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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best outdoor playset for toddlers is, I’d recommend the Simplay3 Young Explorers Adventure Climber.
Every child needs to engage themselves in some form of play. Outdoor playsets are perfect for ensuring healthy growth and development while getting some fresh air and exercise at the same time.
There are tons of them on the market today, but we’re only looking at the best outdoor playsets for toddlers that your little one will love.
Here are the outdoor playsets for toddlers I will be reviewing:
- Simplay3 Young Explorers Adventure Climber
- Step2 Clubhouse Climber
- Little Tikes 8-in-1 Adjustable Playground
- Lifetime A-Frame Adventure Playset
- Step2 Panda Climber | Outdoor Toddler Activity Playset
- Ironkids Outdoor Playground
- Step2 Skyward Summit
- Step2 All Around Playtime Patio With Canopy Playhouse
- Backyard Discovery Tanglewood All Cedar Wood Playset Swing Set
- Step2 Extreme Roller Coaster Ride-On Playset
The Benefits of an Outdoor Playset
For most toddlers, a swing set or backyard playground is the best thing they can get as a gift. An outdoor playset allows them to discover, learn, and develop their physical skills each day from the comfort of their home.
Even better, they get to gather up fun childhood memories. The benefits of a playset go beyond happiness and memories.
Here are a couple of other advantages that parents often overlook when purchasing the best outdoor playsets for toddlers:
- They nurture a child’s communication and social skills. The more they share and play together, the more they learn how to communicate more effectively with one another.
- Alternatively, playsets also help toddlers to play on their own. Being independent at a young age will be useful in their later lives.
- Children engage in physical activities like pushing, hanging, or climbing on playsets. These help to develop the muscles in their legs and upper body.
- Outdoor play centers will heighten a toddler’s motor skills. Playsets encourage a handful of motor skills including hanging strength, jumping ability, balance, eye/hand/foot coordination, and so on.
Playing outside exposes your little ones to a range of benefits, including fresh air and vitamin D. It’s also a perfect way to get them off their screens and exercise their bodies more often.
Types of Outdoor Playsets
The ideal playground equipment should meet all the needs of the target demographic. Consider your child, budget, and space before settling on any of the following types of outdoor playsets:
Free Standing Structures
This is an excellent option for maximizing fun, especially in small spaces. Since they’re not installed on any specific position, you have the opportunity to position them practically anywhere. Also, they are perfect for minimal spaces and fun for toddlers of all ages.
The swing beam and balance board are two of the most common free-standing structures. They promote motor skill practice as well as hours of play. You could also opt for a hammock or picnic table that provides maximum relaxation after a day of fun.
In addition to the standard swing beams, most commercial and residential playsets come with towers.
These help to complement the structure’s overall appearance and are great for roleplay. They also help to customize additional areas with add-ons such as cargo nets, ladders, slides, and rock walls. Adding a roof or canopy provides a cool spot for your little ones to shelter themselves from the sun.
This type of outdoor playset is great for pretend play for hours on end. They’re child-sized but share certain features with an actual home. Most of them have slider windows that provide fresh air within the playhouse.
Other houses offer the siding and shingle options that allow for the playset to directly face your home. This comes in handy if you feel the need to monitor your children and ensure their safety.
What to Look for When Picking the Best Outdoor Playsets for Toddlers
Nowadays, there are tons of playsets to choose from. Without the right tips and information, you may get overwhelmed by the many available options. For that reason, we’ve put together a couple of factors to consider when choosing the ideal outdoor playset for your child:
Not all playsets are built for toddlers, and those made for bigger kids may be risky for your little one. Make sure to check out the age recommendations of the playset to guarantee your toddler’s safety.
On the other hand, you may want your investment to grow with your child and last many years, so take this into account when looking at the size.
Space is everything, as far as playsets are concerned. Your allocated area should be big enough to accommodate both the set and your toddlers as they play. It should measure at least 6-feet, and should be free of any potential hazards such as electrical wires or low-hanging branches.
The two most popular playset materials on the market today are metal and wood. However, the included accessories are made entirely out of high-density plastic. Though most parents settle for the wooden playsets, your personal decision should be based on the one that features the most reliable framework structure.
Some materials can be left outside all year long without damage, whereas others may need protection during extreme weather conditions.
Few playsets allow for customization. This is a good thing as you are presented with a range of alternatives to choose from.
Playset activities typically range from modern innovations to retro favorites. Some of the activities you’re most likely to find on the market every season include:
- Climbing walls
- Wavy slides
- Belt swings
- Monkey bars
- Climbing cargo nets
Pay attention to the ease of installation. Most playsets are huge and may require you to spend more on professional installation. Get to know the costs before purchasing the playset. Also, read through the inventory and ensure nothing is defective, damaged, or missing.
