Garden Swing Guide: Buying The Best Swing Set for Your Kids

As the weather starts to get a little warmer its going to be more and more appealing for your kids to begin playing outdoors again, and a new swing set can really motivate them to head out the door.

The best swing set for your kids will be one that is a good fit for your garden and the right size for your children. It's important to allow appropriate clearance around the swing and to periodically check that all parts and components are in good working order and are secure.

garden swing guide - trampolines ireland

Why Are Garden Swing Sets So Popular in Ireland?

1. Endorphin Rush

If you ask a child why they love to play on the swing so much they're not going to mention that it produces an endorphin rush, but what they will tell you is that its great fun, and that it feels good - which is basically the same thing.

2. Improves Spatial Awareness

Helps to develop co-ordination and improves spatial awareness by swinging through the air and adjusting their body as they maintain and develop their balance.

3. Calms Nerves and Anxiety

Much like trampolining the repetitive nature of the exercise can be soothing and calming to a stressed mind. It can improve a child's ability to study, to sleep and to engage with other kids all by engaging in some gentle swinging.

4. Therapeutic for Children with Autism

Children with autism love to be engaged in their own way, and spending time on the garden swing often producing a wonderfully therapeutic and calming effect that can last for hours after the swinging activity comes to an end.

5. Improves Motor Skills

Playing on the swing engages almost every part of your body, from the hands and fingers that grip the rope or chain to the muscles in your core and neck that stabilise your body as you go through the arc of the swing to your leg muscles that move in and out to generate momentum.

6. Builds Social Skills

Whether taking turns with your friends, cousins and siblings, giving someone a push or just having fun, a swing set creates a fantastic environment for playing and engaging with others.

7. Classic Piece of Structural Design That Doesn't Age

Whether you're 6 years old or 56 years old a few minutes on the swing will quickly have you smiling with glee as you swing backwards and forwards. The swing is one of the most enduring pieces of outdoor play equipment because it produces the desired result every time - a face-splitting, mood lifting smile.

See our garden swing sets here.

 

What Sort of Different Swing Set Options Are Available

With garden swing sets that are lots of different options to suit the various garden sizes, budgets and your children's preferences but here are some ideas below - 

1. Standard, Single, Double or Triple Swing Frames

Your traditional garden swing set designed to accommodate one, two or three user depending on the size of the frame and how many swing stations that you select.

2. Swing Sets + Accessories

Typical accessories or add-ons for the garden swing set can include - 

  • rock walls,
  • cargo nets (climbing nets),
  • slides,
  • towers,
  • playhouses
  • monkey bars,
  • mud kitchens,
  • sandpits,
  • fireman's pole and much more.

 3. Swing Sets with Interchangeable Swing Options

Once you have the standard swing set frame there are many different things that you can be do by switching out the swings with other pieces of equipment.

Here are some ideas to think about if you're thinking about upgrading the traditional flat swing seat with something else - 

  • gymnastic rings,
  • trapeze bar,
  • nest swing or pizza swing,
  • baby swings,
  • bucket swings,
  • climbing ropes,
  • tyre swing,
  • rope ladder
  • seesaw swing,
  • glider swing

4. Climbing Frames like the BERG Playbase with lots of different options all in one unit.

see the full list here - BERG Playbase Climbing Frames + Swings.

Tips for Keeping the Kids Safe Around the Garden Swing

 A fall from a swing can be particularly nasty so please follow our guidelines below to keep you kids safe when using your garden swings -

1. Never run in front of someone on the swing

Running in front of or behind another child when they are using the swing can cause injuries to both children and possibly other too, so please make sure your child takes care around the swing.

2. Make Sure That the Swing Frame is Securely Anchored to The Ground and Does Not Move

When a swing is professionally fitted this should not be an issue but with older swings that maybe do not get used a lot it makes sense to check that the frame is solid and secure before your children begin to use it.

