When it comes to backyard entertainment, there’s almost nothing cooler than an outdoor playset. Who doesn’t want a castle or a pirate ship to explore and create adventures in their very own backyard?
“Playsets and trampolines are an excellent way to get your children outside and playing,” says Janell Lane of Rainbow Play Systems, Inc®. “It’s always good to have that healthy exercise.”
Janell has been a part of Rainbow for more than 14 years and shared with us five seriously cool things about outdoor playsets and trampolines you maybe didn’t know but definitely should.
Outdoor playsets can accommodate all children (and adults)
Many outdoor playsets for kids are built to last through an entire childhood.
“We offer playsets in many different sizes to accommodate all different children of all different ages,” says Janell.
Children can grow with play equipment add-ons, like swings. Young children can grow out of a bucket swing and into flat swings, belt swings, or even ship swings.
“Even if you start out with just a basic unit with just the play structure, you can always add on the swing beam,” says Janell. “You can add on the monkey bars, the penthouses, climbing wall, and more as your children grow.”
The best part is – adults can enjoy these play structures with their children.
“There is no weight limit, so parents can play on the sets with their children, which is always nice, especially with the younger ones,” says Janell.
Outdoor playsets are built to last for a very long time
If owners perform proper care and maintenance, outdoor playsets can last a lifetime.
“A lot of times, parents have gotten our playsets for their kids,” says Janell. “Their kids grow, and then their grandchildren are playing on that same set.
While the wood components of a backyard playground have a lifetime warranty, other parts of the playset may need to be replaced. Metal components generally have a lifetime or 10-year warranty, and plastic components generally have five-year warranties.
Proper maintenance is key to an outdoor playset’s longevity. If you own or are thinking of buying an outdoor playset, keep in mind that you will need to:
- Complete an annual safety check.
- Tighten any loose screws. (“Wood changes with the temperature,” says Janell.)
- Sand any rough spots.
- Wash your playset as needed with non-toxic soap (like dish soap) and water.
- Power-wash your playset as needed.
- Restain or treat the wood approximately every two years.
“Your playset doesn’t have to be stained,” says Janell. “It can be painted as long as you’re treating the wood to keep it from rotting, essentially because it’s a natural product.”
If you’re not comfortable completing the necessary annual inspection or maintenance, then you can always contact a professional.
“Our showrooms offer sealing and maintenance options,” offers Janell. “The installers will come out and do the safety checks to make sure everything’s tight. They’ll also power wash and restain the set.”
Rainbow uses a non-toxic stain, “so you don’t have to worry about the children.”
You should also consider your climate when maintaining your outdoor play equipment. While Rainbow installs weather-resistant playsets across the U.S., you should consider bringing in any plastic components, like slides and swings, in extremely low temperatures to avoid cracking.
There is a playset for (almost) every backyard!
While you’ll need an onsite consultation from a professional installer, there are different playset options for different properties.
“If there is a really hilly yard, we have the castle option,” says Janell. “You can get an extended ladder on one of the sides of the castle, so that the fort will be leveled.”
Swing beams can have different leg sizes on the A-frame to balance the playset, too, without having to complete a full landscaping project.
“All of our showroom dealers nationwide have onsite consultations where they offer professional installation and guidance,” says Janell.
Before a playset installation, a professional will complete safety checks, such as making sure there is a six-foot perimeter around the swing set.
While it’s not recommended to place a playset on sandy or loose-filled soil, outdoor playsets can be installed with additional anchoring.
“We also recommend not installing the play system over concrete, asphalt, packed earth, or any other hard surface,” says Janell. “Falls onto the hard surface can result in serious injuries.”
If your outdoor space has hard surfaces, you may need to spread mulch and even rubber mulch before installing a kids’ outdoor playset.
“Rubber mulch is made out of recycled rubber,” says Janell. “We’ve used it around our garden, too, at my house. It doesn’t fly away quite as easily as mulch, and you don’t have to worry about slivers.”
Your trampoline can have a basketball hoop!
You, too, can jump like an NBA star with a hoop attached directly to your trampoline’s safety net.
Your trampoline should also come with a safety net around the jumping area (to keep anyone from falling) and be bolted to the ground, so it won’t move when a jumper does. Also, consider other safety features when choosing a trampoline, such a heavy-duty tube frame and curve rods to keep the net away from jumpers.
When looking to install a trampoline, you’ll first want to get an onsite evaluation similar to a playset consultation. Ideally, your property should be level with nothing above the trampoline area, such as branches, gutters, or awnings.
“That’s to ensure kids won’t hit anything when they’re jumping,” says Janell.
Trampolines are super easy to maintain
Like most home systems, you’ll inspect your trampoline monthly and make sure all the screws and surfaces are tight. Then follow the instruction manual for additional maintenance tips.
“Before you jump, you should also check that your jumping mat is clean and free of debris,” says Janell. “If in fall, you have leaves and water that could cause a dangerous slip and fall.”
Rainbow Showrooms are all locally owned and operated.
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