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Outdoor Playsets for Older Kids

  Older kids are independent, love a physical challenge and want to be around their friends as much as possible. As kids get older, they need plenty of exercise and time to play, just as they did when they were younger. Outdoor playtime promotes physical, social and mental well-being for all kids. Most of all – kids want to play. Sometimes they just need a little encouragement to break away from computers and video games. An exciting playset makes kids want to get off the couch and get outside.   As the parent of an older child, you want to choose a wooden playset that offers challenging and fun ways to keep kids engaged and active. You also want a playset that is safe and durable. So, how do you know which playset is the best and will get kids moving?   In this post, we’ll look at our best outdoor play structures for older kids and why play is essential throughout childhood and beyond. You might even consider a playset you can also use.  

Essential Playset Features for Older Kids

Older kids need enough space to move around freely and use their physical abilities. Unlike small children who are just beginning to learn what they can and cannot do, older kids have confidence and require more of a challenge to keep the fun level high. To make sure your child gets the most out of their playset, aim to include the following features:

1. Taller Swings

Older children especially love to relax, talk with friends side by side or spend the afternoon daydreaming on a swing. Swinging also helps burn calories and build strength. Kids won’t even realize they’re exercising because swinging is so much fun. There are all types of wooden swing sets for older kids to suit every kind of imagination. Add a daydreamer swing to a playset so kids can spin, swing and relax freely. Or, you might choose a classic tire swing for versatility. Belt swings allow kids to soar high into the clouds or close to the ground next to a friend.

2. Large Rock-Climbing Wall

A large rock-climbing wall with a rope provides the perfect climbing challenge for older kids. They can practice their climbing skills as they build strength and coordination. It also helps them stay fit, and they’ll feel excited to get outside and conquer the rock-climbing wall with friends.

3. Monkey Bars

Monkey bars complete an obstacle course game or other forms of imaginative play. Older kids can safely use monkey bars to have fun and build upper body strength. It’s an advanced activity that kids can practice and get better at every day. As a child improve their monkey bar skills, they also get to enjoy a confidence boost.

4. Bridge

Older kids still like to engage in dramatic play with friends, and a bridge fits seamlessly into an imaginative world. Whether kids want to pretend they’re walking through a forest canopy or acting out a scene from a book, a bridge helps paint a more vivid picture. It also makes a comfortable spot to share dreams with friends while viewing the world below.

5. Disc Swing

A disc swing adds an adventurous twist to traditional swinging that older kids can enjoy for hours. A disc swing features a round disc for sitting or standing on and a rope for gripping and swinging. This type of swing builds strength and is tons of fun to use.  

Qualities That Make a Great Playset

A great playset will last throughout childhood and beyond. For this reason, it’s important to choose a playset constructed of quality, sturdy materials that are easy to maintain and built to last. A playset should also ensure safety and be able to stand up to the elements.

1. Pacific Cedarwood

If you want a playset that can handle years of frequent playtime, you can’t go wrong with cedar. We construct all of our wooden playsets from quality Pacific cedarwood. This means you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
  • Longevity: Cedar lasts a long time because it’s a strong wood that can stand up to moisture and won’t warp or splinter as much as other types of wood. You can expect a cedar playset to outlast childhood, and you may even keep the playset for grandkids.
  • Pest Resistance: Cedar does not require chemicals to repel pests. Pests naturally dislike cedar, so your kids can enjoy their playset without the fear of termites or other insects.
  • Quick drying: Cedar is more resistant to rot than other woods because it dries quickly when exposed to rain or snow. This also means kids can get back to playing within a short time after a storm and have less worry about slippery surfaces.
  • Coolness: During the summer months, other common playset materials like metal can heat up to high temperatures and cause burn injuries. Cedar stays much cooler than other materials so kids can play safely on a hot day.
  • Natural beauty: Cedar is a popular wood choice because it fits beautifully in its natural outdoor surroundings.

2. Solid Beam Construction

A great playset is sturdy and can handle tons of energy and playtime. All of our playsets are built with solid cedar beams – not glued-together pieces of wood. Solid beam construction ensures stability and durability. It’s tough against warping, cracking and other forms of structural damage so kids and adults can use our playsets with peace of mind for many years.

3. Galvanized Steel Hardware

A quality playset is safe all around, meaning you won’t find sharp objects or protruding hardware in any of its pieces. All of our playsets feature hot-dipped galvanized steel hardware. Galvanizing helps protect steel components from corrosion, further enforcing the safety and durability of the playset. Our hardware is also snag-free so kids can play without getting caught on hardware.  

