Play is a child’s equivalent to a grown-up’s exercise. However, more than merely strengthening muscles, play is also a very important activity for children to help foster creativity, facilitate learning, and provide a sense of accomplishment that becomes the foundation for better emotional and social health.
Play is an activity that addresses all of a child’s physical, mental, social, and emotional developmental needs. It is therefore equally important to choose the right tools to help children make the most out of their playtime.
Children and Playing Outdoors
There are many benefits to playing outdoors. Children have the freedom to run, jump, shout, skip or hop all they want. Outdoor play helps them use their entire body to help develop their motor skills. Wide open spaces challenge children to become more physically active which can lead to the development of healthier habits which they can use when they grow up. The fresh air and sunshine children get from playing outdoors can also help them sleep better at night. More importantly, playing outdoors is one great opportunity for your kids to interact with other children to help them develop their social skills. There are plenty of benefits of playing outdoors and you can support your children during their play.
18 Best Outdoor Playsets For Kids in 2016 | Review
|Step2 Neat and Tidy II Playhouse||Step2||18 Months +|
|Step2 Naturally Playful Lookout Treehouse||Step 2||18 Months +|
|Skywalker Sports Swing Set Module, Requires Jungle Gym (Model SJG200)||Skywalker||4-8 Years|
|ECR4Kids Peek-A-Boo Caterpillar Climbing Structure||ECR4Kids||2-4 Years|
|ECR4Kids Buccaneer Boat with Pirate Flag||EC4RKids||2-4 Years|
|Step2 Skyward Summit||Step2||4-8 Years|
- 1 18 Best Outdoor Playsets For Kids in 2016 | Review
- 1.1 Neat and Tidy II Playhouse by Step2
- 1.2 Naturally Playful Lookout Treehouse by Step2
- 1.3 Beach Toys Deluxe Playset for Kids by Liberty Imports
- 1.4 Web Riderz Outdoor Swing N’ Spin by M & M Sales Enterprises
- 1.5 Big Splash Waterpark by Step2
- 1.6 Game Time Sports Climber by Step2
- 1.7 Dinner Bell by Gorilla Playsets
- 1.8 Skywalker Sports Modular Jungle Gym by Skywalker Holdings
- 1.9 Buccaneer Boat with Pirate Flag by ECR4Kids
- 1.10 Peek-A-Boo Caterpillar Climbing Structure by ECR4Kids
- 1.11 Skyward Summit by Step2
- 1.12 Ace Flyer Teeter-Totter by Lifetime
- 1.13 Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Playset by Backyard Discovery
- 1.14 Cook ‘n Play Outdoor BBQ by Little Tikes
- 1.15 Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center by Intex
- 1.16 Space Dome Climber by Easy Outdoor
- 1.17 A-Frame Playset Kit by Lifetime
- 1.18 Tree House Swing Set by Little Tikes
1Neat and Tidy II Playhouse by Step2
Age range: 18 months to 8 years old
Excellent for make-believe play, the Neat and Tidy II Playhouse has an open design so parents can still see what kids are doing inside. It features a fully operational Dutch door and shutters and comes complete with kitchen seat, built-in shelves, faucet, fireplace, and play phone. This playset comes with drain holes on the floor to allow for instant removal of water especially if your kid will decide to put real plants in the flower box and water them during play.
What We Like about It – It fosters creativity and imagination among children. It teaches them about the different parts of a house and how to keep it neat and tidy in a very fun and enjoyable way. It really is a good way to stimulate early homemaking skills.
2Naturally Playful Lookout Treehouse by Step2
Age range: 18 months to 5 years old
What do you get when you combine a sturdy lookout watchtower and a beautiful slide? A Naturally Playful Lookout Treehouse, that’s what. This playset has a 19-inch high watchtower platform accessible via a 3-step ladder and egressed via a 33-inch slide. This is perfect for helping very young children develop their gross motor skills and balance while still having a really great and fun time.
What We Like about It – All components are made of solid plastic giving it strength and durability. The assembly is very easy and the overall dimension of the playset can fit right into your living room or your kid’s playroom. This means your kid will still be playing on it even if it’s raining outside.
