obnoxious swing set/play structures? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've already got an obnoxious house (a new construction built on a spare lot in a 1960s/70s sub), so I'm already feeling self-conscious.

We need something for the kids in the back yard. There is a good kids' park about a 1/4 mile away but obviously I can't take them there every minute or send them alone yet. The big wooden structures with the fort and swings and slide like the Costco one are so cool but sooo big and fancy. The smaller metal ones will be outgrown before we're out of this house. Then there are the smaller wooden ones that don't have as much cool stuff as the big ones. I'm also concerned about the toxicity of the sealer in the wooden sets (although I know the new ones don't have arsenic).

So, what would you do? Is there some cool, bigger, metal one with a fort that I don't know about? For those that have the large wooden structures, do they get used to the full potential? For those that have small sets, would you get a bigger one if you did it again? What would you do? TIA!
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#2 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 08:43 PM
 
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If I had a grand or two to drop on it, I'd get my kids a Rainbow playset. They're made from some kind of reinforced redwood, basically indestructible stuff. They're SUPER obnoxious, complete with colorful banners and yellow plastic slides I always wanted one when I was a kid, luckily there was a family up the street that had one I could play on.
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#3 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 08:46 PM
 
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We got our big wooden playset for free on freecycle, we just had to get friends to help move it and get a truck. I never thought of it being obnoxious? I replaced the tarp over the top with a new green/yellow one, and it has a yellow slide. when the kids grow up and don't play on it anymore, we'll either pass it on or cut it up and use it as firewood
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#4 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 08:49 PM
 
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Get the kiddos a playset. I think the wooden ones look lots better than the metal ones. My kids used the fort much more than the swings themselves. They ate countless lunches up there, had tea parties, action figure battles, hot wheel races down the slide, etc.
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#5 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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For those that have the large wooden structures, do they get used to the full potential? For those that have small sets, would you get a bigger one if you did it again? What would you do? TIA!
We have a big one and when it's not snowing: my girls are on it constantly!!! In fact we had considered the Rainbow play system and decided against it because we were afraid that the girls would get bored w/ it and we'd be out the money and now we wished we had gone w/ the rainbow. This will be the 5th summer we've had our BJ's version and they still run outside any chance they can to play in/on it.
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#6 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 08:57 PM
 
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Super obnoxious. I have a metal one that I am having to take down because it has became dangerous.
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#7 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 08:58 PM
 
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my kids use it all year, well the 2 year old a lot now that he's older and can climb up it. Ours is simple, just a swing and a rope ladder on one side, the "fort" on the other, with a slide. I put an old plastic oven playset I found at goodwill on the top part of the fort, and chairs and things like that in the bottom and they both love it. At home depot you can buy add on things cheaply like a wheel or a rock wall. I'm thinking about making a rock wall they can climb up to get into it. they sell the 'rock' parts, just need wood to put in on.
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#8 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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We are going to get a big play structure this summer because the park is too far for the kids to go by themselves, and with a newborn at home, we aren't as mobile as before. I want them to be occupied here at home, and have a place to hang out with friends. The one that we are looking at is natural wood- no preservatives or finishes. I think it is made from cypress. We looked at another one at Costco ( we are buying one from Sam's Club with a monetary gift from my mom) that was natural cedar, but the clubhouse part was too small for my 9 year old to play in comfortably. I am totally looking forward to getting it, except the part where it said that "two moderately skilled people can put it together in 30-35 hours"
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#9 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 09:03 PM
 
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We have the Costco one and the kid's love it...I'm not sure if I'd buy it again though. I wish we'd been more creative and made something more "organic" (more natural/creative/homemade). The kid's are happy though. Someday we'll pass it on or sell it for a few $$
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#10 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 09:09 PM
 
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I am totally looking forward to getting it, except the part where it said that "two moderately skilled people can put it together in 30-35 hours"
Let me interpret..."two structural and/or mechanical engineers can put it together in 3-4 weeks."

Good luck
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#11 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 09:11 PM
 
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I am totally looking forward to getting it, except the part where it said that "two moderately skilled people can put it together in 30-35 hours"
I highly recommend sending the kids to grandmas for the weekend. When we built ours my oldest kept asking when she could play and if it was done yet. I thought dh was going to cry! Oh and I think she learned a few new words that weekend too!:
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#12 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 09:13 PM
 
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This might be a good time to point out that dh started our swingset Memorial Day weekend last year, and it wasn't finished until Labour Day weekend... :
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#13 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 09:16 PM
 
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There is a Rainbow place not far from me and dh got a catalog. They are really impressive. I would buy one if we had the cash lying around.

