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7 Best Swing Sets for Kids in 2020

The best swing sets for kids provide awesome outdoors fun, offering extra playground activities as well as a swing. But there are so many different models on the market that it can be hard to find the right one for your needs.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help! We have carefully reviewed dozens of swing sets to select the best 7 models in 2020. From sturdy basic swings to activity play centers with a playhouse, slide or trapeze, there’s a perfect swing set for every backyard.

You’ll find our three top picks below, followed by a quick comparison table of all 7 models. Then a review of each one in more detail. Finally, our Buying Guide and FAQs will help you find the best swing set for your kids.

Ultimate Choice

Lifetime Big Stuff Playset

Lifetime A-Frame Adventure Playset

See on Amazon

Best for Toddlers

CREATIVE CEDAR DESIGNS Sky View

Creative Cedar Designs Sky View

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Budget Choice

Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Set for kids

Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Set

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Best Swing Sets for Kids – Quick Comparison Table

After the table we will review each swing set, in the same order, to make comparing them easier.

If you’re on a small screen, click on the green plus sign, or the little picture of each swing, to see more features.

 NameMax No.
of Users
Max Total
User Weight
SizePrice
Lifetime A-Frame Adventure PlaysetLifetime A-Frame Adventure Playset8900 lbs11' 5" H x 15' 9" W
x 13' 11" D
$$$$$
Creative Cedar Designs Sky ViewCreative Cedar Designs Sky View4290 lbs10' 4" H x 17' 10" W
x 9' 2" D
$$$$
Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing SetSwing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden3300 lbs6' 10" H x 7' 8" W
x 8' 8" D
$
Backyard Discovery Big BrutusBackyard Discovery Big Brutus3450 lbs9' 6" H x 13' 2" W
x 9' 7" D
$$$
Gorilla Playsets 01-0001-Y OutingGorilla Playsets 01-0001-Y Outing6425 lbs10' 6" H x 15' W
x 12' 6" D
$$$$
Step2 Naturally Playful Adventure LodgeStep2 Naturally Playful Adventure Lodge6450 lbs7' 3" H x 13' 10" W
x 9' 10" D
$$$
Backyard Discovery Mount McKinleyBackyard Discovery Mount McKinley9810 lbs9' 11" H x 15' 6" W
x 12' 6" D
$$$

Top 7 Best Swing Sets in 2020 – Reviews

If you want to find the best swing set for your backyard, these reviews will help you make the right choice.

1. Lifetime A-Frame Adventure Playset

Ultimate Choice

Lifetime A-Frame Adventure Playset
  • Max Users: 8
  • Max Total Weight: 900 lbs
  • Size: 11′ 5″ H x 15′ 9″ W x 13′ 11″ D
  • Age Guide: 3-12

It is also known as the Lifetime Big Stuff Playset – and it is big. With solid build quality and a huge range of play activities, it is sure to keep the adventurers in your family happy for many years to come!

Check out our full review of this swing set for a lot more detail about its features, materials used, delivery, safety and construction.

Pros:

  • Maintenance free and no splinters
  • Meets ASTM safety standards
  • 5-year limited manufacturer warranty
  • Does not need anchoring
  • Great customer service
  • Available in 2 different colors
  • No lead based materials
  • 900 pounds total weight capacity

Cons:

  • Binoculars have no magnification (this is to protect kids eyes from the sun)
  • Coating on swing chains may become sticky after a few years

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2. Creative Cedar Designs Sky View Wooden Playset

Best Swing Set for Toddlers

Creative Cedar Designs Sky View Wooden Playset for kids
  • Max Users: 4
  • Max Total Weight: 290 lbs
  • Size: 10′ 4″ H x 17′ 10″ W x 9′ 2″ D
  • Age Guide: 3-10

This sturdy swing set weighs in at a reassuringly heavy 301 lbs. Although there are a lot of parts to assemble, most users report that it only takes about 5 hours for two adults to build. Allow up to 10 hours if you try to do it all alone, but a few parts of the process really benefit from having an extra pair of hands.

