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Wooden Swing Sets

  • Replacing a Swing Set Canopy

    Is your wooden playset in need of a little TLC? One of the easiest things you can do, aside from staining or sealing the set, is to install a replacement swing set canopy. Read on to learn more about the signs that your swing set tent top is ready to be replaced, the timing for when it’s best to replace it, and how to properly install a swing set canopy.

    Signs Your Swing Set Canopy is Ready to be Replaced

    The signs that your set is due for a new canopy can be quite obvious, as the signs are all visual. Make it a point to look at your canopy every few months for signs of wear, which can be identified as any fraying, tearing of the fabric, or significant color fade. These types of wear and tear could compromise the shade and protection the swing set canopy is providing for your children as they play on their jungle gym.

    Swing set canopy tent tops may need replacing from time to time, depending on what the item is made of and what the weather is like near your home. We recommend that when you are looking to replace the tent top that you choose a heavy-duty vinyl canopy.

    When to Replace Your Canopy

    Even though we are heading into the cooler months, you can still replace your swing set canopy now, or weather-permitting, at any time of the year. With that said, we would suggest replacing the canopy at the beginning of Spring so that you can get optimal use out of your new canopy. The Winter months can be tough on the canopy - with the rain, snow, and sleet. Children also are not as likely to enjoy the play set during Winter and this will prevent you from reaping the full benefit of having the new canopy set up at this time. Regardless of when you replace your canopy, your swing set will look spruced up for any neighborhood hang outs or visits from friends and family.

    How to Replace Your Tent Canopy

    Once you've decided it's time to replace your swing set canopy, it's time to measure for a replacement. The easiest method is to simply remove the canopy from the playset, lay it on the ground and measure the length and width. If you have already removed the canopy and do not have it available for measuring, you can use the frame of the swing set to get your measurements. For step-by-step instructions, view our instructional video below.

     

    No matter which method you use to determine the length and width of your tent top canopy, be sure to order a replacement that's within about three inches of your measurements. If it's a little short, simply mount the canopy on top of the frame. If it's a little long, wrap it around the frame. It is completely okay to wrap the canopy around the wooden frame. We actually wrap the canopy around the wooden frame for all of our wooden swing sets because it provides additional reinforcement to the top.

    We hope this information and instructional video was helpful to you as you revamp your children’s swing set for the season. Good luck, and feel free to contact us with any questions!

     

  • Swings for Your Backyard Swing Set

    Whether you’re dreaming up a terrific DIY swing set to build for the little ones or you’re simply looking to surprise the kids with a new accessory for their jungle gym, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different swings and accessories available. We have outlined the details of the different types of swings you can add to your swing set.

    High Back Full Bucket Swing 

    The high back full bucket swing is your child’s first swing. Designed to securely and safely hold an infant, this swing encloses the child 360-degrees and provides plenty of back support. You will get many years out of this swing, as it is suitable for infants and toddlers. We recommend children from 6 months to about 4 years old use this swing, depending on the size of the child.

    High Back Half Bucket Swing with Chain

    The half bucket swing with chain is a great transitional swing for your kids. It offers the same support of the full bucket swing in terms of a high back, but this time with a safety chain in front. This safety chain helps children get the feel of a real swing, while providing an added safety precaution. The recommended age range for this swing is about 2 to 6 years old.

    Sling Swing 

    The classic sling swing is what you and the kids see most often on your trips to the public park. A sturdy, high quality sling swing can support children and even most adults.

    Horse Glider Swing

    Unlike the swings described so far, which accommodate a single child at a time, the horse glider swing is designed for two. The kids sit back-to-back on the seat. There are handle bars for holding on and spaces for the children to place their feet. The kids love that the horse glider allows them to rock back and forth with a friend. With this swing, we suggest children be no younger than 2 years of age. The weight limit is typically about 200 pounds.

    Tire Swing

    The tire swing is always a hit with the kids. It can accommodate anywhere from one to three children, and is usually made with a rubber tire that has three or four chains attached. The tire swing will allow the children to swing around 360-degrees, so it requires a bit more space than any of the other swings listed here. The tire swing is a great activity for kids ages 2 and up.

    Three chain tire swing A three-chain tire swing makes a great addition to any backyard playground.

