How to get the best baby play set and make it last

July 29, 2015

Whether you have a large yard or a small one, a play set will make your yard seem like an amusement park to your young children or grandchildren. They are an investment, but they can last many years, unlike buying cheap toys that get lost and broken again and again.

How to get the best baby play set and make it last

Important considerations

  • Consider the size of the set, and how the equipment will age with and/or be appropriate for the kids in your life in future years.
  • Also, weigh your investment with how long you plan to live where you currently are. And take care of it.
  • Keeping your outdoor recreational equipment in top condition means it's ready for you and your kids when you want to play — which is why you spent all that money on it in the first place!

Get the best play set

  • The best wooden play sets are made from kiln-dried wood.
  • This helps prevent shrinkage, the loosening of joints, warping, and checking.
  • The new pressure-treated lumber types are made without toxic chemicals. (Older pressure-treated wood, treated with copper, chromate, and arsenic, or CCA, has been linked to an increased risk of lung and bladder cancers).
  • The new treatments, while considered safe, have their own problems.
  • They are reported to corrode fasteners, even coated fasteners.
  • Opt for corrosion-resistant stainless steel or heavy-duty fasteners when possible.
  • While most residential play sets on the market today are made of wood, consider a heavy-duty metal play set for the last word in durability.
  • These are super-strong and will not warp, twist, or splinter.
  • Be certain, however, that the unit and all hardware are made with heavy-gauge galvanized steel. Some galvanized steel units are coated with polyester for additional protection.

Coat play sets with preservative

  • For nonpainted wooden play sets, brush on a protective coat of water-repellent, UV-blocking preservative every couple of years.
  • Use one that's nontoxic so you don't have to worry about your kids touching it and eating with contaminated fingers afterward.
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