Best Playsets for Older Kids

Older kids need playsets that are big enough and challenging enough to keep them busy and fit. They also appreciate private spaces for quiet moments. Our range of wooden playsets meets the needs of older kids to encourage outdoor playtime. Our sturdy playsets also welcome adults to get a fun workout.

1. Original Fort Double Trouble

Original Fort Double Trouble The Original Fort Double Trouble is an affordable option for older kids and offers fun equipment to keep them playing all day long. The Original Fort Double Trouble features two wave slides so kids can race to the bottom side by side. There’s also a rock wall with a rope for climbing, swings, a trapeze bar, a picnic area and a fort where older kids can relax outdoors writing in their journals or conversing with friends.

2. Original Playcenter Combo 3 With Wood Roof

The Original Playcenter Combo 3 with Wood Roof is a smart investment for parents who are looking for the perfect playset for their older kids. This playset is larger than the Original Fort Double Trouble and offers a wide range of activities to challenge older kids. With this playset, kids can climb the large rock wall, wiggle their way across the monkey bars, practice their trapeze bar skills, spin on the tire swing and more. Older kids love the wooden roof which lends a more grown-up style.

3. Original Playcenter Combo 4

Older kids like to have privacy, but they still require supervision. That’s why the Original Playcenter Combo 4 is a great play structure for older kids. The Original Playcenter Combo 4 features a regular wooden fort and a sky loft, giving kids two separate areas to spend quality time alone or with friends. It also encourages imaginative play. This large playset features many climbing activities such as monkey bars, a rock wall and a rope ladder. Kids can relax in the tire swing or swing high into the sky on one of the belt swings. This playset is the complete activity center for older kids.

4. Supreme Playcenter Combo 2

The Supreme Playcenter Combo 2 takes playtime to new heights. This is a large model with advanced features older kids can use with their friends. Featuring a high swing beam and a super slide, older kids have plenty of room to burn off energy and use equipment to its potential. This playset also offers exciting features such as a disc swing, a tire swing, a rope ladder and a rock wall with a climbing rope.  

The Importance of Play for Older Children

In some ways, young children are easier to care for than older kids. For example, if a parent wants their toddler to get fresh air, they can pick them up and take them outside. Older kids, on the other hand, are more independent and want to make their own choices. Parents face the challenge of encouraging kids to break away from movies, video games and cell phones to get outside and active. Older kids need to play just as much as little ones, but they aren’t getting the activity they need to stay healthy. One study found that children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend more than seven hours a day consuming media on average. Physical activity is vital for older kids because they are going through a lot of changes. Playtime helps kids maintain a healthy weight, and it boosts self-esteem. In a constantly connected world, it’s important to find a playset that offers exciting ways to play. A quality, stimulating playset can do just that. Once kids get moving, they’ll enjoy the following benefits:
  • Brain growth: Seventy-five percent of the brain develops between birth and the early 20s. Free, unstructured play stimulates the brain and helps form new connections, particularly in the part of the brain responsible for planning and making good decisions.
  • Imagination stimulation: Kids who use their imagination in childhood grow up to be creative adults. Creativity helps adults solve problems in new ways and express themselves.
  • Empathy: When kids play make-believe at any age, it helps them walk in other character’s shoes. Through this type of play, they learn to experience the thoughts and feelings of others, helping them develop tolerance and compassion.
  • Physical health: Play is a fun way to stay healthy and develop physical skills such as strength, flexibility and balance. When kids get the exercise they need, they experience higher self-esteem, fewer mental health issues and reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and teens should get 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day.
  • Relationships: Perhaps the greatest reason kids love to play outside is they get to spend time with friends and build long-lasting relationships. Playing teaches kids how to interact with others, and it provides the social support they need to help them grow.
You can add new accessories to your playset as your child grows to keep playtime a stimulating experience through all the stages of childhood and beyond. The truth is, no one is ever too old to play.  

Visit a Superior Play Systems Showroom

We explored a few of our playset options for older kids, but it can still be tough to tell which playset is right for your child. You want to make sure your child enjoys the one you choose. The best way to do this is to let your kids try them out in person. At Superior Play Systems, we understand how important it is to purchase a playset your child loves and will use it time and time again. Our showrooms invite families to bring their children along so they can test equipment and show mom and dad which one they like best. You can also determine which playset will suit your yard space when you visit one of our showrooms. A Superior Play representative will be available to assist you and answer all of your questions. For over 30 years, Superior Play Systems has been considered the Most Trusted Name in Play®. We value safety, durability quality, and fun for kids, and we offer the best warranties in the industry to bring you peace of mind with every purchase. Visit one of our showrooms today to find the perfect playset for your older child, or contact us for more information.
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