We had a metal one growing up and played on it all the time. Now that I think back..we weren't supposed to swing too high or the posts would come up out of the ground as we swung.

We actually would actually swing so high we would swing over the top bar in a big loop...omg I would have a heart attack if I saw dd doing that.

Between that and me eating whatever concoctions my older sister happened to make out of random leaves, flowers and weeds in yard I am surprised we didn't spend more time in the ER.

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#14 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 09:21 PM
 
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I would love to get a wooden playset for our back yard when we move. It is huge and we don't have any backyard toys for the girls to play on as well live in an apt.

student/sahm to three awesome girls who are always on the go!
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#15 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 09:22 PM
 
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I have one that is made from a wood/plastic mixture. It is very durable and looks great. We have the small model with a ladder to a fort, a slide down, a couple of swings and a gym bar. It has been exposed to the AZ sunshine (and we do get freezes in the winter sometimes, too) for 2 years and still looks fantastic. No maintenance. They run about $2000. We got ours free in a raffle. Our lucky day!

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#16 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 10:42 PM
 
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We are hopefully getting either the costco one or a Rainbow when taxes arrive. I can not imagine dh putting the costco one together, and at a guess, by the time we pay someone to do it we might as well have forked out for the Rainbow. It's still up for discussion though.
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#17 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 10:46 PM
 
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My dad made a wooden one for my sister and I when we were kids. It was simple compared to a Rainbow one, but it kept us really busy and we loved it. It was mostly bars with a couple of swings and a beam.
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#18 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 10:56 PM
 
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We have a wood one that we bought unassembled at Home Depot. It was reasonably priced and isn't huge, but the kids play on it a lot. It did take dh, with my inexpert short-person help, a looooooong time to put together, though.

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#19 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 10:59 PM
 
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We have a childlife wooden playset that is painted with green enamel (it looks really sharp) and my preschooler and toddler love it... and so do all of our friends' kids, lol. To be quite honest, I think the metal and plastic playsets are the obnoxious looking ones. Our neighbor behind one had a metal one, and it was starting to rust and then another neighbor's trampoline crashed into their swingset (very windy around here) and bent up one of the legs really badly, so it couldn't be used anyway. It was such an eye sore to begin with and even a bigger eye sore after it got all bent up and it took them over a yr before they decided to tear it down. They got a wooden swingset last yr about the same time that we got ours and both of our sets look very nice and non-obnoxious. I bet that if they would do things over again, they would have just gotten the wooden set to begin with, and not wasted the money (and hassle) with the metal set.
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#20 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 11:07 PM
 
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We actually would actually swing so high we would swing over the top bar in a big loop...omg I would have a heart attack if I saw dd doing that.
: Yikes! I always thought about doing that, but I really never thought it was actually possible. Are you sure you didn't dream that?

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#21 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 11:11 PM
 
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Let me interpret..."two structural and/or mechanical engineers can put it together in 3-4 weeks."

Good luck
My dh and I both have mechanical engineering degrees and we nearly divorced trying to hang blinds. Run away
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#22 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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You can find the metal ones with 'forts' on them. When we moved here the neighbors had one that was left from the previous owners of their house and they gave it to us. We eventually decided we'd rather opt for the sturdiness of the wood structure (metal ones need to be sunk into the ground to be stable) so we gave it to the next neighbors down the row for their grandchildren. Sorry I don't know the name of it though. We love our wooden one now, it has the plastic coated posts and was an inexpensive model purchased from Menards and put together ourselves. Something to keep in mind, if you find one on Freecycle that doesn't have quite all the features you'd like, is that you can purchase the individual swings, slides, and other accessories separately and add them.
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#23 of 23 Old 04-16-2007, 11:32 PM
 
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We have this one. DD loves it, as do all of the kids on our street. We actually live on a street where 5 houses in a row, including mine, all have various types of playsets and the kids just playset-hop, going from one to another. It's quite fun.

I thought it was a good deal. If you buy it directly from a Costco store (not online) the cost is $1200. And it's made by Rainbow. Out neighbor got one from Rainbow and it cost $5000! It's really not any better than the Costco set.

If you call Rainbow and they have a dealer near your area, you can pay them to come over and put together any playset by any manufacturer. We paid $500 to have them come out and set it up. It took two big guys, who do this for a living, 8 hours. We figured it was well worth the cost because we would've paid over $3000 to get a Rainbow or similar set where installation is included.
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