3Beach Toys Deluxe Playset for Kids by Liberty Imports
Age range: 3 years old +
Who doesn’t like playing in the sand? With 7 colorful pieces that includes a large dump truck and several sand shovels, the Beach Toys Deluxe Playset for Kids is small enough for your kids to bring anywhere they want to play. It also includes plastic sand molds in the shapes of a starfish, a turtle, an elephant, and a crab. All materials are made of sturdy BPA-free plastic.
What We Like about It – Kids can literally take it anywhere, be it in the beach or in his or her sandbox. Get at least 2 sets and you can foster cooperative play while at the same time helping your kids master their fine motor skills and stimulating their creativity.
4Web Riderz Outdoor Swing N’ Spin by M & M Sales Enterprises
Age range: 3 to 15 years old
Imagine a circular swing that can accommodate up to 4 children at a time. Now imagine the smiles on the faces of those kids. This is what the web Riderz Outdoor Swing N’ Spin guarantees to bring. The swing made of UV-resistant rope made of polyethylene supporting a circular tube made of high grade powder-coated steel can support up to 600 pounds of combined kids’ weight. It comes fully assembled and ready to hang.
What We Like about It – It is sturdy enough to hold 2 full grown-ups as long as they don’t exceed the weight limit. It is great for developing kids’ sense of balance as well as hand grip holding onto the polyethylene rope.
5Big Splash Waterpark by Step2
Age range: 18 months to 5 years old
Children just love playing with water. With the Big Splash Waterpark at $45.95, kids will surely enjoy playing with a lot of water-themed activities such as the colorful waterslide, a catapult diving board, and a lively waterwheel. It comes with 2 cute and lovable toy figurine swimmers to help simulate waterpark play. The playset is made of high quality BPA-free plastic.
What We Like about It – The Big Splash is excellent for outdoor play as it stimulates creativity and imagination among kids. It also allows for the development of hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills especially among toddlers.
6Game Time Sports Climber by Step2
Age range: 2 to 6 years old
The Game time Sports Climber is a multipurpose playset that can really stimulate kids’ motor skills and imagination. This sports climber comes with a sturdy and smooth slide, a basketball hoop, and a gently curved climbing ladder. The structure can also serve as a soccer goal, a crawl-through tunnel, or a toss-through wall perfect for helping develop precision and hand-eye coordination among children. It has a weight limit of about 60 pounds.
What We Like about It – We love the fact that the playset is multifunctional as several kids can play at any given time. This is perfect for group play. It can also serve to stimulate children’s creativity by providing them with the different structural features for a variety of purposes.
7Dinner Bell by Gorilla Playsets
Age range: 3 years old +
While the Dinner Bell by Gorilla Playsets may look like a very simple toy accessory rather than a toy in itself, it nevertheless serve quite a number of childhood developmental purposes. This bell can be easily mounted on any kiddie swing set and features a weatherproof string and a realistic horseshoe mount. The bell itself is made of galvanized iron to elicit a very distinct sound.
What We Like about It – It’s simple and very easy to install on any existing structure. It helps develop fine motor skills especially when holding the string.
8Skywalker Sports Modular Jungle Gym by Skywalker Holdings
Age range: 4 to 8 years old.
Designed primarily to help kids become more physically active, the Skywalker Sports Modular Jungle Gym is like several monkey bars fused into one. The good thing about the Skywalker is that it is modular so it can be configured to your kid’s liking. It is composed of heavy duty, high grade, 16-gauge steel that has been duly powder coated to give it weatherproofing and corrosion-resistant properties. You will need to assemble this jungle gym yourself, however.
What We Like about It – For kids, they will love the Skywalker as it teaches them coordination, balance, and self-confidence climbing up the bars, hanging on them, swinging from one bar to the next, and jumping off from them. For parents, it’s one great way to add another element to your backyard landscaping. You can also add a hanging bridge, a swing set, or any other accessory you can think of to make playtime really more fun.
