Outdoor Playsets for Toddlers
- Essential Playset Features for Toddlers
- What Qualities Make a Great Playset?
- 12 Best Outdoor Playsets for Toddlers
- Expand the Play Experience With Trampolines and Basketball Hoops
- The Importance of Play for Toddlers
- Try Before You Buy at Superior Play Systems®
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Toddlers are at an important stage in their lives. They are learning new things at a rapid speed like how to walk, talk and kick a ball. Toddlers also love to be on the move and test their physical boundaries. For parents, it’s the perfect time to take their child outside to play. An outdoor playset offers a world of discovery for toddlers and endless opportunities to grow and have fun.
A playset is also an investment and can last for many years. That’s why it’s crucial to buy a playset made of high-quality materials. Nevertheless, choosing the right playset can still be a tough decision. Toddlers need extra attention and care, so you want to choose a playset that is safe, durable and stimulates development. At Superior Play Systems®, we always put safety first while making sure there are plenty of activities to keep kids busy for hours. In this post, we’ll show you our best play structures for toddlers, so you know where to begin your search. We’ll also look at playset features you don’t want to miss and reasons to get your toddler playing today.
Essential Playset Features for Toddlers
Toddlers haven’t yet developed their upper body strength like big kids, so they aren’t quite ready to use monkey bars and large climbers. Toddlers also haven’t fully developed their balancing skills, which is why little ones tend to topple over. One study found that toddlers fall an average of 17 times an hour. Usually, falls are harmless while walking, but a fall from a height can be more serious. That’s why it’s important to choose equipment that emphasizes safety and allows you to be by your toddler’s side throughout the entire play experience. The following features are specially designed for little legs and arms and are must-haves for an outdoor toddler playset:
- Short ramps with safety railings: Ramps that are low to the ground and feature safety railings allow toddlers to practice climbing, balancing and walking. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), climbing equipment should be no higher than 32 inches for children ages 6 to 23 months.
- Bucket swings: Bucket swings are the perfect way for babies and toddlers to enjoy soaring through the sky. Bucket swings feature closed sides all around, so children are kept securely in place and have back support.
- Tunnels: Toddlers love to crawl through colorful tunnels, and tunnels offer a safe way to play. Try to choose a tunnel that features a clear panel so your child can peek at you when they need reassurance. Little ones always want to know that mom or dad is close by, even when they’re having fun.
- Open slides: Toddlers have trouble keeping balance and maintaining their posture on their own. A short slide with a lower height and an open design allows parents to hold onto their toddler as they cruise down the slide. A shorter height also lets toddlers experience the fun of sliding without it being intimidating.
- Accessories: Accessories are great additions to any playset because toddlers love to build, play make-believe and explore their senses. A ship wheel, telescope or sandbox piques a toddler’s curiosity and can be used when they get older too.
What Qualities Make a Great Playset?
Not all playsets are made alike. When it’s time to choose a playset for your toddler, you want something sturdy so you can join them in the fun. You also want a playset that won’t splinter, rust or pose other material-related safety hazards. At Superior Play Systems®, we supply playsets that have been designed with safety, quality and durability in mind. All of our playsets offer the following qualities, making them the best in the industry:
1. Solid Cedar Construction
All of our playsets are constructed from beautiful and durable Pacific cedarwood. Cedar is the ideal playset material for the following reasons:
- It’s pest-resistant: Pests don’t like cedar, so there’s no need to worry about termites or other insects eating through the playset structure.
- It’s durable: Cedar is the longest lasting lumber you can find, so you can expect our playsets to last throughout your toddler’s childhood and beyond. Cedar can also stand up to moisture and won’t shrink, warp or swell as much as other woods.
- It dries quickly: Cedar dries quickly, so children can get back to playing after it rains or snows and enjoy fun physical activity year-round. It’s fast drying power also helps prevent mold growth.
- It doesn’t heat up like metal: Metal playground equipment can get dangerously hot in the summer. For example, some metal slides can reach 140 degrees in the summer and lead to serious burn injuries. Cedar, on the other hand, is much better at staying cool even in the sun.
- It’s environmentally friendly: Unlike other common playground materials, cedar is environmentally friendly. Cedar is biodegradable, and it also doesn’t need chemicals to resist fungus or repel insects. Cedar naturally protects itself from harm.
- It’s strong: Each of our playsets consists of solid beam construction. Solid beams, unlike glued-together timber layers, are strong and made to last. They are much less prone to cracking or warping than other construction materials.
- It’s attractive: A wooden playset offers natural beauty and adds visual appeal to any outdoor setting.
