32 Different Types of Backyard Swings

Complete your outdoor setup with a backyard swing set. It's an excellent spot to hang out in, for families to gather, and to keep the kids entertained.
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A white, wooden swing with stylish throw pillows, on a back yard.

Swings existed as early as 1450 BC in Ancient Greece. They were basic and made of wood and rope suspended from a tree. In 1859, the first public playground was opened in Manchester, England which spread the popularity of outdoor swing sets worldwide.

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park opened in 1887 and became the first U.S. playground. By this time, outdoor swing sets held their own structures and no longer tied to trees. Designs also became safer and standardized. During the post World War II era, home swing sets began appearing in the backyards of prosperous American families.

A. Types

1. Tire Swing

 

Tire swing with yellow-painted chains.

Source: Wayfair

Tire swings are something that people think about when they hearken back to the days of old. These swings exude an ample amount of charm, and they can also be quite fun for your children to play with. The basic premise behind a tire swing is that an actual car tire will be used to make a swing. Typically, a rope or a chain will be connected to the tire, and it will hang from a tree.

These tire swings can also hang from something that is more like a traditional swing set if you so choose. People who don’t have strong trees in their yards will often build bases from which to hang their tire swings. You can use spare lumber to very easily make a base from which you can hang your tire swing, so it won’t be an arduous task. You definitely want to make sure that the tire swing is secure, as you want to keep your children safe while they’re playing.

A lot of people create their own tire swings, as well. If you have a sturdy old tire somewhere on your property, then you could use it to make an effective swing. This is a fun way to repurpose something that you otherwise in all likelihood would have thrown out. Your children will appreciate having a fun new swing, and it will help your house to have more old-fashioned home appeal.

Professional tire swings are also available for purchase. If you aren’t confident about your carpentry skills, then this is likely going to be your best option. These commercial tire swings are built to be very sturdy and will stand up to rough play from your children. The tire should have no trouble fitting your child, and it will be able to hang there without you having to worry about its stability.

Keep in mind that you will want to be careful about using the tire swing yourself. Some adults do enjoy using these tire swings, too, but you will want to pay attention to how much weight the swing is meant to handle. Tire swings that are meant for children will not likely hold up to adult use, so you will want to refrain in these situations. As long as you are mindful about using these tire swings properly, it should be a great experience.

2. Swing Set

A swing set with a white frame and dark green seats.

Source: Amazon

It is possible to purchase your own swing set for your backyard. If you were always envious of the swing set at the playground when you were growing up, and you wished that you could have one of your own, then providing one for your child is the next best thing. There are many different styles of swing sets that you can choose from, so there is a lot to consider. You will find dedicated swing sets that only feature swings, but other sets might have teeter-totters and even slides attached to them.

Take everything into account before making an ultimate purchasing decision. You should try to buy something that is going to be safe and appropriate for your child. Depending on what age your child is, you may not want a swing set that has all of the different bells and whistles. It is possible to change out the swing seats on your swing set, though, so you shouldn’t feel too concerned if it isn’t in the style that you prefer for your child right out of the box.

Having a swing set is going to provide your children with many hours of enjoyment. They will be able to get together with their friends and enjoy playing while using their imaginations. In an age where many children have taken to playing video games and becoming engrossed in technology at a young age, it is nice to see them get back to the basics. Playtime will always be a thrill when they have a fun and durable swing set to play with.

This is an investment that will be worth the money for sure. Make sure that you buy a swing set that is going to have enough swings for all of your children and their friends. You can purchase sets that have at least four swings if you take the time to look. If you don’t think that you will need to worry about that many children playing at once, then purchasing a set with two or three swings will certainly suffice.

3. Sling Swing

Green-colored sling swing.

Source: Wayfair

There are also many different types of swing seats that you need to consider when looking into backyard swings. The traditional swing that you likely think of when remembering your times on the playground as a child would be a sling swing. This type of a swing is very sturdy and is capable of providing ample support while you’re swinging around. It is the best type of swing to purchase for children who are six and above.

