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Eastern Jungle Gym

Welcome to a blog about all things swing sets!

  • 5 Reasons to Get Your Children Outside to Play

    Quality outdoor play is essential for a child to develop their motor skills and much more. Playing outside gives children a break from learning and allows them to fully express their imagination. Learn about five fundamental benefits children get from playing outside.

    Benefit #1 – Development of Fine and Gross Motor Skills

    The growth of a child’s fine and gross motor skills come with time and increased activity. Once your child  is between eight and 12 months old, they begin to show signs of fine and gross motor skill development. It’s necessary to help them refine those skills through sensory-based activities as they continue to get older.

    How can you encourage your children to develop their fine and gross motor skills? By creating a sensory space for them of course! Add a few fun playset accessories to your backyard swing set and give your children something to hold and grab on to as they move skillfully around their playset. Take your sensory space one step further and add a small rock wall with plastic hand holds and a climbing rope.

    Benefit #2 – Less Screen Time

    As of late, it seems that more and more parents are depending on tablets or smartphones to occupy their children. Although there are benefits to children playing educational games on these devices, limit how long young children can use them.

    Screen time can also negatively impact the development of a child’s eyesight due to the close distance between their eyes and the screen. One study by the American Academy of Ophthalmology showed that playing outside will actually improve a child’s eyesight by 2% for every hour spent outside and curve early signs of myopia (nearsightedness). Playing outside gets your children away from the TV, tablet, or smartphone and outside breathing fresh air.

    Benefit #3 – Opportunities for Imagination and Release of Energy

    As the saying goes “kids will be kids,” and it’s up to the adults in their lives to let them be kids while they still can. Children can have wild imaginations and even more so, wild amounts of energy.

    The outdoors offer unlimited possibilities to be creative. When children have bottled up energy, send them to the swing set to express their imagination by acting out a story or creating a new and exciting game.

    Having the right swing set equipment for them to use as props is a necessity. Monkey bars can be the escape route to avenge the molten lava or a moat filled with hungry alligators, while a telescope and steering wheel accessory pack are the perfect accessories to maneuver away from oncoming pirates.

    Benefit #4 – Finding Enjoyment in the Outdoors

    It’s a lot easier to get children to play outside if they enjoy it! If your children are of the age, gather up some balls and introduce them to soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis. Sports are a great way to help children enjoy the outdoors while also introducing them to new games,

    Benefit #5 – Opportunities for Socialization

    One of the best things for children besides playing outside, is to socialize with other children. Socializing presents them with the opportunity to practice manners and sharing. For families that only have one child, playing with other kids in the neighborhood will give them the chance to spend the necessary engagement he or she should have regularly.

    As the summer comes to a close, embrace what warm outdoor weather we have left and get the kids outside as much as possible. Consider adding a swing set to your backyard, which provides all of the benefits of outdoor play.  Have any questions about our swing sets? Feel free to contact us directly.

  • 3 Ways to Get the Whole Family Playing Outside this Summer

    Parents are their children’s biggest role models. What better way to get your children outside and immersed in nature than to do it as a family? By making time to be outside, your children will be more likely to go outdoors, get away from their devices, and play on their own. Here’s three fun and engaging activities you can do as a family to get your children playing outside this summer.

    1. Catch Fireflies at Night

    Ahhhh, summer! One of the best things about summertime is the blissful nights that bring in those twinkly, almost magical little bugs we call fireflies or lightning bugs. On a nice summer night, corral the family to go out and watch the fireflies float around and light up. You can even get a few extra jars together and go on a lightning bug hunt. See how many fireflies the family can catch and put them in the jars with breathable tops as temporary lanterns. At the end of the night, take the tops off and set the jars out so the fireflies can fly free.

    2. Take Walks Together

    Rain or shine, getting your family outside for a nice walk can be really fun. Take this walk a step further and find a nice trail or country road to walk in the morning or evening. Recap everyone’s day by asking for a high (something good that happened) and a low (something not good that might have happened). Use this time to get closer as a family and interact together.

    If the weather seems a little gloomy, slip on your rain boots and rain jackets to jump in the puddles as you make your way around the neighborhood! The kids will love splashing in the puddles as they walk. This is even a good way for mom and dad to get a little stress-free time, too!

    3. Play Creative Games on the Playset

    Don’t forget about that fun backyard playset you have, either! Your playset can be used all year long in so many different ways.

