Helping Parents Select a Playset for Toddlers

Kids enjoying playset
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Best outdoor playset for toddlers

Playsets are among the best things you can give your kids to help their growth and development. Many people want to get a suitable outdoor play set for their toddlers but are unsure where to start. Many things to consider, so many parents want to do thorough research before buying playground equipment.

Getting an appropriate playset is not as hard as you would think. You must pay attention to the material, construction method, and safety of the set. At the same time, you need to choose one that fits your kid’s age group.

Besides those, parents also need to consider the size of the playset in contrast to their backyard. There’s also the part of maintenance and different accessory options for playsets. But, if it’s all too confusing for you, don’t worry. I’m writing this guide in the hope of helping parents select an excellent playset for toddlers.

What Is the Best Outdoor Playset for Toddlers?

Any great backyard playsets need to have two fundamental qualities. One, it needs to be perfectly safe; two, it needs to be fun. Aside from these two main traits, many other subsidiary qualities signified a top-tier playset, such as UV-resistant and made from high-quality materials.

Here are some qualities of the best outdoor playsets:

  • Good outdoor playsets are age-appropriate. Outdoor playsets are significant, and kids often play on them in groups and should keep the little tikes occupied for quite a few hours. Purchasing a suitable playset for your kids’ age and the big kids, even adults.
  • Incredibly durable. Outdoor playsets for toddlers need to be strong enough. They must have enough strength to withstand the wear and tear from regular use. Backyard playsets for toddlers are also exposed to the elements, so the best outdoor playsets need to be hardy enough to handle that too.
  • Perfectly safe. Safety is one of the best and crucial qualities of a good playset. Best outdoor playsets tend to focus more on safety than additional features.
  • Suited to the child’s temperament. The best playset is not the more expensive, nor the most creative one on the market. A better choice is the one that perfectly suits your child. You can’t give an acrophobic child a tall playset and think it’ll be perfect.

Why Should You Buy an Outdoor Playset for Your Toddler?

Toddler on slide
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Playsets are a great way for children to vent their excess energy. It helps them develop physically and mentally. Outdoor play also increases unity between children and help them make more friends. Most importantly, playsets give toddlers outdoor activities in an era where outdoor play opportunities are shrinking.

Here is a list of benefits of having an outdoor playset for your toddler:

  • Increases physical fitness: Playsets usually involve jumping, climbing, running, and other physical activities and great fun.
  • These are great for developing a toddler’s physical body. They also stimulate their motor skills and stamina.
  • Stimulates Social Growth: Playsets are fantastic for a child’s growth, and it is not limited to their physical bodies. It will help your toddler get more social interaction. Playsets act as catalysts for making new friends. It serves as a hub where many kids will gather and play, and as the hub owner, your kids will get more possibilities to make friends.
  • Helps Boost Creativity: Playsets come in all different shapes and sizes, and there are a ton of different ways to play one particular set. As time passes, your child will figure out new ways to play on the same playset.
  • They can also develop new games to play with friends. It should increase their decision-making skills and leadership skills. They will pick up new ideas from their peers and learn to coordinate with others.

How to Choose the Right Size and Type of Outdoor Playset?

Playground Playset creative
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You should choose the size of the playset based on the size of your backyard. You need to look for maximum outdoor fun for the minimum lawn space in a small backyard. Having the largest playsets is not exactly a good thing. Kids need enough play area to run around it.

Here are some things you need to consider before selecting the size of the playset:

How many people will play in the playground? 

The number of people playing on a playset determines what size it needs to be. It also needs to have enough playing tools for everybody, maybe two swings, a tire swing and a rope ladder for kids that love climbing.

What activities do you want your children to engage in? 

Things like slides take up very little space. It is more of a vertical toy. Swings, and monkey bars, on the other hand, require a lot more space.

How good is it at handling weather? 

Budget playsets need to be small because the material is not suited for larger constructs. You also have to consider your climate; you would do better by getting a shorter playset if you live in a stormy region.

How many safety precautions can you take?

The larger the set, the more safety precautions you need. You would also need to do regular maintenance and safety checks to make sure everything is alright. It would be best if you considered things like safety nets, railing, etc. The larger the set, the more work you need to do.

Is your yard big enough?

The yard size is crucial, yet many people ignore this point. While buying a playset, you should never get one that makes your yard seem cramped. Kids love free space, and it helps increase their scope of imagination. Try to get a playset that is below ⅓ the size of your yard.

How much do you plan to spend?

Under the natural order of things, more material means more cost. Larger playsets are expansive, while smaller ones are cheaper. So, the budget is the ultimate deciding factor of the size of your playset.

The Top 5 Best-Selling Outdoor Playsets

I’ve always found that the best way of understanding something is through examples. These playsets I’m featuring here are some of the best outdoor playsets I have experienced. I’ll go over their features and drawbacks so you can get a better understanding of a good playset.

