When parents research playsets for their backyard, a question they commonly ask is, “Which are the best outdoor playsets for toddlers and young children?” On one hand, they are looking for a play structure that their child will enjoy over time; on the other hand, they want to be sure they are selecting activities that are safe and age-appropriate for their two- or three-year-olds.
Toddler Playset Safety
When buying a playset for your toddler, safety is a top concern. Young children are still working towards developmental milestones and may be wobbly on their feet still. Playing on equipment that is beyond their skill level can lead to injuries. There are several safety elements you need to be aware of when reviewing playset options.
- Children who are between two and five years old should not climb higher than 5’ off the ground.
- Slides that are 4’ – 5’ high are ideal for your youngest children.
- Platforms between 3’ – 4’ high should have a guardrail at least 25” high.
- Platforms between 4’ – 6’ high should have a protective barrier (not a guardrail) at least 27” high.
- Any openings in a playset should be less than 3 1⁄2” or more than 9” to avoid head or neck entrapment
Toddler-Friendly Activities and Accessories
When deciding what equipment and add-ons to choose for your toddler’s new playset, think about what they will get the most use and enjoyment out of now, not years from now. You can customize your playset with one set of activities and expand with new activities at any time, replacing items as your children outgrow them.
To create the best outdoor playset for your toddler, choose from these age-appropriate activities:
- bucket swings
- belt swings
- dual riders
- 3’ to 5’ slides
- 5’ rock wall or cargo climbers bubble panels and tunnels
- bubble panels and tunnels
- ground-level playhouses
Our Picks: The Best Outdoor Playsets for Toddlers
Freestanding Swing Beam
Don’t feel like you need to invest in all the bells and whistles to create the best outdoor playset for your toddler. You can always expand on your playset base when your children grow older. The Freestanding Swing Beam is a perfect starter set with plenty of swinging options for your youngest family members. Age-appropriate swing options include baby/infant bucket swings, dual riders, or belt swings.
With special places to hide out, two swing options, and a slide, the KC-1 Clubhouse is a great playset option for toddlers. The ground-level clubhouse is a toddler-friendly addition that offers plenty of ways for young children to play without climbing too high. They can reach greater heights when they grow stronger and more sure-footed.
One of the best outdoor playsets for toddlers who are ready for more physical play is the A-5 Deluxe, which comes with more challenging equipment. A tire swing and trapeze bar expand on the fun that your two- and three-year-olds can have swinging around the backyard. Beyond a simple ladder access, this deluxe playset also includes a rock climbing ramp that toddlers can climb to a play tower and avalanche slide above.
Perfect for building strong bodies and strong minds, the C-4 Hideout is one of our best outdoor playsets for toddlers because of the addition of a playhouse. With a playhouse, toddlers can play “family,” “school,” or any other games their active imaginations can create. With a real front door and windows with real screens, they’ll be perfectly happy playing in their own private space. There are also plenty of swinging options, a rock climbing ramp, and avalanche slide which make for all-around fun!