At what age did your children STOP playing with their wooden swingset? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-19-2006, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi ladies! I am a mom to a 5 mo old and an almost 2 yr old boys. We want to get them a wooden swingset, esp for my toddler who is an extremely active kid. The problem is that wooden swingsets vary a lot in price and my DH doesn't want to deal with any of the plasticky toddler sets, he wants to just go directly to a wooden playset. I love the higher end childcraft and cedarworks sets... but then there are many other companies whose prices a little more reasonable, but I know the quality isn't as great.

I basically do not want to spend thousands of dollars on a set, if it turns out a lot of kids seem to get bored with set by a young age. I was wondering, if you have a wooden swing set, how old was your child before he/she seemed to lose interest. OR, if they are still interested, I'd love to know their age too. Also, what seemed to be their favorite accessory (monkey bars, swing, fort, etc.) on the set, and what did you think was a waste of $. Any other advice or input on what you did or didn't like about your particular swing set (if you could state the brand that would be very much appreciated), would be wonderful! Thanks mamas!
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#2 of 9 Old 01-19-2006, 11:10 PM
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It probably depends on the kids' personalities. My brother has kids that are 12 and 8 that still play outside on the wooden jungle gym swingset. The fort thing with a ladder and rope/fireman pole and slide was always a good thing... but again it's more the preference of your children.
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#3 of 9 Old 01-19-2006, 11:16 PM
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dd is 5yrs, and while we don't own one, live in an apartment, she loves to go over to friends that have them. It makes great playdates so plan for friends. I anticipate several more years of play and we hope to buy a home with one very soon.
Can't wait for more replies!

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#4 of 9 Old 01-20-2006, 12:24 PM
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I can remember playing on our wooden swingset and fort for years! Yup, even when we were all teenagers we still used it to sit in and hide in from each other. It was a good "hang out" spot for us for a long time. So ours lasted us kids about 16 years.

We live in an apartment, so we don't have one for our kids now.. but hopefully someday.

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#5 of 9 Old 01-20-2006, 08:12 PM
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My kids are still young BUT I have two things to offer. First, my sisters and I played on our metal gymset until 13 or 14 years old. We loved the monkey bars and acrobat type stuff. The last couple years it was used more as a hangout--we loved to sit on top of the monkey bars and chat with our friends. Our set wasn't big. Second, I have nearly twenty nephews (ages 0-16) (only a couple nieces) and so when I was trying to figure this out last fall, I spoke with all my in-laws.

Seemed that in our extended family that for the older kids (8-13) it was important to have monkey bars (pretty much universal). And all ages wanted some place to climb, a hideout or fort or playhouse (anything that was "their space"), a slide had greater appeal if it was bigger. And we had various responces for anything that "helped" the imagination along such as a play telescope, steering wheel, or fireman's pole. In our family it seems that they play with it through middle school. They might use it as a hangout or occasional swing during high school.

We got a childlife firechief system. We opted to include the treehouse, 4 swings (2 regular, one buoy, one glider), monkey bars, triple wave slide, and telescope. It came standard with rope ladder, and fireman's pole. There was a "sale" that included a climbing rock wall for free so we have that too. I also liked that you climb all over the structure rather than just up a ladder to a platform. The decking is made out of marine type stuff so there isn't any maintenance for that part and you don't worry about a big splinter in a foot.

Good luck with the decision. I wanted something that would last 15 years. I am sure this will. I could buy a cheaper set and replace it when it wears out, but that would be a pain and my total dollar would probably be more. The childlife set had really low maintenance requirements which was a big appeal to me and I didn't have to set the swings on the monkey bars. (I expect both swings and monkey bars to be used often and didn't want to make people play with them on alternate days or whatever.)

After the sale price, and shipping (since I ordered online) my total was 3200.


Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).
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#6 of 9 Old 01-22-2006, 09:40 AM
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We have a metal swingset BUT, my older two are 10 and almost 13 and they still play on it. Usually, DS is climbing on the top of it (a big wooden jungle gym/fort one would probably be more ideal for this)
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#7 of 9 Old 01-22-2006, 10:31 AM
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We bought a used one for $100 from a neighbor who was moving and didn't want it anymore (kids were teenagers). Sometimes people advertise them in the paper. The one we got has three swings, a fort, slide, ladder, and an enclosed sandbox area directly under the fort.
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#8 of 9 Old 01-22-2006, 11:02 AM
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We built ours seven years ago. It includes three swings, a set of rings, a twisty slide, a fort, a steering wheel, a climbing net, a telescope, and a flower box (mama added that part!). My kids are 12, 7, and 2, and they all three play with it all the time. The fort has been a spaceship, an airplane, a boat, and a hideout. It's been worth every penny we put into it, and I still see many, many years of play!
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#9 of 9 Old 01-22-2006, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks ladies for all of the feedback. I was wondering... for those who have the wooden sets, did you use some kind of mulch/bark chips underneath of it? Our backyard does get really soggy quite often (it rains quite a bit), so we will need to box out an area and then put something down, but I'm not sure what kind of material would be best. I looked into that rubber chip stuff and it is soooo expensive. BTW, DH and I talked it over and I think we're going to get the childlife set. It's expensive, but DH says the way he looks at it, the tax credit we get for each kid would basically pay for the set, lol.
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