    Gym Ring/Trapeze Bar Combination Swing

    The gym ring/trapeze bar combo allows a child to swing and hang, and maybe even flip or perform a chin up. It’s constructed of a trapeze bar—ideally made of steel and coated in a soft plastic—with a grab handle on each side. The grab handles and the bar are attached to chains, which attach to a swing beam. Kids who use this swing can be anywhere from 3 years of age to 15.

    Swing Safety, Information, and DIY Details

    For maximum safety, we recommend that all plastic swings be made of a durable polymer plastic. All swings should include triangle hardware and S-hooks that attach to the seats. To ensure the safety of your little ones, we recommend heavy duty straight-coil chains with a soft coating (we always prefer you to use chains over rope). Look for swing chains that are coated in plastisol for a soft grip which will protect tiny fingers from getting pinched. These little extras can add up, but quality accessories are worth the investment.

    Don’t forget to take additional hardware into account. The first three swings mentioned in this piece would attach to a swing beam with ductile swing hangers and mountain clips. Whereas the tire swing uses a special swivel and the horse glider uses specific brackets. More often than not this type of hardware is not included with the swing. That will add to the price of the swing. The cost of the swings described here typically range from about $35 to about $120.

    No matter what type of swings you have in mind for your backyard play set, it is always a good idea to do your homework. Do consider what the product is made of, as it should be rust resistant and UV-protected. Also read up on reviews left by other customers. Remember, not all swings are made equal. Pay close attention to what type of chains or rope are used, how long they are, and how they are connected.

    Lastly, keep in mind that the ages we have listed here serve as a general guide. Some form of adult supervision is always recommended. If you are looking for more information on swings, watch our video to learn about the three swings for a wooden swing set.

  • What to Look for When Buying a Swing Set Online

    Purchasing a swing set takes time and research to make sure you are selecting the right model for your family. If you’re shopping for wooden playground sets online, you’ll want to be confident you know what you’re getting before clicking the “Check Out" button. To help make your online shopping experience a success, we’re sharing our industry expertise on playsets and backyard playgrounds.

    Evaluate Your Property Before Choosing a Playground Set

    Before comparing specific playset models, be sure to evaluate your property and determine the type of swing set it can safely accommodate. Items to consider include:

    1. How much space do I need for the swing set?

    - Keep in mind the proper safety zone precautions: we recommend at least 6 ft. of open space around the entire swing set

    2. What is the safest surface for underneath the swing set?

    - Rubber mulch is the safest surface option for underneath swing sets. Unlike wood mulch, rubber mulch lasts a lifetime. It has great drainage, does not attract insects and only require a 3” depth. Wooden mulch requires twice the depth and needs to be replaced annually.

    3. How big of a playground set do I need for my child?

    - The amount of space you have in your backyard will help you figure out how large of a set you need. Determine what activities are most important. Monkey bars, for example, are a play set add-on that will require additional space.

    - Also, having an idea of the number of children that are going to be playing on the set will help you determine a play set size. A standard swing set – that includes one clubhouse, three swings and a slide – can generally accommodate 2 to 4 children, ages 2 to 12. If you are looking to provide a play area for more children you can consider adding an extra clubhouse or an additional slide.

    - The age range of children playing on the swing set will also help you to determine the ideal size of your play set. Play decks and swing beam heights can vary to accommodate younger and older children, as can clubhouse sizes and inside standing height. If you are looking to play on the swing set with your children consider a model that is constructed for adults and kids, and allows for a taller tent top or wood roof so you won’t struggle to stand up inside the clubhouse.

    4. Do I want a metal, vinyl or wood swing set?

    - If wood, what type of wood is the best option?

    - Cedar or redwood is proven to be highly durable, yet cost effective and is naturally resistant to rot and insect damage.

    After answering these questions, it is safe to begin looking around on the Internet at the different brands and swing set product offerings.

    Investigate the Playset Details

    Once you’ve identified a few swing set options that seem to fit your family’s needs, it’s time to give your potential purchase a deeper look. Here is a list of things to consider as you decide which playset to buy online.

    1. Take a closer look at the photos and videos found on the website

    2. Search around for any reviews of the swing set or the swing set manufacturer

    - Brand YouTube Channels - product unboxing or set up videos

    - Tour around any social pages the brand may have (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and search for comments or reviews the manufacturer may have.

    - Look at the “About Us” section on the company’s website to learn more about their brand.

    3. Read the fine print of the seller’s company policy

    - What is the return policy?

