As the cold darkness of Winter begins to recede, Spring will soon start showing itself. With the gradual increase of temperature will come even more patrons of your playground but, with abject horror, the very first thing they will notice is your lack of a Swingset.
Though it might seem an unnecessary inclusion when you’ve already got such amazing playground equipment already, the Swingset is a classic for a reason. Nothing compares to the pure joy of riding the swings, rising to the skies and falling back down to earth again and again.
However, it’s been years since you’ve used a Swingset yourself – what should you be looking for?
Here are some tips on how to buy a Swingset for your playground.
The Type Of Swingset
The very first decision you need to consider when buying your Swingset is what type of Swingset you want.
That’s right; it turns out that there isn’t just a straightforward type of Swingset – who knew?
Both their accessibility and their purpose define the different types of Swingset. For example, the traditional Single Post Swingset, whereby the Swingset is nothing more than swings suspended from one single continuous post, is perfect for children who want to swing alongside one another.
However, if you are looking to cater towards younger children, you likely want to get a T Post instead, as this allows parents more comfortable access to pushing their children, as well as a block in between the two swings.
You also have the question of whether or not to include additional customizations onto your Swingset.
Instead of just having the traditional two swing seats and nothing else, you could include a Monkey Bar attachment, or even add the Swingset as part of a more extensive Jungle Gym piece.
There are a vast number of different activities you can include, but you need to decide if you want to get a simple Swingset or branch out into something more adventurous; it all comes down to what you wish for your playground to be about.
Make sure you know what type of Swingset you want before you go and buy one – you need to figure out what kind of children you are looking to accommodate.
How Tall Is It Going To Be?
Though you might think that all Swingsets are the same height, they vary widely based on their requirements.
For example, Tripod Post Swingsets are designed to be up to eleven feet high, allowing for older children to swing far higher than with Swingsets intended for younger children.
You also need to bear in mind accessibility; for many disabled children, the average height of a traditional Swingset is too high for them to use. If you are looking to cater towards children with disabilities, you need to look into specialty swings that are ADA accessible. You can even buy Swingsets that are half ADA-friendly and half standard height, to be inclusive to everyone.
Though you might not think that the height is inherently valuable, the type of swing hardware you use changes the result drastically. A Swingset is more than just a simple piece of playground equipment; it is a feat of engineering.
Not only does it need to be accessible for the maximum number of children as possible, but it also needs to be structurally sound.
Is the rail size adequate for the weight of different children? Is it going to support two or more children at once? Even more importantly, is there any risk of damage to the swing frame if it is misused?
Perhaps even more important is how long is the Swingset going to be? Unlike other pieces of playground equipment, a Swingset requires not only the physical space with which to construct its frame, but also space both ahead and behind to allow for the children to actually swing.
Generally speaking, you need to allocate at least twice the height of the crossbeam from the swings in diameter of the border – this means that if your Swingset itself measures 6 foot tall, you need to allocate 12 feet for the actual border of your Swingset. This is to allow not just room for the children actually to swing, but also for others to push the swingers if they so desire.
This is imperative for the children’s enjoyment, but it is also essential for safety considerations; if you build your Swingset too close to other pieces of equipment, you run the risk of a child getting a swift boot to the face by an over-eager swinger.
You can quickly see that there is a massive range of different options to consider, so make sure you understand what you need to be looking for.
How Do You Know What To Get?
With all these different options, it might seem like there is no way to figure out how on earth you pick out the perfect Swingset.
This is primarily a problem if you are still building your playground and haven’t opened it yet, compared to if you already have a functioning playground, but are considering adding a Swingset to it.
The best way to decide what to get is to consider what this piece of equipment is providing – do you already have physical hardware, such as Monkey Bars or a Trapeze bar in your playground? Or do you still require some additional physical equipment?
The best way to keep on top of it is to make a list of what you are looking for in your finished playground and see how a Swingset helps meet your criteria.
If you don’t have any egregious gaps in equipment type, then you can safely assume you only need a simple Single Post swing set. However, if you lack different types of equipment, you can add attachments to your Swingset to make up for this deficient.
The only other important criteria you need to consider is the intended age for your Swingset – if you are looking to cater to younger children make sure you don’t pick a massive Tripod Post that will leave children unable actually to swing.
Though it might all seem too daunting, picking a Swingset can be extremely easy as long you remember two important things – what will the kids want, and what will the kids need?