Adults can also make use of these sling swings quite readily. If you want to be able to swing alongside your child, then you can purchase a slightly larger sling swing that will work for you. Just make sure that the base of your swing set is capable of holding the weight of an adult before you attempt to swing on it. Some children’s swing sets are made with only children in mind, so you might wind up collapsing the entire thing if you aren’t careful.

It would be beneficial to purchase a very sturdy base on which to hang your swings if you plan on doing any swinging yourself. Many adults actually do enjoy using swing sets for recreation. There has been a resurgence in people staying connected with the activities of their youth in modern times, so it isn’t too unusual at all for adults to want to swing. Using your child as a convenient excuse will simply allow you to continue looking responsible without having to admit that you just find it to be fun.

In all seriousness, you can find excellent sling swings at many of the biggest retailers. Turning online to purchase these swings is also a very good option. The swing being shown off here is perfect for children and is something that will provide many hours of fun for them. It’s always good to invest in a high-quality swing seat when you want your child to have the best experience possible.

4. Full Bucket Swing

Yellow, full-bucket swing perfect for toddlers.

Source: Amazon

Very young children love getting to use the swing set, as well. In fact, this is something that is likely going to be very satisfying for them even before they learn how to talk or walk. Children that are this young will not be capable of swinging themselves, of course, so you will need to be there to supervise them and swing them yourself. You will also need a special swing seat that is going to work perfectly for small children.

Full bucket swings have been designed for young toddlers to be able to make use of the swing set. These seats allow your child to be fully strapped into the seat so that you can ensure their safety. This is the easiest way to have fun with your small children on the swing set. You will feel at ease because you will know that this type of a seat has been designed with them in mind.

These seats are made with the comfort of your child in mind, as well. They will feel comfortable to sit in, and they won’t get annoyed while you’re swinging them. They will just be enamored with the fun sensation of swinging up and down. Also, note that the seat will secure them snugly, but it won’t be tight in any way, so you won’t have to worry about them fitting.

Your child is going to grow out of this seat at some point in time. This is going to be useful to them while they are in that toddler age-range. You can enjoy swinging them safely with a full bucket seat while they are young, and then you can transition them into a more normal swing seat once they have gotten a bit older. It’s a good way to go about things and you will like the feeling of security that it gives you as a parent.

5. Half Bucket Swing

Pink, half-bucket swing great for toddlers.

Source: Wayfair

The half bucket swing is another option that you can consider for your child. It has some similarities to the full bucket seat that is mentioned above. This seat is also designed with younger children in mind, and it will do a good job of keeping them safe. People make use of these half bucket swing seats when their toddlers have gotten a little bit older and have gained some confidence.

This is a good step to take when your children aren’t quite ready to move on to sling swing seats. They will be able to make use of the half bucket swing and still have a certain level of protection. They will have a little bit more freedom of movement in this type of a swing than they did in the full bucket seat. The model that is being shown off here still has a chain that keeps your child from flying out.

The chain is actually padded with a comfortable plastic so that it won’t dig into your child in an uncomfortable way. Unless your child is being pushed at an extreme velocity, it should be unlikely that they will be pushed against the chain. Regardless, it is good to know that the comfort and safety of your child have been taken into consideration during the design of this seat. They will feel comfortable in this half bucket swing seat, and they won’t be near as restricted as before.

There are people who skip using these types of swings entirely and simply move their children into swinging on sling swings. It really depends on where you think your child is developmental, as well as whether or not you think they will be safe to swing that way. This can be a very useful half-step to take to prepare your child for swinging like the big boys and girls do. Purchasing seats like this won’t cost you too much money either, so it is worth trying if you think it would help you out.

6. Horse Glider Swing

Green steel, back-to-back glider with a yellow-colored seat.

Source: Amazon

Another type of swing that you will want to take into consideration for your backyard play area is the horse glider swing. These swings are sometimes referred to as back gliders or back-to-back swings, as well. Whatever it is being called, the concept of how these swings work is going to be the same. Your child will be able to swing together with a friend using the exact same swing when you have one of these in your backyard.