My Outdoor Toddler Playset Reviews
I’ve scoured through hundreds of the most popular playsets on the market to come up with this list of the top 10 best outdoor playsets for toddlers. I’ve taken into account features, quality, customer reviews, and much more to give you the top products for your little adventurer.
To start with, it’s worth noting that this climber took home the 2019 Parents’ Choice Award. The best thing about the adventure climber from Simplay3 is its fun and unique vehicle design.
I love how it manages to combine a wide slide and traditional climber with a fun-looking vehicle-themed structure. The “Jeep style” wheels and doors are actually portals through which toddlers can crawl through to get to the inside hideaway fort. The fort also has a dashboard, steering wheel, and a ladder that leads to a spacious two-tiered platform.
The playset measures 70 by 28.5 by 49.25 inches and weighs 53 pounds. It is designed for children between the ages of 18 months and six years old. Up to three children can climb on it at a time, each with a maximum weight of 60 pounds.
The climber has a fun appearance that’s brought about by blending various bright colors. It has a one-of-a-kind double-wall construction that’s super durable and UV light resistant—making it last for years on end.
Simplay3, the company behind the Adventure Climber, values your children’s safety. Every product they make is third-party verified to ensure they meet/surpass national safety standards. The 3 in the brand name stands for the three values that the company is based upon: family values, respect for customers, and respect for colleagues.
This climber encourages fun adventure play among boys and girls both indoors and outdoors.
- Easy to reposition in case you need to mow the lawn
- Fast and quick assembly (you may need more than a screwdriver though)
- Attractive appearance
- Good enough for a starter playset
- Wide slide included
- Up to three kids can play at a time
- A little too high for kids under 18 months
- Much smaller than what’s advertised
Most parents will agree that this playset provides a better clubhouse than the local park’s play areas and jungle gyms. What’s more, it provides fun and wholesome childhood entertainment that no park can.
The best thing about the Step2 climber is its ability to fit perfectly into any backyard. Once assembled, it measures 70 by 137 by 91.5 inches.
With a weight of over 200 pounds, there’s no need for you to secure this outdoor playset to the ground. You just need to ensure that it’s placed on flat and solid ground before assembly, and it will never topple over.
The climber is made of two towers linked by a bridge. Beneath the clubhouse is a set of tunnels that your child can crawl through to hide when playing hide and seek. The tunnels are spacious enough to provide easy movement.
The playset has grated slip-proof steps and handles to provide your little one with that extra grip to prevent them from falling off the tower. It’s recommended for children aged between two and six years old, and can easily handle three children playing at once.
It takes about 3 hours to assemble this climber. You may find the instructions a tad vague, but the pictures help a great deal. The screw locations are not pre-drilled, but they’re marked instead; that calls for you to have a power drill handy.
- Lowness to the ground diminishes injury risks
- Has plenty of windows to prevent claustrophobia
- Made of materials strong enough to withstand natural elements
- Doesn’t need ground installation
- Great for imaginative play
- Pricier than other playsets
- Challenging to put together
Everything about this play structure is simply outstanding. It’s a brilliant toy that encourages wholesome fun on the playground for older and younger children alike. This is made possible by the gentle slope and long slide on either side of this playset.
The group play feature encourages physical activity and social interaction among toddlers. Up to six children can play at a time, each with a maximum weight of 100 pounds. It works both indoors and outdoors and is packed with plenty of sliding, crawling, and climbing activities.
The Tikes playground has a lot to offer that makes it worth every penny. It has dimensions of 175 by 45 by 65 inches and weighs about 165 pounds when packaged. It may be a lot lighter when assembled.
There’s a climbing wall leading up to both towers, which are joined by a 2-foot crawling tunnel. Your child can enter the tunnel via a swinging door that’s adjacent to the short tower’s wall.
The playground is ideal for children between the ages of two and eight years old. However, thanks to its changeable/rotatable configuration and eight different ways of setting it up, it should keep your kids entertained for many years.
Your child will be impressed by the “Backyard Naturals” colors that are brought out by the shiny surface. You will also appreciate how well it fits in with your backyard setting.
- Sufficient crawl space to accommodate both older and younger toddlers
- High durability promises extended fun as your child gets older
- Accommodates up to six children
- Eight different ways of putting it together
- Difficult to put together
- Colors are not as vibrant as depicted
This classic-looking playset comes with a range of swings as well as the usual playground favorites. Some of the accessories it comes with include a cargo net, a trapeze bar, a 9-foot wavy slide, a climbing wall, and a propeller swing, among others.
This playset is ideal if you have several children, or are looking for something to last as your child grows. The Lifetime A-Frame Adventure Playset is aimed at kids aged three to 12 years.