The Sky View has a good package of playground features including:

  • Play fort with tarp canopy
  • 8-foot wave slide
  • 2-person glider swing
  • 2 regular belt swings
  • Rock climbing wall
  • Wooden ladder
  • Play Telescope and Binoculars
  • Steering wheel
  • Sandbox (15 sq. ft.)
  • Picnic table

The set has good ratings once built and has a relatively compact footprint (for the amount of features) so should fit into many backyards. It measures 10′ 4″ (H) x 17′ 10″ (W) x 9′ 2″ (D).

The maximum weight capacity for the swings is 290 pounds in total for up to 4 children. Ground stake anchors keep the set stable and fixed firmly to the ground even while several kids swing or climb on it. However, a level surface is required for installation – if your backyard is on a slope you may need to dig out a trench or build up the surface until it is level.

The manufacturer recommends this swing set for kids aged 3 – 10 years old. However, in the real world, it may be a little small for 8 to 10 year olds. In particular, older kids may struggle to stand up inside the play fort.

Another age factor is that the swing seats may be too low for many kids over 7. However this could easily be resolved by shortening the chains. The set already has a 2-person glider swing but you could easily change one of the other swings for a glider or bucket seat swing.

Most users reported that this swing set was quite easy to assemble, although time consuming. It’s our Best Buy for Toddlers and has a wide enough range of play activities to satisfy the differing likes of little ones, and their friends.

Pros:

  • Large number of activity features
  • Compact footprint
  • Ideal for 3 – 6 year olds
  • Meets ASTM safety standards
  • Easy to understand instructions
  • Limited 10 Year Warranty on wood, 1 Year on accessories
  • Sandbox is a clever use of space

Cons:

  • Wood may require annual maintenance
  • Telescope and binoculars have no magnification (this is to protect kids eyes from the sun)
  • Slide feels a bit flimsy

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3. Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Set for Kids

Best Budget Swing Set

Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Set
  • Max Users: 3
  • Max Total Weight: 300 lbs
  • Size: 6′ 10″ H x 7′ 8″ W x 8′ 8″ D
  • Age Guide: 2-10

It measures 6′ 10″ (H) x 7′ 8″ (W) x 8′ 8″ (D) when fully assembled so has a small footprint compared to many swing set monsters. The picture above actually makes it appear larger than it is – the main beam that the swings are attached to is less than 9-foot long.

The main features are two regular swings and a ring/trapeze combination swing. All have plastisol coated chains to prevent pinched fingers and rust – the chains are also adjustable so you can make them suit the height of your kids.

Each of the three swings can support up to 115 pounds each. The main beam supports up to a maximum of 300 pounds in total so don’t max out the capacity of every swing (3 x 115 lbs) at the same time…

The classic A-frame design is very easy to assemble and comes with ground anchors for extra safety. Most buyers report that it only takes 2 people about 2-3 hours to build which is a piece of cake compared to many swing sets.

The main wooden swing beam also makes it easy to swap the position of the swings around or maybe upgrade one to a bucket seat or glider swing for toddlers, or even change to a tire swing.

Swing-N-Slide are an American do-it-yourself wooden playground manufacturer, established in 1985. They recommend this wooden swing set for children aged 2-10 years old. However, users report that it may be a little small for 9 or 10 year olds, depending on their size.

The Ranger swing set is our Best Budget choice. For older or larger kids, we’d recommend the heavy duty metal Big Brutus swing set instead (review no. 4 below) which has a 150 lb weight limit per swing and is over 9 feet high.

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Easy and quick to assemble
  • Fits in smaller backyards
  • Meets ASTM safety standards for backyard use
  • Quality cedar lumber
  • Fully illustrated instructions

Cons:

  • May be too small for kids over 8 years old
  • Wood may require annual maintenance

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4. Backyard Discovery Big Brutus Heavy Duty Metal Swing Set

Best Swings for Older Kids

Backyard Discovery Big Brutus Heavy Duty Metal
  • Max Users: 3
  • Max Total Weight: 450 lbs
  • Size: 9′ 6″ H x 13′ 2″ W x 9′ 7″ D
  • Age Guide: 3-10

It comes in 3 large boxes weighing a total of 185 pounds but is easy to assemble – two adults could build it in a couple of hours. All the bolts have self locking nuts so this swing set isn’t going to come apart any time soon.

You can also download a free phone app called ‘Bilt’ to help with assembly. It is a step-by-step interactive app that provides simple instructions and 3D pictures to show you how all the parts fit together.