Your children are meant to face outwards when using this swing. Two children sit back to back on the horse glider swing, and they are able to push and pull so that they swing higher. This can be a lot of fun and children really enjoy being able to work in tandem on the swing. This is a good solution when you have limited space on your swing set or in your yard, as it will allow multiple children to play at once.

If you have two children, then buying one of these horse glider swings is definitely going to be quite appealing. It is important to note that this type of a swing works best when you have children who are around the same age using it. If you have two children that are several years apart, then it might not work as well or be as comfortable for them. It really depends on the size of the children and other factors.

Even so, this can be an excellent swing to have installed in your backyard play area. If your child has friends that come over to play regularly, then a swing like this is definitely going to make them very happy. You want to create an environment that is going to allow your children to have lots of fun with their friends. Swings like this can provide many hours of fun and will promote cooperation, which is a valuable skill for them to learn.

7. Disc Rope Swing

A blue disc swing with a yellow rope.


Source: Wayfair

Another interesting option for you to consider is the disc rope swing. These tiny swings can provide a lot of entertainment for your children without taking up too much space in your yard. If you don’t have a large backyard but you want to be able to have a swinging solution for your children, then this is going to work out well. These swings can hang from a small base, or you can potentially hang them from a tree.

If you decide to try to hang this disc rope swing from a tree, then you should ensure that the tree is going to be sturdy enough to hold it well. You want to make sure that the branch you are using is very strong, as you would hate to have it snap and injure your child. For this reason, it might be safest to build a base for it or buy something. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure that it is as safe as possible.

Your child will be able to stand on the disc and swing from a standing position. This might not be a swing that you will want a very young child to use, so it may be best for ages seven and up. Use your parental discretion and decide whether or not it is going to be a good fit for your child. These swings are becoming more and more popular with people who want to save space, so it is certainly an option worth considering.

8. Flat Swings

A swing set with a flat, blue seat. Source: Amazon

Flat swings definitely aren’t as common as sling swings or bucket swings, but they are an option that some people prefer. If your child would feel more comfortable sitting on a flat surface while swinging, then this is going to be the ideal option. It may be best to get your child’s opinion before proceeding, as you want to get something that is going to be comfortable and fun for them to use. Some children prefer the sturdy feel of a flat swing and have an easier time balancing on one of these.

You will find many of the flat seats are made out of plastic. A lot of them are branded in such a way that makes them seem like they are for younger children as well. You can find flat swing seats that will work well for older children too, they just might not be as prevalent. This is a good option to choose when your child is more comfortable with sitting on something that is flat.

9. Individual Swings

A bright yellow swing for single usage only.

Source: Wayfair

If you wish to install a swing in your backyard for your child to play on when they are outside, but do not have the space or the budget for a large playset, then an individual swing is a great option. These swings can easily be attached to a sturdy tree branch, or it is easy to set up a system with which you can attach your new swing to metal poles. One benefit of using individual swings, as opposed to a larger playset, is that, as your child grows out of the type of swing you have, it is easy and cost effective to replace the swing with something that is more suited to their age and ability, and you won’t have to worry about going over budget.

10. Porch Swing

Wooden porch swing with a varnished finish.

Source: Etsy

A porch swing is a perfect way to get outside and enjoy the beauty of your backyard while you are relaxing and spending time with your family or friends. Different from swings that are designed specifically for children, porch swings may not go as high or as fast, but they are a stable and comfortable place to sit. It’s easy to find porch swings that can be hung directly from the roof of your porch, as well as ones that come with their own stand. For this reason, it is simple to find the right type of swing for your backyard. When you choose a porch swing over a traditional child’s swing, everybody in your family will be able to enjoy it, and members of your family will not age out of it.

11. Toddler

A toddler swing set complete with seat belts and safety buckles.


Source: Amazon

Families who have toddlers know that it is very important to do everything possible to keep these younger children safe while, at the same time, allowing them the autonomy and ability to play outside. Unfortunately, swings that are designed for older children are very dangerous for toddlers to play on. If you want to provide your toddler with a safe swing, then you will need to opt for one that is designed specifically for children this age. These swings are generally made of hard plastic and are formed so that your child will fit securely inside of them without the risk of falling either forwards or backward while swinging.

