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, 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!