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.
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.
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.
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.