Backyard playsets have long been a staple in childhoods, but with the continuing pandemic, they have become a lifeline for many families. With parks in several cities closed and some parents opting to keep their kids away from playgrounds where masks aren’t required, personal outdoor playsets have been one of the products to see a huge boom during the pandemic. Although many online and big-box retailers quickly sold out of fan-favorite playsets, restocking is slowly but surely happening. That sound is the collective sigh of relief of parents everywhere.
Playsets are a great way for kids to engage with siblings and friends, use problem-solving strategies, improve spatial awareness, work on their balance and climbing skills, and stay active. For parents, playsets in a backyard make it easy to keep an eye on their little ones without trekking to a park, which may require a car ride. Plus, lots of germs and no potties can make playgrounds a nightmare.
Many playsets are designed to be used by multiple age groups at once, making them ideal for homes with more than one child. This also means that younger kids can grow into their playsets and use them for years, which makes spending a weekend building the unit worthwhile for parents.
If you’ve got the space and want to help your kids get rid of some energy before naptime, these playsets will make the backyard their favorite place to be.
1. KidKraft Andorra Cedar Wood Swing Set
For a playset that will satisfy the whole family, we like the KidKraft Andorra Cedar Wood Swing Set. KidKraft has a long history of producing safe and fun kids’ furniture and products, including swing sets. Their Andorra set includes a high rail wave slide that will keep kids securely onboard while sliding. Two belt swings are included, and parents can also replace one or both swings with toddler-friendly bucket swings. A rock wall for climbing, a vinyl chalkboard, and an open area on the bottom for a sandbox complete this mid-sized playset. We also like that the Andorra has a canopy, making it a great option for warm climates. The cedar playset, which is pre-cut and pre-stained with child-safety paint, can hold up to seven children with a max weight of 110 pounds per kiddo.
2. Step2 Clubhouse Climber
BEST FOR SMALL KIDS
Step2 is another trusted name in kid’s play furniture thanks to their heavy-duty plastic playsets for both indoor and outdoor play. The company’s Clubhouse Climber is a great option for small kids and small backyards. Perfect for kids ages 2 to 6, the elevated clubhouse has a lookout tower, windows, a skylight, and a rotating steering wheel. Great for multiple kids to play on at once, the Clubhouse Climber has two slides and several tunnels for crawling and hiding. The heavyweight plastic Clubhouse will stay in place even during heavy winds and has a max weight limit of 240 pounds.
3. Backyard Discovery Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Set
If you want to turn your background into the greatest playground in town, then the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Set should cover it. The massive playset is built with mold, decay, and rot-resistant cedar that exceeds ASTM safety standards. The awe-inspiring structure includes two swings and a double swinger, a climbing wall, a clubhouse, a lookout point, a large bumpy slide, monkey bars, and a large lower section for a sandbox and a snack area. The playset comes with 3D instructions delivered through a companion app to help make assembly manageable but it still takes several days to put together.
4. Adventures Bobcat Ridge Swing Set
BEST FOR BIG BACKYARDS
If your kids are preparing to be on a future season of American Ninja Warrior, they need a playset that doubles as a training ground. The Adventures Bobcat Ridge Swing Set does all that and more, with monkey bars, a large climbing wall, a vertical cargo net, and a suspended monkey bridge. For younger kids, the set also includes two traditional swings and a saucer swing, a large slide, and an area for a sandbox and snack bar underneath. Two lookout points with roofs provide some relief from the sun. The oversized playset is big enough for 12 kids weighing 110 pounds or less to play on at once, making this a great option for large families or anyone looking for a playset the whole neighborhood can enjoy.
5. Double Slide Deluxe Primary Colors Swing Set from Lifetime
Fight the fading and damage that can be caused by the sun’s harsh rays with a playset that is built to last even in warm climates. The Double Slide Deluxe Primary Colors Swing Set is made from UV-resistant materials that won’t retain heat or fade. The all-weather playset is powder coated, making it crack, warp, rot, and splinter-resistant, providing a fun and engaging play area that will last for years. The playset features two large slides, monkey bars, three swings, multiple ladders, a climbing wall, and a covered lookout platform. A great playset for climbing toddlers all the way up to big kids, the Lifetime Set comes with clear instructions and is built to withstand ample playing time.
6. KidKraft Highline Retreat Playhouse
BEST CLUBHOUSE STYLE
If your kids have been asking for a treehouse but your backyard doesn’t include a mighty spruce, give them the next best thing with the KidKraft Highline Retreat Playhouse. The streamlined playhouse has an attractive design that won’t create an eyesore in your outdoor space, thanks to framed windows and a beautiful blue roof. Kids will enjoy climbing the ladder to the playhouse and can ‘send mail’ in the playhouse mailbox. A great option for toddlers, the playhouse also includes a medium-sized slide and a covered area underneath that can double as a sandbox.
7. Sparrow Metal Swing Set
BEST SWING SET
If a large playset isn’t in the budget, a swing set may be an option for your outdoor space. The Sparrow Metal Swing Set provides hours of play thanks to its large slide, two swings, one doubled seater swing, and trampoline. Up to five kids weighing 100 pounds each can safely play on the Sparrow set at once, which exceeds ASTM safety standards. Assembly is fast and straightforward and the heavy-duty metal swing set will stay in place even in windy conditions.
8. Real Wood Adventures Panther Peak by Little Tikes
BEST FOR CLIMBING
Kids that love to climb with love the Real Wood Adventures Panther Peak by Little Tikes. The wooden playset has a large 5’ climbing wall and a 5’ vertical cargo net. Kids can also scale the playset using the climbing ropes. Two swings, a large 8’ wavy slide, and a ladder are also included in the large set. The outdoor playset has a roomy clubhouse that is covered with a canopy and includes security railings for extra protection. We also like that the area underneath the playset is large enough to store bikes and toys or be turned into a sandbox.