    Have a blast swinging on the swings! Take a twist on the classic game of Hide and Seek. Swing your child, tell them to close their eyes and count to 20 as they swing. Go hide in the meantime and when they are done counting, have them come find you! This is a great game to play with children of any age.

    Help your children create childhood memories on the playset by pretending it’s a pirate ship! Have someone play the captain and steer the boat while the rest of the family plays the crew. A few other fun games you can play are Red Light Green Light, Mother May I, and Simon Says. Always remind your children how to play safe on the swing set and refresh any visitors of the rules you may have.

    Don’t let the speed of summer make your family forget what it’s like to have fun the old fashioned way! Take advantage of the extra free time your children have this summer and enjoy the outdoors with these three simple activities. In need of a swing set? Shop our selection of wooden playsets!

  • 5 Swing Set Maintenance Tips

    These days, a play set is a big investment and like any other big ticket item, it pays to protect it. Preserving your wooden swing set doesn't have to be a laborious or time intensive project. Owners who are willing to set aside one weekend each year to perform routine maintenance and upkeep will be able to retain their swing set's beauty for a long time to come. Read along to see how you can easily give the backyard play set a make-over.

    Staining and Sealing

    Staining or sealing is one of the most important components of preserving your backyard playground. To protect the unit from the elements, we recommend you stain or seal annually. Of course, you may find that it is beneficial to stain or seal more or less often, depending on the climate and weather of your location.

    The first step in staining or sealing your set is cleaning it. We like the idea of using plain old soap and water here. A power washer is of great assistance for this step. Next, remove accessories and toys, and let the swing set dry. Ideally, the cleaning could be done on a Friday night, or early Saturday. Then, on Sunday, you can finish the process: sand rough patches and apply the stain or sealer. It is important to wait another 24 hours for the stain or sealer to dry. Need more information? Explore this step by step guide to staining your swing set.

    Hardware Checks

    When it comes to checking the hardware on your children's playground set, there's simply no such thing as too often. At least once a year, or even once a season, inspect the bolts and tighten as necessary. This doesn't take much in the way of time or resources -- all you need is a wrench and an hour's time!

    Replacements and Cleaning

    Another way to keep the playground set looking brand new is regular cleaning. An annual wipe down of swings and toys should be sufficient. Replacing accessories or slides should be much more sporadic. For example, if you live in the Northeast and the past few winters have been particularly tough, a tent top canopy may need replacing after three or so years. The same goes for a sling swing. This is also an opportunity to upgrade the playground set, and incorporate a horse glider swing for two or gym-ring trapeze bar combo as a new activity.

    Update or Install a Ground Surface

    Look closely at the surface beneath the playground set. We suggest that all playsets have a thick layer of rubber mulch underneath them for additional padding and safety. Rubber mulch lasts much longer and requires less maintenance than the usual wood mulch.

    Commitment is Key

    We recommend marking a weekend on the calendar in advance so you don't forget about the upkeep of your playground set. Even if it's six months away, you'll give yourself a reminder. Once you've done the staining, tightening, and cleaning for that year, make sure that you plan ahead for the next maintenance day. We encourage you to get the whole family involved. After all, having a playground set is all about creating childhood memories. Why not making this a teaching moment for the little ones?

    Making sure that the children’s swing set is stained, the hardware is in check, and you’ve scheduled the next routine maintenance day for next year ensures that your backyard investment will be around for years to come.

  • 5 Fun and Free Spring Activities for the Whole Family

    After this long winter, your children are probably ready to enjoy the fresh air, embrace the longer days, and have some real outdoor fun! Here is a list of five exciting family activities to keep tucked away in your back pocket for the spring time.

    1. Play in the rain

    You know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers!” Get ready for the spring time sprinkles. When the raindrops start falling, instead of staying inside, have everyone grab their rain boots and rain jackets to go out and splash around! Jump in puddles, run through the wet grass, and make a dreary day lively and exciting for the whole family. Meredith Burton put together some additional rainy day ideas for how to make your own sunshine on a cloudy day.

    1. Take reading outside

    Reading can help children develop their language skills, their imagination, and their brain develop. Why not take this constructive activity outside where the children can soak up some Vitamin D and fresh air? Have everyone in the family grab their favorite book and embrace the nice weather. If you have a covered play set, you can turn the canopied platform into your children’s personal reading nook. Depending on the story, you could test out your acting skills and re-enact a storyline!

