Having a yard is one advantage when being a homeowner. It gives you that extra space that you can use for any purpose you intend it for. It’s a plus if your lawn looks beautifully lush and green.
One of the best uses for your backyard is a playground, especially if you have kids. It’s also great if you like the idea of inviting family and friends over and have playdates. It will give you enough time to bond as adults, while the children are busy climbing away.
A study also shows that doing physical activities and playing outside helps promote children’s healthy lifestyle. This encourages learning and development outside the classroom and enhances their socialization opportunities.
The easiest way to turn your yard into a playground is by buying a playset. Something that fits the size of your garden and the age of the children who are going to play.
Table of Contents
- What to Consider When Buying a Backyard Playset?
- Top 10 Best Small Backyard Playsets
- 1. Backyard Discovery Timberlake All Cedar Wood Playhouse
- 2. Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower
- 3. IronKids Outdoor Playground
- 4. Backyard Discovery Dayton All Cedar Wood Playset Swing Set
- 5. Gym Dandy Spinning Teeter Totter
- 6. Step2 Playhouse Neat & Tidy Cottage
- 7. Lifetime Heavy-Duty A-Frame Metal Swing Set
- 8. Swing-N-Slide Scrambler Playset
- 9. AchieveUSA Kids Outdoor Playset Wooden Sandbox
- 10. KidKraft Brooksville Cedar Wood Swing Set
- Quality Playsets for Some Quality Family Time
What to Consider When Buying a Backyard Playset?
Buying a playset is not easy, where does one start? It may just be something used for play, but there are many things to consider when buying a backyard playset. Among the many factors, its size and quality of materials are the most important ones to consider.
Take note of the following before you decide which to buy.
The first thing you should consider is the size of your yard to know how big your playset should be.
This matters a lot since you also need to consider some space for children to move and run around. Note that there might be playsets that need some extra space around it to avoid any accidents or other hazards. For example, a swing set requires at least six feet of clearance around so no one within distance would get hit when a child is playing with it.
You should also consider how and where you will position the playset to make sure that everyone who plays on it is still within view. Children should be playing in an adult’s supervision at all times just encase there is an emergency!
Quality of Materials
Next to size, the quality of a playset’s material should be your top concern.
Look for materials that will last longer. Those made of wood and metal are considered long-lasting. However, you might also find these options more expensive than plastic playsets.
If your budget could only workaround that, at least find out how much you need to maintain them. You might end up spending more on repairing and maintaining a plastic playset compared to sturdier ones. Plus they might not last as long, it totally depends though. Some brands build high-quality plastic so make sure they are known to last!
Play Surface and Overall Safety
One crucial factor in considering a play area’s safety is the playing surface. While this is something independent of the playset, this is an important thing to consider.
Make sure that your playset is placed on a surface that is safe for children in case they fall or trip to lessen injuries. Highly recommended surfaces are rubber and pine types of playground mulches. This also adds a bit of protection on your lawn from the playset.
Other than the playing surface, check on the playset’s structure, especially if it requires nails, screws, and other parts of the entire structure that might trip, graze, or injure a child in any way.
Cover swing chains with grips to avoid the child getting pinched from it. Provide side railings on platforms to keep children from falling. And make sure edges are capped, rounded, or covered to prevent scratches, cuts, and other injuries.
Installing a playset is not easy. That’s why you should check on how your chosen playset should be installed.
You can ask to check the manual and see if it’s something you can do by yourself. Also, make sure to know what tools you need so you can buy the ones you don’t have at home.
If not, ask someone who can help with the installation. Of course, this would come with a fee.
Look for playsets that are not too difficult to maintain. This is basically in line with the quality of its materials.
Check on which parts of the playset would easily get damaged through wear and tear. Make sure that you have this protected right before the damage starts.
Consider a wooden playset. Weather plays a vital role in its wear and tear. The hot weather during the summer, or the rain and snow on cold seasons affect the finish of the wooden surface.
You can opt for weather sealants to protect any playset material, be it wood or metal.
Top 10 Best Small Backyard Playsets
Now that you have a guide on what to consider in buying a playset, here’s a list of the top 10 best small backyard playsets that you can buy for your kids to enjoy.
This Backyard Discovery playhouse has the perfect size for small backyards.
It’s a simple replica of a house with a play kitchen and a telephone. It gives children the freedom to imagine what they do in this tiny house. They can play pretend that they are cooking or selling food and serving it outside the sliding windows. Plus, we think those flowerpot shelves are cute!
A small playhouse makes a perfect option on our best small backyard playsets list. It takes little space and kids can hang out inside it for hours.
Installation is also easy and can be done in less than an hour. It comes with Safe-T-Fuse locking nuts and heavy-duty brackets that resists from loosening. It’s also safe from causing scrapes, so that’s a plus on safety.
This is not your ordinary monkey bars set – and that’s the best thing about it.
Eezy Peezy’s Climbing Tower allows you to build it any way you want since its parts can be put together quickly. You can build it as shown on the product photo, but you can also make it into a sphere-like hex structure or basically, any way you want it to be. And because of that, you can use this both indoor and outdoor.
This climbing tower is made with durable plastic making it lightweight but safe for kids. It can be a great choice on this list of best small backyard playsets, it takes up little space and kids love it.
Monkey bars are also a great playset since it encourages play exploration and body coordination.
3. IronKids Outdoor Playground
The IronKids Outdoor Playground is like having an entire playground in your backyard.
The set comes with a slide, two swing sets, a monkey bar, and a trampoline. Since this playset presents a lot of play opportunities, this is best for families or circle of friends with many children.
This outdoor playground has safety holding bars to ensure safety for children, especially while jumping on the trampoline.