Backyard Discovery Mount Triumph

Toddler on top of playset
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Backyard Discovery is a well-known manufacturer of playsets for toddlers and playground tools. Mount Triumph is one of the fancier playsets on this list, as it comes with a ton of features. It is built with high-quality cedarwood, and the overall design is very creative.

Once I finished setting everything up, it was a marvel to behold. I liked how they added the desk and sitting space below the slides. It provides excellent shade against sunlight and covers against rain.

This playhouse comes with a considerable number of accessories. There is a sink, stove, baskets, buckets, other usual playground items and even a built-in picnic table. The top is a large fort that can contain 2 to 3 children.

There’s a sitting area at the bottom that also comes with a natural shape from the slides. It also has a rock-climbing wall as well as a separate ladder.

It is a perfect choice for those looking for playsets for toddlers and active children. It has plenty of features to keep your child busy for a long time. The parts are also incredibly beneficial for their growth.

But a possible drawback I can think of is the horrendous instalment process. I tried installing it on my own with the written manual, and it was a nightmare. It would help if you got the 3d assistive app to install it properly.

Pros: Lots of Accessories, High-quality material, Creative design.

Cons: Horrendous instruction manual

Check Price on Amazon

Pacific View All Cedar Wood Playset 

Pacific View playset is another Backyard Discovery outdoor fun product. It is a 100% pure cedar playset made with high-quality lumber. It is durable, sturdy, and weather-resistant. They took extra care to pre-stain the lumber, and it is resistant to natural decay.

I liked the simple design of this one. It does not have many small accessories, but it has all the larger constructs needed for a proper playset. Unlike the other one, this one is not that hard to install, and it took me around 14 hours to get everything ready.

It comes with three wooden swings of different sizes. One of them is a glider swing, and two are belt swings. There is a fort-like play deck at the top. It is very vast. The kids will have loads of joy playing up there.

A nice aspect of this playset for toddlers is the Sandbox that adds quite a bit to the fun. It also has a rock-climbing wall and sitting area.

One element I didn’t like about this one was the slide. It was a creative design, but the slide itself is a bit flimsy. It rattles when larger kids try it, but it should be fine for toddlers.

Pros: Durable material, Many features, Safety ensured

Cons: Flimsy slide

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Kid-Kraft Creston Lodge Kids Children Wooden Outdoor Swing Playset

Kid-Kraft Playset is fully loaded with all the things a toddler needs. It is a hybrid playset with half-wood half-plastic material. It is one of the best products from KidKraft.

I loved the simplistic design of this playset. It was effortless to set up compared to other playsets. The set is overall sturdy, and you can place it in both indoor and outdoor space.

It has two slider swings and one hanging swing sets, a compartmentalized main body. There is also a kitchen at the bottom.

It is a perfect choice for someone looking to get a decent playset on a budget. It comes with quite a few additional accessories that little legs would love to play with.

The potential drawback of this playset has to be the material. The slide gets a bit rattly after a while.

Pros: Affordable, Easy to set up, Many accessories

Cons: Inferior material

Check Price on Amazon

Are Backyard Discovery Playsets Good Quality?

Backyard Discovery is one of the best manufacturers of different playsets. They are a well-known bunch for making heavy-duty playsets, swing sets, and the like. They offer excellent quality products that are affordable, safe, and easy to install.

The lifespan of a wooden playset depends on many factors, including quality and type of lumber. Backyard Discovery tries to bring its best with each of its playsets. Their swing sets often made of high-quality cedar.

Natural and artificial grass is better, but they go well with pea gravel and rubber mulch just as well. Backyard Discovery products are durable and easy to maintain. So, they retain their functionality for a while.

Price Review – 2021

It’s 2021, and we all know what the situation of the world is now. Supply is short as people can’t go to production houses for the lockdown. Yet, demand, even though it has decreased, is still high.

This is the reason for a shortage of products in the market. Those that are left are rising in price. And this situation is not going away any time soon. So, if you want a backyard playset, I’d advise you to buy one as soon as you can as the prices will increase.

There is no price for the happiness you will ensure for your children by buying a backyard play set. So, whatever the condition of the market is right now, it is well worth it.

What Are Some Accessories and Components Available For Playsets. 

Little toddler Sandbox
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Accessories are crucial for outdoor playsets to keep things interesting for children. Also, accessories stimulate their imagination so they can come up with fun new games to play. Some of the most common accessories are Sandbox, kitchen utensils, mining gear, lemonade stands, etc.

Things like bubble tubes, spotlights, fireman poles, kitchen sets are some of the most popular playset accessories out there. All kids love playing around with these. Sandbox is both familiar and popular, and it is one of the best accessories to keep kids busy.

