnified view.

    --  Inspect different swings for safety: If you're purchasing a baby swing, make sure it's a full bucket with a high back, so your little one is properly supported. For the half bucket swings, which many people use for their toddlers, not only should there be a high back, but also a strong chain that secures in front of the child. This chain should always be latched when your youngster is swinging. And with a tire swing, it's best to use an actual tire rather than a hard, plastic one.

    -- Playground rope: The last thing you want is a rope that irritates your child's hand, or splinters and frays. For this reason we recommend playground rope (which is used on everything from gang plank ramps to Jacob's Ladders) be made of nylon, rather than polyester.

    -- Climbing holds for the rock wall: Whether you're constructing your own rock climbing wall for the kids, or buying a swing set that features one, it's a good idea to consider the number of rock holds. If your children are young, you may want to consider adding some additional holds, so they are gathered somewhat close together. Once your kids are a bit older and their skill level allows, you can remove a few to make the activity more challenging.

    We hope you've found this blog post informative. Please feel free to send any questions about swing set accessories (or anything else playset-related!) our way!

  • Contest Winner Thrilled with Playset

    As luck would have it, the winner of Eastern Jungle Gym's 2015 Springtime Swing Set Giveaway was just starting to look for a backyard playset for her kids. In fact, Molly Conetta and her husband Jason were planning to start shopping in the coming days -- until they got the good news, of course!

    "Thank you so very much," Molly wrote to Eastern Jungle Gym. "We are so thrilled and can't wait to play on our new swing set!!! My son and daughter will love this for years to come. You totally made our weekend, especially since we were going to be out shopping for a swing set for our family and now we are lucky to have this one."

    Molly, a first grade teacher, and Jason, a high school vice principal, live in Massachusetts with their two young children: Jack, who will be 3 in May, and Gabriella, who will be 1 in May. The family had their choice of a Classic Kids Swing Set, valued at $999, or a Classic Wooden Tire Swing, valued at $799. The Classic Kids Swing features a horse glider for two, a full bucket swing and a sling swing. The Classic Tire Swing comes with a three-chain tire swing designed for up to three children.

    Eastern Jungle Gym was happy to work with the Conettas, who had their hearts set on a playset with a platform play deck and a slide. So the family received a credit toward the purchase of another wooden swing set.

    "I think this is the best option for our family," Molly said.

    Molly and Jason were looking for a swing set the kids could grow into, so they are planning to order the Dreamscape 1. It features a clubhouse, a 10-foot wave slide, a rock climbing wall, a Jacob's Ladder and more.

    "There's nothing we love more than helping a family get the swing set of their dreams," said Rolf Zimmermann, the company's Vice President of Sales. "After all, our motto is creating childhood memories. It's something we've been doing for more than two decades."

    Eastern Jungle Gym regularly hosts contests and giveaways through its website and social media channels. The company is based in Carmel, New York and has been manufacturing wooden swing sets for 22 years.

  • Swing Sets Buying Guide

    5 Things to Consider When Shopping for an Outdoor Playset

    Spring has finally arrived here in the Northeast and across the rest of the country. With warm weather right around the corner, the kids will undoubtedly be spending more and more time outdoors. If this is the year you're planning to buy a swing set, now is the time to start browsing and planning your purchase.

    When it comes to investing in a backyard playground--and all the wonderful memories that will follow--there are a few factors to think about. Here is a list of considerations (in no particular order) that we recommend you mull over as you begin shopping for a swing set.