12. Outdoor Bed Swing

An all-black outdoor, garden swing with cushions. Source: Amazon

Significantly larger than a porch swing, outdoor bed swings are the perfect place to relax or take a nap in the late afternoon. They are considerably deeper than regular porch swings and can be filled with pillows and blankets in order to ensure that you have a comfortable place to sit and to relax. This type of swing only works very well on a particularly large porch where you will have plenty of room to maneuver around it. Due to its size, it is not a great option if you have a smaller porch or deck, as you will not have enough room to swing.

B. Seat Type

1. Glider

Vinyl-coated glider swing in tones of green.

Source: Amazon

Gliders are a wonderful way to allow a child to swing without permitting them to go too high or too fast. Very often, this type of seat has space for two children to swing at the same time, making it ideal for families with multiple children or for those who live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids. When you choose a glider seat, it is important that you make sure that it is solidly constructed so that the movement of the seat itself is fluid and gentle while your children are swinging on it and so that it does not crack or break in the hot sun. because gliders cannot go as high or as fast as other types of swings, they are a great choice for families with smaller children who have graduated from bucket swing but are not yet old yet enough to swing independently, either because of ability or for safety reasons.

2. Bucket

Red bucket swing with vinyl-coated chains.

Source: Home Depot

A bucket swing is the most secure type of swing that you can use for your child. These swings have holes in the bottom of them which will fit the legs of your child, and they will provide plenty of support for children to sit inside the swing. The bucket itself comes up around their waist, back, and front, to ensure that they will not tip of the bucket while swinging. This type of swing has to be used with parental help, as it is impossible for most children to get in and out of this type of swing by themselves. Higher quality models will be made from a more rigid plastic to ensure that your child is comfortable while swinging, while lower quality bucket swings will be made of a flimsy are plastic or rubber. Unfortunately, the swings do not offer the same support to the child’s body and can be very uncomfortable.

3. Disc

Green disc swing with a white rope.

Source: Wayfair

A disc swing does not offer the same security as a bucket swing, but many children find them to be incredibly fun to swing on because they can go so fast. They consist of a solid flat disc and a rope that runs through the middle of the disc and up to the tree or the swing set. The child using this type of swing is able to sit on the disc and hug the rope in order to prevent him or herself from falling off. It can be very difficult for children using a disc swing to swing with their legs. In order to ensure that children are able to swing themselves on their own, it’s a good idea to put a disc swing in a location where they can touch the ground with their feet. This will enable them to swing themselves without needing help from another person.

4. Web or Saucer


Dark brown web swing made of durable rope.

Source: Houzz

Web or saucer swings are flat, which makes them similar to disc swings; however, the similarities end there. Unlike disc swings, which are only for one person to swing on a time, web swings have a significantly larger surface area and generally can fit more than one child on them. They are incredibly comfortable due to their construction, and they feel similar to a hammock in the way that they support the body. It’s important to look for a web swing that has a quality steel frame around which the synthetic fibers are looped and hooked to ensure that the swing last for a very long time. Depending on the size of the web swing as well as how much weight it can hold, there are some swings that can even hold adults. This makes it possible for parents to spend more time outside playing with their children and enjoying the same activity.

5. Belt

Red chained swing with free hooks included.

Source: Wayfair

This is the most basic type of swing that you can buy and consists of a flat piece of plastic or wood with ropes or chains from either end that attaches to the tree or swing set. While this is a basic type of swing, it is easy to find them in a variety of different styles. Softer plastic belt swings will mold to the body of the person using them, while harder material such as rigid plastic and wood will remain flat. No matter what type of material you choose for your belt swing, you want to make sure that it has been securely connected to the tree or the playset, as both ends of the swing need to be supported. If one rope or chain comes loose or breaks, then it is very easy for a child on this type of swing to become seriously injured.