    - What are the manufacturer/retailer warranty terms and conditions?

    Playset Concerns and Future Maintenance

    1. Examine safety features of the swing set

    - Double check to make sure the hardware is recessed. Exposed hardware causes potential dangers for the children playing on the swing set.

    - Be sure the hardware is heavy-duty to prevent easy wear.

    - Check the description mentions there are rounded corners and no sharp edges.

    - Make sure the wood comes pre-sanded and stained on all six sides to prevent future splintering.

    2. Check out any installation videos the company has available to assist you in the swing set assembly process.

    3. In regards to the long-term aspects of your swing set, are you able to substitute any of the pieces when your child is older?

    - Does the swing set you are interested in allow you to switch out the original slide with a more advanced slide?

    - Is it possible to change out a regular swing for a tire swing later on?

    - Can you add additional activities to make the play set more challenging and fun?

    4. Is there future maintenance to consider, such as hardware replacement, sanding, staining, etc.?

    For additional tips on finding the right playground set for your back yard, check out our swing set buying guide. If you have any questions as you begin your research, please contact our Customer Service team. We’d love to hear from you!

  • 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.

  • DIY Swing Sets: The Essential Piece of Hardware

    If you've ever Googled DIY swing sets, you know there are an endless number of plans and designs to consider. Additionally, there are tons of hardware and accessory products to choose from. In this blog you'll learn about the one must-have item for all DIY swing sets. Whether the project is your first or 50th, this piece of hardware will make your life easier.

       The Product

    After 24 years' designing, manufacturing and installing playsets, we know that a strong connecting bracket is an absolute necessity for all swing beams. That's where the Easy 1-2-3 A-Frame Swing Set Bracket comes in. We designed this product six years ago to add another level of safety, strength and security to our swing sets. Fast-forward to today, and we have a patent pending on the design. And it turns out that we're no longer the biggest fans of the bracket -- our customers are!

    The Easy 1-2-3 A-Frame Swing Set Bracket is made of heavy-duty steel that has been welded together. We designed this piece of hardware to work with two 4” x 4” supports and one 4” x 6” swing beam. The idea is simple: Slide in the lumber and fasten with bolts. Repeat on the other side (depending on the specifics of your DIY swing set) and your swing set has a solid, strong foundation.

    Demonstration

    Specifications to Keep in Mind

    There are a few things we'd like you to remember as you plan your DIY swing set. We've designed the bracket to work with a kiln-dried 4" x 6" with a true measurement of 3-1/2" x 5-1/2". Our recommendation is based on the size of the bracket opening (3-5/8" x 5-5/8").

    With that in mind, we stress that the lumber should never be forced into the bracket. The goal is for it to simply slide in, which is the case for the great majority of customers. In the event that the lumber is too large, we suggest planing down the wood as needed. To avoid this task, we advise bringing a tape measure when purchasing the lumber to ensure you get the proper size.

    Finally, for more information on the bracket, check out Eastern Jungle Gym's verified third party reviews from TrustPilot. They provide lots of first-hand details. And don't forget that we're always here to help! Simply give us a call at 1-800-752-9787, or leave a comment below!

  • New Dealer for Eastern Jungle Gym Cedar Swing Sets

    Northborough, MA -- Eastern Jungle Gym, a leading manufacturer of cedar swing sets for more than 23 years, is excited to announce the addition of a new retailer in Central Massachusetts.

    Backyard Adventures of Massachusetts is Eastern Jungle Gym's latest authorized specialty retailer. The store began selling Eastern’s cedar swing sets last month.

    Founded in 1986, Backyard Adventures is committed to providing its customers with high quality play equipment for the home. In addition to swing sets, the company also carries trampolines, storage sheds (in pine, cedar and vinyl), and even residential ice rinks.

    “Like Eastern Jungle Gym, Backyard Adventures is all about helping families find the perfect piece of outdoor entertainment for the little ones,” said Rolf Zimmermann, Eastern’s vice president of sales. “Just as importantly, these folks share our commitment to top-notch customer service, which is why we are so pleased about this partnership.”

    Cedar swing sets on display in Massachusetts Cedar swing sets from Eastern Jungle Gym on display at Backyard Adventures in Northborough, Mass.

