The 10 Best Jungle Gyms and Play Sets for Toddlers and Kids in 2020

by Nalda Parker | Last Updated: 04/18/2019

Best Jungle Gyms for Toddlers and Kids

The pungent smell of sunscreen, metal bars warm against your palms, bursts of laughter breaking through the rhythmic squeak of swing chains and pounding feet on sand; these are memories we all share from childhood hours spent on the backyard playset or jungle gym.

Like most parents, you want your child to have the opportunity to enjoy active play. This means making sure that your child has safe and appropriate play sets or jungle gyms. Today’s parents will find both indoor and outdoor jungle gyms, and those specifically for younger ages. The truly dedicated parent will even find play gyms for babies. So, how do I choose the best jungle gym, you may wonder.

Of course, you will need to consider the space you have available for a play set. If you are looking for an indoor play set, or a jungle gym for a patio, you will be looking for a different toy than if you have a sprawling back yard for your child to explore. You will want to consider the cost of the play set. Clearly, many outdoor jungle gyms can be expensive. However, it isn’t impossible to find a safe and durable playset without breaking the bank.

Young children have yet to fully develop their fine motor skills and will find grasping onto small objects challenging. Likewise, young children haven’t had the opportunity to build their large muscle groups. Young children cannot jump as high or land safely from as high a level as older children with better-developed leg muscles can.

Aware of their abilities, young children are often appropriately afraid of heights and will not feel comfortable on play structures that they feel unsure of. There are clearly safety issues to be considered.

Children will only remain amused by kids toys that remain somewhat challenging. So, it is highly unlikely that a jungle gym that excites a 4-year old will excite a 12-year old.

Best Toddler and Kid’s Jungle Gyms & Play Sets

  1. Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber

Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Jungle Gym


This sturdy 5-foot high geometric dome is appropriate for kids 3-10 years old. The heavy-duty metal bars of this kid’s jungle gym are coated to prevent rusting and have high-density polyethylene handgrips placed strategically at the joints.

Young kids will find climbing on this outdoor play set easier due to the easily grasped grips. Sweaty little hands can find metal bars hard to hand onto, but not so much with these ergonomically designed grips. At 60-inches in height, this geometric dome meets the height requirements for children as young 2.



Final Verdict: This durable outdoor jungle gym is great for growing kids and meets parent’s safety requirements.

  1. Step 2 Game Sports Climber for Toddlers

Step 2 Game Sports Climber Toddler Jungle Gym and Play Set


This sturdy plastic play set is appropriate for children 2-6. The colorful toddler’s jungle gym offers kids several play options. The play set has a basketball goal, a ladder with textured rungs for safety, a sturdy slide, and a soccer goal. The Game Sports Climber can hold up to 60 lbs.

This outdoor jungle gym is only 43.5-inches high making it safe for children as young as two and has enough features to keep older kids amused. Due to the size, it is best for families with only one or two children.



Final Verdict: This safe and sturdy toddler’s jungle gym is well worth the price for small families and will keep your child’s attention for years.

  1. Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower

Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower


This durable child’s monkey bar set is appropriate for children aged 3-6. Made of sturdy plastic tubes that lock into connectors with springs, this kid’s jungle gym is easy to set up and move. Although this light weight monkey bar set is made of plastic tubes, it is coated with UV protection to ensure longevity.

The top of the play set is under 47 inches from the ground putting it in under the five-foot maximum safety height to children 2-5. However, the Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower can hold up to 150 lbs of dangling and climbing kid energy, making it suitable for a play date.



Final Verdict: The Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower is exceptional value. It out rates similar toys and is easy to assemble.

  1. Skywalker Sports Modular Kids Jungle Gym

Skywalker Sports Modular Jungle Gym

This customizable outdoor jungle gym is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 8. Made of metal bars, this study play set can be built such that it meets the maximum height requirements for you child. Skywalker Sports has thoughtfully included joint covers to prevent little hands from getting pinched in the spaces where the bars meet.

Powder-coated to prevent rusting this versatile jungle gym offers accessories to expand your child’s play options and allowing for parents to spread the overall cost of an outstanding outdoor play set over time.