C. Feature

1. Climber

Wooden play set with a blue roof and slide.

Source: Houzz

If you are going to be buying a playset for your backyard, then it is important to consider what other features you want to have besides the swings. One popular feature that many people want on their new playset is a climbing wall. This allows children to practice their climbing skills while still enjoying the other features of their new playset. It’s important when considering a playset that has a climbing wall that you are sure that your child has parental supervision so they will not become injured when climbing on the wall.

2. Adaptive

Red adaptive swing with metal chains.

Source: Amazon

Buying an adaptive swing is a wonderful way to ensure that all children, regardless of their disabilities, are able to play outside and enjoy spending time. In order for children with disabilities to be able to swing safely, it is important that they have a specially designed swing that keeps them safe while still allowing them to have fun. Adaptive swings have to meet ADA standards to ensure that they are in compliance with all necessary regulations, and they will keep children safe. Adaptive swings are made out of a very durable molded plastic that has been specially made to last for incredibly long periods of time, and they are safe for all children. If you are going to buy an adaptive swing for your backyard swing set, then is important that you purchase it from a reputable dealer so you can be sure that it is high quality and will not fail while your child is using it.

3. Buckles Included

A blue swing for kids, with rainbow buckles included.

Source: Wayfair

While not all children need to be buckled into their swings to ensure that they are safe, there are some children, especially toddlers or children with disabilities, who need the extra security that buckles can provide. Rather than trying to make your swing is safe on your own by adding buckles, when you purchase a swing that has buckles included, you will know that your child will be completely safe while they are swinging. When choosing a swing that has buckles, make sure that the buckles are adjustable so you will be able to tighten your child into the swing which will hold them securely while in motion.

4. Slide


Children's cedar play set with several swings and one, green slide.

Source: Home Depot

Most children love going down the slide, and having a slide attached to their playset will break up the monotony of swinging all day long. A slide is a wonderful way to encourage creative play and can ensure that your children will likely use their new playset for longer periods of time, especially as they age.

5. Rust-Resistant

Blue plastic swing with stainless steel.

Source: Houzz

Because your swing is very likely going to be left out in all kinds of weather, it is important that you make sure that you buy high-quality metal swings that are rust resistant. Failing to do so will result in having to make expensive repairs or possibly putting your child at risk due to failing parts that have rusted over. While plastic swings are naturally rust resistant, if you have your heart set on a metal swing or swing set, then is important to look for one that has this feature. Not only will this extend the life of your swing, but it will ensure that your child is safe when they are using it.

6. Trapeze Bar

Green, metal trapeze bar swing with metal chains.

Source: Houzz

While similar to a swing in that it provides the same sort of motion, a trapeze bar is different because the user hangs from their hands rather than sitting on the swing. However, this type of bar still offers the same sort of motion and stimulation that children can get when using a swing, making it a welcome addition to any playset.

7. Play Deck

A swing and slide play deck made of wood.

Source: Houzz

When you are opting for a larger playset that includes more than swings, then you may want to consider choosing one that has a play deck, as this gives your children an extra place to hide and to play when they are outside. Having access to a play deck will ensure that your children are able to best use their imaginations and get the most out of their new swing set, and there will be more likely to spend more time outside.

8. Handmade

Handmade rectangular swing made of wood.

Source: Etsy

For a very special touch in your backyard, you may want to consider a handmade swing. One benefit of this type of swing over one that you can buy in a regular store is that they can be custom designed with any kind of personalization or custom colors that you choose. Of course, when opting for handmade swing, it is very important that you consider the quality of the swing itself so that you will be sure that your children will be safe. It’s a good idea to only buy a handmade swing from a reputable source. This way, you will not have to worry about it failing while in use.

9. Canopy

Patio swing with cushions and a canopy. Source: Amazon

Unless your swing set is going to be under the shade of trees in your woods, it is a good idea to consider buying one that has a canopy so that your children will be protected from the hot sun and will have a shady place to play during the day. While a canopy doesn’t generally cover the whole swing area, it will help protect people on the playset or swings from the sun’s damaging UV rays. You can opt for a canopy on a porch swing to provide comfort to the people using the swing, as well as one that stretches over part of a swing set.