    There are currently nine Eastern Jungle Gym swing sets on display at Backyard Adventures, which is located at 6 Belmont Street in Northborough. Professional installation is available, as is 12-month financing. The store is open seven days a week come spring. Customers can expect to see great deals and specials on the playsets, too.

    Eastern Jungle Gym swing sets are manufactured in Carmel, New York. The models range from the traditional Classic A-frame swing sets, to the larger Angled-Base and Straight-Base models, to the multi-deck Sky, Fantasy and Fantasy Tree House models. The swing sets are sold online, as well as at authorized retailers throughout North America.

    In total, Eastern offers more than 70 playsets. Each is made of 100-percent cedar wood, with heavy-duty hardware, high quality accessories and thru-bolt construction. They also come with a 15-year warranty.

    With a blossoming e-commerce presence and a strong network of dealers, Eastern Jungle Gym looks forward to continued growth and future expansions.

    “We expect to be ‘creating childhood memories’ for decades and decades,” Zimmermann said, “and we’re so pleased to know that Backyard Adventures shares that goal.”

    For more on Backyard Adventures, click here, or call 508-329-5151.

  • Eastern Jungle Gym Heads South for Annual Dealer Meeting

    Eastern Jungle Gym was thrilled to join one of its swing set retailers for 10-year anniversary celebrations and annual sales meetings last month.

    Rolf Zimmermann, Eastern Jungle Gym’s vice president of sales, joined the staff at Carolinas-based Liberty Storage Solutions for the gathering. The agenda for the day included special recognitions, a review of the company’s mission and core values, a roundtable discussion, a “Meet the Vendors” segment, a tour of the plant and much more.

    Plant at Liberty Storage Solutions The Liberty Storage Solutions plant.

    “It was a great opportunity for me to introduce myself and learn more about Liberty, while also sharing some of our company history and highlights,” Zimmermann said.

    Zimmermann was especially excited to put faces to names as he extended his trip and traveled to several of Liberty’s locations. There he provided training by answered questions about Eastern Jungle Gym’s cedar swing sets, discussing key product features — namely Eastern’s thru-bolt construction and patent-pending Easy 123 A-Frame Bracket —and even role playing different sales situations.

    In addition to Eastern Jungle Gym’s swing sets and storage sheds, Liberty Storage Solutions sells gazebos, carports, garages and children’s playhouses. The company came on board as an authorized, factory-direct retailer of Eastern Jungle Gym swing sets in the spring of 2015. At that time, 10 of the company’s 20 locations carried the playsets. This year, Liberty is expanding its inventory. The goal is to have swing sets on display at all locations come spring.

    Eastern Jungle Gym playset at Liberty Storage Solutions A Supreme swing set from Eastern Jungle Gym on display at Liberty Storage Solutions.

    “Last year, their best-selling Eastern Jungle Gym was the Fantasy Tree House swing set,” Zimmermann said. “We’re excited to see what this season brings, and we look forward to many successful years with Liberty.”

    Eastern Jungle Gym remains committed to growing its network of authorized swing set retailers across the United States and beyond, while maintaining a strong online presence. Click here for a full list of Eastern Jungle Gym swing set retailers.

  • Growing Family Wins Swing Set Giveaway

    The winner of Eastern Jungle Gym's 2015 Holiday Swing Set Giveaway is a New Hampshire woman with several nieces and nephews, all 8 years old and younger -- and a baby on the way.

    Carly Daring will receive the Classic Cedar Swing Set, which retails for $999.

    "I was really excited," Carly said, recalling when she heard the news that she won the swing set giveaway. "It's our first house and we always have family over, so we'll have it set up in the yard and our nieces and nephews will be able to use it. And then our son will be able to use it down the road."

    With three swing positions, the Classic Cedar Swing Set offers the flexibility of swapping out the standard swings for others (such as the horse glider swing for two). Carly is already thinking of adding an infant swing, such as the full bucket swing, until her son is old enough to transition to a half-bucket swing or sling swing.

    Winner of Eastern Jungle Gym's Holiday Swing Set Giveaway Carly Daring is the winner of Eastern Jungle Gym's Holiday Swing Set Giveaway.

    "Either way," she said, "I am sure it will get a lot of use for many years!"

    The Classic Cedar Swing Set comes complete with two sling swings and a gym ring/trapeze bar combo. Made of 100-percent solid cedar wood, the swing set relies on heavy duty hardware, patent-pending 1-2-3 A-Frame brackets and thru-bolt construction. The other playsets in the Classic series feature the bench swing, three-chain tire swing, the full-bucket swing and more.

