Plants can be pleasing accessories, too. And there’s no rule that demands that outdoor plants must be live plants. Some people just don’t grow plants very well. If you’re one of those, you can use high-quality silk flowers and foliage to create evergreen arrangements. Set planters along a side of the canopy or in a group in one corner.
Your two main options here are going to be wood and metal. (Although there are many plastic swings for toddlers.) Both have their pros and cons, but most people seem to prefer wood swing sets. Maybe it’s how they look in the backyard, but whatever it is, they’re more popular. Most are willing to pay a little extra money to get a good looking wooden swingset in their yard.
The moderately complicated option is to get a “build-it-yourself” kit. These kits allow much more creativity in assembling and require more work. Usually they cost 50% or more less than the “ready to assemble” kits and the ready swing sets, but you need to carefully check what’s included. Usually accessories aren’t included which means you have to spend 1-2 times more money than the price of the kit is. Building your swing set with such a kit requires basic tools and woodworking skills and can take from several days to about a week.
Protective clothing can also reduce your risk. Clothes which cover your skin, in addition to hats and sunglasses, can increase your factor of sun safety.
If we step back and recognize that children learn best through free play and discovery, it’s easy to see that swing set size and features aren’t terribly important to our children. Just like having their own bedroom, having private play space outdoors is important to children. Children want space where they can play without lots of rules, where they can make lots of noise and run around to their heart’s content using their unbounded energy. They want to interact with friends without the prying eyes of adults.
There is one more reason why you may want to buy used outdoor swings. Some great classic models are no longer popular and can’t be found as new – the only ways to obtain one of those are to buy used or to build them yourself.
Safety should be a top priority for buying any swing set and there are a number of areas to focus on when considering hardware, accessories and attachments. Always look for swing sets that have rounded edges. Hard, flat edges will scrape and splinter over time and can easily cause harm to young children. Recessed hardware should be mandatory. Bolts that protrude from the set are an accident waiting to happen as these pieces can easily snag clothing and will corrode over time when exposed to the elements making your set a liability. Though metal brackets and attachments are sturdy at first they will also corrode over time and no amount of paint can cover up a weakening bracket. Look for durable wood to wood attachments that won’t rust over time and provide a secure fit. Stains and finishes can make a set look nice but the chemicals in these products can be potentially hazardous to children and if possible it is better to avoid using any. Stains and finishes are often used on lower grade wood to cover up the inferiority of the product so carefully inspect any lumber being used for your set to ensure the highest quality.
If you want more luxury and can afford it, you may prefer to buy a wooden swing set. They are beautiful and often more featured than the metal ones. They are also much safer for kids because they don’t become too hot under the sun so touching them directly does not put the child in danger.
A few canopy swing sets now offer adjustable canopies so you can match the position of the canopy to the position of the sun. The results? A bigger area of shade, more effective protection from the sun, and greater coolness and comfort for you.
Finally, consider how you can include your personal interests in this space. If you enjoy reading, place a waterproof storage box outside with a few reading materials and extra pillows. Bird watchers can set up feeders in an area next to their swings. Entertainers can include a small bar table or a fire pit instead of a side table or planters.