There are also many other accessories for playsets, here is a list of some of the more popular ones:

  • Tic Tac Toe board
  • Mini Rock Walls
  • Picnic Table
  • Hidden Hut
  • SandBox
  • fireman pole attachment
  • Lemonade Stand
  • Chain ladders 
  • Crawl through tunnel
  • Tube slide
  • Belt Swings
  • Climbing Ladder

Outdoor Playsets that Are Great for Kids of All Ages

Big PlayGround out back
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Kids of all ages love playsets, but not all kids love the same features. The requirements of the playset change depending on your children’s ages. So, it’s a good idea to know what age range requires what sort of playset.

It would help if you also considered your child’s personality quirks to get the perfect playset.

  •  Are slides needed? You don’t necessarily need to give small children slides. But it would be best to get a playset with slides because kids grow up too fast. Slides are a must-have for playsets for children aged between 6-10 y/o.
  • A tunnel or not? One of the things that toddlers love is crawling. They will love a playset if it has a secret tunnel!
  • Tunnels lose their charm for older kids. You can skip this if your child is older than 3-4 years.
  • Do you need a sandbox? In my opinion, giving a toddler a sandbox is just asking for trouble. They are too messy. But they can eventually learn to play in it nicely. It’s totally up to you. Sandbox suits kids of all ages. The older kids tend to find more creative use, while the younger ones are more passionate.
  • How many accessories do you need? A LOT, toddlers love colourful toys, and playhouse accessories are one of their fatal attractions. Try to get a set that has many accessories. Age-appropriate accessories never lose their charm. Though, older kids tend to start neglecting them.

Buying Guide

 Playsets are generally not cheap, and there are many things you need to consider before buying them.

Here are some crucial considerations before buying a playset:


Safety is the most crucial part you need to think about before buying a playset. Each year, many kids hospitalized because of playground accidents. So, make sure the playset is sturdy enough before buying.

Consider doing regular inspections to make sure everything works as it should. These things can corrode with age and heavy use.


Different materials have different temperaments. Wooden playsets last a long time. Stay cool under sunlight. Steel playsets are sturdier, but they turn into a cooking pan in direct sunlight. Plastic is cheaper, but it does not last long, and it’s harder to repair.


Pea gravel is a standard flooring material, so is rubber mulch. The safest is artificial or natural grass. You could also use sand, but I would advise against that.

Child’s Personality 

Toddler having fun playset
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Before purchasing a playset, you can consider your child’s constitution. It is a bit silly to get a playset with honeycomb shelves if your kid is Trypophobic. Likewise, you need to avoid high slides and two-storied forts if your kid is Acrophobic. If your kid is taller, you may still need to get a larger playset.

 Child’s Age 

 As you know by now, Playsets can be separated by age requirements. A playset made for a toddler would never satisfy an 8y/o kids play. Researching their play requirements before buying something, I’d highly recommend it. Perhaps the easiest option is to ask them directly.


That’s all I can do to help parents select a playset for toddlers. Playsets have many other purposes for children other than their general features. They can use the space to do whatever play they can imagine. By far, the best outdoor playsets are the ones that serve their purpose while taking the least amount of space.

 Besides a playset, you’d be surprised how effective a simple swing would be to help your child have loads of fun. It is pretty impactful on your child’s physical and mental development as well. Check out this article if you want to know more about swings and why you should get one for your backyard.

4 thoughts on “Helping Parents Select a Playset for Toddlers”

  1. We bought our kids a cedar one a few years ago and I remember how much work it was putting it together almost like building an actual house haha. Agree with your cons though of it being flimsy, its has lasted but just does not feel solid and is really showing its age even though it is not super old.

    Kids have love it though so that all that matters.

    • Brandon, you are correct – these playsets really do look like they’re going to fall apart any minute. But for the time being (and with a little guidance), they may still be worth it! I’ve been reading up on some of those DIY alternatives that people have come up with in recent years. They seem pretty cool and might even save me money or give my kids something different to play on than just our backyard playset…

      Many Blessings 



  2. Thanks for this great article! Absolutely agree on the importance of having a play set to home childrens holistic development. Children definitely learn best through play. I’d definitely give Backyard discovery a try due to the quality materials. The drawback can be solved with more manpower hence more brains to figure out the instruction manual Haha. Personally, I like Little Tikes playsets as they cater to many different children regardless of developmental milestones. The materials dont absorb heat which makes it safer to play too. Thanks again for this well written article. The benefits that you’ve stated in there should encourage parents to invest in a play set for their little ones.

    • Yeah, with the possibility of going DIY or purchasing one on the market, it’s a difficult decision, but as you’ve said, multiple minds or geniuses can assist. Potentially start with how much acreage you have to work with and other backyard ideas, where landscape design factors in. Julian, thank you very much for your informative and outstanding response.


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