Backyard Swing Set

Updated on March 13, 2013
J.D. asks from Seattle, WA
11 answers

We are thinking about buying a nice swingset. For those of you who have or had them, have you found them to be worth the money? Did your kids lose interest in them pretty quickly or did they play on them for several years? Also, I am wondering about how you handle/handled neighborhood kids wanting to play on it. We have tons of kids in our neighborhood and almost all of them would be welcome to play in our yard any time. But we do have a few real bullies and I don't want to have to be outside in my yard all day supervising those few so that my kids and others don't get run over by them. But that said, I also don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and it doesn't feel right to exclude some children while allowing others in. So, what do you think - is installing a nice playset a good idea or is it buying a 10-year headache? Thanks so much for any input.

Forgot to say that my kids are 3, 5 and 7. We are looking at the Congo Monkey Play System #3 if anyone has any opinions regarding that specific set or the company (KidWise) that makes it. Thanks!

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answers from Grand Forks on

We didn't get one because we live close to the playground, and my kids would rather go to the playground where the other kids are playing than stay here and play. If you don't have a playground near by I would definitely do it. Play equipment is only fun if there are other kids playing on it.

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answers from Miami on

We bought an Easter Jungle Gym set for my son's 3rd birthday. It is wonderful! It moved with us from NY to FL and is still in great shape. They both (5 and 1) play on it every night. We have a fence in the new house, so neighborhood kids have to ask first, but it wasn't really a problem in the old house (no fence) because the neighborhood kids were polite.

If there are children in your neighborhood who don't play nicely... send them home. I'm not suggesting that you exclude them, but if their behavior gets out-of-control, send them home for the day.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My mom bought the one at their house the summer my daughter turned 2. I had just had babby number 2. They will be 8 and 10 this year and they both still use it. So does my 6 year old :).

We bought the one at our house the year we moved in, 2008. It's not as elaborate as my mom and dad's, but the kids still play on that too.

I think they are WELL worth the investment.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

How old are your kids, and how close is your nearest playground?

We still haven't taken the plunge to get a swingset, as we have a nice playground about 10 houses away from us, and it is a reason for me to get out of the house and see neighbors.

My nextdoor neighbors both have swingsets, but now that their kids are about 11 they rarely use them. They prefer to go to the park with the other kids.

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answers from Washington DC on

We put up a wood swingset when SD was 8. She's 18 now and her little sister (4.5) still plays on it. Not every day, but often.

You need to have house rules/yard rules independent of the swing set. If you don't have a fence, then make it clear to the neighborhood that the set is not for playing on when nobody is home. And if someone is a bully, send him home. You don't need to include someone who can't heed your warning and behave. It's a liability.

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answers from Phoenix on

I say go for it. The first time one of the meanies acts up, then they're banned, just like that.



answers from Chicago on

We were fortunate to inherit a 12 year old rainbow set when my oldest was 2. It's got two slides, including a tube slide, adn a new set like this runs upwards to 10-12k. It's wonderful. We ended up spending a few grand on replacement wood and some new swings, etc. and we bought rubber mulch.

I have no doubt my kids will play on it till they are around 10 or 11. I am so thankful we have it!


answers from Dallas on

We bought a high end set when we built this house in 2000, (daughter was 5). It was well used and played with over the years. I sold it about 3-4 yrs ago to a local mom I met here on Mamapedia.

We spent about $2500 on it, had it professionally installed and levelled. Never had issues with neighborhood children because most of the neighbors have a set at least equal to or higher end than ours. The upkeep was not that bad, we kept it cleaned and painted. It still looked brand new when I sold it.

We bought our first set for about $1000 at the first house we built when daughter was about 1.5. That set was well worth the $, professionally installed and well used. We did not bring take that set apart and bring to this home when it was ready because the buyers for our other house wanted the swingset.

The only thing I did differently with Set #2 was to omit the sand box. Instead, we opted for a little picnic area in that spot below the upper clubhouse. This eliminated a lot of bugs, etc.

We never had issues with neighborhood children on the play structures. Our previous lot was a golf course lot, iron fence and our current lot is much bigger, wooded lot, iron fence... large private lots. Children don't just come onto property around here without asking or being invited. Our neighborhood is different that way... I even had a little girl ask to go in my yard to retrieve a ball that accidently got in our yard. There is a lot of respect here for personal property.



answers from Oklahoma City on

In my child care center I took the swingsets out. My liability insurance went down over 70% when I did. They are the biggest injury toy allowed in child care.

So get something else perhaps but first ask your insurance provider what is allowed and what is likely to raise your rates sky high or cost you the most with paying off injuries in the future.



answers from Los Angeles on

We are very happy having a backyard swingset. My kids are 2 and 5 (almost 6) and we've had it since May 2010. They play on it a lot and I can see them using it for years to come. When their friends come over, they always want to play out there. I don't think it's a waste of money at all and I don't think it's a headache.

We bought ours used on craigslist and then had a professional company dismantle it, drive it to our house, and put it all back together. It saved us hundreds of dollars and the set is in excellent condition.

The only thing to be careful of with letting all the neighborhood kids play on it is injury. You don't want to be financially liable if someone has a major injury while playing in your yard. I would talk to all the parents beforehand just so they know exactly what the kids will be playing on and giving them the option to come supervise if they want to. I also think it's 100% ok to send the kids home if they are misbehaving and to not let them back if they are repeat offenders.



answers from Peoria on

We haven't bought one ourselves because we can see two parks from our home to play at. Everyone I've talked to who has one has had trouble keeping other kids off it - they help themselves (fence or not). If the kids get hurt on it in your yard it's your fault, and you will always need to supervise any time any kid is on it. You may find youself spending a lot of time managing the play.

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