The materials used in this playset are high-density polyethylene and powder-coated steel. They’re coated with a weather-resistant finish to prevent splinters, warping, and cracking through any weather. Although the manufacturers say that it’s rust-resistant, I recommend using a rust treatment for added protection.
As you’d imagine from such a cool kit, the playset comes in a particularly large crate with a whopping weight of 670 pounds. Ensure you have enough room in your backyard for this one; the dimensions are 13 feet 11 inches by 15 feet 9 inches.
The Lifetime playset is made particularly for flat ground, so ensure you have a level site. It may take more than one person to get the playset in place as it’s quite the task. On average, it may take approximately 12 hours for two people to put this playset together from start to finish.
- Your toddlers will love the unique accessories (chalkboard, ship wheel, binoculars, etc.)
- Has an awesome rock wall
- Comes with a cool cargo net that’s easy to climb
- Sturdy and weather-resistant
- Ideal for large backyards only
- Very heavy
- Time-consuming to put together
Step2 is a reputable brand that’s famous for its splendid selection of outdoor toys. The Panda climber is just one among many of the toys that will keep your toddlers on their toes and in the great outdoors. You’ll really love the perfect combination of neutral and primary colors that makes it even more inviting.
This climber is recommended for toddlers between 18 months and five years old. It’s ideal for small backyards and indoor playrooms/bedrooms and is the perfect size for small children to use safely. The climber can accommodate up to three children, or the equivalent of 100 pounds in weight.
Though they can fit in the climber, there will be insufficient wiggle room, so they’ll have to take turns sliding, climbing, and crawling. Nevertheless, they’ll be kept entertained for the time they’re in the playset.
I’m impressed by the back plastic bar that prevents your little ones from falling off the platform during play. The same bar comes in handy when they need to reach the platform.
When it comes to assembly, it’s quite seamless to say the least. You should be able to do it on your own in a short amount of time.
The climber measures 52 inches from the exterior back to the tip of the slide. The widest part of the base measures 33 inches and 17 inches from the top of the platform to the ground.
- Stable enough to accommodate up to 100 pounds
- Small size makes it good enough to fit in small spaces
- Light weight makes it easily transportable
- Extremely easy to put together
- Small size makes the interior slightly cramped
- If a lightweight toddler is playing, it can potentially tip over
This is a simple metal frame playground that’s made specifically for children aged three to eight years old. The shipping weight is 116 pounds and the set features up to four physical activities.
This should be enough to keep up to six toddlers entertained at the same time, and the total weight capacity is a massive 600 pounds.
The playset is categorized into four primary sections that each serve their own purpose. They include the fitness jumper trampoline, two swings, a monkey bar, and the monkey bar fitness slide.
The fitness jumper trampoline measures 42 inches and is made from a heavy-gauge welded steel frame, heat-treated springs, and a jumping mat that can handle 100 pounds at a time. There’s a safety bar to hold on to, and the bouncing motions help instill a sense of space and balance in your child. It further promotes full body coordination and strengthens the knees, hamstring, and leg muscle groups.
The two swings can help burn calories and keep your child healthy and fit for the better part of the day. They are made with contoured plastic seats and to protect little hands, the swing chains are covered with thick plastic.
In the middle, the monkey bar develops arm strength and assists in keeping off excess weight. The slide builds and develops your child’s confidence with gravity and height.
Finally, the sunshade complements the playset with a touch of beauty as well as offering some cool shade from the sun when the toddlers are on the monkey bar or swings.
- Extremely sturdy
- Customizable. You can easily swap out any part that does not suit your personal taste
- Lifetime limited warranty on the frame
- Offers your toddlers a wide variety of activities
- It’s quite noisy. Though the instructions say not to screw the bolts too tight, it gets very squeaky if you don’t
- Trampoline is extremely hard to put together
If you’re looking to get your toddler something unique, this mountain-style playset might be the one. The Skyward Summit has an authentic design with a climbing wall for your future mountaineer. It has four one-of-a-kind climbing surfaces that create challenges of varying intensities of difficulty.
The Step2 Summit comes with nine grips, one floor net, and two climbing cargo nets. The height of this climber spans over 80 inches tall, which is really impressive for an outdoor playset for toddlers. The top of the mountain is narrow to make the climb even more challenging.
There’s also a cool flag that’s included to attach to the roof of the summit. The summit has a big enough hole for your children to pop their heads into and get to the flag.
The playset features a climbing area of over 100 square feet, inclusive of two rock walls and cargo nets. It’s suitable for children between the ages of four and eight years old.
The center of the structure has a mesh platform that can be used as a perfect hideout spot. The maximum weight this playset can accommodate is 320 pounds, which is equivalent to four children.
As with all other playsets, ensure that there’s at least a clearance of 6 feet around the Skyward Summit. This one will require supervision at all times when your toddler is playing. To put it together, you’ll need at least 3 hours—with the help of three people.
