Best Playgrounds For 2023: Top 4 Backyard Sets Beloved By Experts And Kids

It’s not easy deciding which are the best playgrounds for your backyard when there are hundreds of choices online and very few in stores. Not to mention, they’re all different brands, prices, sizes and materials. But anyone with kids at home knows little ones need to burn what seems like endless energy. So, getting some backyard entertainment with one of the best playgrounds for them is tempting to say the least. 

Research has shown that outdoor playtime improves young students’ social and emotional development. But it takes more than just any old slide and sandbox, according to a study. While this study focused on school recess rather than at-home play, it’s important to know that results showed recess was most beneficial when children had a greater selection of equipment, as well as adults playing or engaging with them all of which can be offered in your own backyard.

One important thing to note is slide safety. A study found that sliding down with your child on your lap increases the chances they’ll break their leg or suffer a serious leg injury. Researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics found that from 2002 to 2015, more than 350,000 children under six were injured on slides in the U.S. The younger the child, the higher the likelihood they were to suffer an injury, with toddlers 12 to 23 months old being the most frequently injured.

While playtime isn’t always fun and games, being fun is seriously important. When it comes to playground and playdate power hierarchies, it’s the fun children who reign supreme. A study conducted at Florida Atlantic University found being fun is a major indicator of adolescent popularity. Are you ready to have some fun with your kids? Here is our list of the best playgrounds that experts say will help turn a boring backyard into a dream place to play.

The List: Best Playgrounds For Your Backyard, According To Experts

1. Backyard Discovery Skyfort II Residential Wood Playset 

The Spruce highly recommends discovering this play set: “Your kids will have the time of their lives playing on the elaborate Backyard Discovery Skyfort II, which is so much more than your average swing set. This set features a spacious elevated clubhouse with a ladder, rock climbing wall, and slide, as well as a set of monkey bars, three-position swing beam, built-in picnic table, crow’s nest, and even a sturdy sandbox. No matter how your children like to play, the Skyfort has it covered.” 

Backyard Discovery, Skyfort II
Backyard Discovery Skyfort II

“If your fun budget could be characterized as open-ended then this Skyfort is a kid’s dream come true. Two swings, a two-person glider, monkey bars, a climbing wall, and so much more are made for fun with lots of kids. While the swing set requires assembly, there’s a special app to download that features 3D interactive step-by-step instructions,” Verywell Family writes.

There’s so much room for activities, according to Happy Organized Life: “There’s plenty of room for fun with the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II. It has a bit of everything included. Best of all, it’s made from 100% durable cedar wood, proven to resist rot and natural decay. Just make sure you have enough space in your backyard for this particular playset.” 

2. Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set

HGTV raves about this swing set for kids that love climbing: “Was your kid the one you found climbing out of the crib or up a bookshelf? Get a playset designed to maximize all those climbing skills. Made from powder-coated galvanized steel, this sturdy set is designed to be freestanding and low-maintenance. Not only does it meet all the safety requirements, but it also meets all the fun requirements with a fireman’s pole, monkey bars, trapeze bar, three swings and a 9-foot-long wavy slide.” 

Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set with 9 Foot Wavy Slide
Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set with 9 Foot Wavy Slide

JustPlaygrounds could go on and on about the features, but here’s the summary: “Lifetime’s playsets have quite the reputation! Most of their models are highly rated and known for A+ quality and durability. Lifetime only makes metal swing sets … You won’t need to worry about the wood peeling, cracking, or warping. The Adventure Swing Set has so many different sets of equipment that your kids will love.” 

“This Lifetime swing set comes highly rated due to its easy assembly and sturdy frame. It’s a larger design, with high monkey bars that give older kids plenty of room to play and adjustable swings you can raise as the kids grow. It comes with plenty of features to keep everyone busy,” Popular Science writes.

3. Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Set

For Hometown Structures, this is a good value pick: “This Swing-N-Slide playset is the classic budget option. It offers the ability for outdoor fun at a fraction of the price of the other swing sets. For $300, you can have two swings and a trapeze swing right in your backyard. Each swing will hold up to 115 pounds. This comes as a DIY kit, meaning you will need to assemble it yourself. These swings can be adjusted for height, so it is perfect for the tall and the small! Made of cedar lumber, it will be tough to find a swing set for this price that features this type of wood.” 

Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Set with Swings
Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Set with Swings

“This wooden swing set features a classic A-frame styling and is crafted with sturdy cedar. Its simplicity keeps the cost much lower than other sets. All chains are coated with plastisol to prevent pinched fingers and rust, and the set meets ASTM safety standards. Our testers love the strong construction quality and admire how compact this set is while still managing to fit three kids on at a time,” Good Housekeeping claims.

Even Bob Vila recommends it: “The sturdy construction and swing options of this Swing-N-Slide set encourage young families and those with several children to jump into outdoor play. A gorgeous cedar frame resists the effects of inclement weather and insect infestation. With a footprint of 6.8 feet high by 8.5 feet wide by 7.5 feet deep, it fits in small-to-midsize yards without taking up too much outdoor space.” 

4. Sportspower Super Star Swing and Slide Set

Popular Mechanics thinks this choice will be popular with kids: “This is an excellent introductory swing set for families whose children go wild for swings. Featuring two belt swings, a two-person glider swing, plus a saucer swing (which can also hold up to two kids), this affordable set will keep your younger kiddos happily swinging all day long.” 

House Beautiful says, “One of the most affordable full-size options on this list, this swing set features multiple swings, a slide, and even a mini trampoline. It is intended for children between ages 3 and 8, with a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds.” 

Sportspower Super Star Outdoor Kids Metal Swing Set with Slide
Sportspower Super Star Outdoor Kids Metal Swing Set with Slide

Ready to play? We hope you find one of the best playgrounds for your backyard!


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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.