Author Topic: Swing Set / Play Set for 4 year old son?  (Read 1928 times)

cdgreg

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Swing Set / Play Set for 4 year old son?
« on: July 23, 2017, 08:23:23 PM »
Been wrestling with this all summer, and in analysis paralysis.  I figure it's time to ask the mustachians what you would all do...

We live in NY, have a 4 year old son, no other kids, not planning to have any other kids, and will most likely be in this house for at least 3-5 more years.  Our property is about an acre and a half with plenty of wide open space and some huge trees.  Like any little boy, our son loves to climb, swing, etc.  At this point, we do not have any form of swing set.  What have all you mustachians done swing set/play set wise?  Here is what I have been considering for months...
  • The cheap part of me wants to buy a $30 rope swing from amazon, hang it from a tree, and call it a day
  • The frugal part of me considers finding one on craigslist and taking it apart and moving it here (although we only own small cars and I'm not sure the success rate of putting it back together successfully without directions)
  • The frugal but not too cheap part of me wants to buy a bracket set from amazon, high quality pressure treated pine from Lowes, and build a decent playset with swings, slide, climbing wall, and platform ($400-$500ish)
  • The live vicariously through my child part of me wants to build stage 1 of a badass tree house/fort/platform from one of our massive black walnut trees.  Stage 1 would just consist of the platform & swing hanging from it.  As he gets older we could build stairs up to it, a climbing rope, slide, railings, and even enclose it. (No idea how much this would cost, never done anything like this)

What have you all done for swing sets / play sets?  What do you recommend or what lessons have you learned that you recommend I avoid?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 08:31:05 PM by cdgreg »

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2382
  • Location: NZ
Re: Swing Set / Play Set for 4 year old son?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 02:03:29 AM »
I built a treehouse.

My brother did the $30 swing hung from a tree branch.

All options except for number 3 seem god to me.

2Cent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 652
Re: Swing Set / Play Set for 4 year old son?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 02:21:30 AM »
I remember as a kid, a plain old swing was kind of boring unless you could jump off and land on something soft. I don't know how your kid plays, but I remember most fun where the obstacle course like play areas. I would suggest get those thick ropes and make a big knot in the bottom to sit on. Then if possible somehow make an obstacle course between the different trees. Best if you could complete it without landing on the ground.

Also great are rubber tiles as you can just fall on them without getting hurt.

But as all kids are different, I would start small and just expand the kinds of things he does a lot. For instance, he will have friends start to come over in a while. That might drastically change the way he plays.

Cranky

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1760
Re: Swing Set / Play Set for 4 year old son?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2017, 05:57:09 AM »
My dad built a wooden platform that was about 5 feet high. It was set up for us to set up a tent on the top, but we mostly climbed up and jumped off. It functioned as a ship, a rocket ship, a fort, a house, a watchtower, and just about anything else a bunch of kids can imagine for many, many years.

I think a swingset is a good investment - kids do get a lot of play value from them over the years. I think there are a lot of options, though, and you really don't need to go for the big and expensive variety.

Dave1442397

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1038
  • Location: NJ
Re: Swing Set / Play Set for 4 year old son?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2017, 06:21:12 AM »
Check facebook and craigslist. I just saw a facebook post giving away a $3000 playset to anyone who would come take it away.

nobody123

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 524
Re: Swing Set / Play Set for 4 year old son?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2017, 07:17:01 AM »
Check facebook and craigslist. I just saw a facebook post giving away a $3000 playset to anyone who would come take it away.

+1.  We bought one of the ~$3K play set (Two level tower, slide, swings, rock wall, fire pole, etc.) for our kids a few years ago.  They love it and use it almost daily 9 months out of the year, but I have had several other neighbors get used ones for a few hundred bucks (or free because someone just wanted it gone).  They generally last 20 years if well maintained, so if you can find one that's 5-10 years old for next to nothing, it might be cheaper than buying the bracket set and wood.

catccc

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1684
  • Location: SE PA
Re: Swing Set / Play Set for 4 year old son?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2017, 10:10:09 AM »
Check facebook and craigslist. I just saw a facebook post giving away a $3000 playset to anyone who would come take it away.

If you must, I think this is the way to go.  But I encourage you to let your boy find other things to do in an open yard, or find some more flexible playthings to put in the yard that would foster creativity.  I know a kid near us that has fashioned what he calls "the playground" out of a few large tree sections (IDK what to call them... not the stump, but if you cut down an old tree trunk into 1-2 ft long sections) and a 2x6 that is maybe 4 feet long.  There are many combinations for play and he has a ton of fun with it.

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1197
Re: Swing Set / Play Set for 4 year old son?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 10:21:42 AM »
When I was a kid we had a swing set with a little platform, two regular swings, two of those little circles and a tire swing. My sister and I played on it a lot with our friends. I'm not sure how expensive it was, it was pretty similar to this one though. If you do build one, wood is better than those flimsy metal/plastic ones. And now that my sister and I have grown up and moved out, my dad took out the swings and hung a hammock, so it still gets use. We did go to the park a lot too, but it's really nice to just have something to play on in the backyard when kids are too young to go out on their own or would rather play at home. If you can afford it and think it would be a fun project that your kid would use a lot, I'd say get one.