(File pix) You can always personalise your swings.

CHILDREN’S outdoor play areas don’t have to be an eyesore. You can create space for a play area without dominating every corner of your garden paradise.

Many gardens don’t have space for a trampoline, a cycling path or an area where your kids can pile up toys and leave them there without anyone tripping over.

If you don’t have a large space outside, one of the easiest thing to do is to build a swing set.

What you need is a sturdy archway, which could easily double as a frame for a swing and conceal the ground with a sandpit. The swing set should be installed in a level ground and anchored firmly in the ground.

You may want to shop around for something that is long-lasting, safe, affordable, fun and, most importantly, liked by your kids.

Avoid choosing something which is appropriate only for children, as they will outgrow it. You wouldn’t want the swing to become an eyesore in your garden as no adults would be able to sit on it.

Things to consider for garden swing set:

1. MATERIALS: Garden swing sets can be made from metal, plastic or wood. A cheaper option would be metal swings but they can get rusty after some time. If you still want metal swings, it would involve a bit of maintenance where you may need to fix worn or chipped paint. Plastic is the most inexpensive material. However, it is also the least durable. Plastic is best for kids below the age of 10 and can only be used for a few years. Wood is the most durable and can last longer, but it is also more expensive.

2. DESIGN: You have to decide whether you want swing sets made from a sturdy archway or thosehanging from a tree (provided you do have a huge tree in your garden or backyard). Keep in mind the size and age of your children.

3. MAINTENANCE: Your swing set should be properly maintained to keep it safe and durable.

4. SAFETY: Allocate a clear space of six feet on each side of the swing set and plant some grass underneath. It should be free from anyobstructions including trees, bushes, pots and drains.†

5. BUDGET: Ask yourself how much are you willing to spend on the swing set, after which you can decide whether to build one from metal, plastic or wood.

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