It may not seem easy to assemble since there are more parts to put together, but it is sturdy enough for its price.
4. Backyard Discovery Dayton All Cedar Wood Playset Swing Set
This is another playset by Backyard Discovery that is of great value because of its multifunctionality.
It has two belt swings, a trapeze swing, and a slide that comes with a standard ladder and a rock-climbing ladder. The surrounding area can be utilized as a sandbox, too.
Compared to the previous one, this playset is made mainly of cedarwood with a colorful fabric canopy to cover the platform on the slide.
Setting it up is easier since the manual is easy to understand, but it might take up to two hours to assemble plus extra hands.
Overall, it’s a playset is a good value for the money you spent on it.
This Gym Dandy Spinning Teeter Totter gives your backyard playset an exciting twist. And when we say twist, we mean it literally.
This playset works just like a seesaw, but what makes it fun is that it can spin 360 degrees! Its urethane wheels allow the seats to move parallel while they move up and down. On this list of the best small backyard playsets a teeter-totter really takes up minimum space and I recommend it for small backyards.
However, this playset does not look as safe as you want it to be. Moving both lateral and parallel ways may be a danger for smaller or lighter children. You can just install safety belts on them if you think it is unsafe. Another downside is that only two kids can enjoy the playset at once.
6. Step2 Playhouse Neat & Tidy Cottage
Children love to play pretend, especially mimicking what they observe from their parents. This Step2 Playhouse is a perfect playset for young ones who also want to host their dinner party with friends. Just for play, actually, but it allows kids to prepare dinner, answer calls, and check the mail!
This playhouse encourages fun interaction among kids, a perfect avenue for them to play while the parents also have their lunch or dinner nearby.
It is made of durable plastic and is sturdier than it looks. It is also spacious enough to fit at least two kids inside. On this list of best small backyard playsets, I can say this is perfect for a younger audience.
What we love about this is that its colors look more realistic than other playsets.
If you prefer to have a swing set than anything multifunctional, might as well invest on this Lifetime heavy-duty metal swing set.
It is sturdy and stable, and it is made of heavy-duty alloy steel. This is ideal for families who think they might enjoy the swing even as their kids grow older. For this list of the best small backyard playsets having a sturdy swing set is never a bad idea. I had one at my cabin and still use it as an adult, they are so much fun! So peaceful…
Its safety features include plastic covers on hard edges and rubber grips on the swing chains. Children will enjoy swinging the afternoon away without you having to worry about any injury.
This Swing-n-Slide Scrambler playset is another multifunctional playground equipment but is slightly smaller than the others on the list. This is perfect for those who want to have a multipurpose playset but has a limited play space.
The set comes with a slide with both standard and rock-climbing steps, and two swings. Kids will surely love to play around this. It is one of the best small backyard playsets because it has multiple play items with little space being used in a yard.
The downside is, and as you can read from customer reviews, it might be a bit challenging to assemble since the manual is difficult to follow. So, if you still want to purchase this, make sure to have someone who can quickly figure out graphic representations and which parts go where so you can have an easier time putting it up.
9. AchieveUSA Kids Outdoor Playset Wooden Sandbox
A sandbox is another excellent idea for a backyard playset for those with smaller yards. It only covers up a small play area without reducing the fun your kids can have with it. On this list of best small backyard playsets I think a sandbox would be a simple small fun idea.
One key feature of the AchieveUSA Sandbox is that you’re not limited to only place sand. You can use whatever material you want in there just as long as it’s safe and does not limit creative play.
The ‘box’ structure does not only function as a container for sand inside, but it also works as a seat for children to sit on while they play. The surface is smooth, and the edges are covered with plastic to minimize injury.
But one of the best features of this sandbox is its canopy. Yes, a simple canopy can be great, too. It is made of waterproof PVC Oxford cloth that protects your children and the playset from both the sun and rain. You can also adjust its height to accommodate taller children. You can also change the canopy’s incline, so you are sure that they are protected from the sun whatever the sunlight’s angle is.
10. KidKraft Brooksville Cedar Wood Swing Set
We’ve been talking about multifunctional playset in this entire list, but this tops it all. Just imagine all the other swing-and-slide sets we mentioned and add a playhouse to it!
The KidKraft Brooksville consists of not just slides and swings. It has a rock wall that acts as a ladder to the upper deck, and it smartly utilizes the bottom of the slide and its platform as a two-story playhouse. The lower playhouse works like a café with a bench outside so kids can serve sweet treats to their playmates. The upper playhouse is spacious and breezy enough to see the view.
Aside from the two swing sets, there is also a 2-seater glider with lateral handles. The increased spaces in between minimize any possibility of bumping. This can be seen as the ultimate best on our list of best small backyard playsets, its huge and has everything kids want.
With all its play features, this cedar wood swing set can accommodate many children at once. This is great for bigger children’s party or family gatherings.
Quality Playsets for Some Quality Family Time
You got all the choices; it’s time to pick which among these will be great for your kids.
If you think a small trampoline would be a good fit with the best small backyard playsets see our 10 Best Trampolines for Small Yards article.
The quality of the material for the playset must be one thing you need to consider. Think long term. If you’re going to put a playset in your yard, it might as well be something that would last long or that you could customize or reuse when your kids finally outgrow them.
Buying a playset is not just something for play or fun. Bringing the kids outside to play can help boost their entire well-being. Among the best benefits, they can get from having a playset is boosting their immune system, strengthening their bodies, and building socialization skills that are important when they grow older.
Lastly, make this purchase something enjoyable for the entire family. A playset does not have to be just for the kids. Spend time with them, too. They will develop better emotional and mental health if you spend more quality family time with your kids. Consider buying a playset and playing together with them an investment towards their overall growth.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.