Seesaws

Teeter totters are great for the backyard playground

The backyard is a haven for the entire family; even the youngest members of the household spend plenty of time there. Setting up the perfect backyard play area will enhance your children's development and give them plenty of things to do while they are outside. So when you are planning your child's outdoor play area, don't forget about the seesaw.

Types of Teeter Totters

There are two types of teeter totters that are common for backyard use – plastic and wooden. Plastic teeter totters are ideal for toddlers because they are lightweight and low to the ground, plus the gentle rocking motion of a plastic seesaw reduces the risk of injuries to toddlers.

Larger wooden seesaws are more appropriate for older children who are able to follow basic safety rules such as "no jumping on or off the seesaw." Wooden seesaws are balanced on a fulcrum, and they require at least two children to operate them properly. The children sit on opposite ends of the teeter totter and take turns pushing their feet up so the seesaw can move up and down. Modern seesaws are made with spring fulcrums to make getting on and off easier for children.

Where to Find Seesaws

Plastic teeter totters for toddlers are relatively easy to find; you can visit any large chain discount or toy store to get them. However, the selections in these stores tend to be limited to one or two styles and brands. Finding larger teeter totter plans for older children can be a bit of a challenge, as most retail and toy stores don't carry them in-house. Typically, they must be ordered from online specialty stores or manufacturers.

A quick Internet search will reveal plenty of fun see saw styles to choose from. If you have a wooden play structure in your backyard, teeter totters for swing sets can be purchased via add-on kits. The seesaws can also stand alone. Seesaws are very affordable; simple plastic teeter totters for toddlers can start as low as $50. Larger teeter totter plans can range from $100 to $500, depending on the size and quality of the structure.

A seesaw is a budget-friendly way for your kids to have fun in the backyard while developing their muscles, burning off excess energy and learning to play cooperatively with their peers.

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