Once assembled, it measures 9′ 6″ (H) x 13′ 2″ (W) x 9′ 7″ (D). At nearly 10 feet tall, the metal frame is a third larger than a standard metal swing set. As an example, it is almost 3 feet taller than the cheap Ranger Wooden Swing Set (review no. 3 above) and much wider, so it is more suitable for older kids.

The manufacturer recommends this metal swing set for children aged 3-10 years old. However, it can handle up to 150lbs weight per swing – some users report that it can be used by young teens and perhaps even a lightweight parent can have a sneaky swing too!

The Big Brutus is our pick for Best Swings for Older Kids. It has a traditional A-frame construction with heavy-duty powder coated steel which is stronger and more durable than just paint so there is less chance of it rusting. It also has steel twist-in anchors for each leg to ensure that it remains stable even when the most energetic kids use it.

Pros:

  • Very heavy duty
  • Powder coated steel is very low maintenance
  • Steel anchors for safety
  • Easy assembly
  • 150 lbs weight capacity per swing
  • Can swap the swings easily for a toddler or tire swing
  • Awesome build instructions

Cons:

  • Only 1-year limited manufacturer warranty but user feedback consistently praises how rugged and durable this swing set is.

See on Amazon

5. Gorilla Playsets 01-0001-Y Outing Swing Set

Best Wooden Playset for Younger Kids

Gorilla Playsets Outing Swing Set for kids
  • Max Users: 6
  • Max Total Weight: 425 lbs
  • Size: 10′ 6″ H x 15′ W x 12′ 6″ D
  • Age Guide: 3-11

A step-by-step assembly manual and all required hardware is included, making this swing set relatively easy to build. The cedar lumber comes pre-sanded, pre-stained and pre-cut to save time and the main beams are pre-drilled. Most users say it takes about 6 to 8 hours, although it is easier with two people.

The Gorilla swing set is packed with features including:

  • 4-foot high play deck
  • 7-foot slide
  • Two belt swings and one swing trapeze bar with rings
  • Safe entry ladder with flat wooden steps
  • Rock wall with climbing Rope
  • Sandbox
  • Play Telescope with working compass
  • Steering wheel

It has excellent ratings once it is built and has a compact footprint (for the amount of features) so should fit into most backyards. The whole set measures 10′ 6″ (H) x 15′ (W) x 12′ 6″ (D) and the upper play deck is about 4 feet high.

The maximum weight capacity of the swing beam is 425 pounds – the manufacturer recommends a maximum of 150 pounds on each of the two swing belts and 125 pounds on the trapeze bar. The slide can hold up to 250 pounds which is enough to cope if two kids try to slide at the same time (although, for safety, they shouldn’t).

As with most swing sets, a level surface is required for installation – if your backyard is on a slope you may need to dig out a trench or build up the surface until it is level.

This is a well designed playset – for example, it is one of only two here with a sandbox which makes excellent use of the space under the play deck. Soft plastic coating on the swing chains helps avoid pinching and the bolts are recessed to prevent clothes snagging.

The manufacturer recommends this swing set for kids aged 3 – 11 years old. However, in the real world, it may be a little small for many 8 to 11 year olds. In particular, older kids may struggle to stand up inside the play deck.

It is our choice of Best Wooden Playset for Younger Kids and there is plenty of weight capacity for extra safety. Buyers could also change one of the swings for an infant swing or a saucer swing for toddlers.

Pros:

  • Large number of activity features
  • Compact footprint
  • Ideal for 3 – 6 year olds
  • Meets ASTM safety standards
  • Easy to understand instructions
  • Limited 10 Year Warranty on wood, 1 Year on accessories
  • Sandbox is a clever use of space

Cons:

  • Telescope has no magnification (this is to protect kids eyes from the sun)
  • More expensive than its (cedar wood) rivals
  • Wood may require annual maintenance

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6. Step2 Naturally Playful Adventure Lodge Without Glider

Step2 Naturally Playful Adventure Lodge
  • Max Users: 6
  • Max Total Weight: 450 lbs
  • Size: 7′ 3″ H x 13′ 10″ W x 9′ 10″ D
  • Age Guide: 3-8

This large swing set can provide hours of imaginative play for your little ones. Sit back and relax knowing that they are having fun climbing, hiding, swinging, sliding and even slam-dunking!