    1. Clean up your local parks

    Are there a few parks that your family loves to go to when the weather permits? Give back to the parks that have contributed to hours of enjoyment for your family by lending a helping hand. Get out your rubber gloves and trash bags and pick up what others have left behind to keep the park clean! Your children will learn the value of community service and be rewarded with playing at the park they love so dearly.

    1. Go for a hike

    Even if you live in a more suburban area, it’s easy to find hiking trails near your home. Hikes are a great way to get your legs moving and to see all that nature has to offer! You can also look into finding nature preserves around your town to visit, too. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the great outdoors. During the spring, your family is likely to come across blooming flowers and budding foliage.

    1. Turn the playset into a fun-center

    Keeping the playset attractive for children at any age is easy! On a nice day, suggest playing fun games like Capture the Flag, Simon Says, and Ghosts in a Graveyard by using the swing set as a prop for the games. Take it a step further and spruce up your playset with some accessories or create a pulley system for the kids to mess with. Something that has become more popular recently is turning your play set into a backyard ninja warrior course where the kids can compete to set a new record on! Creating some sort of obstacle course is not only fun but it can help to enhance your children’s gross motor skills as they swing on the monkey bars or climb the rock wall.

  • Activities to Get Your Children Moving During the Cold of Winter

    Are you running out of fun ideas to keep the kids occupied over the cold, wintery months? We know how easy it is to want to stay bundled up under blankets when it’s so chilly out, but it’s important to make sure your kids are staying active even through the Winter doldrums. To help you out, we have compiled a list of fun indoor, outdoor, and day activities that you can do with your kids on the chilliest of days.

    Three Interactive Indoor Activities for Children

    1. Hula-hoop

    Hula-hoops are a great way to get the kids off the couch and moving. Make it even more fun by putting on some music. You can stir up a little friendly competition with the older kids and see who can hula-hoop for the longest amount of time (parents included)! If you don’t already have a hula-hoop, they now have light up hula-hoops available for purchase, so you could turn the lights out and make it a fun sleepover activity.

    1. Jump rope

    Just like hula-hooping, if you have the space in your home, jumping rope is an inexpensive activity to keep your kids entertained and active. Jumping rope will get your child’s blood flowing, improve balance, strengthen coordination, and enhance muscular endurance. Teach your kids some jump rope rhymes to keep them engaged and wanting to continue with this activity.

    1. Relay race

    If you’re able to shuffle around some furniture in your basement or another living space, you can make a little relay race. Some possible relay events are: building a tower out of blocks, singing a song, balancing a book on their head, hiding objects around the house for the kids to find, etc. This is definitely an activity that can be even more fun if Mom and Dad get involved too!

    Three Wintry Outdoor Activities

    1. Sledding

    Over the Winter months, we’re always checking the weather to see if we are going to get that Snow Day! Make sure you are prepared to make each Snow Day super, by checking your supply of sleds, winter clothes, and hot chocolate! If you’re new to the neighborhood, make sure you know where the good sledding spots are, that way when the flakes begin to pile up, you will be all set for a fun sledding adventure.

    1. Playing on the Swing Set

    A swing set can bring out the playful side of children as it gives the opportunity for kids to be active physically and mentally. Kids can swing, slide, climb and let their imaginations run wild all year around. If there is snow on the ground, you can incorporate your backyard playset as the main structure for a snow fort, and can easily turn your backyard into the biggest feature of the Snow Day! Whether you suggest to the kids to make the playset a home base for a snowy version of capture the flag or an improvised ski resort, your children will love using their imagination and playing outside all day long.

    1. Snow Obstacle Course

    Building a snow obstacle course is like building a snowman but 10 times better! An obstacle course allows children to be creative. They can build small snow ramps to pull their sleds over, or construct rows of snow cones to plow over, run, and dodge through.

    Three Exciting Day Activities for Children

    1. Bowling

    If the roads are clear and you are able to drive somewhere, take the kids or the family out for bowling! This inexpensive activity gets you out of the house and allows you to also teach the little ones a fun sport!

    1. Swimming

    Do you know if your city or town has a facility with a pool? If your city center has one, gather up the children and their swimsuits and get ready to hit the water. Swimming in the Winter is a great way to keep the kids’ swimming skills sharp and is also a great way to get a full body workout!

    1. Ice skating

    Depending on the age of your children, ice skating could be a great way for the whole family to get out of the house. Look into open skate times at your local ice rink and round the kids up to go! If your children are younger, all skating rinks have cones or metal walkers to keep smaller children stabilized while they skate.

