Plan Ahead for Successful Swing Set Installation

Spring is the perfect time to install a new backyard swing set or playground set for the kids, but don’t wait until spring to get started.  Installing a backyard playground properly requires some initial planning before the equipment is ever purchased.  Spend time now thinking about important details, and you’ll be ready for installation when spring arrives.

  • Equipment Choices — What kind of backyard playground will your children enjoy most?  Play sets come with a wide variety of equipment options in any number of configurations, so get together with your kids and make a list of the types of equipment they’d like best.  Swings, slides, and monkey bars are generally standard on playground sets, but swings and slides come in a number of different designs and colors.  Additionally, you can choose from climbing walls, tire swings, club houses, and rope ladders, which are just a few of the other playground accessories available for backyard equipment.
  • Best Location — A number of considerations must be made before choosing a location for your backyard playground set:
      • Avoid ground that slopes or is uneven. Level ground helps prevent playground equipment from tipping.
      • Select an area that is away from potentially dangerous obstacles such as trees, low branches and wires, stumps, roots, large rocks, fences, bricks, and concrete.
      • Plan for a safety zone of at least 6 feet around all playground equipment; set aside even more space in front of and behind swings.
      • Think about where you plan to position any metal or dark-colored slides or surfaces. Placing these out of direct sunlight can help prevent burns on hot, sunny days.
  • Safest Surface — What material do you plan to use underneath the backyard playground?  Grass and dirt do not provide adequate protection from injuries due to falls from equipment.  Pea gravel, sand, wood chips, and shredded or recycled rubber mulch are some of the recommended protective playground surface options available. 

With a bit of planning now, you can ensure that your backyard playground equipment is exactly what your kids want and that it’s installed in the best location possible when spring arrives.

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