9Buccaneer Boat with Pirate Flag by ECR4Kids
Age range: 2 to 6 years old
For kids who are fans of Jake and the Never Land Pirates, they will surely love the Buccaneer Boat with Pirate Flag playset. The playset features a fully movable 8-spoke helm allowing for make-believe steering and navigation of the pirate ship. It also features molded details like the anchor on the bow of the ship and a climbing ladder on the stern. The pirate ship comes in vibrant colors to help with color recognition among young children.
What We Like about It – It can be used both outdoors and indoors and should be an excellent addition to your kid’s playroom. It’s a great way to stimulate creativity and imagination while at the same time helping kids develop their motor skills, balance, and coordination.
10Peek-A-Boo Caterpillar Climbing Structure by ECR4Kids
Age range: 2 to 4 years old
With 7 pairs of very colorful feet providing stability to a 5-segment purple body, the Peek-A-Boo Caterpillar Climbing Structure is simply a great way to help stimulate young kids’ motor skills as the crawl through the tunnel and climb over the caterpillar’s body. This playset features a 22.5-inch crawling tunnel height over a length of a little less than 5 feet. It comes with a Greenguard Certification to guarantee the safety of the materials used in the product.
What We Like about It – The colorful and sturdy body of the caterpillar is something that kids will love. The holes on the caterpillar’s body helps parents keep a watchful eye on their kids while playing. Best of all, this playset is not only ideal for outdoor use but can be safely tucked inside your kid’s playroom as well.
11Skyward Summit by Step2
Age range: 4 to 8 years old
If you have a kid who is fascinated about climbing Mt. Everest or simply loves to use those small limbs to scale or climb, then you really need to get the Skyward Summit from Step2. This replica of a mountain has 4 climbing surfaces that feature different obstacles to help stimulate your kid’s problem-solving skills and spatial intelligence. The mountain playset can accommodate up to 4 children at a time, one on each climbing surface. The playset features a floor net, 2 climbing cargo nets, and 9 colorful hand grips. There is a flag at the summit so it can be a real climbing race to the top.
What We Like about It – The different climbing surfaces allow for creativity, imagination, logical thinking, and problem-solving. These traits are something that every parent would want to see from their children.
12Ace Flyer Teeter-Totter by Lifetime
Age range: 3 to 12 years old
Children are always fascinated by things or objects that fly. Now you can fuel this fascination by giving them the Ace Flyer Teeter-Totter from Lifetime. While this playset does not really fly, it does provide a sensation of flight complete with fully functioning representation of the flight controls on a real aircraft. It has interactive dashboard, a spinning front-mounted rotor made of foam, a steering wheel, and simulated flight gauges. The Ace Flyer is constructed of high-density polyethylene plastic and powder-coated high grade steel for sturdiness, weatherproofing, and resistance to corrosion, cracking, warping, rotting, fading, and splitting. It also provides side-to-side and up-and-down movements to really simulate the feel of flight.
What We Like about It – The playset may seem complicated but it really is not. It is easy to assemble and can the height can be adjusted accordingly to fit the size of children playing in it. What we really love about it is the number of children that can actively play in it all at the same time. It can accommodate up to 7 kids so expect to have a great party flying this ground-based Ace Flyer.
13Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Playset by Backyard Discovery
Age range: 3 to 10 years old
For the ultimate in outdoor playtime, you may want to consider the Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Playset. This comes in as one of the most expensive in our list. However, it does provide a wide assortment of features that will not only make outdoor playtime for children truly memorable, exciting, and fun but also excellent in adding value to your backyard landscape. It’s got a raised clubhouse, a roomy front porch, a crow’s nest, a sun balcony, a 4-kid picnic table, a sandbox, a 2-kid swing glider set, a 10-foot slide, 2 standard swings, a monkey bar, a rock climbing wall, and a lower playdeck.
What We Like about It – There’s enough features in the Skyfort II to entertain a whole class of kids. And with ample play space, there is plenty of room to stimulate children’s creativity, imagination, spatial intelligence, balance, coordination, and gross and fine motor development. You will, however, need an unusually large backyard for this.