Don’t let that put you off though! This impressive set still gets great ratings once it is assembled. It can easily be taken apart again too should you move home as most pieces are just screwed into place.

If you ever want to just pick it up and move it to a new position in your backyard, you can, but it will probably need 3 adults to carry it.

This swing set is packed with features including:

  • 2 belt swings
  • 6-foot long slide
  • 2-storey playhouse
  • ¾ climbing wall
  • Basketball hoop with backboard
  • Rope ladder
  • Steering wheel

It’s a good size for most backyards too, measuring 7′ 3″ (H) x 13′ 10″ (W) x 9′ 10″ (D) and the platform is approximately 40 inches high. The maximum weight capacity is 300 pounds in the playhouse, 75 pounds on each swing.

The Step2 swing set is made from extremely dense, thick, plastic and wood polymer that stands up well to all weathers. The only exception is the heavy canvas roof on the playhouse, the color of which may fade a bit in a year or two.

This doesn’t affect the functionality but, if the faded color offends you, a replacement can easily be ordered from Step2.

Through the use of thick anchors that you hammer into the ground, the entire structure is able to withstand high winds. We found no reports of any snow or sun damage to the plastic. The plastic can get a bit hot in very strong sun though so your little ones may need to sit on a mat when going down the slide.

The manufacturer (Step2) recommends this playset for children aged 3-8 years old. However, in the real world, it may be a little small for some 7 to 8 year olds. In particular, they may struggle to stand up inside the playhouse.

Another age factor is that the swing seats may be too high off the ground for some 3 year olds. This can easily be resolved though with the addition of a little extra hardware. Some buyers even swap out one of the swings for a baby swing to extend its suitability to 1 year olds! What more could you ask for?

While a few buyers reported some difficulty putting this swing set together, most agree that it is definitely worth the effort. It’s an instant hit with toddlers and young kids and has enough going on to keep young bodies active for many years to come.

Pros:

  • No splinters or stains from paint, unlike a wooden swing set
  • Maintenance free
  • Heavy and sturdy enough to withstand most weather conditions
  • Can swap the swings easily for infant swings
  • Can be easily disassembled if you move house or moved around backyard
  • Meets ASTM safety standards

Cons:

  • No basketball included
  • Canvas roof on playhouse may fade in the sun
  • Plastic may get hot to touch
  • Instructions aren’t the best – mostly pictures, few words

See on Amazon

7. Backyard Discovery Mount McKinley Wooden Swing Set

Best Swing Set for Toddlers

Backyard Discovery Mount McKinley Wooden Swing Set
  • Max Users: 9
  • Max Total Weight: c 810 lbs
  • Size: 9′ 11″ H x 15′ 6″ W x 12′ 6″ D
  • Age Guide: 3-10

Whether relaxing in the spacious (16 square feet) open air fort, climbing, swinging or sliding, there’s plenty to keep kids happy. Parents will be reassured too that the 100% cedar construction has a chemical-free stain that is safe for children and animals.

This swing set arrives in 2 very large boxes weighing a total of 308 lbs. There are, literally, thousands of parts so some users report that it can take a couple of days to assemble. Having two pairs of hands helps – allow up to 10 hours for two people depending on your DIY skills.

However, building any large wooden structure does take time so this amount of effort is not unusual – and it will quickly be forgotten when you see your kid’s face light up as they rush to play on the swing set for the first time!

The set is packed with features including:

  • Large upper fort
  • 8-foot slide
  • Two belt swings and one swing trapeze bar
  • Full width rock climbing wall
  • Rope ladder with climbing rope
  • Play Telescope
  • Steering wheel

It has very good ratings once it is built and has quite a compact footprint (for the amount of features) so should fit into many backyards. It measures 9′ 11″ (H) x 15′ 6″ (W) x 12′ 6″ (D) and the upper deck is about 4 feet high.

The maximum weight capacity is 150 pounds per child for play activities designed for individual use, or 120 pounds per child for play activities designed for multiple child use.

Ground stake anchors keep the structure stable and fixed to the ground during the most enthusiastic play. However, a level surface is required for installation – if your backyard is on a slope you may need to dig out a trench or build up the surface until it is level.