    The contest was run by Housewife on a Mission, as part of a larger giveaway hop that ran from Dec. 4 to Dec. 18. Eastern Jungle Gym holds giveaways and contests several times a year, and past prizes have included swing set accessory bundles and Dream swing sets. For information on upcoming giveaways, follow Eastern Jungle Gym on FacebookTwitter and Google Plus.

  • Essential Activities All the Best Swing Sets Have

    As a mother, father or grandparent shopping for an outdoor playset for your little ones, there are many important safety considerations and material choices you’ll need to contemplate. But once you've decided on the basics, it's time to think about the fun!

    That means picking from lots of accessory and activity options. We're here to help you mull over the choices and give you some advice. With more than 22 years' experience in the industry, we've got a pretty good idea of the essentials that all the best swing sets have.

    First, here's a rundown of some common swing set activities and accessories:

    ·       Clubhouse and/or playhouse -- The clubhouse is the center of the swing set. It's where the kids play with toys (more on that later); use their imagination to take them out of the backyard and into the helm of a ship; or stay "safe" at home base during an intense game of Tag. If you really want to go all out, add a bottom playhouse for extra fun.

    ·       Rock climbing wall -- The best rock climbing walls challenge children and help them become stronger. That's why the rock wall should be a reasonable size. It should also allow for hand grips to be added or removed, so the wall can grow with the kids.

    ·       Slides -- Whether you go with a wave slide, a scoop slide or a spiral slide, a slide is a necessity. The best swing sets sometimes have more than one, with different styles, colors and sizes.

    ·       Swings -- No playset is complete without swings. And because soaring through the air on a swing is more fun with a friend, we recommend at least two or three swing positions. This is an enjoyment that even adults treasure, so make sure your backyard playground is strong enough to support all of your family members. And keep in mind that it's always better to have more swing positions than fewer, as you can switch out the classic sling swing for a baby swing, horse glider swing or gym ring trapeze bar combo, depending on who is playing on the set.

    ·       Tire swing -- Forget the idea that a tire swing has to hang from a tree. There's no reason your playset can't accommodate one (all of our Angled-Base swing sets do). Keep in mind that a good tire swing will use an actual tire. This means the surface will be soft rubber instead of hard plastic. And a three-chain suspension system means it can accommodate up to three kids.

    Outdoor playset with tire swing for best swing sets blog This wooden swing set features a tire swing, a horse glider swing, two sling swings, a slide, multiple ladders, a clubhouse with toys and a rock-climbing wall. It offers the kids so much to do!

    ·       Horse glider swing -- This swing allows two kids to sit back-to-back while they rock and glide. It is a favorite among young children.

    ·       Picnic table -- With a wooden picnic table built in to your playset, you really add to the investment. Now your swing set isn't just a place to play, it's a place to take a break and eat lunch, too!

    ·       Sandbox -- Whether you take the DIY route and add the sand yourself, or you purchase a sandbox with your swing set, a sandbox adds a little variation to the play area. Not only will the kids enjoy it, but mom and dad will appreciate how it keeps the little ones entertained for even longer.

    ·       Toys -- Steering wheels, ship's wheels, telephones, binoculars and telescopes. These are just a few of the toys all the best swing sets have. We say, the more the better! Don't be afraid of doubling up. There's no reason you can't have one telescope in the clubhouse and one on the post near the sandbox.

    ·       Ladders -- From step ladders to steel rung ladders to Jacob's ladders, kids love to climb. With a ladder and a rock wall, the children will have more than one way to access the clubhouse. And don't forget about overhead ladders (also known as monkey bars)!

    Now that you have a good understanding of all the options, it's time for us to give our recommendations.

    Eastern Jungle Gym's top five accessory and activity picks for the best swing sets are...

    (drum roll, please!)

    1)    Slides

    2)    Swings

    3)    Clubhouse and/or playhouse

    4)    Toys

    5)    Rock climbing wall

    Since nearly all of our swing sets include a slide, swings, a clubhouse with toys, and a rock climbing wall, these choices probably won't come as much of a surprise. Our longtime experience in this business has told us that this is the right formula for a swing set the kids will love for years and years. Just look for these essentials and you can't go wrong, especially if you add in a bonus activity or two.

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