The very best thing I believe Jeremy and I have ever, ever, ever, ever done as parents was to get our kids a playset. I should mention here that the grandparents actually purchased it for them, but we researched and picked it out.
They absolutely love it and wear it out!!
First, Why You Need One
There was an article in the Huffington Post a few years ago that talked about kids needing to spend at least 3 hours outside playing everyday. I totally agree with this from personal experience. My kids tend to be happier, sleep better at night, and just generally more content when we have days where we achieve this.
Now, don’t beat yourself up if your child doesn’t get this everyday. It’s just not possible everyday and I don’t believe life should be that structured. No one should be standing outside with a stopwatch timing little Susie’s play. I just use it as a guideline and try to take advantage of nice weather.
One thing I do know for a fact is this playset has provided endless hours of entertainment for my kiddos. My daughter could swing her little heart out. And my almost two year old son is learning how to navigate the slides, with our help of course, and they just go, go, go nonstop burning all their little energy.
Some Considerations to Keep in Mind
One thing to consider when customizing your playset, is how hands on you want to be. By that, I mean, if you have small kids and want to get some well deserved rest while they play, you probably don’t want to put in a “rock” wall. You also probably want to forgo the ladder and go with a ramp with a handrail that small kids can easily navigate on their own. You could design it in a way where once they’re up on the platform to go on the slide that there are no openings up there for them to fall through. Jeremy’s brother and his family did this with theirs and while you still need to supervise, you could safely do so from a rocking chair on the back porch.
We went with a rock wall and a ladder on ours. I want this playset to grow with our kids. While I may have to be more hands on for the next few years, I think the kids will still find it entertaining for many years to come. In fact, our daughter who is now four can pretty much do anything on the playset without assistance. So in two more years, we will be able to be more relaxed.
I posted here about the playset that came with the house and how we fell in love with it. It was past it’s prime and had seen better days, that’s for sure.
We brainstormed for years on how to revive this playhouse. We worried our small kids would fall off the deck while trying to go down the slide. The lip of the slide was lower than the deck itself and the steps were rickety. And although it had a slide, we had visions of swings and monkey bars and a big spiral slide as well.
Our first thought was to just tweak the existing playhouse by replacing the parts that needed it and adding on the other things we wanted. So like most projects we dream up, it went from being relatively simple to this huge elaborate thing.
And after awhile, we decided it would be better to just remove this playset and install a brand new one, as much as it pained us to do so. We just didn’t have the time to do it, honestly. There were too many other pressing concerns to deal with. Previous owners, please forgive us. It killed a little bit of my soul to do that.
Who We Went With
We went with a local company called Clifty Creek Playsets. They are so awesome at what they do. They work with you to customize how you want your playset set up and their prices are sooo reasonable compared to premade sets from places like Sam’s. And the quality can’t be beat. They even come set it up for you.
And don’t you worry. I made sure my kiddos had not just a swingset but also a little closed in playhouse at the bottom underneath the deck where the slides are located inspired by the original playset.
Dream Up Plans!
I have big plans for this playset. I’d like to whitewash the exterior and do some fun colors inside the playhouse. My daughter and her friends love playing cafe/restaurant/ drive-thru in it already so I want to hone in on that and kinda make it the theme.
I’m picturing some stained shutters with window boxes under three of the windows. I’d like to make an opening beside the door for the “counter” and maybe make a little deck area with some bar stools for the “customers.” And then all the fun little accessories like a dinner bell, chalkboard sign, menu, and cash register.
My kids already enjoy the heck outta this space so I can only imagine how much they will love it once it’s all fixed up! Drop me a comment below and let me know if you have an idea or inspiration! Work will begin soon. Stay tuned!