The manufacturer recommends this swing set for kids aged 3 – 10 years old. However, in the real world, it may be a little small for 7 to 10 year olds. In particular, older kids may struggle to stand up inside the upper clubhouse.

Another age factor is that the swing seats are too low for many kids over 7. However this could easily be resolved by adding a little extra hardware to shorten the chains. Buyers could also change one of the swings for an infant swing.

While a few users reported some difficulty putting this swing set together, most agreed that it is well worth the effort. It’s an instant hit with toddlers and has enough playground favorites to keep little ones, and their friends, active for years to come.

Pros:

  • 100% cedar wood
  • Large number of activity features
  • Ideal for 3 – 6 year olds
  • Meets ASTM safety standards
  • Full 1 Year warranty (and 5 Year pro-rated on wood)
  • Fully illustrated instructions

Cons:

  • Telescope has no magnification (this is to protect kids eyes from the sun)
  • Assembly may take 2 adults up to 8 hours
  • Wood may require annual maintenance

See on Amazon

Buying Guide

Mom and daughter playing on swings

What You Need to Look For in a Swing Set

When buying a swing set it’s important to consider:

  • How durable it is – a well built set should last for many years
  • Whether much maintenance is required – wood needs the most annual maintenance, plastic and metal need very little
  • How much space it takes up – sizes vary a lot, you don’t want to buy a monster that takes up the whole backyard or risks your child swinging into a fence
  • Is it a suitable size for your kids to use for several years or will they outgrow it too quickly
  • Does it conform to home playground safety standards

Some of the things to look out for in the best swing sets for kids include:

How Long Will It Take to Build?

A lot depends on the size and features of each swing set but don’t underestimate the time required to build one, especially if you rarely attempt large DIY projects.

While the build steps aren’t that difficult, there are usually a lot of them! For example, our top pick for toddlers contains over 4,000 components that you will have to assemble. Many buyers report that it takes a couple of days to build, assuming you don’t work on it full time.

Most swing sets are too big to move around so have to be built in their intended position, outside. Allow more build time if the weather is poor – kids may love to play outdoors but it’s not a good idea to try and assemble a swing set in the cold or rain.

Due to the size and height of swing sets it is a good idea to have at least one extra person to hold parts while you fit them together. Follow the instructions – if they recommend 2 or 3 people, don’t try to do it all yourself…

Instructions may also be in the form of diagrams which are sometimes not very clear – allow some extra ‘trial and error’ time to work out what goes where.

Tools to build the best swing set for kids

Is the Swing Set Made Out of Wood, Metal or Plastic?

Each material has its own merits and disadvantages:

Metal swing sets are strong, cheap and easy to assemble but may rust over time. It is therefore important to touch up with paint any initial scratches caused during the building process.

However, compared to wood, they require very little ongoing maintenance. Good quality swings sets like the Lifetime A-Frame Adventure Playset (review no. 1) are made of steel with a weather resistant powder-coated finish which can protect it from rust, cracking, warping and splinters.

However, metal is used mostly for traditional A-frame swings, with perhaps a trapeze bar. It is less common on larger sets with many extra features like a slide and playhouse. The Lifetime A-Frame Playset does have several playground features but you do pay a price for such a solid construction.

Wooden swing sets are a classic choice of material and their natural appearance may blend more easily into the backyard landscape. There are far more models to choose from than metal sets and they have an endless variety of designs and added play activities.

If buying a wooden swing set, the best value is cedar. Cedar wood is naturally resistant to decay, rot and insect infestation and most manufacturers give a 10-year limited warranty. However, if you want to keep a wooden swing set in the best condition, you will need to apply a sealant to it at least once a year.

Although wood requires a lot of maintenance, it has the advantage that it is relatively easy for the home user to replace any parts of the frame that split or rot. Whereas it is very difficult or impossible to replace parts of metal or plastic frames.

This allows a wooden swing set to last for many years, longer than metal and plastic, so it appears a better value investment. However, once you add the cost of sealant and the time it takes to apply it each year, there isn’t much cost benefit compared to metal and plastic sets.

