Spending time outdoors is great for developing kids. Not only do outdoor activities promote better health and improve physical fitness, but they also take kids away from excessive screen time. Besides offering fresh air, bringing them closer to nature inspires them to be more creative, daring and nurtures their adventurous spirit.
All these benefits of outdoor activities can be increased ten-fold with the help of a few playsets designed to prolong the time spent playing outdoors. Whether it’s an elaborate swing set or a simple set of hockey sticks, the playsets discussed below will find your kid having fun outdoors for hours on end.
- Picking the Perfect Play Set
- Top 10 Best Outdoor Playsets for Kids 2021
- 1. UTEX 3-In-1 Pop-Up Play Tent
- 2. Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Set
- 3. Climbing Rope Tree Swing
- 4. Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse
- 5. Toy Rocket Launcher
- 6. Little Baby Bum Wheels on the Bus Climber and Slide
- 7. Royal Oak Door Saucer Tree Swing
- 8. Franklin Sports Youth Street Hockey Set
- 9. Milliard DIY Rock Climbing Holds Set
- 10. Lydaz Bubble Mower for Toddlers
- It’s Play Time!
Picking the Perfect Play Set
Outdoor playsets vary in design, concept, usage, and application. The age range of kids is also a significant factor in deciding what kind of outdoor playset to buy. Our list includes a set or two for kids of all ages, starting with two-year-old toddlers to preteen. Before we head over to the list, let’s have a look at the various criteria you should look out for when buying an outdoor playset for your kids.
Any outdoor playing equipment for kids must pass all nationally and internationally recognized safety standards. The risk of injury in the outdoors is increased, and hence extra safety parameters should be taken into account while designing these playsets. On top of that, we’ve made sure to select only sets that meet our own high safety standards.
Most manufacturers make it a point to list the safety features incorporated in their design to put your mind at ease. Lack of this prominent and vital information should make you wary of buying such equipment.
Concept and Design
There are plenty of outdoor playsets to choose from online, so how do you narrow down your list? Look for playsets that encourage STEM learning, or offer exceptional physical activity, or introduce your kid to a new concept or sport. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your kids can get more than just fun out of their playsets? They’ll be spending hours playing with these toys, so you should go for the ones that offer a tad more than just regular play.
Sturdiness and Durability
Outdoor playsets are subjected to more severe wear and tear due to harsh weather, summer heat, and snow. Do not skimp on the price and invest in playsets that can withstand pressure under various weather conditions without losing their integrity, colors, and textures.
Good playsets make use of sturdy, high-grade, and durable plastics, PU-treated fabric material, stainless steel frames, and screws, nuts, and bolts that can withstand extreme pressures.
Ease of Setup and Use
Invest in sturdy and durable products that require minimal upkeep. While some playsets are easy to assemble and use, others require detailed instructions to put together and could be challenging for kids to master. Neither of these things is a negative point, but it should factor in before purchasing an outdoor playset based on your kids’ requirements.
Also, check whether all the accessories and equipment necessary to assemble and install the playset are included in the package. If not, make prior arrangements and factor the additional costs into the total cost of the playset.
Age and Interests
Don’t buy outdoor playsets designed for toddlers for tweens and vice versa. Most manufacturers have a standard ‘Recommended Age’ listed on their products to help you slot their toys for the right age group.
Similarly, if your kid isn’t into adventure sport, buy them something more accessible, like a swing set. If your toddler prefers water-based activities, don’t buy him/her a sandbox. Preferences are something you’ll have to take into account on your own.
With these factors in mind, you’re now ready to choose the perfect playset for your little one.
Top 10 Best Outdoor Playsets for Kids 2021
This polyester taffeta tent is durable, has a stable construction design, and can be installed wherever you have adequate space. While the structure is super lightweight and only weighs about three pounds, it can withstand rigorous play with multiple players.
This tent is best used for parties and small gatherings to keep the kids busy and safe. The package doesn’t contain balls for the ball-pit, and you’ll have to buy them separately.
It has two ball-pits at either end and a transparent tunnel to crawl through, connecting the pits. Kids can enter from one end and exit through the other – a simple activity that keeps three-year-olds busy for hours. One of the pits is big enough to allow three kids to stand up straight within its confines. There are transparent window panels on the tents to let adults see what’s going on inside the tent. An easy roll-up door allows entrance to the taller tent, while the cube has a big hole on the top to enter it.
This play tent comes in attractive colors, is reasonably easy to put together, can be moved around with ease, and best of all, can be folded up for storage without much hassle. Once dismantled, it doesn’t take up much space, so you don’t have to worry about its storage.
