Despite the many forms of entertainment competing for your child's attention in this day and age, backyard play equipment remains a classic favorite. From swing sets and jungle gyms to sandboxes and tree houses, playground equipment offers the perfect way to transform your yard into a wondrous world of fun and adventure.
If you're on a tight budget, you have plenty of affordable options. While a sandbox is a cheap option, there are also many creative playsets that you can buy for a few hundred dollars.
Play equipment in the entry-level price range includes seesaws, slides and swing sets, as well as basic playhouse units that combine two or more of these elements. If you're looking at play equipment in this price range, it's vital that you learn to differentiate quality from inferiority. Look for outdoor play equipment that's coated with protective agents that will help it withstand the elements. Wood is far more durable than plastic, and be mindful of stability by checking to make sure the play equipment is structurally reinforced.
Should cost be a secondary consideration for you, then you have a wide range of elaborate options to choose from. Today, many manufacturers offer premium playhouses and tree houses decked out with sophisticated features that provide endless adventure for your kids.
High-end playhouses combine design appeal with unique features and easy assembly. Premium models even feature multiple rooms large enough to hold basic furnishings and include touches of detail like edging trim, flower boxes, functional windows and easy-to-assemble paneling.
Complete playsets are also popular with consumers looking to invest a little extra in their outdoor play equipment. These units incorporate multiple elements, including slides of varying heights, swings, climbing gyms, sandboxes and platforms.
You should know how to detect potential hazards in the construction of a given playset. Many parents favor nail-free units; while loose nails are never left hanging in commercially manufactured play equipment, they can, over time, dislodge from their original positions and pose a safety risk. Similarly, look for smooth sanding and rounded edges if the unit you're considering is made of wood.
If the outdoor play equipment has stepladders, make sure that each step is reinforced and has traction. Climbing rungs should be firmly fixed to the surface of the play unit. If you have questions about manufacturers' testing standards, call the company directly.
Buying home play equipment can be a significant investment. Provide your kids with years of fun by doing your homework before you buy.