Trampoline or Playset: (Which Is Better)

Trampoline or Playset

Playsets come with a wide variety of options, from slides to climbing walls, swings, and more. Meanwhile, a trampoline is a simple, flexible mat on a frame that stretches and helps you bounce, and the only real options are shape, size, and do you want a basketball hoop on the safety net or not?

Which is better, trampoline or playset? The answer might surprise you, so keep reading to learn about these great toys.

Playsets are great for little kids too young to jump on a trampoline, and they’re durable, but interest in them fades quickly. Meanwhile, a trampoline doesn’t lose its fun appeal and is healthy for anyone over 6 years old.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Trampoline Or Playset

Before buying a trampoline or playset, there are plenty of essential things to consider.

Who will be using the toy? Are they young children or older, and what about adults? How is the weather where you live?

Will an outdoor toy see lots of use or be subject to extreme weather-related wear and tear?

How long do you plan to keep this toy? Are you going to need replacement parts? Will it break down easily? How often will you use it?

Below you’ll find plenty of vital information on both types of outdoor toys and their uses.

Is It Worth Buying A Trampoline Or Playset

It is always worth buying a trampoline or playset. However, that doesn’t help you choose which one to put in your yard.

Both of these will take up a lot of space and aren’t cheap, so let’s look at how each one is generally used first.

A playset is a single structure with various outdoor activities incorporated into the single frame. You will need to choose which features matter most to you.

For example, you can probably get a ladder or a climbing wall with a rope and toeholds, but it may not come with both.

Likewise, you might get monkey bars or rings to swing from, but there’s no real point in having two features that fulfill the same need.

Additionally, a playset can be made of wood or coated metal. Both options are durable, but wood will need resealing every 1 to 2 years.

You seldom have to do much assembly, but the size differences determine whether it’s made for toddlers or young school-age children.

Most parts are harder to replace if there is damage, and some have to be custom ordered, like a climbing wall.

A trampoline is simple and has one function with a possible add-on basketball hoop. You will need to assemble it yourself on site.

Moreover, these toys are not recommended for kids under 6. However, the upside to a trampoline is that people of all ages enjoy them. The only real choices are size and shape, though most are round.

The nice thing about a trampoline is that your kids won’t get too big or too old to bounce.

Meanwhile, the downside is that you’ll need spring and mat replacements sometimes, but they are readily available.

How Long Do Trampolines And Playsets Last

An outdoor playset that is properly cared for should last 10 to 20 years.

That’s a long time for an outdoor toy and will be helpful for most children from their first steps until they head off to college if it’s large enough for them to use still.

If you live in a multigenerational family home, this might be an ideal solution since there are likely to be children every few years.

Outdoor trampolines do not last as long as playsets. The average lifespan is more like 5-10 years.

Some parts like the springs, mat, and padding only last about 2 years on most trampoline models before needing replacement.

However, some brands like Springfree don’t use springs and guarantee their entire product for up to a decade.

While this isn’t as long as a playset, it is still generally enough to ensure your children can get a complete childhood worth of playtimes and bouncing.

How Much Do Trampolines And Playsets Cost

Trampolines and playsets have varying costs based on size and features. Naturally, the larger and more complex you get, the higher the prices rise to account for more materials and manufacturing.

A playset runs anywhere from $200 for an indoor toddler version to over $35,000 for a complete outdoor playground playset like you’d see at elementary schools and parks.

Meanwhile, trampolines run a more standard $800-$3000 for varying sizes and shapes.

What Age Is Appropriate For A Trampoline And Playset

Age is an important aspect of choosing your outdoor toys. Smaller, lower-to-the-ground playsets are great for toddlers and very young school-aged children.

A medium to large playset is typically used by kids who are 7-13, and after they reach high school, most tend to have less interest in this sort of play.

On the other hand, trampolines are not for kids under 6, but anyone older can play and bounce on them regardless of age, and many adults still enjoy their trampolines.

How Much Space Do You Need For A Trampoline Or Playset

A 12×12 yard would be a very tight fit for most trampolines and playsets.

While the two outdoor toys take up the same general range of sizes, from around 8×8 to over 15 feet long, you’ll need plenty of space.

Moreover, if you choose a playset with swings, you need to add enough room for them to swing safely and for other people to walk around them without getting accidentally kicked or hit.

Is It Better To Have A Trampoline Or Playset

It is better to have a trampoline than a playset. Playsets are high-impact, dynamic toys with long working life and a shorter period where most kids are interested in playing with them.

Your playset will probably cause fatigue quicker and be harder to use for anyone with slight mobility issues. The variety of toys is nice at first, then becomes repetitive.

Alternatively, a trampoline needs more frequent replacement parts, but people will play with them well into their teens and adulthood.

Plus, trampolines are low-impact, high-flying fun. You will fatigue less quickly, and while there’s only one thing to do (bounce), there are 1000s of variations of that thing for you to learn and master.

Helpful Tips To Know About Trampoline or Playset

Installing a trampoline or playset in your yard is a time-consuming, space-using project, and you must be sure you are ready and willing to make those commitments.

Moreover, since these toys last years, you must be prepared to have them around and maintain them.

Here are a few more helpful tips to know about trampolines or playsets.

  • Wooden playsets are beautiful. However, they require a type of maintenance that trampolines and metal playsets do not. As Eastern Jungle Gym explains, “With more than two decades’ experience in the business, we recommend staining or sealing your wooden swing set once a year (if yours is in a shady location, you may be able to get away with once every two years). Doing so will protect the investment you made for your little ones.
  • You can find longer-lasting trampolines and trampoline parts that only need replacing every 15-20 years. Although they are less cost-effective, they are high value and worth the investment.
  • A properly maintained and cared for trampoline or playset has incredible resale value. Although they don’t rise in value, you can virtually guarantee you make back 1/3 to 1/2 of your money.

Final Thoughts

When deciding between buying a trampoline versus a playset, remember that a long, useful working life trumps a wide variety of things you can’t or won’t use.

Some children will play with a playset until it falls apart or they can’t fit inside anymore, but most lose interest after a year or two.

A playset is outstanding for very young children to develop their coordination, but it will never give you a sense of flight like a trampoline.

Meanwhile, trampolines seem to maintain our focus years. Trampolines offer a low-intensity workout and lots of room for experimentation and learning new tricks.

With proper replacement parts, you, your friends, your children, their friends, and even the dog can all bounce for many years while improving your bone density and cardiovascular health.

Drew Thomas

My name is Drew Thomas and I’m the creator of Fun In the Yard, your one stop site for all your outdoor games, sports, party activities, outdoor gear, and lawn & gardening tips.

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