The best plastic outdoor playset for toddlers – New York Daily News

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Instead of going to the park, why not bring the playground to your own backyard? There are many options when it comes to plastic outdoor playsets for toddlers. Knowing the different features and design elements of these jungle gyms will guide you in your purchasing decision.

Whether you're looking for a classic playset with a slide or something a little more modern with a trampoline or a rock wall, you can find the playset of your toddler's dreams. Warm Home 6-in-1 Kids Indoor/Outdoor Swing Set is a top choice for its easy assembly and the fun activities it includes.

What to know before you buy a plastic outdoor playset

Playsets have different footprints, so you’ll need to measure your intended space to make sure it can accommodate the playset of your choice. If the playset involves swings or a slide, make sure there’s enough room in front of and behind the playset to allow the swing to fully extend and enough egress to get to the stairs for the slide. Don’t forget to watch for overhead clearance issues like trees or power lines.

Make sure any playset you purchase has the appropriate safety features and is easy to assemble. You’ll most likely need a drill or a number of different tools to complete assembly, or you may even need to hire a professional, depending on the complexity of the playset.

Plastic outdoor playset features

Most playsets offer one or two regular swings, but some also offer baby swings with safety guards or two-person glider swings that can be enjoyed by two kids at once. Try to find swings that have chain covers to protect little hands from being pinched.

Some slides are narrower and rest at a higher angle, while others are gently sloped with a longer footprint. Depending on the age and physical ability of your toddler, you might want to choose a gently sloped slide for a safer experience.

Rock climbing walls are found on some more expensive playsets and are great for improving balance and coordination. These walls provide another fun area of interest for the child to play on.

A few select playsets offer trampolines, which are great energy burners. They generally only accommodate one child at a time, so bear that in mind, as it's sure to be a popular feature.

Tunnels are great for little ones who haven’t quite started walking but are crawling. They might not be able to go down the slide unassisted just yet, so a tunnel allows them to participate in the fun without feeling left out.

Sports features like a basketball hoop or a soccer goal are included in some more robust playsets; some models even offer a plastic baseball bat. Practicing sports at a young age is beneficial to hand-eye coordination, heart health and developing motor skills.

Plastic outdoor playset cost 

When shopping for a plastic outdoor playset, you’ll likely spend at least $200 for a sturdy and reliable model. If you’d like extra features like a rock wall, trampoline or sports feature, you can expect to spend $250-$400.

Plastic outdoor playset FAQ

Why should I choose a plastic playset over wood or metal?

A. Each material has its positives and negatives. Wood is very durable but can splinter, warp and rot over time. Wood playsets also tend to be more expensive than plastic or metal. Metal is very strong but unless coated, it's subject to rust after exposure to the elements. Plastic is the lightest and least expensive material and is softer than metal or wood. Plastic playsets also tend to be lower to the ground and without sharp edges, but the colors can fade over time. They can be used indoors and outdoors without damaging your floors and can be easily wiped clean with a rag.

Do I have to keep a plastic playset outdoors?

A. No, if you'd like to use your playset indoors, you should be able to do so, provided you have enough space. Plenty of parents set up playsets indoors where the climate doesn't allow for a lot of outside time or if they don't have a backyard. However, once you choose either outdoors or indoors, stick with it so you don't have to disassemble and reassemble.

Which plastic outdoor playset should I get?

Best of the best plastic outdoor playset

Warm Home 6-in-1 Kids Indoor and Outdoor Swing Set: available at Wayfair

Our take: Easy-to-assemble children's six-piece swing set.

What we like: Available in three different color combinations, this 6-in-1 set includes a slide, swings, ladder, basketball hoop, baseball bat and soccer net. Your little ones will have hours of fun exploring all the different options this robust playset has to offer.

What we dislike: The stickers come off quickly.

Best bang for your buck plastic outdoor playset

Sportspower Almansor Trampoline/Slide and Swing Set: available at Wayfair

Our take: Classic swing set upgraded with a trampoline.

What we like: This incredible swing set includes two regular swings, a dual glider swing, a slide and a trampoline. With so many features, your child won't know which option to select first. The material is UV- and rust-resistant and includes a 1-year limited warranty.

What we dislike: Does not include a baby swing.

Honorable mention plastic outdoor playset

LebonYard Climber and Swing Set for Kids: available at Wayfair

Our take: Adorable double slide swing set in two vivid color options.

What we like: There's so much fun packed into this incredible playset that includes two slides, a swing, basketball hoop, tunnels and trapeze rings. Made from non-toxic HDPE material, it's safe for your children to climb on and can hold a maximum of 66 pounds in the swing. A hidden music box plays a song when the slide is used.

What we dislike: Only includes one swing.

Stefanie Hammond is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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