14Cook ‘n Play Outdoor BBQ by Little Tikes
Age range: 2 to 10 years old
The Cook ‘n Play Outdoor BBQ playset is one great way to help introduce the joys of outdoor barbecuing to kids. This playset comes with a realistic oven that opens to help simulate baking and roasting. It also comes complete with cooking and kitchen utensils as well as burger patties, hotdogs, and buns for simulated grilling. The playset comes with a dual level grill and a molded-in cooktop and kitchen sink for more realistic play.
What We Like about It – This can be a perfect addition to your own barbecue stand for weekend parties. This can help stimulate imitative play which works well to stimulate imagination and creativity among kids. At the very least, the whole playset introduces young kids to both the art of outdoor cooking and the different items or objects associated with the activity.
15Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center by Intex
Age range: 3 to 7 years old
If you have kids who enjoy swimming and have plenty of water fun, then you need the Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center. It’s two kiddie swimming pools connected by a fun water slide. The smaller pool is adorned with a colorful rubber arch that mimics the rainbow. The arch itself has several plastic pegs for a fun and interactive ring toss game. There is a wading pool and a water sprayer to allow for the ultimate in water fun. The Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center comes with 6 plastic colored play balls for additional ball games.
What We Like about It – It’s inflatable. So, if your kids are done playing, you can easily deflate it and store it in its appropriate container. It is easy to assemble as well. The playset is excellent for developing the motor skills, balance, and imagination of kids.
16Space Dome Climber by Easy Outdoor
Age range: 3 to 10 years old
Imagine a hemisphere composed of bars configured in triangular shapes and you have the Space Dome Climber, a modified climbing and monkey bar playset designed primarily to help strengthen the arms and legs of kids. This playset is constructed of high grade and heavy duty steel bars that have been powder-coated to withstand corrosion as well as provide all-around weather protection including UV radiation. It can accommodate up to 1,000 pounds of the total combined weight of children. The bars are finished in different colors to help reinforce color recognition and mastery.
What We Like about It – With a diameter of about 7.5 feet, this should fit well into the backyard of almost every other home. What is amazing about the product is its ability to help stimulate kids’ agility, balance, and self-confidence.
17A-Frame Playset Kit by Lifetime
Age range: At least 5 years old
The most expensive in our list is the A-Frame Playset from Lifetime. Considering that it is constructed of high grade, premium quality, steel that has been fully coated with a UV-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and all-weather proofing finish, the price can be considered an absolute value especially if you are going to look at the tons of fun your kid will have. The playset comes with a clubhouse, a colorful wavy slide, a trapeze bar, an activity deck, a propeller swing, 2 belt swings, a climbing wall, a ship’s helm, a ship’s binoculars, and a cargo net. The whole set comes in blue, yellow, and red which can help reinforce mastery of the primary colors.
What We Like about It – Despite its huge size, it is easy to assemble. The materials are lightweight yet very sturdy and durable. The A-frame provides the stability that you expect from a playset as large as this. It’s perfect for developing children’s motor skills, imaginative play, and creativity while at the same time enhancing their self-confidence and self-esteem.
18Tree House Swing Set by Little Tikes
Age range: 3 to 10 years old
If you need a lookout tree that doubles as a swing and a slide for your very young children, then you need to get the Tree House Swing Set from Little Tikes. This playset already comes with 2 colorful swings, a large climbing wall onto a tree-themed lookout platform, and an equally colorful slide. The hand rail on the lookout deck comes with a ship’s helm for additional make-believe play.
What We Like about It – It is durable, weatherproof, easy to assemble, and very attractive. Best of all, it allows kids to have the best fun in their lives role-playing, developing their muscles, enhancing their agility and balance, and enjoying a more active playtime.
How We Came Up with the List of the Best
Determining the best kids’ outdoor playsets can be intimidating. Not to worry because our team of toy experts have dedicated considerable time researching for the most functional, safest, and truly wonderful outdoor playsets your kids will surely enjoy. We have taken into consideration the reviews from parents and customers who have already bought the product for their kids as well as the overall reputation of the company that makes these playsets. We believe that you deserve true value for your money and as such we have streamlined our list to just the top 18.
Playing outdoors means a lot of fun for kids. You can help them develop their full potential by choosing the correct playsets for their age.
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