The manufacturer recommended age for this play tent is three years and above, but with a bit of supervision, you can let toddlers into the ball pit and keep them engaged for hours.
This tent is sturdy enough to allow pets to join your kids in it. Since all parts are distinct and pop open separately, you can put them together with relative ease if one or two come apart. You can also use the pieces individually.
Swings were probably amongst the first few playsets of civilized society. They’re classic play sets that both children and adults can enjoy. This one makes our list because it is a quality product made of wooden hardware.
Don’t be daunted by the assembly time and effort required. The package consists of a very clear instructions manual that contains helpful illustrations to simplify this job for you. It will take an hour or two to assemble. It is compact enough to fit in a small backyard or on the front porch. It isn’t a full-sized swing for adults as it is limited by height.
The swing chains are metal but coated with plastisol to prevent rusting and pinched fingers. The package contains a combination trapeze/ring swing and two regular swing seats. The swings can support up to 115 lbs each, making it good for several years. The apparatus has been tested for safety measures and surpasses all ASTM safety standards. Metallic bolts reinforce the structure and ensure that the frame doesn’t wobble or move when the swings are in use.
The trapeze swing is versatile in its usage. You can attach a toddler seat through the rings to let your preschoolers also have a go on the swing set. Or, you can buy separate anchors to connect a toddler seat to the wooden frame directly. Either way, there’s wiggle room to customize the swing seat arrangements.
Let’s have a look at this fun swing set that’s very different from the Ranger Wooden Swing Set. This swing can be suspended from any viable anchor that can sustain the weight of the swing and a child or two.
The package consists of a thick braided polyethylene rope that provides an easy grip and isn’t harsh on your kids’ fingers as they grab onto it and climb up. Two big and four small discs are also included in the package. The big discs act as swing seats, while the smaller ones are used as holds while climbing up. It takes a few minutes to put this apparatus together.
After that, it’s just a matter of where you would like to hang it. Indoors to a roof hook, outdoors on a swing set frame, or just hang it on a tree branch. The materials are all high quality and clear ASTM standards for kids’ safety.
Not only does this hanging swing act as a regular swing, but it also builds up your kids’ strength, stamina, and balance. Kids can use the wide circular discs to either sit or stand on as they swing. The little discs can be used as stepping stones or handholds to climb up to the second wide disc. Kids build up their core and muscle strength as they balance on this rope swing.
You can customize this swing by adding a tire to the bottom disc or use it in conjunction with other outdoor activity sets like monkey bars or climber ladders. Rope length is also adjustable.
This toy will help your kids away from the screens and stay physically active as they learn to climb up and stay on this rope swing. It is easy to install, dismantle, and store.
This cute little cottage is like a tree-house for your kids, except it’s on the ground and more easily accessible. It has working doors, windows, and shutters to give it the feel of a real house. You can place it outdoors in the front lawn or the backyard, or dismantle and take it with you to a picnic or a day out, as it’s very easy to put together.
The house has brick details to give it an authentic cottage look. There are two arched doorways with small blue doors, windows along the sides with working shutters, a tiled roof, and a mail slot near the front door. The cottage is 49” tall, almost 4 feet in height, so your kids can get in and out of the house without having to bend.
The assembly instructions are clear and precise, and it takes less than an hour to put together. All you need is the ‘Little Tikes’ tool and a Phillips Head screwdriver to assemble the cottage, and both of these tools are included in the package. A few stickers are also included in the package to make the house look more vibrant. You can decorate it further with lights, bean bags, kitchen sets, and more. The front door wall also features a flag holder.
It does not include a floor, so you can move it around easily. There’s enough space for a couple of baby chairs and a table inside the house. Adults can also crawl in beside their kids, sit down on the floor without bending, play with their kids, and partake in their fun.
Things that fly fascinate kids like no other toys. And this rocket launcher playset helps them launch rockets into the air with a simple setup. There’s a tripod connected to a launcher thrust pump. The mechanical energy required to launch the rockets comes from the kids themselves. All they have to do is run, jump, and stomp on the launcher to provide the momentum for the rockets to blast off into the air. An air pipe connects the pump to the rocket launcher. Eight rockets in three different colors are provided in the package. There’s no need for any batteries to operate this apparatus.