2. Safety Grips
Grips and handrails help children keep their balance as they climb platforms, ladders, stairways and other pieces of playground equipment. All of the safety grips at Superior Play are made of hot-dipped galvanized steel, which is also dimpled and powder-coated for non-slip gripping. Hot-dip galvanizing helps protect our steel components from corrosion and ensures unmatched durability.
Our swings allow kids to hold on tight without pinching because they feature heavy-duty rubber-dipped chains. Rubber-dipped chains also stay cooler in the summer than bare metal.
3. Smooth Surfaces
A quality playset provides smooth surfaces. Playsets with rotting wood or protruding hardware can quickly lead to an injury. For example, kids can get splinters, trip on uneven wood or get caught on hardware.
If you choose a playset through Superior Play Systems®, you can rest at ease knowing you made the right choice. Our cedar playsets won’t crack or splinter as often as other materials. They also feature smooth galvanized steel hardware and brackets, so you don’t have to worry about sharp edges or loose hardware sticking out from equipment.
No matter how quality a playset is, it’s always recommended to practice proper maintenance. It’s true our playsets are easy to maintain. However, to ensure your playset stays in the best condition for a long time, make sure to keep it free of debris and inspect it every so often. We recommend staining and sealing our playsets every two to three years to keep them looking fresh.
12 Best Outdoor Playsets for Toddlers
It’s most important to consider safety above all else when choosing a playset for a toddler. Since toddlers require constant supervision, think about playset sturdiness and how you can assist your toddler. Also, a quality playset is an investment. You can choose a playset that a toddler can grow into and which welcomes them through every stage of childhood. Toddlers grow fast, so before you know it, they’ll be ready to climb, swing and slide all on their own. We’ll look at some of the different playsets we offer at Superior Play Systems® and how they offer endless opportunities to grow, play and learn.
1. Classic Fort
Our Classic Fort playset is perfect for beginners. This playset offers tons of ways to play for toddlers which will suit them all throughout childhood. Toddlers can practice climbing the rock wall with the climbing rope, or take the slide for a ride with the help of mom or dad. The sturdy solid beam construction can handle adults, so parents can help toddlers into the fort to spin the ship wheel or play make-believe. This playset also features space for three swings – ideal for bucket swings or belt swings. Our Classic Fort is smaller than our other play structures which makes it an excellent choice for small children learning how to play.
2. Original Fort With Ramp
Our Playground One® Original Fort with Ramp takes all the qualities of our popular Original Fort playsets but also includes a ramp with ropes, so toddlers build those tiny muscles as they climb. This playset also features swings, a slide, a rock wall with a climbing rope, a built-in picnic table, a ship wheel and safety handles. Large wooden beams ensure mom and dad can play along for hours. Kids will enjoy this playset from their early years of development right up until adolescence or beyond.
3. Original Fort Combo 3
The Original Fort Combo 3 is another variation of our Original Fort. However, this model includes a small series of monkey bars for when toddlers get older and are ready to pretend they’re climbing through the jungle. Monkey bars help kids build upper body strength, and they offer a challenging way to have fun and stay fit.
4. Original Playcenter Nicely Equipped
Our Original Playcenter Nicely Equippedis a complete activity play set for toddlers and will suit them well as they grow. It’s just like our Original Fort Jr. but offers extras like a tire swing and a new rope and disk swing. As toddlers grow and develop new skills, they’ll be thrilled to swing from the trapeze bar, climb the rock wall or steer the “ship” on their way to find treasure. This playset is sure to bring fun for many years.
The Playground One® Original Fort Jr. is one of our most popular outdoor playsets for toddlers. Designed for limited space, it still packs a lot of fun with a swing option, large deck area, step ladder with handrails, trapeze bar, wave slide, picnic table, ship wheel and rock wall — all in 8 feet x 16 feet.
The two levels of play are ideal for any kids who have wanted a treehouse. This play space’s solid wood construction keeps it looking new for years and makes it a smart long-term investment that you can adapt as your kids grow.
One of the best outdoor playsets for toddlers, this play form has a rock wall, play deck, convertible picnic table, tube slide and swing beam. Designed to fit into small spaces, it’s a perfect play area kids can grow into. Quality construction and solid wood beams ensure this play area looks great for years and can handle intense activity.
This play fort is one of our most popular toddler playsets, and it fits into small yards with a modest footprint of 15.5 feet x 16 feet. Kids will love the wave slide, rock wall with climbing rope, two-position swing beam with two belt swings, three-in-one picnic table, ship’s wheel and step ladder with handrails. You’ll be sure to appreciate the solid construction, safety handles and canopy roof, all designed to keep children safe.
