If you should invest in a wooden swing set, with or without a slide and climbing frame, could be a big decision to make. There are a lot of aspects to consider before going ahead with this, which sometimes is a big purchase.
Will it fit in your garden? How long will it last? What add-ons can you get? What features will benefit your kiddies the most and for how long? There is no question they will enjoy it, but you want to make sure they get as much out of it as possible if you are going to spend the money on it! Keep reading and I will try and share the knowledge I have got around this topic combined with my own experience of my kids’ use of wooden swing sets.
Has swings always been around?
It is hard to imagine play parks and growing up in general without swings. They have been around in different shapes and forms for a very long time. They go back to at least 1450 BC. There have been vases found from the ancient Greek, where people have been painted swinging on simple swings of wood and hanging in ropes.
The principle of swing sets has not changed much ever since, however, there are so many different swing-set accessories available today. There is no doubt that swing sets are much safer today than the earlier ones were, but it also comes down to your maintenance and safe use of them. Swinging, no matter the equipment, will always bring joy, just look at a simple tree swing!
Benefits of swinging and climbing
I have said this before, but children learn from playing and finding their limits and an indoor or outdoor swing set with perhaps an added climbing frame will help them in so many ways when it comes to finding and developing their capabilities.
- They will improve their balance, strength, and spatial awareness, which means that they get better at guessing how close or far away other people and objects are.
- They will also get a stronger grip with their hands from holding onto the ropes of the swing.
- Usnig swing sets in the garden will increase their outdoor time! We have previously discussed the benefits of outdoor play and you can find it here. Research shows again and again how being outdoors and getting fresh air helps both our physical and mental health. The best thing about a swing set in your garden is that it is not only for the summer! Let your kids out to play all year round.
- Many important social skills are learned in the playground. If they have siblings, taking turns on the swing set in the garden, is a sure way of assisting them when it comes to learning to share and waiting patiently. Some good swing set accessories allow them to play together too! Why not try Titan Toys Go Wild 2-Seater Glider Swing?
If you want more in-depth information about the benefits, I can recommend reading The fun Hubs 'A Must-Read Article on the Benefits of Swings'.
Speaking from my own experience, where I have a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, my kids have benefited so much from our wooden swing set. They did not always want to use the same swing, so they would take turns, swinging together with one accessory and then they would change to whatever the other child wanted to use. They have both become great climbers using ladders and climbing rocks, but they have also used their imagination a lot while pretending they are sailing away on a big ship looking for sharks!
Should you choose a wooden or a metal swing set?
They both have their advantages and disadvantages, but in the end, it will come down to your personal preference in addition to what suits your family and your garden.
- Metal swings are very common in public play parks due to them being more hardwearing and lasting. On the other hand, they can easily rust, and the paint will flake so it requires maintenance if you are looking for it to keep the same look (OWNPLAYGROUND).
- Wooden swings can more often be seen in peoples backgardens. They have a beautiful natural look and are stronger than metal. While the metal can bend, well-designed and maintained wooden swing sets can last an average of 40 years. As they are this strong, they will also allow for a higher maximum weight. Another advantage of wooden climbing frames is that they do not get as hot during the summer as metal ones can.
You should also consider what add-ons are available for the garden swing frame you choose, and their durability. See for example Titan Toys' selection of different swings and accessories. Often you will be able to mix and match between different brands and makes, but make sure before making your final decision if this is something you intend on doing.
The option to add accessories, such as different swings, climbing ropes, trapeze, or nets, allows you to bring new life to the swing set to make sure you get as much use out of it as possible. This is also a great benefit if you have children of different ages and stages in their development.
Size of the garden and the type of ground
Another crucial consideration is the size of your garden, the angle of the slope if it has got one and what type of ground it is. If your garden is fairly flat and grassy, it will be more or less straightforward to assemble and secure a wooden swing set. Generally, all you need is some wooden ground anchors. The angle of the brackets that the side legs are being assembled in, means that the frame will be very stable.
In the case of having more of a slopy garden, it might be an idea to get ground anchors that you screw into the grass at a 45-degree angle and then chain together with the climbing frame. If you are using ground anchors on turf, you will have to use longer ground anchors.
You could also concrete it down and Backyard Sidekick has really good information and guides when it comes to anchoring down swing sets for your garden in different types of grounds.
Having a swing set on concrete could be unsafe for obvious reasons and it is strongly recommended to use rubber mats or something similar to ensure a soft landing. If you want to place the swing set on concrete, you will have to get flat ground anchors that get drilled and secured into the concrete.
Maintenance of wooden and metal swing sets
The maintenance of wooden and metal swing sets differs slightly where a metal one needs to have its nuts and bolt tightened regularly whereas the wood might need to be treated through the course of its lifetime. When looking to buy a wooden swing look for one that has been pressure treated to ensure it will last longer.
As the wood expands and detracts along with the temperature, Titan Toys have developed a unique and innovative rubber sleeve that is placed around the beams where the brackets will go. This then allows the expansion or detraction to happen naturally without affecting the functionality of the wooden frame in any way.
A metal swing set may need to be painted regularly to maintain a fresher look without flaking, whereas a natural wooden swing set will generally keep its look without much upkeep.
Your personal choice
In the end, it comes down to what you prefer. The wooden swing sets are naturally strong, beautiful, and last up to a lifetime (Titan Toys believes that much in their ethically sourced and pressure-treated wood, they offer a lifetime guarantee on the swing and climbing frames). But they often take up a little more space and are not the easiest to move about.
Metal swing sets on the other hand are a lot more lightweight but will need more maintenance, do not last as long, and are not as strong.
Regardless of your choice, kids of all ages will have hours of fun! While you can hopefully get a minute to yourself! Obviously while still supervising the swing play!