For the most part, swing sets are safe places for kids to play right in your backyard, but it is important to establish boundaries that maintain that safety. Every child should know the rules of playing on your swing set to avoid any dangerous actions or reactions between children that could lead them to harm of some kind. Plus, children should understand that maintaining a swing set, and maintaining property in general, is an important part of life. Outdoor equipment should be cared for well, and it is healthy for your child to learn and implement this at a young age.
Rule 1: Always dry a wet seat or slide before playing on it.
Wet equipment can cause children to lose control, slip, and hurt themselves. After a rainstorm or a cleaning, be sure that your children know to wait until the swing set has dried off from sunshine, or to take a towel and dry the seats and slides before they begin to play. This will help prevent extra slips and unnecessary harm on the play set.
Rule 2: Never run behind or in front of a moving swing.
Ducking or avoiding a moving object is probably a natural instinct for your child, but reflexes are not always fast enough to avoid a moving swing before there is a collision of children. Emphasize the need to walk safely out around the swings whenever someone is using them, and help teach your child about depth perception in the process.
Rule 3: Always take turns.
Every accessory should be shared so that it can be enjoyed equally by all children present. If more than one child wants to use a slide, swing, seat, trapeze, monkey bars, or ladder, take turns. There are so many accessories on any given play set, that two kids will not likely have to stand in any kind of line waiting on each other, as long as they understand the healthy balance of taking turns and switching places once they have each finished.
Rule 4: Never push or shove other kids on the play set.
Pushing and shoving from a high tower or on the edge of a slide can lead to children falling. While swing sets are designed to contain children safely behind fences in all of the appropriate areas, it is necessary for the children themselves to safely engage with each other. Physical fights on the swing set can lead to extra injury since it may result in accidental falls from one or both parties of children.
Rule 5: Put toys away when you’re done playing.
Particularly if your swing set contains a sandbox, there may be extra toys and items sitting around the play set area that need to be picked up and put away. The sandbox might have a lid to cover it, for example, and the toys may be able to stay underneath of that covering. Teach your children to clean up after themselves in this way so that a sudden rain does not catch you off guard and mess up the sand in your play set.
Rule 6: Respect the swing set property.
This is very simple, but every kid should learn that it is not acceptable to mistreat the swing set in a way that would cause it to deteriorate faster. There should be a healthy respect for the property, and while dirt and muck are normal and of little importance, involving your children in the maintenance process over the years is a great way to show them about caring for property long term.