One of our most-requested and best backyard playsets for toddlers, the Classic Playcenter Combo 2 includes a multi-position swing beam, rock wall, step or rung ladder, wave slide, and roof and climbing ladder, ensuring kids have years of playtime to enjoy. Even if your outdoor space is uneven, the innovative A-frame can allow for simple and safe installation.
One of our more favored options for outdoor playsets for toddlers, the Original Playcenter Spacesaver 1 packs a lot of fun into a small area. Kids will have fun swinging on the trapeze bar and swing, crawling up the rope ladder, sliding down the slide, setting sail with the ship’s wheel and climbing up a rock wall. Solid wood construction with pops of color makes this a bright addition to any outdoor space.
The updated Turbo Original Fort lets kids’ imaginations soar with a swing beam, slide, swings and climbers. The ground-level area has a picnic table for snacks and games while the upper deck is perfect for a pretend pirate ship, treehouse, castle or anything else your toddlers can dream up. Sturdy and classic, this is a fort that kids can grow into and you can update as they age.
Don’t let the name fool you — this play fort is trouble only in fun. The solid cedar construction and quality hardware make it a safe and long-lasting option. With two slides, kids will have fun racing to the ground and a swing set lets them aim for the stars.
The “double trouble” in the name means kids can have many opportunities for active play, which helps them develop their muscles, coordination and strength. A rock wall, trapeze bar, picnic table and entry ladder mean years of fun, and you can set up this fort in smaller spaces. This is a great option if you want to get your kids excited about going outside to engage in active, creative play.
Designed for small spaces without cutting corners on fun, this play area has a 360-degree tire swing, bucket swing, step and rung ladders, rock wall and wave slide. Made from solid premium cedar, this playset will last for years. You can use it alone or combine it with other play areas for an expanded experience. Even in a small space, this play area encourages kids to climb, swing, play together and work on crucial physical, social and creative skills.
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Expand the Play Experience With Trampolines and Basketball Hoops
Playsets also pair well with accessories like trampolines and basketball hoops. Right now it’s probably hard to imagine your toddler performing a slam dunk, but give it a couple of years and they’ll be ready to play. Playing sports like basketball is a great way to teach kids teamwork and promote cardiovascular health.
Trampolines also add a ton of fun and aerobic exercise to any play area. Both kids and adults can benefit from jumping on a trampoline. With that said, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that children wait until they are 6 years old to play on a trampoline, and supervision is always required. Our trampolines, like all of our equipment, are designed with optimal safety in mind. Check out our springless trampoline options!
In addition to a playset, a basketball hoop and a trampoline encourage kids to get outside and get the physical activity they need to stay healthy.
The Importance of Play for Toddlers
Too many children spend their days in front of screens, including toddlers. However, for a toddler, any screen time may be too much. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children two and under do not get any screen time.
Playing is extremely important for a toddler’s mental and physical development. Toddlers learn through playing and by watching others. Every day, toddlers work hard to build new skills. Playtime outside allows them the chance to develop strength, coordination, balance and flexibility. They have tons of energy and want to keep moving, so it’s the ideal age to encourage activity.
Playing offers many cognitive and emotional benefits as well. Through play, toddlers develop creativity and problem-solving skills. They get to build self-esteem as they try new activities, and they can express themselves as they explore their imaginations. Playing also helps toddlers develop logic and learn to recognize different shapes and colors. Lastly, they learn to play with others and get to build communication and language skills through play.
Parents should always encourage physical activity and playtime, not only because of the developmental benefits but also because children are likely to carry healthy habits into adulthood. It’s recommended that toddlers get at least 30 minutes of structured adult-led playtime every day and at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity every day. Toddlers should not be inactive for more than one hour at a time unless they are sleeping.
Try Before You Buy at Superior Play Systems®
The best way to determine the ideal playset for your child and your yard space is to try before you buy. That way, you can get a firsthand look at the play equipment your child enjoys the most, and you can see the quality of equipment up close. With so many different playsets available, you may feel it’s hard to choose. We’ll help you find the perfect match so you can invest in a playset your child loves and will use for many years.
Our showrooms make it possible to test equipment and experience the fun and safety we offer. We welcome families to bring their kids along when purchasing a playset so they can shop with confidence. In our showrooms, our representatives are ready to answer any of your questions about our equipment, warranties, safety or any other questions you might have. We want to make every play experience positive, healthy, and of course, tons of fun. Visit one of our showrooms or contact us for more information today.