The backyard swing set you bought for your kids when they were small was probably filled with challenging and fun equipment just right for their age and size. Bucket swings for safety, a short ladder leading to a scoop slide, and maybe even a club house for hours of pretend play. As kids grow older, though, their ideas about what’s fun and challenging evolve. Making sure that the backyard swing set doesn’t become an unused eyesore means keeping up with your children’s changing interests and abilities. By updating the swing set periodically with equipment and accessories that meet your kids’ current needs, you can ensure that the swing set continues to appeal to your kids over the course of many years.
Swings are an affordable place to start when it comes to updating a swing set’s accessories. If you haven’t done so already, swap 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 continue to interest kids as they grow. Don’t stop there, though. Swings come in all shapes and styles, and a little variety adds a lot of appeal to a backyard swing set.
Some of the more popular alternative swings include tire swings and disc swings. Kids like that these two swings move in any and every direction, rather than just back and forth. Kids also like the tire swing for its ability to hold two or more friends, which brings an increasingly social and cooperative element to the activity of swinging. Glider swings are another fun alternative to standard swings. Glider swings seat two people, back to back, who work as a team to keep the swing flying high. Finally, older kids and even adults can enjoy 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 relaxing way to swing gently while chatting with a friend or reading a book.
Swing sets generally come with a standard scoop slide, which is straight, smooth, and adequately thrilling for little ones. As kids get older, though, they tend to prefer a more exhilarating ride. Replacing your original slide for a spiral slide can offer that extra bit of thrill to older kids. Spiral slides are often completely enclosed tubes, too, similar to what you find on commercial or public playgrounds. The enclosed spiral brings an additional measure of excitement to the sliding experience.
Climbing equipment offers growing kids a fun way to challenge their bodies’ developing abilities. While not usually appropriate for young children, 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. Rope ladders and rock wall climbing kits 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 easy as replacing the existing swings and slide and adding climbing features more suited to older kids. Making small but meaningful changes over time will not only encourage years of continued interest by your kids, but will also reinforce the value of your initial investment in the swing set.