This playset can only be used outdoors. It is a perfect toy for high-energy kids who’re always active and raring to go. This will keep them engaged for hours, even as they use up all that extra energy to keep launching the rocket into the air. All the running, jumping, and aiming the stomping to provide the right kind of thrust will develop their leg muscles, enhance their stamina, and help them build up better lung capacity leading to improved endurance. This outdoor playset provides quite the workout for their legs.
The rockets are made of foam, so they’re lightweight and easy to launch. They do not fly higher than 100 feet, so the kids won’t be losing them all over the place. You’ll need to be careful with the fins though, as they tend to fall off easily. The rest of the setup is made of durable and high-quality plastic, so it won’t break easily when the kids jump on it repeatedly.
As your kids master the art of launching these rockets at different speeds, angles, and thrusts, they’ll start understanding basic STEM concepts about force, acceleration, momentum, velocity, and so on. You can inspire a love of aerodynamics and rocket science to your kids from an early age with this excellent apparatus.
If your toddler has listened to the ‘Wheels on the Bus’ song about a thousand times, and you simply can’t listen to that tune one more time, here’s the perfect solution. Let your toddler experience this minibus out of the house, in the backyard, on the front lawn, and stay busy for hours instead of playing the dreaded jingle on repeat on the phone.
The bus features educational aids and interactive parts like a dashboard with stickers showing fuel level, speed, etc., a horn that honks, a gear shifter, an ignition key, and a steering wheel that plays the song, you guessed it, ‘Wheels on the Bus.’ The playhouse has a slide at the back that can be accessed from the front seat.
Besides being a compact playhouse, it has other fun learning aids like counting numbers, some animals, a ‘Stop’ sign that can be tuned in or out, and musical notes that play when different features are used.
This bus is made of durable and safe materials that are childproof. There are no sharp edges, and all corners are rounded and smooth. The slide is about 18” in height, and there’s no fear of kids losing balance on it as it slopes gradually for a safe landing. Since the build is sturdy and tires do not come apart, you can safely take it outdoors.
This toy set requires at least two people to assemble, but the instructions booklet included makes it a manageable affair. The assembly requires some patience as it’s tough to get all the parts to fit in, but that’s also why this bus is a very safe toy set for your kids, and you can make sure that it won’t fall apart even with rough usage. It requires two batteries for the music and the sound effects. You’ll have to buy them separately.
Although this bus is immobile, it is huge and will keep your toddler busy for hours. It also plays only the one jingle mentioned above, but you can place it at a safe distance from your hearing and let your kid listen to it on repeat.
We’ve already spoken about swings and how much fun they are. But if you’re looking for more than just sitting on a swing, this saucer swing is an excellent outdoor playset that lets you do much more. Your kids can use it as a swinging bed, a swinging play space, stand on it without the fear of falling, and watch the starry night sky as they swing peacefully within the safe confines of the disc.
It is shaped like a round disc or saucer with a heavy-duty, colorful cloth base. It has a load capacity of 700 pounds, so a few kids can pile on it together. Adults can also climb on it without worrying about load capacity and enjoy swinging outdoors for hours of fun. It is advisable to limit the load capacity to 300 pounds so the swing can last a long time.
While the steel hooks are included in the package, the rope included only gives a range of two feet. If you’re looking for more height, hanging straps of different lengths are sold separately, and you might want to invest in a pair based on your swing height requirements. This saucer swing can be hung from a tree, a swing set, a swing frame, in the front porch, or any place sturdy enough to handle the load. A few fun flags are also included in the package so kids can attach them to the ropes.
The disc is made of a steel frame covered with a 900D Oxford fabric. This is a 100% polyester fabric with PU coating making it waterproof, lightweight, durable, and flexible. This also makes the fabric weatherproof, and it doesn’t lose its color or thickness even when subjected to long days in the sun or snow. Nor is it given to wear and tear easily, so you don’t have to worry about metallic scraping or fabric tears as you use this swing.
You can buy it in printed cloth material or bright color patterns, and there are as many as 12 styles to choose from.
This saucer swing set is easy to put together, is superb in quality and safety, and will provide endless outdoor fun for your kids as well as the adults in the family.
Hockey is an international sport that’s very athletic, keeps one healthy, leads to a better metabolic rate, and has other health benefits that all active sports provide. This hockey starter kit for six-year-olds and above would make for a perfect gift for your kids. They can get an early advantage in developing their hockey playing skills, improving hand-eye coordination, and building up leg muscles, and better endurance. Hockey also provides a complete cardiovascular workout, so this hockey kit would be a gift of health to your kids besides being a fun outdoor sport. It is also a relatively low-risk sport that fosters team play.