    With these great ideas, you can spruce up a chilly day by getting your children to be active and moving either in the house or out of the house. For more backyard activity ideas visit our blog!

  • Getting the Most out of Your Swing Set

    There’s no denying that buying a backyard swing set is an investment. While you are making a purchase that can help make your children happy and healthy, it can still be a bit of a strain on the wallet. Because of the expense, people often choose wooden sets because of the aesthetics, but also because of the durability of the wood. We have compiled a couple approaches you can take in order to better prepare your wooden backyard playset for years to come so that you can get the most life out of your investment.

    Preparation #1 – Sealing and Staining

    Sealing or staining your swing set can bring new life to the wood by maintaining its natural color. By annually staining, you will also help prevent any cracking or checking that may happen to the bigger support timbers.

    How To Properly Stain Your Swing Set

    1. Take off any accessories attached to the swing set and remove any toys from on or around the set.
    2. Clean the equipment with soap and water or use a power washer for a faster cleaning. Let the swing set dry.
    3. Once the wood is dry, you should look closely at the wood and sand any rough patches.
    4. After you sand, begin applying stain or sealer. Make sure to wait a full 24 hours for the coat to dry.

    If you would like more detailed instructions, read these staining tips.

    Preparation #2 – Encourage Your Children to Play

    Even though it might require a few extra layers of clothing, your children can still use their playset year-round. Slide and jump into piles of snow or build a snow fort around the play area. The opportunities are endless with just a little imagination. You will appreciate your investment more as you see your children getting use out of it throughout the entire year.

    Keep your set maintained, safe, and long lasting for many years with this round up of preparation tips! You and your children will love playing on this purchase no matter the time of year. Visit our store for more information on our products.

  • 3 Fun Backyard Activities and Treats for Fall

    Fall is here and in full swing! Make sure you are making the most of your backyard before the winter chill strikes. Backyards are meant for play and to be a place where memories can be created. With these activities, you can turn your backyard into the perfect fall haven for your family, friends, and neighbors.

    Pumpkin Painting

    What’s the perfect activity for a crisp fall day? Pumpkin painting! It’s fun and an easy way to get kids outside. Painting pumpkins even allows for children to exercise their fine motor skills. To create a fun and interactive time for everyone, here’s a few steps to get the pumpkin painting party started.

    1. Set up a table outside with newspaper to protect it.
    2. Collect a variety of washable paint colors and paint brushes. You can even pick up some leaves, old sponges, or cut open fruit to paint and stamp on the pumpkins.
    3. Set it all up, gather up the kids, and prepare for the fall fun!

    Fall Scavenger Hunt

    When a little fall chill sets in, it’s easy to cuddle up inside and watch TV. Get your children outside by creating a backyard scavenger hunt! This is the perfect way to get the kids moving and outside to practice their gross motor skills. Create a list of backyard objects for the children to find or grab a few things from the garage. Incorporate the use of the backyard playset by hiding a few items at the top of the slide or in the tire swing. If you would like to download a free copy of a few different scavenger hunt ideas, we’ve pulled together a list for children of all ages.

    Fall Treats

    To top any fun fall day off, you’ll want to have the perfect seasonal treat ready for your kids and friends. Here are three easy and yummy recipes everyone is sure to love. Try one, or try them all! You will not be disappointed.

    At Eastern Jungle Gym, we encourage outside play for all. Fall is a great time to embrace the outdoors and spend time with your family. To see our selection of wooden swing sets, take a look at the offerings of our online store. For any questions about our products, reach out to our sales team and customer support for answers. We hope you all have a safe and fun time this fall!

  • How to Make Your Backyard Sensory Heaven for Children

    It is important for children to develop and experience all their senses early on in life. It is also important for children to play outside and engage in physical activity. So why not kill two birds with one stone by integrating outdoor and sensory play activities? We have three fun and exciting features you can add to your backyard which allows children to get the most out of playing outside.

    Rope and Bucket Pulley

    Children love the feeling of accomplishment. The rope and pulley system is the perfect way for them to express this feeling. Children also get to work on their gross motor skills by filling the bucket, raising it up, dropping it down, and getting to empty its contents. This fun addition adds repetitive entertainment to your backyard and keeps children occupied for hours.