Beginning with the base modular jungle gym reduces cost and allows your child to build core body strength. When your child is ready you can add other features including swings and a hanging chain bridge. Building on accessories over the years keeps your play set fresh and interesting adding extra challenges as your child masters existing elements.



Final Verdict: The flexibility of this outdoor jungle gym makes it one of the best in terms of value. By beginning with the core set and adding accessories over time, parents can spread the expense of a jungle gym over time. This also means that your play set can grow with your child, continuing to offer challenges and remaining exciting.

  1. Costzon Toddler Climber and Swing Set


Kids playhouse and tree swing set


This sturdy plastic jungle gym looks like a tree and offers your child a variety of play options. The Tree House Swing Set comes with a climbing wall with molded hand grips, two swings, a slide, a ladder slanted to reduce fall risks, and an anchor kit to ensure safe use.

Your child’s imagination will come alive when they climb under the canopy of the lookout tree, grab the steering wheel, and set sail into summer. This fun summer toy gym is large enough to hold several children and engaging enough to encourage solo outdoor play.



Final Verdict: This imaginative jungle gym is exceptional value. It costs less than similar more poorly rated jungle gyms for this age group.

  1. Step 2 Sports-Tastic Activity Center

Step 2 Sports-Tastic Activity Center


This colorful molded plastic play set is appropriate for children over the age of 12 months. This engaging toddler’s jungle gym offers hours of fun with a variety of activities. The Sports-Tastic Activity Center has steps and a mini slide for building gross motor skills, a basketball hoop, a soccer ball and goal, and a large hanging baseball with a chubby bat to improve your child’s hand eye coordination.

Each accompanying toy fits neatly into a molded storage space making pick up easy and reducing the risk of misplacing things. The maximum height of the play set is under 16-inches tall and can be used inside or out.



Final Verdict: This all in one play set is ideal for toddlers, but it has a limited life span as children will outgrow it quickly. It is an ideal toy for very young children and solo play.

  1. Square Climber Wooden Climbing Cube

Square Climber Wooden Climbing Cube Jungle Gym

This sturdy wooden outdoor jungle gym is appropriate for children 3-6. Made of sturdy rubberwood, this children’s jungle gym can hold up to four children with a total weight of 175lbs at once. The Wooden Climbing Cube is constructed of wooden tubes fitted into square connectors avoiding the issue of pinching little fingers.

The cube comes with five wooden activity boards in bright colors. Each activity board has a different shape that your child can climb and crawl through. So, your children will be passively learning their shapes and colors while engaged in hours of active play. With a total height of under 41 inches, this durable outdoor play set meets maximum height requirements regardless of which of the three levels your child plays on.



Final Verdict: This sturdy wooden jungle gym is an excellent choice for young children. It encourages active engagement while allowing children to build cognitive skills. This structure has the added advantage of being made from wood. Although still lightweight, this option is more environment friendly than similar jungle gyms made from molded plastic.

  1. Backyard Discovery Woodridge II Swing Set

Backyard Discovery Woodridge II Swing Set Jungle Gym for Kids and Toddlers


This sturdy, cedar, outdoor jungle gym swing set is appropriate for children 3-10. The Backyard Discovery Woodridge II is that lovely play set that everyone wants in their backyard. While attractive and well-built, this set, unlike many sets out there, avoids being a fall danger by placing its highest standing surface at 6-feet and 10-inches high. That said, you should not take the risk of having children under the age of 5 playing on this set.

The Woodridge II has a rock wall ladder with safety handles, two belt swings as well as an acrobat bar for swinging, a raised kids playhouse with an open-air side porch, a slide, and a tunnel for crawling from the crow’s nest into the playhouse. The lower level offers a large covered fort making this one of the best jungle gym playsets available and large enough for all your children’s friends.



Final Verdict: This lovely cedar wooden outdoor jungle gym is worth it’s cost so long as you use if safely. Although rated for children as young as 3, children under the age of 5 should not be allowed to play on the upper level. However, used safely, this jungle gym will make you the envy of the neighborhood.

  1. Inspiration 250 Fitness Swing Set / Jungle Gym

Kids Outdoor Playground Jungle Gym


This cost-effective outdoor swing set playground is appropriate for children 3-8. It is made of UV coated metal poles and offers many safety minded features. The set comes with two sturdy swings with molded seats. The manufacturer has enclosed covered chains of the swings to prevent pinching of small hands.

