Types of Materials Used to Construct Playgrounds

By SchwebAdmin

As a parent or grandparent looking to build a playground in your backyard, you need to decide what materials to use when constructing it. Each building material has its own benefits and there are plenty of fun accessories to consider as well. Read on to learn more about the differences between playset materials and accessories.

Structural Material


Wood playset with multiple swings, 2 covered hideout levels, and 2 wave slides. Wood is perhaps the most common material playsets will be made out of. Either a pressure-treated softwood or hardwood can be used here. Both are extremely durable and weather resistant with regular upkeep. Wood does require a little maintenance, however. You should regularly inspect your wooden playground for loose bolts and splinters to fix. You’ll also need to sand and re-stain the playset every few years to protect it from fading and weathering.


Metal playsets are cheaper and also durable. Metal swing sets were extremely popular in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s but have sharply declined in popularity due to the drawbacks. Metal playgrounds are susceptible to rusting and could have sharp edges that are dangerous. They also get hot during the summer, causing burns if you are not careful.


Plastic playgrounds are lightweight and cheap, but not very durable. Their lower weight capacity means that older children are unable to use the equipment but it makes a good playset for toddlers and preschoolers. They are safe and require no maintenance, however, they can become warped or cracked if left out in the summer sun. It’s recommended you keep it in the shade.


The accessories make the playset! Good playground equipment unlocks your child’s imagination and burns energy, keeping them mentally and physically fit.  Here are some of the options you’ll have when building your playground.


There are two primary types of slides you’ll find on playsets. A wave slide is an open-top, straight slide with bumps, or waves, along the slide. The other option is an enclosed tube slide, which can be twisted into spirals or other sharp bends because your child stays safe in the fully enclosed slide.


There’s a greater variety of swings than perhaps any other type of playground accessory. You can have your standard belt or baby swings. Some of the more unique options include buoy ball swings, EZ Rider 2-kid swings, or a web swing. You can even add an adult-sized bench swing to spend time outside on your own swing, watching your children play.

Rock Climbing Wall

A rock climbing wall with plastic “rock” footholds is a fun and engaging way for your kids to climb to the second level of their playground. Other means of climbing up include stairs, a ramp, a ladder, and/or a cargo net. If you’d like to give your kids a fun way to get back down, consider adding a fireman’s pole.

Monkey Bars

playground with slide and baby swings

Monkey bars are a fun way for older children to exercise their upper body by swinging across from one section of the playground to another. Monkey bars can be built on their own or overhanging swings. Either way, you’ll also need a ladder to climb up to the monkey bars. A similar accessory is trapeze rings which dangle and swing from the overhang.

Wheels & Telescopes

Finally, you have accessories that help your children make believe while on their playset. These include steering wheels and telescopes. Steering wheels come in a variety of designs, from car steering wheels to ship wheels. Telescopes typically come either as a single telescope or with two styled-after binoculars. These are often not magnified for your child’s safety.

Build Your Backyard Playground Today

Have you decided what to build your playset out of and are ready to start building? Check out the playgrounds available from Raber Storage Barns today. We build playgrounds of all varieties and can tailor one to fit your needs. Contact us for a free estimate!