    • Family Size: The number of little ones you foresee using the swing set on a daily basis is something to account for as you decide what size unit would fit your family's needs. If your immediate family is still growing, plan accordingly. Similarly, take extended family members and friends into consideration, too. If you typically have brothers, sisters, cousins and their young children over on the weekends, you will want to make sure your playset is large enough to accommodate the group. You can judge this by looking at the swing set and all its activities. Ideally, you'll have at least two to three swing positions (say, two for sling swings or belt swings, and the third for a horse glider swing or a gym ring/trapeze bar combo), a slide, a clubhouse with a toy or two, a rock-climbing wall, maybe some monkey bars, and so on. Consider the types of activities, too -- ones that work the upper body, the legs and so on. Do make sure the clubhouse is roomy enough for the group, too. Beyond cousins and immediate family, don't forget about the friends your kids have over after school, or the neighborhood pals they spend time with in the summer.
    • Age of Children: While it may be tempting to focus on the current ages of your little ones, we encourage families to think ahead. When purchasing a swing set, you're making an investment that will last several years. It is best to look for a swing set that has activities the kids can grow into, even if it looks large for a toddler. Otherwise you could end up buying two swing sets, one that's small (say with a deck height of just four feet) and one that's on the larger side (with a deck height of at least five and a half feet).
    A swing set with a slide, gang plank ramp, swings, ladders and a rock-climbing wall provides plenty of activities. A swing set with a slide, gang plank ramp, swings, ladders and a rock-climbing wall provides plenty of activities.
    • Available space: Perhaps the first thing you should do when you decide to add a swing set to your home is identify an appropriate space. Ideally, you're looking for a spot that is somewhat level and free of obstructions. Certain swing sets can be installed on unlevel ground, so if your property is significantly sloped, you'll want to mention this as you are out browsing for a playset. If that's the case, a swing set with an angled base, rather than a straight base, would be best. And while the backyard is the most common place to find a swing set, you could also place yours on the side of the home or in the front yard. Just be sure mom or dad has access to a window close by, so keeping an eye on the kids from inside won't be a challenge.
    • Swing Set Material: When it comes to backyard swing sets and material, you have a few choices: Metal, wooden or vinyl. Your decision will likely depend on the style of your home and backyard, your personal preference, and your budget. With more than 22 years of experience in this industry, we always recommend wooden swing sets--specifically cedar--because of their strength, beauty and natural resistance to rot and insect damage. You can find more information about other types of swing set materials here. Whichever style you choose, be sure to inspect the quality of the material and the hardware. A safe wooden swing set, for example, should have smooth, sanded wood with rounded corners, solid or thru-bolt construction, and recessed hardware.
    • Price: Once you've done a little research online, you'll see that swing set prices range from about $500, for a small unit from a big box store, all the way up to $5,000 or more, for a large, high quality swing set with many, many activities. If you are the DIY type, you may be able to install the swing set yourself. However, if you're planning to opt for a professional to do the setup, remember to factor this into the cost. Also consider the cost of adding an appropriate play surface, such as rubber mulch (our favorite for safety reasons, and the fact that it never needs replenishing) or even wood mulch, to your swing set area. This is not a requirement for a backyard swing set, but it's a good idea if you can find room in your budget. Surfacing will tack on anywhere from a few hundred bucks to an additional $3,000 to your total cost.
  • Metal, Vinyl or Wooden Swing Sets

    When it comes to selecting a new playset for the family, one of the most important first questions to consider is the type of material you are selecting. From wooden swing sets to those made of vinyl or metal, there are plenty of options, each with pros and cons that are worth contemplating before making a purchase.

    If you are leaning toward one of the many types of wooden swing sets, you have several choices: cedar, pressure-treated pine or redwood.

    Redwood, which grows on the coast of California, is the most expensive. Like cedar, it is naturally resistant to decay and rot, as well as to damage from insects. Experts consider this wood very durable, and easy to work with. It offers minimal shrinking and swelling when compared to other wood, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. As its name suggests, this wood is naturally red. This is a look many people feel adds tremendously to the aesthetics of their backyard playground.

    Still, redwood is not maintenance free. Sealing and staining a redwood swing set is a smart move, as it will lengthen its lifespan.

    Wooden swing sets that are made of cedar are naturally resistant to insect damage, rot and decay.

    Cedar wooden swing sets are typically a bit more affordable than redwood swing sets. They, too, are naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect damage -- plus, they have a beautiful aroma. They are also less prone to twisting and warping when compared to pressured-treated swing sets. Most cedar swing sets today are made from either Western red cedar, Northern white cedar or China-Fir.

    • Northern white cedar is the lightest of all commercial wood in the country, according to the US Forest Service Department of Agriculture. It glues and holds paint well and offers little dimensional change, the department states. But this wood is rather soft, so it does not hold fasteners as well as other materials. On the plus side, Northern white cedar is naturally resistant to splintering.
    • Western red cedar, which comes from the Pacific Northwest, is also known for its durability and lightness. This material has been used for decades on fencing, outdoor furniture and playgrounds.
    • China-Fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) is very resistant to decay, pest infestations and fungus. It has been used abroad for centuries because it is a terrific all-around, versatile material. This wood is typically a warm yellow or light white color, with hints of red.

    Pressure-treated swing sets contain preservatives, which are applied in an effort to make the material last. And last it does! This material can hold up for years and years, although the quality (swing sets are not all created equally) can affect tendency to warp and twist. The process for pressure-treating wood allows the preservatives to be forced deep in the wood so that the material becomes resistant (which it is not naturally) to decay, insects and rot.

    Before 2003--when the Environmental Protection Agency stepped in--this type of lumber often contained a composite that used arsenic. Today's pressure-treated wood has safer preservatives, but it is wise to look into the specific type of preservative your swing set contains before making a purchase. Pressure-treated swing sets are usually the least expensive when it comes to wooden playsets.