There is also a monkey bar for swinging, a slide with attached ladder, and a sunshade to prevent over-heating, sunburns, and hot metal burns. This playground can safely hold children up to 80 lbs and offers no fall risk.



Final Verdict: This sturdy kid’s jungle gym is a cost-effective answer to meet your children’s needs for safe outdoor activity. With several activity options, your children will enjoy several years of safe sunshine fun while building multiple muscle groups.

  1. Backyard Discovery Dayton All Cedar Wood Play Swing Set

Backyard Discovery Dayton All Cedar Wood Play Swing Set


This sturdy cedar outdoor swing set is appropriate for children 3-10. It is less elaborate than many cedar jungle gyms making it more economical while maintaining the beauty and durability of a cedar play set. With an upper deck measuring 4-feet from the ground it is safe for children as young as 2.

The play set comes with two belt swings, a trapeze bar, a covered crow’s next, and a slide. Children have two ways to climb up to the crow’s next. The adventurous will want to use the rock-climbing ladder with its handgrips. However, there is also a typical rung ladder for those not comfortable with a rock wall.



Final Verdict: Although this sturdy cedar jungle gym / swing set has less accessories than are often found on large outdoor cedar play sets, it is safe for young kids and offers enough variety to keep kids amused all summer long. The simplicity of this set makes it more economical as well.


When were Jungle Gyms made?

Most of us are unaware that the structures we find so iconic started with a 1920 patent application for a metal structure invented by Sebastian Hinton.

What are the height safety considerations?

Although play structures can be expensive, it is unsafe to buy a jungle gym too tall for your young child thinking that they can grow into it like they will a winter coat. To prevent injury, you are going to want to make sure your child doesn’t incur a fall from too high a height. We are still learning the dangers of concussions, and to protect your child you should make sure you follow a few simple rules.

[su_icon_text icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#ffca08″ icon_size=”42″]Important: You should always take the age of your child in consideration when buying jungle gyms and monkey bars.[/su_icon_text]

According to PGMedia, the following equipment height guidelines should be considered;


As a parent, you have a great many decisions to make every day. Choosing the best jungle gym for your toddler or child shouldn’t become a cause for anxiety. Following good common sense and making sure you pay attention to your child, your resources, and a few simple rules should make this decision easier.

Clearly, the material a jungle gym is made from is going to effect costs. If you are looking for a low-cost option, you will want to go for materials designed to be cost-efficient.

However, this doesn’t mean that you need to forego safety or attractiveness. Luckily, most manufacturers are mindful of the need for equipment to be safe, attractive, and engaging. You will find that metal and plastic are more cost efficient than wood. However, depending upon the type of wood used, this isn’t always so.

If you are looking for an outdoor playset but don’t want to break the bank, consider a colorful metal jungle gym or a wood set made of less expensive wood. If you have your heart set on a cedar jungle gym for your child, but have limited funds, I suggest that you choose a set with fewer accessories. Unless you are planning to entertain the whole neighborhood, you really don’t need a grand cedar set to keep your children amused.

Whatever play set you choose, keep a few simple rules in mind. Be sure you don’t buy a jungle gym that puts your child at risk of a high fall. Children under the age of 5 shouldn’t hang from or swing from structures over 60-inches from the ground. Children over 5 can play on structures up to 84-inches.

However, when you start looking at some of the large jungle gyms out there you will find many with fall risks over 84-inches. So please, be mindful of heights. Remember too that your child will be your best guide. Children will not enjoy toys that make them feel insecure, so don’t buy something too challenging.

If you are buying something with the expectation of it lasting for years, remember that children will stop playing with a toy that no longer offers a challenge.

That said, I would recommend that you consider a jungle gym that is either inexpensive enough that you don’t mind replacing it when your child masters it, or consider buying a simple version that has accessories that can be added on to keep it engaging.

Article by Nalda Parker

Nalda is a mother of four, so is well-versed in what constitutes the best toys and games for your little ones. As a life learner, she has acquired two master's degrees and many hours of doctoral work. She enjoys writing, painting, teaching, and research. Nalda has worked as a college professor, substance abuse counselor, psychosocial rehabilitation therapist, and community support specialist.