The backyard swing set you installed for your kids when they were little was probably packed with exciting and challenging equipment just right for their particular stage of development. Bucket swings for safety, a short ladder leading to a scoop slide, and maybe even a club house for hours of pretend play. As children grow, though, their ideas about what’s fun and challenging evolve. Making sure that the backyard swing set doesn’t become neglected and forgotten means keeping up with your children’s ever-changing abilities and interests. By updating the swing set every so often with equipment that meets your kids’ current needs, you can significantly increase the likelihood that the swing set continues to appeal to your kids over the course of many years.
Swings are one of the more cost effective places to begin when it comes to updating a swing set’s accessories. If you haven’t done so already, trade out the bucket swing or half-bucket swing with a traditional belt swing or two. The belt swing is a standard “big kid” swing that will keep kids interested no matter their age. Don’t stop there, though. Swings come in all styles and shapes, and a bit of variety brings a lot of interest to a backyard swing set.
The most widely chosen alternative swings include tire swings and disc swings. Kids like that these two types of swings move in any and every direction, rather than just back and forth. Kids also are drawn to the tire swing because of its ability to hold two or more friends, which brings a more social and cooperative component to the activity of swinging. Glider swings are another creative alternative to standard swings. Glider swings seat two people, back to back, who work as a team to keep the swing flying high. Also, older kids and even adults can find enjoyment in a wooden chair swing. A chair swing attaches to the swing set in the same way as any other kind of traditional swing, and it offers a soothing way to swing gently while chatting with a friend or reading a book.
Slides with Swoop
Swing sets usually come outfitted with a standard scoop slide, which is straight, smooth, and sufficiently thrilling for younger kids. As kids get older, though, they like a more exhilarating ride. Replacing your original slide for a spiral slide can provide the extra thrill that older kids seek. Spiral slides are often completely enclosed tubes, too, similar to what you see on commercial or public playgrounds. The enclosed spiral brings an increased level of excitement to the sliding experience.
Climbing Accessories for the Adventurous
Climbing equipment offers growing kids a variety of fun ways to challenge their bodies’ developing abilities. While not suitable for young kids, climbing accessories help older kids gain confidence, strengthen muscles, and refine gross motor and motor planning skills. Monkey bars may be the most common type of climbing accessory found on standard swing sets, but they can be added to an existing swing set that doesn’t already have them. Rock wall kits and rope ladders of various height and width are available, too, and are exceptionally appealing to adventurous kids.
Updating the backyard swing set to meet the changing abilities and interests of your growing kids can be as basic a task as replacing the existing swings and slide and adding climbing features intended for older kids. Making small but thoughtful changes over time will not only encourage years of continued interest by your kids, but will also increase the value of your initial investment in the swing set.