3. Ensure that There Is Adequate Clearance Around the Swing

The area around the swing must be clear from obstruction so that the arc of the swing is unimpeded. Each swing will be a little different but it is important that you allow enough room around the swing for it to be safely used by our children.

4. Supervise Your Children When Using the Swing

Kids love to test the boundaries and they are often unaware of the some of the dangers that will be more obvious to their parents, like walking across the path of the swing when another child is using it, and that is why it is important to supervise your children when using the swing.

5. Kids Must Sit Down When Using the Swing

As your children get a little older and more familiar with the swing they might be tempted to stand up on the swing seat, but this can be particularly dangerous if their hands got tired and they slipped or let go so we strongly recommend against allowing your children to stand on the swing.

6. Don't Jump Off the Swing

Again this probably seems like a pretty obvious thing not to do, but as your kids confidence grows they will get much braver so its important to keep an eye out for some of the more dangerous tricks like this one.

7. Keep the Swing Seats Approx 22 Inches Apart

Keep the swings adequately spaced apart to prevent collisions, approx 22 inches and as a general rule keep the swing seat at least 8 inches above the ground.

Are Garden Swings Safe?

A garden swing set being used in a safe and not reckless manner under the supervision of an adult should be an entirely safe activity for kids or adults, provided that the manufacturer's safety guidelines are adhered to and that the equipment being used is properly installed and maintained.

 

How to Teach Your Kids to Use the Garden Swing

 

 Which Type of Swing Set is Better - Metal or Wooden?

 Type of Swing Advantages Disadvantages
wooden look great and may be a more attractive garden fixture than metal

need to be properly treated and maintained so that the structure doesn't rot or begin to deteriorate over time

may need a little more skill to properly assemble and install

metal

minimal maintenance required with powder-coated metal swing sets

can be easier to install especially for novices

may not blend in just as nicely in your garden as a more natural looking wooden swing set

 

When comparing the advantages and disadvantages we're really being very picky as most swing sets will offer a fantastic experience for your kids that far outweighs any potential advantages.


How Long Do It Take to Assemble A Garden Swing Set?

 

As a general rule, it will take approximately 4 hours to assemble a kids garden swing set, but much will depend on the skill of the people installing and the complexity and size of the unit that you have purchased.

 

How Long Will A Garden Swing Set Last?

Most swing set frames whether wooden or metal will last far in excess of ten years and more like 15 to 20 years. However, we would say that it is important to properly maintain and look after your swing set. 

With wooden swing sets, the timber should be treated, that is stained or painted every two years and with metal frames although there will be less maintenance required it will be important to watch out for places where the paint might peel off to avoid rusting.

Its also important to pay attention to the condition of the swing chain or rope to make sure that it is secure and strong and does not deteriorate as that could lead to the risk of it failing when in use. 

The Best Surfaces for Underneath the Swing Set

We consider that the best surface for underneath your garden swing set is likely to be rubber matting or rubber mulch, as these surfaces won't get muddy or bare during the autumn or winter like grass can, and they provide a consistently soft surface for your children to get off the swing.

Popular Surfaces for Under Garden Swing Sets - Comparison Table

 Type of Material Advantages Disadvantages
grass

low cost, usually already in situ

soft for landings

can be muddy

after an extended dry spell can get hard for landings

rubber matting

consistently soft landing area

when properly fitted last for a long time with  minimal maintenance

can be more expensive

potential toxicity

rubber mulch

soft landing area

low maintenance

can be expensive

potential toxicity

bark looks and feels great underfoot

can be messy when wet

 

 

 

How to Maintain Your Swing Set

A quick visual inspection of your garden swing set will highlight where maintenance may be required. Once properly stained or treated the other key points are to examine the condition of the ropes or chains, where they fix to the swing frame and the swing seat, and the condition of the swing seat.

To find out more about the wide range of swing sets available from Trampolines Ireland phone 01 960 1641.