A wooden swing set is a key ingredient to childhood fun and imagination. It’s a place for creativity to germinate and social skills to blossom. If used properly, your playset can last you for decades, and that’s why it’s so important to know your swing set’s limitations. Take a look at what your jungle gym can really handle, and learn to avoid the things it just can’t.
Maximizing Your Play Potential
Obviously different playsets will be able to handle different tasks. The larger the swing set, the more capabilities it will have and the more weight, pressure, and action it can handle. Things that will factor into your outdoor playset’s functionality include:
Fort size:While most backyard playground equipment you’ll find on the market comes with 4’ forts, this is rather stifling for older kids. Purchasing a jungle gym with a 5’ fort deck or bigger will maximize the fun potential and ensure that your kids can still enjoy their backyard set as they grow.
Swing set accessories:Another size-relevant area of your swing set is the accessory department. Once again, smaller accessories will only hold their attention for so long. After that, kids get bored and move on to bigger (literally) and better toys.
While we are all for adults enjoying their swing set purchase alongside their children, even durable wooden playsets have their limits. The vast majority of playsets today have a maximum capacity of 250 lbs. Any adult who fit within this range can enjoy their swing sets just as much as the children. In fact, swinging on a swing is highly recommended as a stress relief method!
[Note: This is not taking into consideration any alterations innovative parents might have made to the design; for example, replacing the chains and mounting hooks with more heavy-duty hardware to allow for a greater weight capacity.]
Can’t Touch This
Here are a few pointers on what not to do if you want your outdoor playground equipment to last the 20+ years that it is capable of lasting:
DON’T let on more than the recommended capacity
Swing sets come with instructions, and just like anything you buy, your playset will work optimally if you listen to the recommendations. See how many kids a playset is meant to hold, and don’t go over that limit. You’ll only be doing your swing set damage (not to mention causing a potential safety risk) by overloading the wooden playhouse with extra weight that it can’t handle.
That being said, most durable swing sets will be able to withstand all the weight and pressure that your kids can dish out.
DON’T get water, water everywhere
Metal and wooden swing sets can generally handle a small amount of water including the normal rain, a water fight, and nightly dew falling. This is particularly true if you’ve kept up your playset with an annual coat of sealant.
Frequent and continuous contact with water will damage even the most durable swing sets though. Avoid excessive water play around the backyard playground equipment, and wipe up any pools of water. Sitting water on a wooden playset is a death sentence to the integrity of the structure.
DON’T transform a residential swing set into a commercial one
While these sets are built to last, they have to be treated properly. Swing sets meant for residential use will not be able to withstand commercial usage such as in a public playground or park. Use the kids playground equipment for what it was designed to be used for, and you shouldn’t run into any problems.