    Another option is metal. These are the swing sets most adults remember having as a kid. They use thin gauge steel pipes that are painted or powder-coated, and anchored in concrete. Maintenance may include applying an oil or grease to fight off corrosion, depending on the type of metal. These swing sets are strong and affordable, but definitely give a backyard a different feel than that of a wooden swing set. Again, the quality of the swing set can make a big difference, so look at plenty of reviews and be prepared with questions.

    Vinyl swing sets use pressure-treated pine wrapped in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for the structural components. They use composite decking (wood-alternatives made of recycled materials, such as plastics and lumber) for the walls and decks of the playset. There is no need to stain or seal these swing sets, but they should be cleaned annually. There is also no risk of splinters (which should be nearly non-existent with a quality wood playset that is sanded and has properly rounded edges). These swing sets are typically on the expensive side. One thing to keep in mind is that the moisture trapped in the pressured-treated pine has no place to go when it is encapsulated. That means rot is likely inevitable at some point in the life of a vinyl swing set. When that occurs, and to what degree, varies.

    One more important factor in your decision of a swing set material is the construction of the support posts and beams. Some wooden play sets use solid pieces of woods, such as 4-by-4s, which can sometimes lead to increased cracking because of the constant swelling from rain and shrinking from the heat. Other jungle gyms use a two-piece construction--where the wood is bolted together without glue. This reduces the frequency of checking and cracking. Another possibility is laminated wood, meaning multiple pieces of wood are glued together. Although often hard to detect, this type of post is prone to de-lamination and failure. Painting or sealing would only slow down the process.

    No matter the swing set style and design you are leaning toward, it is important to be educated and do your research when making this purchase. After all, this is an item your family will enjoy for years to come! We would love to hear about your experience with wooden swing sets, metal swing sets and vinyl swing sets.

  • Swing Sets Make Memories

    (Updated post): Think back to when you were a child, and what your favorite memories were. For many, it may have been a favorite stuffed animal that we went to sleep with every night, or for the lucky ones, it was a cherished swing set our father built with love, spare time and some carpentry skill!

    Did you love spending hours as a child on your tire swing, or in your tree house?

    This time around with your own children to care for, why not bring in an already built and assembled swing set? It will leave you with more time to make memories with your children, and a bond that will never fade!

    The fact is, the best things for children are often the simplest, and when you bring in a swing set, you bring in memories for them that make them feel loved, give them something that lasts for years,  and something special that makes them feel like the king (or queen) of their domain. You'll share in the joy, too, as you watch your little ones having the time of their lives swooshing down the slide, swinging through the air, climbing, imagining and much more. Swing sets are  a wonderful part of childhood for children and parents alike.

    It Strengthens Sibling Love and Affection

    Whether you have two children close in age, or four children far apart in milestone development, one thing in the same—sibling rivalry happens. And when multiple children are cooped inside for hours at a time, it happens a lot! So, kill two birds with one stone—get your children outdoors in their swing set, and encourage activity and cooperation! They won’t just enjoy the fresh air; they’ll learn how to communicate, talk to one another and improve their social skills by leaps and bounds—something that reruns of their favorite cartoons could never provide!

    It Gives the Kids a Space to Have Fun with Friends

    If you love the idea of your children and their friends spending hours playing outside at your home, a backyard swing set is a no-brainer. Your house will become a popular after-school spot with the neighborhood kids, which means strong friendships that could very well last beyond childhood. Plus, they'll continue to develop great social skills while learning how to entertain themselves.

    Wooden cedar swing set

    It Helps Prevent Childhood Obesity

    No matter where in the country you live, no one is safe from pre-diabetes or obesity, and that especially includes children. While you can’t totally control what your children eat at lunchtime during school hours, you can control how much activity they get at home, which is one of the reasons encouraging swing set activity is so great! You can help them decrease their mindset of, “There’s nothing to do. I’m bored,” when they stay in motion swinging, climbing or sliding down for an hour or more; thus, eliminating their risk of childhood obesity in the process!

    It Allows Kids a Place to be Kids

    Life moves at a super speed these days, and not even young children are immune to it. From cyber bullying to exposure to overly sexual images on TV, why not give your kids the best gift of all—an opportunity to just be a kid?  Swing sets allow children to jump, run, climb and swing without a care in the world.

    Swing sets make beautiful memories for your children, and for your entire family. It allows them to learn how to treat their siblings, increases their daily exercise and activity and best of all, allows them to just be kids having fun, and enjoy the moment of what being a kid is all about. Childhood will pass them by fast enough, so make these memories last while you can!