Plastic swing sets for kids are available in range of bright colors and they usually fit together much easier than metal or wood. Like metal, plastic requires very little maintenance – just a good wash down every so often to keep it clean.

Plastic doesn’t rust and is usually the cheaper of all three materials. It is also lighter so makes the swing set easy to move around the backyard. However those bright colors can fade dramatically in hot sun over the years.

Another disadvantage is that, if part of a plastic frame cracks, it is very difficult to replace just that part. It may also cause sharp edges that are dangerous for kids. For this reason, plastic is usually only used in swing sets aimed at toddlers as they are lightweight e.g. the Step2 Adventure Lodge (review no. 6 above).

Swings Sets FAQ

Boy playing on best swing set for kids
How Much is a Swing Set?

A basic single swing (seat and chain only) that you can attach to a tree branch, existing swing set or A-frame, costs around $30 to $50. Add an extra $20 if you need to buy the hardware to attach it safely.

A basic single seat A-frame swing, usually made of metal, typically costs around $90 to $150.

However, a swing set is a swing (usually two or more) that also adds playground favorites such as a trapeze, slide, climbing frame or tree house. The price depends mainly on the size, number of play features and the type of material used.

For example, a basic two seater swing plus trapeze, made of wood or metal, can cost from $250 to $600. The best swing sets for kids, with one or more extra features such as a playhouse, slide, glider or climbing wall, typically cost from $700 to $2000 or more.

The price range of the swing sets in our reviews above is about $250 to $1700.

When is the Best Time to Buy a Swing Set?

The most common time of year to buy a swing set is February through August, so it is ready in time for the kids to enjoy playing in the spring or summer. For larger sets you may need to allow 2-4 weeks for delivery so try to plan ahead and order early.

However, you can buy a swing set at any time of year. It is possible that the price may be lower at the end of the season and delivery times may be shorter over winter when there is less demand.

But you also run the risk that the particular model you want goes out of stock until the next year. Also, bear in mind that it often takes a day or two outdoors to build a swing set – not a very welcoming prospect during the wet and cold winter months!

What is the Best Age for a Swing Set for Kids?

Swing sets are available in a wide variety of sizes with differing weight capacities and heights so there are models suitable for children of all ages.

However, the most common age range recommended by manufacturers is 3 to 10 years old. Sets designed for very young children are usually not as tall, for safety (e.g. less than 6 feet high) whereas those designed for older kids may be over 10 feet high.

For infants, the most common type of swing is a glider. For toddlers, a bucket seat or high back seat, with holes for their legs and support for their back, is safer than a belt seat.

Older kids love regular seats (or a tire swing) and the more additional features such as a trapeze, playhouse or climbing frame, the better!

What to Put Under a Swing Set?

See our review of the best materials to put under a swing set for more details and advice on safety, durability, cost and appearance.

How Far Should a Swing Set be from a Fence?

The minimum safe distance between a swing set and the nearest fence (or other obstruction such as a wall or tree) depends partly on the size of the set and height of the swings or length of a slide. Always follow any guidelines set out in the instruction manual.

But, as a general guide, a minimum distance of at least 6 feet all around the swing set is recommended, This provides a sufficient safety zone for kids to avoid injury on the fence if they run, jump or fall off the swing set.

For swings in particular, allow a minimum distance, in front and behind it, of twice the height of the swing. This should allow for a safer landing even if the child was flung (or jumped) off at the highest point of its swing.

Where to Put a Swing Set in Backyard?

The number one requirement is to put the swing set on a level surface – to avoid swings coming off the ground during vigorous swinging by larger or multiple kids. If necessary, you may have to level an uneven surface first, or build a trench to level out a slope.

You must also ensure that the whole of the swing set is at least 6 feet from any obstruction like a fence, tree or wall. Don’t forget to look upwards too – make certain there is clearance of at least 6 feet above the set e.g. to overhead cables, laundry lines or overhanging branches.

If possible, try to put the swing set in a part of the backyard where you can keep an eye on the children playing on it. That way you can easily see if they are attempting unsafe jumps off the swings or play deck etc. and can quickly move in to stop it.

Note that plastic slides can get very hot in the summer sun because they face upwards – even more so in direct sunlight. To avoid heat build up during the day, making the slide too hot to use safely, position the swing set at an angle where the slide faces North.