    To create a rope and bucket pulley, you simply tie a rope to the handle of the bucket and possibly tie a few knots on the end of the rope for children to grab ahold of. Once the knots are tied, find an open spot on the beam where the swings are. Then throw the rope over the beam which holds the swings. Pull the excess cord until the bucket can sit flat on the ground. Make sure you have some fun things to fill the bucket with! Foam building blocks or a cut up pool noodle work great.

    Tire Swing

    Break up the action on your play set by adding a tire swing into the mix. Tire swings are a great way for children to experience a different kind of swinging. Tire swings allow kids to sit high, hold tight, and pump their legs a little harder to get the tire swing in motion. These actions allow children’s gross motor skills to take flight by strengthening their little muscles and allowing them to have a lot of fun at the same time.

    Attaching a tire swing to your play set is made simple with our three chain tire swing. Our chains are coated in soft plastisol, which prevent fingers from being hurt and the chains from rusting. If you choose to build your own, make sure you purchase the correct hardware to go with your recycled tire.


    There are many muscles that get strengthened by a tightrope. Tightropes are a great way for children to strengthen their arms and legs, practice their balance, strengthen their core, enhance their climbing skills, and coordination.

    To create a tightrope in your backyard, locate two trees that are six feet or more apart from each other and are suitable for a tightrope. You can also make your own anchors by installing wooden poles in your backyard. Take one piece of rope and wrap it around the one tree trunk or pole multiple times just a few inches off the ground. Tie a knot and repeat on the other end. Make sure there is no slack in the rope as you tie it. Repeat the same steps with the second pieces of rope. Space the second piece a few feet above the bottom rope keeping tiny people in mind. This second rope will provide upper body support for the children as they balance and maneuver across their new contraption.

    This fall is a great time to give children the experience of strengthening their gross motor skills with these play set additions. Keep them entertained and engaged in outdoor play for hours with the pulley, tire swing, and tight rope. For more tips on how to make your swing set more appealing, visit our blog discussing the types of swings to add to your swing set!

  • 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!


  • 3 Playground Workouts for Busy Moms

    Mom working out on playsetSwing sets are not just for kids, they can be for moms too! Turn your jungle gym or swing set into a mini gym with these three full body workouts.

    For Your Arms

    If your child’s play set has a trapeze bar or gym rings, you can first focus on your upper body muscles with incline pull-ups!

    HERE’S HOW: Walk up to the hanging trapeze bar and grab the bar or the gym rings. Lean back so your body is relying on your arms to not fall to the ground. In this position, you may begin to pull yourself towards the bar and slowly release your arms back down to your original position. This exercise will work your upper back, trapezius muscles, biceps, and deltoids. We advise that you start with three sets of 10 to begin.

    PRO TIP: To increase the intensity of this workout, move your feet farther forward under the trapeze bar. To decrease the intensity of this workout, move your legs backwards to decrease the distance you must pull your body up.

    For Your Legs

    Good news! It’s time to switch the muscle groups you were just using. It’s time to do some squats.

    HERE’S HOW: Approach the swing of your swing set and turn your back to it, with the base of the swing touching the back of your legs. For this exercise, you are going to pretend as if you are going to sit in the swing, keeping your arms extended out parallel to your shoulders as you sink down. Once your toosh touches the swing, shoot back up into a standing position with slightly bent knees. Repeat this motion 20 times for 3 sets.

    PRO TIP: For a more engaged workout, twist your body as you are descending and have the elbow of one arm meet the knee on the opposite side. Switch arms each time you sink down for another squat.

    For Your Abs

    Lastly, we cannot forget the abs. Abdominal muscles are responsible for keeping our body stable and upright, which is needed to maintain good spinal health.

    HERE’S HOW: Assuming the same incline position that you were in for the pull ups, hang with a still body and lift your knee to your chest. Repeat this motion 10 times for each leg, doing three sets altogether. This exercise will engage both your upper and lower abs. Add in a variation of lifting your knee out to the side to work your oblique muscles.

    PRO TIP: Holding a single leg out, fully extended to a 30-degree angle, repeatedly and slowly raise it to a 45-degree angle. Repeat each leg 10 times each for three sets. This change up will give your upper thigh and lower abs a workout all at the same time!

    Not only do we have tips for keeping your body maintained, but we also have tips on keeping your swing set maintained! We offer great blog posts with tips on maintaining your swing set. Interested in buying a swing set of your own? Shop our online store to order your next piece of workout equipment!

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