    Wooden swing set with double canopy

  • Benefits of Your Swing Set (You Didn't Realize Until Now)

    2e1ax_vintage_entry_sky-kids

    Swing sets are good, old fashioned fun. What else can your children do that’s in the convenience of your backyard, can be enjoyed for hours on end and gives you and your kids the advantage of fresh air and zero guilt? While you may know that swing sets are a great addition to your backyard, what you may not know is how many benefits they offer! Here are some creative and usual advantages your swing set brings to your kids life.

    It Boosts Their Self-Esteem

    Sigh…how childhood has changed from when you were one. The biggest reason for this? There’s less and less opportunity for kids to act like kids. From academic to athletic pressures at school; peer pressure to cyber bullying, kids need a place that is safe, is assessable and can improve their self-esteem in one shot! That’s the beauty of swing sets. There’s no ‘downside’ or risk to having one (unlike so many other manufactured kids toys on the market) because with each slide, step or swing they engage in, they’re building confidence. They’re releasing anxiety. Best of all, they’re feeling good about themselves again.

    It Allows Them to Improve Their Problem Solving Skills

    Whether you have a five year old or a fifteen year old, children use any and every opportunity to learn. They learn about the world through what you say, and what you do. They learn how to act by how their friends act, or what’s suggested on TV. But invest in one of our Ultimate Swing Set Series, and they’ll learn, examine, assess, and come up with their own conclusions for swinging, sliding and playing their heart out! When you give them the gift of a swing set, you’re putting your mind at ease by knowing that their mind is sharpening and their body is strengthening. But to your kids, they’ll just think you’re the best parent there could ever be! It’s a win/win.

    It Promotes an Active Lifestyle

    When you were young, you didn’t have video games or the internet to keep your indoors. Sure, while that may make you sound a bit…old(!) this was a good thing. You had the advantage of fresh air and exercise (probably in excess!) whereas for kids now days, it’s much more of a challenge. The fact is, if your children aren’t being active, then chances are they’re ripping into a bag of potato chips and zoning out into a marathon of their favorite TV show. Ultimately, this sets a precedent for a sedentary life, not an engaging, interactive one.

    Swing sets on the other hand, promote an active lifestyle.  It encourages a healthy outlet to release stress and excess energy—because let’s face it, when it comes to your growing children, you’re always on the lookout for a new way that they can release their pent up energy and enthusiasm!

    Our swing sets are designed to allow your children to have good, old fashioned fun—the kind of fun you once had.  Check out our top of the line swing sets that aren’t just kid-approved, but meet your demands too! Start creating childhood memories today!

    Want to learn more about our swing sets? Give us a call or click here

  • Swing Sets Make Memories

    2e1ax_vintage_entry_fantasy-mulch-9-13

    Think back to when you were a child, and what you’re favorite memories were. For many, it may have been a favorite stuffed animal that we went to sleep with every night, or for the lucky ones, it was a cherished swing set our father built with love, spare time and some carpentry skill!

    Did you love spending hours as a child on your tire swing, or in your tree house?

    This time around with your own children to care for, why not bring in an already built and assembled swing set, which will leave you more time to make memories with your children, and a bond that won’t ever leave their side!

    The fact is, the best things for children are often the simplest, and when you bring in a swing set, you bring in memories for them that make them feel loved, give them something that lasts for years,  and something special that makes them feel like the king (or queen) of their domain.

    It Strengthens Sibling Love and Affection

    Whether you have two children close in age, or four children far apart in milestone development, one thing in the same—sibling rivalry happens. And when multiple children are cooped inside for hours at a time, it happens a lot! So, kill two birds with one stone—get your children outdoors in their swing set, and encourage activity and cooperation! They won’t just enjoy the fresh air; they’ll learn how to communicate, talk to one another and improve their social skills by leaps and bounds—something that reruns of their favorite cartoons could never provide!

    It Helps Prevent Childhood Obesity

    No matter where in the country you live, no one is safe from pre-diabetes or obesity, and that especially includes children. While you can’t totally control what your children eat at lunchtime during school hours, you can control how much activity they get at home, which is one of the reasons encouraging swing set activity is so great! You can help them decrease their mindset of, “There’s nothing to do. I’m bored,” when they stay in motion swinging, climbing or sliding down for an hour or more—thus, eliminating their risk of childhood obesity in the process!

    It Allows Kids a Place to be Kids

    Life moves at a super speed these days, and not even young children are immune to it. From cyber bullying to exposure to overly sexual images on TV, why not give your kids the best gift of all—an opportunity to just be a kid?  With their swing set, they can jump, run, climb and swing without a care in the world.

    Swing sets make memories—for your children, and for your entire family. It allows them to learn how to treat their siblings, increases their daily exercise and activity and best of all, allows them to just be kids having fun, and enjoy the moment of what being a kid is all about. Childhood will pass them by fast enough, so make these memories last while you can!

Items 21 to 28 of 28 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3