- Quite sturdy when put together
- Stable enough for four toddlers
- Provides more than one fun activity
- Unique design
- Vague or misleading setup instructions
- You may need extra washers for full assembly
With the Step2 playtime patio, your toddler can hold a backyard party at any time. The 60 by 47.5 by 47.5-inch playhouse will entertain a group of tots by providing sufficient space for pretend play.
The one feature that stood out to me is the attractive and hyper-realistic design of this stone-stacked playset. The pavilion-style design makes it more likely to blend in perfectly with your backyard setting. It’s also perfect for outdoor fun, especially during the summer.
The Step2 playtime patio comes with a built-in kitchen and a storage bag. The snack table also comes with an included dish set. The playhouse has a high canopy to provide sun protection and a spacious interior that allows for social and interactive play.
Your toddlers can play in the sand and water section as ‘dinner’ cooks. They will definitely enjoy the tons of accessories such as the double-sided shovel and water tower that make the sand exploration and water activities extra fun.
The primary materials used for this outdoor playset are plastic (polyethylene) and fabric, and it weighs 3 pounds. It’s made specifically for toddlers aged two and up, and multiple children can play together.
It comes in five different colors, including green, blue, gray, tan, and brown.
- Play station is big enough to accommodate multiple toddlers at once
- Attractive styling complements your backyard
- Unique sand and water accessory kits promote more fun and creativity
- Does exceptionally well in windy conditions
- Small parts can be a choking hazard
- Not as entertaining as other playsets
If you’re looking for the fanciest wooden jungle gym, the Tanglewood Swing Set should be at the top of your list. This large playset is aimed at kids between three and 10 years of age, making it a long-lasting investment.
The playset has a lower clubhouse complete with trimmed windows and an upscale aesthetic. It also has a spacious snack area with a built-in bench that’s both covered with a gable roof made entirely of fancy cedar wood.
It has a unique rock wall ladder that leads to the upper fort. The 8-foot speedy slide makes it fun, fast, and exhilarating to come down from the top of the playset to the bottom. The classic swing beam features a two-person glider and two single-person belt swings.
The set is made entirely from high-quality cedar wood that’s designed to withstand all kinds of weather. The wood undergoes all the necessary procedures (trimming, chemical-free staining, smoothening) to ensure the best in terms of class and style. It also smells great too!
When delivered, the set comes in two big boxes that weigh over 300 pounds. To assemble, you’ll require two people with some building skills, and it’ll require 18 to 24 hours.
Ensure you place pavers beneath the set, so it doesn’t lay on wet grass or dirt. This will ensure that it lasts longer, and there are no splits or decay on the quality wood.
- Makes any small yard appear bigger and classier
- Reasonably priced for such a well-made product
- Swing height is adjustable to ensure it doesn’t take up yard space
- Solid and quality material
- Plenty of activities
- Extra costs for expert assembly
- Thin wood sways when there’s swinging involved
If you’re searching for something other than a swing set and slides, this offering from Step2 is a unique outdoor game for your toddler.
Ride-on coaster playsets are excellent ways to impart lessons about sharing with the concept of patience. One such playset to kickstart your lessons is the Step2 Extreme Roller Coaster. As your little one learns, they also develop their physical and motor skills by climbing on and off the coaster.
The coaster works in a similar fashion as a slide and assists toddlers to improve their balance. As they cruise down the track, they use their core strength to stay in place through the ‘back and forth’ of the coaster.
The coaster is a three-piece track that spans over 9 feet and can hold up to 75 pounds. It also comes with wide, built-in stairs that allow your child to access the coaster seamlessly. For stability, the coaster ride-on playset slides down plastic recessed wells.
The speedy movement down the track is also a great way for them to explore new sights and sounds. It teaches new sensory concepts through the sound of the wheels on the track or feeling the rush of the wind on their faces.
The car track is easily assembled by snapping the pieces together. The bright yellow car can be used on its own as a riding toy. It has a footrest, high back, and a handrail to ensure a safe and secure ride.
It’s recommended for children aged three years old and up, and parents should really supervise whenever it’s in use.
- It can be used indoors as well. Works great on carpet and wooden floors
- Easy installation (takes less than 10 minutes to piece together)
- All plastic material makes it suitable for any kind of weather
- Light enough to move from one position to the next
- Wheels get stuck at times and don’t move
- You should buy a helmet separately for safety
We decided to settle for the Simplay3 Young Explorers Adventure Climber as our top pick for the best outdoor playset for toddlers. It offers the best value for money, considering the fun adventure play it provides.
The playset is ideal for toddlers to play safely, it doesn’t take up too much space in your backyard, and you can move it around whenever needed.
However, it depends on whether you want the best features or the easiest to install. Consider such factors and use them to decide on your personal best option.