Playsets & Swings Buying Guide

A backyard playset can provide hours of healthy entertainment for your kids. This playsets and swings buying guide outlines the various types, features and safety considerations.

Playsets & Swings 101

Your children don’t need to leave the safety of their own backyard to experience the fun and excitement of a neighbourhood playground. Installing a playset and/or swings creates a go-to outdoor activity area and keeps your kids close, which lets you attend to work or house duties while they play. Most playsets include slides, climbers and other features that lend themselves to a variety of different games and activities. When combined with swings and an active imagination, the options are almost endless. Playsets and swings also encourage your children to engage in physical play. This promotes health and well-being, and provides a necessary outlet for that seemingly endless kid energy.

Types of Playsets & Swings



Playsets are available in a wide range of styles designed to stimulate the imaginations of young children, motivate them to be active, and encourage them to interact with others. Typical toy components in playsets include slides, swings, climbing walls & ropes, decks, roofs, tunnels, monkey bars, gym rings and sandboxes. Themed playsets are available based on popular children's cartoon and film characters. Most units are sold ready to assemble and include all of the necessary tools and assembly instructions. For large, wood construction playsets, check with your local building, zoning, and neighborhood association to obtain all applicable permits before purchasing.


Playhouses are similar to playsets in that both offer a wide variety of play and activity options. However, a playhouse is typically designed for younger children, so it tends to be a bit smaller and less elaborate. Some of the different playhouse styles available include regular homes, cottages, villas, kitchens and workshops. Also, if floor space in your home is not an issue, some playhouses are designed for indoor/outdoor use so you can move it inside when the weather gets cold. They're easy to assemble, set up and care for, and will provide young kids with years of fun.

Swing Sets

Swinging is fun for kids of all ages and one of the prime attractions at playgrounds. When kids are swinging, they're engaging their muscles and burning calories while having loads of fun. A backyard swing set generally costs less than a playset or playhouse but is still is a great way to keep your kids entertained and within earshot. They are particularly well-suited for children too young to go to the playground without supervision. Most swing sets are designed to be safe, weather-resistant and practically maintenance-free.


If your yard space is limited you can always pick up a single swing seat and hang it in an appropriate place, such as a strong branch on a sturdy tree. There are a variety of single swing seats available, from toddler swings with safety belts and enclosed seating to commercial-grade swings with thick, rubber-coated chains and durable seating. These seats provide maximum strength, flexibility and comfort for little swing enthusiasts.

Playsets & Swings Safety Tips:

• Make sure your yard is large enough for a playset; you should have a six foot radius around the equipment
• Always supervise young children
• Make sure to follow age, height and weight restrictions for the equipment
• Dress your child appropriately: avoid hoods and drawstrings which could become tangled in equipment
• Check the equipment frequently for loose bolts, screws or fittings
• Clear the equipment of any backyard debris like leaves, branches etc. before allowing kids to play
• Dry the equipment after a rainfall before allowing kids to play


Plastics and Resins +

Most playhouses are made of different types of plastics or resins. Look for models that offer durable, double wall poly construction and 100% UV protection to ensure the colour won’t fade over time.

Wood +

Many larger playsets offer wood construction. Renewable Western Red Cedar is a popular choice for its beauty and durability. It is also naturally resistant to decay and insects, and will accept a wide range of finishes. Most models are shipped in knock down panels that only need to be screwed together.

Powder-Coated Galvanized Steel +

Many swing sets are constructed from powder-coated galvanized steel. This makes them smooth and heat-resistant, so your children can play safely on a sunny day. The powder coating helps prevent rust and resists weather damage that could lead to cracking, chipping or peeling.

Rubber Coating +

Many swing sets feature rubber coating on the chains to make them soft and less likely to pinch little fingers. The rubber coating also helps protect the chains from rusting.

No Hardware Assembly +

Many of the smaller plastic playsets and playhouses don't require hardware to assemble. You simply snap the pieces together; it takes about 20 minutes. This is a great advantage if you need to assemble and disassemble your playset on a regular basis.

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Playsets & Swings Maintenance Tips:

• Cover your playset with a tarp when it's not in use to protect it from rain and snow
• Put a protective paint coating or sealant on wooden surfaces
• Check the nuts and bolts, chains and seats of your swingsets regularly for looseness and wear
• Bring detachable plastic pieces of swingsets indoors in freezing weather
• Metal components of swing sets should be oiled regularly
• Replace sand or mulch in play area as required

Avoid User Modifications

Playsets and swing sets are meant to be used exactly as per the manufacturer specifications. Any modifications you make to them increases the risk of injury. Do not try to replace parts or material without first consulting the manufacturer, or getting manufacturer-approved replacement material or parts. You should never modify existing parts. For example, do not wrap a swing's chains around the top horizontal bar of the swingset to increase the swing's height as this can cause wear and tear on the chains, and they will not work as intended. 
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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