D. Materials

1. Rope

A swing with ropes attached on a tree.

Source: Wayfair

Some people prefer to hang their swings using traditional ropes. In many ways, ropes aren’t going to be as durable or effective as chains. For the most part, chains are going to be capable of holding greater amounts of weight than ropes. The reason that people decide to use ropes to hang their swings is that it looks really nice aesthetically.

If you choose to build a wooden swing set, then using chains to hang the swings might not look quite right. Using rope just seems to feel more natural when you’re working with a wooden swing set. The visual appeal of the swing set certainly does matter, so if you want it to give off the right vibe, then using rope might be a good idea. You can buy a rope that is quite durable and will be more than capable of swinging your children effectively.

2. Chain

A swing set with yellow-painted plastic chain straps.

Source: Amazon

Chain swings are significantly more durable than their rope swing cousins. If you want to buy a swing that is going to stand the test of time, then it makes sense to purchase one that is using chains. The chains are going to work effectively to swing your child in a safe fashion. Hanging a chain swing is very easy, too, as putting the chain on the hooks will always make sense.

Most children’s swing sets will come with chain swings, but there are exceptions. It can be worthwhile to seek one out, as you will be able to make use of it throughout your child’s younger years. They will love playing with their friends, and you will be able to feel assured that they are swinging on something that is safe. As they get older, you may want to buy thicker chains and larger seats to accommodate their growth.

3. Rubber

A black leather swing with metal hooks.

Source: Wayfair

A rubber material is often used to make the swing seats that your children play on. These types of seats are very high-quality, and they are going to stand up to several years of regular use. When you want to buy something that is going to last a long time, going with rubber is going to be a fine option. These seats often come in many interesting colors as well, so it will be a good choice from an aesthetics perspective, too.

Buying a quality rubber seat is going to make the swinging time your child has that much more enjoyable. You don’t want to buy something that is inexpensive if it isn’t going to be fun for your child to use. Making the investment in a really good seat makes sense, so take the time to pick out the best option for your child. You should even be able to find something that comes in their favorite color.

4. Plastic

Swing with a blue, rigid plastic seat.

Source: Amazon

You will also find some swing sets that come with plastic seats. Plastic seats will work just fine for younger children, and they can even work well for older people depending on how well they are made. Depending on its quality, plastic can be either great or less than desirable. A high-quality and durable plastic seat or swing set is going to hold up to regular use quite nicely.

Some people shy away from plastic as they find it to be less comfortable than other options. There is some merit to this, as hard plastic seats may be a little rough to sit on for long periods of time. Take this into account, and decide whether it is going to be a good fit for your swing set. You want to buy whatever option is going to work out best for your children, so it’s worth looking into all the different avenues.

5. Wood

A wooden backyard swing that can occupy three people.Source: Home Depot

Wood is a very common material for swings, and for good reason. These swings tend to look very traditional, natural and have a wonderful classic appearance that many people love. In addition, wood swings can last for a very long time as long as they are taken care of and the correct type of wood is used for the swing. Unfortunately, wood will decay over time, especially when exposed to bad weather on a regular basis. When the wood swing is attached with natural ropes, then special care has to be taken to ensure that these ropes do not break when a child is on the swing. While it is possible to enjoy swinging in your backyard, it is up to the parents to make sure that they perform regular maintenance to ensure that the swing is in the best possible condition before a child uses it.

6. Metal

A metal swing set with a small slide at the side.

Source: Amazon

Metal swings and swing sets are very popular because this material is incredibly durable and will not rot or decay when exposed to bad weather the way that wood will. Of course, there are few things to consider when shopping for a metal swing, and one of those is whether or not it will rust when exposed to rain. While metal can be coated with a durable plastic substance to decrease the likelihood of rust, this is still a concern and will decrease the lifespan of your swing or swing set. Another problem with metal is that it will typically get very hot when exposed to direct sun and can even burn children if they are not careful.







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