This kit includes two junior hockey sticks and one low-density hockey ball. The blades sport a straight design so both left-handed and right-handed players can use them.
The sticks feature vinyl graphics from top to bottom, improving the look and design aesthetic of the set. The manufacturer – Franklin Sports – has an official license from the NHL, so the graphics on the sticks feature NHL logos and symbols. This makes them more exciting for kids to play with, as they can feel like part of their favorite team.
The sticks have a slight bend in the like professional hockey sticks. You can play with these in the grass, on the gravel outside, or even in your basement. The shafts are flexible enough to play on these surfaces with ease. These are meant for kids aged four to twelve years and designed to withstand the kind of pressure they might apply on the sticks. It will get your kids used to the way hockey is played, how shots are taken, and the bending and turning of real sticks.
Since they’re designed as a starter kit for hockey, they’re very economically priced. This would be an excellent way to introduce your kids to a classic sport without spending too much while you gauge their interest in it before you proceed to buy professional equipment.
If your kids are into adventure sports, get them this DIY rock climbing set that can be quickly put together to create a rock climbing wall in your house, or turn one of your outer walls into an adventure climbing track.
This kit would make for a perfect gift for kids who like the outdoors, are into adventure sports, and don’t mind a few scrapes and falls as they indulge in their favorite sporting activities. You are free to chart the path of the grips as you see fit. You can set the grips and handles in an easy course for beginners or make it more difficult and challenging by a strategic and well-planned route up the walls for kids with some experience.
Rock climbing is a strenuous activity that builds stamina, develops core muscles, improves balance and agility, promotes physical fitness, and keeps your kids focussed, engaged, and confident as they learn to ace this daring sport. Keeping them engaged this way is another way of keeping budding teens out of trouble.
The package includes 25 grips that come in various shapes and bright colors, two handles for climbing, and a knotted rope. These grips can handle the weight of an average teenager with ease and aren’t meant to be used by adults. Each grip can take a load of 225 lbs, but it’s safer to limit the load to 150 lbs. The rope provided in the package is thicker and sturdier than regular ropes usually available in such kits.
The screw bolts provided to tether the holds to the wall are 1.5” long, so there’s no wobbling, and the holds stay stable and resilient even under mounting pressure. The material used to design the holds is weatherproof. There’s no color fading, thinning of holds, or other weather-related wear and tear.
You can affix this kit on decking walls, thick plywood, or weather-treated 2” boards to distribute the load more evenly for durability and safety. How long or short you make the track is up to you and your child’s skill. It takes an hour or so to install and provides hours of rock climbing fun!
Gardening is a soul-soothing activity that produces tangible results and brings a lot of joy to the gardeners. You can instill this love of gardening in your kids from an early age with the help of this bubble mower for toddlers. While you’re working around the garden or mowing the grass, let your kids accompany you with their own mini lawnmower.
This push toy car is lightweight, sports attractive colors, is easy to put together and take apart, and doesn’t require much storage space. It makes fun noises to provide a realistic lawn mowing experience. Three bubble solution bottles are also provided so your kid can have endless fun with the bubbles even as they walk around the yard pushing the mower.
The toy requires three AA-sized batteries and a simple single key switch to turn on the motor or turn it off. Bubbles are created when the mower is being pushed around.
The plastic used is high-grade and recyclable. Most three-year-olds, and a lot of two-year-olds as well, can enjoy the outdoors for hours as they play with this toy set. There are no small parts that can be ingested, but you’ll have to be careful about the bubbles, and the bubble solution as a lot of kids tend to dunk their fingers in liquids and then suck on them without much care.
Besides the cute bubble mower, the package also contains a small screwdriver to put the toy together and three bubble wands to blow bubbles separately. The product is sturdy and holds up well even when put to rough use.
The usage of this toy isn’t limited to the outdoors, and you can continue the fun indoors once the sun has set as the plastic tires are sturdy enough to be driven on hardwood, tile, or cement floors. It’s a small toy car that’s very lightweight, and most toddlers will have no difficulty handling it.
It’s Play Time!
Ready to order an outdoor playset for your kids? Wonderful! Your kids will thank you for this thoughtful gift many times over: a thousand times in the present when they get to play with these sets and have endless fun in the outdoors, and again, as adults, when they realize the value of having a well-rounded upbringing that included thoughtful outdoor activities.
These playsets will help develop your kid’s confidence, stamina, balance, creativity, and most importantly, keep them happy and healthy while bringing them closer to nature.