As a parent, you can help encourage your child to take part in creative play with accessories for your playset. Whether you’re in the process of purchasing a playset or just looking to upgrade your current one, there are countless accessories to choose from.
From activity panels to climbing activities, we’ve compiled a list of some unique accessories for playsets that you can buy to help your child’s imagination run wild. We’ll break down the physical or cognitive benefits of each accessory when applicable and offer some games to help them engage their imagination.
Why Is Creative Play Important?
Creative play is an essential part of childhood that can lead to social and emotional growth. As they make up different scenarios or imitate previous social interactions, children can develop their language and problem-solving skills.
By choosing the right accessories for your playset, you can help encourage your child to participate in creative playtime. Keep in mind, the best way for your child to truly grow their creativity is to let them lead the way. But, if you’re looking for some ideas to kick-start their imagination, we’ve included a few ideas for each accessory.
Swings are the most universal play features on a playset. When you think of a swing, you probably picture a belt swing. Other common swings attachments include baby swings and dual riders. Some not-so-common swing accessories that can help your children creatively play include buoy balls, rope tire swings, and cyclone discs.
Imagine a round buoy floating in the lake or ocean. Now imagine that buoy attached to your swing set. That’s exactly what a buoy ball swing attachment is! Using this accessory, your children can swing and twist in a way that normal belt swings restrict.
Physically, buoy balls can help your children build
- Core strength: as they swing and twist back and forth, they’ll have to activate their core muscles to stay on the ball.
- Fine motor skills: as their fingers grip the soft grip chains, they’ll strengthen their hands and fingers.
Here are some games your children can play using the buoy ball accessory for your playset:
- The ground is lava! Stay on the ball or you’ll get burnt.
- There’s a circle of sharks beneath you – can you hold on until they swim away?
You can get creative when establishing rules for both of these games. If you only have one buoy ball attachment, you can use a timer to see how long one child can stay on the ball. When they fall, the next child can get on and you can time them.
If you have two attachments, two kids can go head-to-head. Whoever stays on the longest wins! To make things more complicated, add some variations such as they can only use one hand to hold on.
Rope Tire Swing
Sit, stand, and twist with a rope tire swing attachment. If you shop for an attachment from Swing Kingdom, tire swings can be secured using 2, 3, or 4 ropes. The number of ropes you choose can impact the motion of the swings.
Tire swings attached with 2 ropes are attached in a way that positions the tire vertically, so your child can sit inside the tire as they swing. Because of this, the range of motion is mostly just front and back like a traditional belt swing.
Three or 4-rope tire swings are attached to the tire so that it’s positioned horizontally and children can sit on the side of the tire as they swing. Because of how the ropes are attached to the swing, 3-rope tire swings can allow for more than 1 child to ride at a time. In addition, they allow for some more twisting motions in addition to just forward and backward.
The rope attachments on 4-rope tire swings are placed on either side of the tire, similar to normal belt swing attachments. This gives children the opportunity to sit or stand on the tire when swinging.
Physically, rope tire swings can help your children build
- Coordination: swinging on a tire swing will require your child to use several different muscle groups at a time helping them increase their body coordination.
- Gross motor skills: using the quads and the upper body muscles to pull their body from sitting to standing.
With the tire swing attachment, your children can pretend they are
- A football player: use a football to throw through the 2-rope tire swing.
- A basketball star: use a basketball (or any ball, really) to throw through the hole of the tire swing.
Set a timer to see how many your child can make in a minute. Increase the difficulty by moving further away from the target.
It’s not often you see a cyclone disc attached to a swing set, which makes them an exciting playset accessory that children will love. This playset attachment is secured by a rope with a circular disc for the seat.
Like the buoy ball, this gives the swing some range to move in any direction. Unlike the buoy ball, however, the flat surface of the cyclone disc allows children to sit or stand on the swing.
Physically, cyclone discs can help your children build
- Core strength: the swinging and twisting motions will force them to activate their core.
- Fine motor skills: they’ll strengthen the grip of their fingers while holding the rope.
- Gross motor skills: when making the transition from sitting to standing, they’ll have to activate the larger muscles in their arms and legs.
- Balance: children will practice keeping their body centered when they’re standing on the disc.
The cyclone disc can help children engage in make-believe play. As they stand on the disc and glide through the air, they can pretend they’re sky-swinging over the ocean or they’re a bird flying over the mountains.
If your playset has a slide, it most likely also has some sort of climbing activity; in order to get to the top of the slide, they have to climb up to the elevated play surface. The climbing methods that used to be common like ladders or stairs have now been replaced with more interactive climbing accessories for playsets like rock walls.
A rock climbing wall for your playset is an exciting way for your children to climb to the top surface. At Swing Kingdom, our rock walls are built with wall holds and a rope so that children can practice climbing with either grip.
Using the rock wall has numerous physical benefits, including
- Upper body strength: to pull themselves up on the rope or using the wall grips, they’ll be using the muscles in their shoulders and upper back.
- Fine motor skills: they’ll strengthen the small muscles in their hands and fingers as they grip the rope or the wall holds.
- Body awareness: as they get a sense of where their next hand or foot movement is, your children will have to carefully assess weight and position to keep from falling.
Though they’re most commonly found on commercial playsets, activity panels can help children explore new sensory elements. By stimulating them through puzzles or games, these panels can help activate their imagination while strengthening their cognitive skills.
Fire Truck Panel
Children love to play games that involve make-believe or role-playing — cops and robbers, doctors, and firefighters to name a few. The fire truck panel is designed to look like a fire truck, equipped with windows and a steering wheel so your children can take their make-believe play to the next level.
When you think of a playset accessory, you probably don’t think of telescopes, binoculars, megaphones, or lemonade stands. But Swing Kingdom offers these accessories — and more — specifically to stimulate your child’s imagination. (Not to mention, they’re remarkably functional.)
Make distant objects appear closer with a magnifying telescope for your playset. Swing Kingdom’s telescope attachment actually works to magnify items that are far away.
Using their telescope, your child can participate in more make-believe fun. This could include
- Playing an astronomer: study the stars and the location of different planets up in space.
- Navigating a ship: can you redirect the ship back to its original course of action using the telescope to spot clues in the landscape?
Take charge and make your voice heard with a megaphone attachment! Using the megaphone, your children can pretend they are
- The president addressing the nation with pertinent information.
- A first responder directing people where to go in a state of emergency.
- A cheerleader supporting the sports team to victory.
We see firefighters slide down fire poles in movies and TV shows often. Give your children a chance to try it out on their own with a fireman pole playset attachment. With it, they can role play as a firefighter, rushing to put out a nearby fire or to save a cat from a tree.
The options for creative play are endless when you invest in the right accessories for your playset. Consider investing in some easily attachable accessories from Swing Kingdom to upgrade your child’s playset.